Wednesday, February 13, 2013


What's in store for me today....?  I have a few hours of time to pass waiting to have my second hysteroscopy.  I've been up half the night either anticipating it or having nightmares about it.   I can't wait until it's all over (I also can't wait to eat since I'm not allow to until afterwards).  14 months ago, we met with our reproductive endocrinologist for the first time.  It's hard to imagine it's been that long when some things seem just like yesterday.  One of my initial diagnostic tests was a hysteroscopy.  Most people probably have never heard of this procedure and the majority of women will luckily never have it performed.  I went into the test a bit blind, not something I usually do.  I tend to do more research.  However, for whatever reason I didn't this time.  I was told the procedure was "routine" and basically not a big deal (maybe it's routine for a surgical team, but not the average Joe).  I remember being told that I could take some Advil prior to the procedure to cut back on any pain I may experience.  I'm not sure why but pain never crossed my mind....I was so wrapped up in finding a diagnosis.  Once I arrived at the surgical center things were put into more perspective.  I remember signing a consent form that discussed all these horrible side effects, etc... I started to become a bit more anxious when I saw people walking around in surgical scrubs and even more when I was asked to change into a gown and hat.  I was wheeled into the OR room and nearly had a panic attack.  I've been in the OR before but was usually drugged up on some kind of anesthetic so I don't remember much.  Being awake the images of these "things" and "tools" really flooded my mind.  I was horrified because I saw so many weird gadgets and I didn't know WHAT they were used for.  Sometimes the unknown is worse because your imagination goes wild.  I felt like I'd just been wheeled into a medieval torture room or was in the movie Hostel.  

I was not given any pain medication, anesthesia, or sedation.  I was wide awake the entire time, literally strapped to a table with 2 legs straps on each leg and and abdominal strap or two (I can't remember)...all I can remember is that I couldn't move.  The nurses and doctors were buzzing around and I remember being scared and confused about what was happening.  They gave me very general instructions of what was going on, however I was writhing in so much pain that I could't hear or process a damn thing.  I remember that a male nurse had to physically hold me down.  Even though I was only in there about 10 to 15 minutes, it seemed like an eternity.  I don't get it....why do they give anesthesia for a colonoscopy and an endoscopy and every other kind of -scopy but not this?  I was outraged I wasn't even given the option....had I known it was that horrid I would have signed up despite all the consequences of anesthesia.  I later (a bit too late ) found out I could have had anesthesia but they discourage it due to side effects of anesthesia, you need someone to drive you home, the procedure is usually brief, and it doesn't always hurt some women.  Absolutely absurd for the ones it does....since then I have read it's more painful than natural childbirth.  The good news is that if I ever do get pregnant, I can tell you I CANNOT handle that and want as many drugs as possible.  I've had a few wrist surgeries in the past and even had surgery for appendicitis but this pain was dull in comparison.
I'm sure the above pictures give you an idea of what I'm talking about. WHO would want that inside of them....awake?  It friggin hurts!!  It's bad enough being invaded with internal ultrasounds, uterine biopsies, and exams but this doesn't come close.  Anyways, my point is this:  do your research and find out what you are in for and what your options are.  I wish I had.  Unfortunately since it's been so long since my last hysteroscope, I have the pleasure of doing it all over again today.  All I can say is thank god for drugs and I hope they work well. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Things aren't always what they seem.

I learned that lesson in life...many times over.  Whether it's a job interview, a date, or having a baby, most people have an idea in their head of how things will pan out.  I never envisioned that we'd have trouble having a baby.... but here we are, 29 months later.  The ideas in my head of how this would happen were totally different and much more traditional.  Never did I imagine I'd need a team of people to get me pregnant.  The thought of hormones, doctor's offices and "test tubes"(really it's a petri dish), never crossed my mind when it came to conception.  It just goes to show that you can plan anything as much as you want, but ultimately whatever happens will happen.  I believe that's what has taken me so long to finally take the plunge and commit to the IVF process.  No matter what I do or how great my team of doctor's are, no one is truly in the driver's seat.  It's pretty scary knowing that something you want SO badly, you have little to no control over.  It's pretty damn hard to throw expectations out the window but I'm trying so badly.  The worst consequence in all this isn't the thousands and thousands of dollars I shelled out, the painful procedures or sleepless's throwing out my expectation that this will work.  While we have a good chance, it's still no guarantee and all the effort could be for nothing.  

Just to re-cap where we've come from:  
    - 29 months of "trying"
    - 1 failed clomid cycle
    -2 failed IUIs (with clomid)
    - 1 failed IUI (with injectable medication)
Clearly we are no longer rookies in this journey. Thursday I finally decided to make the call to the doctor's office.  We've taken a hiatus from baby planning for alot of different reasons.  Mainly financial since it's so damn expensive.   My original plan was to do IVF in October but we didn't have the money.  Then it was November but I didn't want to be faced with potential disappointment over the holidays.  Then it was January, but we STILL didn't have enough money and I started a new job.  Then it was March and come hell or high water, I was going to make it happen.  I knew from our IVF consult this past summer that they wanted a month notice in order to have enough time to acquire all the medications. What I DIDN'T realize is that since we waited so long we need to be re-tested before we can start IVF in March....that means we start NOW.  Believe it or not our last rounds of tests were in 2011!  I wasn't expecting that.  I was asked to come in the very next day for updated testing and have the rest of February to finish it up.  We need updated blood values for hormones and communicable diseases, updated ultrasounds, updated semen analysis and the dreaded updated hysteroscope....the VERY test that made me almost give this all up because it was so horrible.  I have a repeat test soon and the anxiety over it as already started since I know what to expect and it's not pretty.  I've been pretty calm about this whole situation the past few months since I've been a bit removed from it, but the MINUTE I walked into the doctor's office, all those negative emotions came flying back with vengeance and seem to be here to stay.  I didn't miss them.  The other downfall is the stress it's already starting to place on our relationship.  I will be the first to admit this is not an easy journey to deal with as a couple.  Even though we are diagnosed with male factor infertility, I'm still the one who must endure all the tests, procedures and medications.  Words can't describe how frustrating that is and how alone I feel in this process.  

I was also given my medication list.  I knew I'd be on alot of hormones....but didn't realize how many until they were written in front of me.  I feel like an old person, taking so many drugs and all.  All together it's 9 different medications...most hormones and many are injectables.  As we all know, I don't do needles but apparently I'll have a cocktail of 4 or so different types of needles.  And my husband gets.....nothing.  As it turns out BabyQuest (the organization that was going to help with with medications) may come through afterall.  I am forever thankful because it's alot of money.  To pay for IVF, yesterday I wrote out a check that was more money than our house downpayment and I nearly had a coronary.....and that's only for the IVF, not medication.  It took me over a year to save just for this one chance.  I called a few different pharmacies and the cost will be in the thousands for one round of IVF.  Upwards of over $6,000.  I have some insurance coverage but definitely not that much.  Whatever I can't acquire via BabyQuest or my insurance I will have to somehow come up with before March 1st (our official start date).  Yesterday I had to start birth control pills.  Weird.  For those that don't know what the IVF process entails, it's so they can have complete control of your cycle and when you start IVF.  It took me awhile to process this because after-all we are trying to have a baby...not prevent one!