New All Over Again

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I started drafting this yesterday from the RE’s office. I had quite the wait, so I had some time to kill. I was in for my Antral follicle count, and for ultrasounds (baseline, monitoring, or otherwise) they assign you a day and then it is first come first serve as soon as they open at 7:45. You come in and take a number then wait until your number comes up to actually register with the check in desk. I’d seen this happening on days that I was in for an IUI or appt with Dr. M but never done it myself before. So I got there at 7:45 am sharp. Number 13. Fuck. Apparently people come as early as 7 and just wait until the doors open to get in first. Lesson learned because if/when we end up doing IVF, I’ll get to do this several times a week while on stimulating hormones. Interestingly, there was actually quite a bit of chatter in the normally silent waiting room, because there were so many people. It mostly died down after people started going in, but it was sort of nice to see the camaraderie.

J didn’t come with me this time as it was rather unnecessary, plus he’s swamped being back at work. It was my first time being at the clinic by myself. I know that seems crazy, but so far it’s been important for J to be here (either for the appts with Dr. M or to give his deposits). He’s such a good guy and I’m lucky he’s been able to make it work, as I know a lot of ladies out there just go it alone because schedules don’t mesh. I didn’t like being there alone, it made me feel vulnerable. Plus with the whole numbers fiasco I felt like a newbie to infertility all over again. Also, this was my first ever date with the dildo cam. Again, I know, how did I get so far without that pre requisite meeting? I suppose because my IUIs were unmonitored, there was no need, it’s not until injectables and/or IVF that they bring out the big guns. But they needed to do the pre IVF Antral follicle count, and if/when we do IVF, I’m sure the dildo cam and I will be besties.

So, I finally got called back, to an area I’ve never been before (I didn’t have to walk past the wall of babies this time, bonus!). The nurse showed me to a change room where I was to get undressed, waist down. She asked me if I was on anything besides synthroid and I told her no. She questioned, no folic acid or anything? I gave her the short version that I had suspended all supplements after our last failed IUI but would be back on them as of this cycle. She gave me a bit of a lecture about how it takes 3 months for it to build up in my system. I said, yes I realized that, I was going to be starting them again right away, so she left it alone. She then asked what cycle day I’m on and I told her CD4, she kind of gave me a questioning look and asked if I had a hard time making my ultrasound appt. I said no, but that I hadn’t called until Tuesday because I was out of town. So she tells me that I was supposed to come in on day 1, 2, or 3.

This was news to me as the instructions they gave me specifically said day 2 – 4. I told her this, and she said no, that’s for AFC and then asked if I am there to start injectables? Then I understood her confusion, I told her I was there for the AFC and she had to turf the paper work she had just done. Apparently I was booked for the wrong appt, but I know the girl who left me the voicemail confirming it said it was for AFC so I don’t know where it went wrong. Luckily I was still in the right place, she just had to redo my chart and she told me to carry on, get undressed and go across the hall to the ultrasound room.

So because I have never been to this part of the clinic, or had to have an internal ultrasound I wasn’t really sure what was up. There was a sheet on the chair in the change room (I initially thought it was a gown, but nope just a sheet). So I was kind of confused, like what do I do with this, just wrap up and waddle across the hall? Apparently yes. I also wasn’t sure what to do with my clothes, but the nurse told me just to leave them in the room because I’d be right back after. So I was a bit out of sorts, and just felt unsure of everything. I toddled across the hall (it’s a small hallway, and fortunately I didn’t have to go far with my makeshift sheet/skirt). I get into the room and about 10 seconds later the doctor knocked on the door and came in. This was Dr. T, the 3rd doctor I’ve met now. I don’t think I’ve ever had the same nurse, and now meeting a 3rd doctor. There are a lot of people that work at the clinic. I think the only constant is the surly, young tattooed girl who works reception (and subsequently the one who makes my appts). She doesn’t seem like the most friendly person to work in a fertility clinic, but I suppose that’s neither here nor there.

So, Dr. T tells me she’s going to do my AFC, and doesn’t say much else. Doesn’t explain anything about the wand/probe (what do they call it, surely not just dildo cam?) or give me any advanced warning and just got right to it. Can I just say how not cool it is having a transvaginal ultrasound when you’re on your period. Gross. Anyways, she just starts poking around in there and she too asks me if I’m on any medications or supplements. I tell her not at the moment but will be this cycle and she gave me the lecture about always taking folic acid, yada yada. I told her the same thing I told the nurse and that I was going to be starting them again right away and that we weren’t planning on IVF until August. She still gave me a bit of a chastising, so I just gave her the obligatory mmhmm and left it alone.

She showed me my uterus, and said my lining looks thin (which is to be expected at CD4). She checked out my right ovary, then the left. She paused and made what I interpreted to be a displeased or confused noise on the left but it seemed to be ok, as she didn’t make any mention of a problem. Overall it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I know the ultrasounds are one of the easy peasy parts, but I just didn’t know what to expect. It was just a bit weird and uncomfortable, but ok. My left ovary was 9 follicles, and my right was 15, which apparently is good. I didn’t do any googling research beforehand, so I had no idea what that all meant at the time. Dr. T just said it was good, and that I could go change. I didn’t know if there was anything else, so I asked if I needed to do anything else, or that was it. She kind of chuckled and told me, no that was it. So I went and changed, and started to head out.

After feeling a bit out of sorts, I do have to mention the one really lovely thing that probably helped me stay calm. In the change room there was a white board on the wall, with a marker as well. On the board were all sorts of positive messages and words, from patients come and gone. It made me feel less alone, and it was really lovely. I don’t know how it came about, but I think it is fabulous. I don’t know if the erase it everyday and start new everyday but I’m looking forward to seeing it next time. I was too overwhelmed to think of anything to put on the board, but next time I will make a contribution. I took a picture so I could share with you all.

