October 1, 2009

The Fertility Clinic

It has been an appointment-filled week (both medically and socially), yesterday was my appointment with my naturopath and today’s was with the fertility clinic.

I nearly cancelled the naturopathic appointment and asked for my herbals tinctures to be mailed out, as there hasn’t really been a change in my wellbeing or cycles. Sure, last cycle was a short one (24 days) but I did ovulate early and still managed to have a 12-day luteal phase. In the end, I’m glad I went – it was a sunny day, the scenery on drive over to her practice was gorgeous (as per usual; there are vineyards, fields and distant mountains... I think that’s natural therapy within itself!). My herbs are more of the same and I’ve been challenged to eat an organic banana – no small feat seeing as though I can’t stand that taste/texture of bananas, yet I find myself craving them often!

She also reassured me about today’s appointment, and that even though the specialist I would be seeing is western medicine-based, she won’t condone eastern/natural therapies either. She had some tests she wanted the results of (updated iron work and B12), so to get them tacked onto whatever blood work was being ordered.

Which brings me today, and the pseudo-adventure that was the fertility clinic. First thing I noticed? Sterile building (near-new) and long white walkway. Silence, my shoes make squeaking sounds down the hallway of doom hope. In the waiting room sits three other women, their body language echoing mine... drooping shoulders. One is clutching the hand of her partner, another dabbing her left eye with a tissue, and the last knitting while staring out into the distance. And then there’s me – trying to absorb myself in a magazine while the receptionist is busy on the phone with call after answered call about medications, menstruation and IVF.

The doctor is running a little late, but finally she calls my name (yes, a female specialist!) and I’m drawn into her office, which is less sterile than the surrounding areas. We discuss my history (ovarian cysts and endometriosis, Zoladex and contraceptives) and my cycles. I had printed out some of my charts, which she had a look at. I showed her the comparisons of before and after natural therapies and how it’s lengthened my luteal phase, but pushed back ovulation time. The doctor still thinks my cycles “need improvement” (yes... I’d like to see them improved too – to show pregnancy!).

While she doesn’t think my endometriosis has returned (because it’s only been just over a year since the Zoladex treatments; I beg to differ on this one), she showed an interest in what had been discovered in my laparoscopy and where (chocolate brown cysts on the back of my uterus and on my bowel) and that it must have been “severe” for “Zoladex to be implemented”... no, I wasn’t aware of that.

I sat quietly while the doctor explained reproduction and what needs to happen for conception to take place (again... who’d have thought it was sex that caused pregnancy... wow!!!), before she made her recommendations. This was where I could have done with my husband's moral support.

Three tests were ordered (which I was expecting, so no big surprises there) –

* General ultrasound of my pelvic area (no dye in my tubes at this point, unless the below tests come back normal)
* Blood tests for oestrogen/progesterone levels (to prove ovulation; taken 7 days after it typically occurs)
* Semen analysis for my husband

The last one was what got to me the most – even though my husband said he’d be willing to go along with it (previously; he doesn’t know that it’s actually been recommended today yet), I still felt saddened that he’s going to have go through this process... how demeaning!

The best way to deal with all of this is to get you pregnant, and fast” said the doctor, as if to notify me of a goal I didn’t know existed. If my tests and my husband's tests all come back normal, then the next step is most likely going to be IVF. To be honest, I’m scared s**tless about the idea of this and am trying to think positive thoughts and that maybe, just maybe, something tangible comes up on the analysis or my ultrasound that explains everything.

My ultrasound is next Thursday morning.

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