Saturday, December 8, 2012

Infertility Choices

Month one was followed by many more months of unprotected intercourse.  I say it that way because I always hated the idea of “trying.”  I had this notion that trying was for the couples who were desperate to have a child.  We weren’t.  We were living in Florida for a year following a year in Oregon.  We were traveling the country, gaining experiences with each other and building careers.  But, I was smart enough to know that it would be convenient to experience the early stages of pregnancy while we were living away from home-base, and I was working from home.   In my perfectly-plotted plan, I would be able to “toss my cooks” in my very own toilet while growing ears, lips and little lungs!

As the months wore on, the worrier that lives inside my brain began to grow.  I experienced more periods that were heavy and abnormally uncomfortable so I decided to call my doctor.  We had been at this for around nine months, and while I wasn’t overly concerned about the time, I began to be concerned about my cycle and the increasing severity of it.  I also wanted someone to tell me that it was okay.  That everything was normal – the periods, the time period and the emotions that were just starting to pop-up around the whole ordeal.  Unfortunately, that’s not what I got.

I withstood them taking my blood to check my hormone levels (I hate needles!  But, more on that later!), an ultrasound and a very uncomfortable internal ultrasound.  The internal ultrasound lasted a long time.  I had never had one done before so I didn’t know how abnormal this was.  I also didn’t know that ultrasound techs typically prod around gently (rather than violently) while talking to you about the weather, your job or the holidays (rather than where the heck your left ovary is!). I later got a copy of the report from this ultrasound and the tech described it as “very difficult!”

This is the part where I have to stop and tell you a little about myself.  I am an achiever by nature.  I literally have one of those corporate signs that sits above my desk so people can easily identify my strengths.  Second on the list is “achiever!”  This means that I set goals for myself, for organizations, and I go after them.  Relentlessly.  This means that when something is described as “very difficult,” I want to conquer it!  This isn't a particularly favorable strength when it comes to fertility.

The ultrasound seemed discouraging, and my instincts were confirmed when I got a call from the doctor’s office.  They indicated my estrogen was extremely low, and that they’d like to have me go in for an MRI to rule out any “masses” that may be pushing my organs to the one side.  All the sudden this seemed like it could be a much larger issue than infertility.  

I experienced the whole scary MRI process complete with multiple pokes at various parts of my body in an effort to insert an IV, tears and an uncomfortable joke made by a nurse about my inability to be a drug-addict due to my fear of needles and apparent bad veins.  (Mental note:  Add drug addict to the long-list of things I am not good at that also includes; making babies, internal ultrasounds and dealing with needles!)  I waited a few anxious days for the results of the MRI and was only somewhat relieved when I got a call explaining that there were no masses in my abdomen.  

I say somewhat relieved because both the questions that I started with, remained – why are my periods abnormal, and is this somehow linked to issues with fertility?  I was however given a drug that could help with my heavy periods which I never took.  Because I would be moving to a new state soon, I was able to pick up my file including all the reports from the MRI, etc. so that I would be able to share it with a new doctor in my new state.  I’m happy I did this as the reports offered more insight into potential issues – mainly mentions of fibroids, etc. 

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