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On my way out I stopped in to see Tatts (that’s what I’m going to call the receptionist from now on, even though it’s really only one big tattoo on her arm that’s visible) and confirm my next appointment for the saline infusion sonohysterogram. Apparently it’s the same sort of numbers game for the SIS as it was for the ultrasound, but they don’t get as busy for the SIS, and it’s in the afternoon so I don’t have to be up at the crack of dawn. I also spoke to the IVF coordinator about if or when Dr. M was going to be away in the summer. She told me he is away at the end of June, and again in October so it shouldn’t be a problem for our tentative IVF schedule. When I told her we were looking at August for IVF she did advise that a lot of people plan for it in the summer, and they can only take a certain number of patients. So she told me to call ASAP when I start full flow on CD1 as if they get too many people they’ll take first come, first serve (seems to be a recurring theme, eh?). I’m glad I asked, and now I know the plan.

Infertility has a steep learning curve, and once you pass one milestone (whether good or bad) there’s always something new to learn just around the corner. So here’s hoping that no unexpected issues crop up. We seem to be barreling into this head first and I’m sure August will be here before we know it!

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Home, (Semi) Sweet, Home

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Well folks I’m back! The downside of limited internet access on a cruise ship is I couldn’t keep up with you all. I did go back through 10 days worth of blogs and I am finally caught up, couldn’t really comment on everyone, but much love to you all! I’ve missed following everyone, and am glad to be reconnected. The good part with the lack of internet, I barely had time to hit up Facebook. And two of my friends had babies while I was gone, so I’m glad I was able to avoid that while I was trying to put IF out of my mind. I feel like I have a million and one things to talk about now, but I’ll start where I left off; vacation.

It was lovely and relaxing. We shopped, we ate, we scuba dived (scuba dove?) a lot, we worshipped the sun and we ate some more. The vacation on a whole was very good. I read the Kite Runner (finally, after hearing nothing but rave reviews for years about it). It was very good, but sad, and surprisingly touched on infertility in the story (sorry if you haven’t read it yet!). I thought about IF a lot less, like maybe once or twice a day it crossed my mind. Which for me is good, normally it’s all consuming. My anxiety eased, I slept well and overall felt pretty good.

Can I just take a second to tell those of you who do not scuba dive how amazing it is? It is probably one of the most amazing (once you get past the freaked out feeling of breathing from a tank and being encompassed by the never ending sea) experiences. It is a slow moving, slow breathing, and quiet (except for the noise of your breathing and the bubbles) activity. Your main objective is just to take everything in. Investigate all of the sea life, the beautiful corals, the amazing colored fish, the turtles (yes turtles!) and the plethora of other creatures, some of which you would never know existed. If you’ve never done it, I’d highly recommend giving it a try. It was something I never saw myself doing until my brother in law suggested a bunch of us get certified, and now I can’t get enough.

Anyways, towards the end of the trip, when we had to start thinking about packing up and going home the anxiety started creeping back in. The thought of returning to work made my stomach turn. Getting away from work and everything else was awesome, but it just made it that much harder to go back. Now again, obviously my job is a small problem in a bigger whole. But it is what I spend a good chunk of my time doing, if it wasn’t another annoyance on my plate then I don’t think it would be so bad.

So yesterday I resent my resume to the company that had flat out offered me a job back in March. I see on their website they’re still hiring for the same positions so I feel like if I want it I can probably still have it. I want to see the offer and what the benefits package looks like first, and then go from there. But having something on the back burner is comforting, though leaving my current job will be really tough if it comes to that. I’ll cross that bridge if/when I get there.

Also on the job front J has been contacted by another location for a transfer. The regional recruiter and the location’s specific manager have both been in contact. He’s still playing telephone tag with the direct manager (we just got back on Sunday, so he just called them back yesterday). Again, it may lead to nothing, so we’re not getting our hopes up. We’ll just have to wait and see what comes of it.

On the IF front, I am on CD4 today. Good ‘ol AF showed up on the day we were flying home. So not only was I super bummed about coming home but I also failed at a natural cycle (not that I’m surprised or anything, the timing was just…blech). It’s a good thing I felt her presence earlier in the week and had the sense to pack some tampons in my carry on. So I got to fly feeling all bloat-y, crampy and gross. Then we hit our connecting city only to find out our luggage never got put on our first flight, along with 50% of the rest of the passengers. Awesome. For those of you that ever have the misfortune of flying with Air Canada; I’m sorry, and please don’t judge my country by our shitty airline.

We landed at home and it was SNOWING! So I went from 30 degrees Celsius to snow in the same day. Boo. We did eventually get our luggage back 24 hrs later. They broke the handle off mine so now I have to fight then for compensation, but that’s another thing. It is still eff-ing cold here. The weather man cheerily reminded everyone yesterday that although it only reached a high of something like 6 degrees, that on May. 6 last year it was a balmy 30 degrees. Thanks, because that’s really helpful right now when I’m freezing my arse off.

So anywho, back to AF. I did my CD3 bloodwork yesterday because they wanted to update it leading into IVF. I also had a requisition for Antral follicle count ultrasound and that has to be done between day 2 – 4 so I called yesterday to confirm that for today. I also booked my saline infusion sonohysterogram for next week. I had some days off during the week so I figured I may as well just get it all done since I have the time. I did the Antral follicle count today, but that’s going to be a whole other post.

So in summary; Vacations are awesome, but now I’m back and, reality bites.

*Side note, J bought an e-cigarette when we were in Houston, and although he is still on a small dose of nicotine with that, it is better than actual cigarettes. And soon he can wean down to nothing. Plus we are starting our new supplements regime today. Bring it!