Thursday, October 28, 2010


I had my first visit with the RE yesterday (RE=reproductive endocrinologist for all of you out there who have not needed help getting knocked up).

It was...somewhat better than I expected, but still kind of a disturbing experience.

I arrived at the building almost half an hour early. I went by myself since Brian didn't want to take a day off work just to go to a consult appointment. I was okay with this...but still it would have been nice to have some company.

So, I get off the elevator and walk up to the check-in desk and immediately my Canadian nursing brain is thinking "so this is what paying for your medical care looks like". Things are all white and chrome and leather and glass and expensive looking. Humm.... I'm a staunch supporter of publicly supported medical care so my inner voice is balking at all this extravagance. But whatever...I'm here to get pregnant and at this point I would mortgage my soul to have a healthy baby, so I suck it up and get on with it.

So, I find myself sitting in their waiting room on one of their (completely unnecessary) posh leather couches (which aren't nearly as comfortable as their price tag would appear), and as I look around at the other patients I'm having a few thoughts.

Thought # 1) Wow...I must be the youngest person here by a good 7 or 8 years...I feel so out of place and my grubby work running shoes aren't helping.

Thought #2) I wonder if any of these people have a dead baby (or two or three) in their past?

Thought # 3) Huh...all of these people are having trouble getting what they want out of sex. How sad.

Thought #4) All of these people are paying to have children...something so many other people do for FREE...damn this world is unfair....

Thought # 5) What's the protocol in these waiting rooms? Is striking up a conversation with someone else while waiting a No-No? "So...why are you here? Oh your husband has a sperm count just shy of zero and your eggs are aging by the nice...want to see pictures of my dead son? He was my first and only fertility failure so far. Nice weather we've been having, isn't it?"

And then my name was called...

The appointment itself was pretty standard. The fellow (the doctor in training who does all the grunt work of interviewing the patient and taking the medical history) goes over all my gynecological history (yawn) and fertility history (action packed, with a side of drama and gore). She was REALLY compassionate and nice about my poor little dead Aidan which I was extremely grateful for. I was easily able to answer all the questions she asked (probably in more detail than she wanted), since I'm kind of anal retentive about my health that way (yes the first time the subchorionic hemorrhage was discovered it measured 2.1cm x 1.7cm x 0.9cm...would you care for a diagram?)

Then she states that based on my medical history she doesn't see us having any problems getting pregnant again, and if we want to do so quickly she would be happy to offer us IUI (Intrauterine insemination, AKA artificial insemination) anytime we want (to the tune of $675 a pop!). She discounts all of the spotting that I have prior to my periods and says that "oh, we don't usually worry about spotting" (I think I will bring this up again at my next appointment because it's what REALLY REALLY concerns me). Any this point we are going to run some tests and get blood work from me and hubby and proceed from there. If things come back normal, we'll try on our own for awhile. If they come back wonky then we'll have to re-evaluate. One of those tests will be the Sonohysterogram for me (yeah! Pictures of my insides...can I get one framed??!) and the ole' sperm in a jar for the hubby (his test sounds like a hell of a lot more fun...mine involves antibiotics and Advil).

But...on the serious side...the RE did tell me that she doesn't think any added Progesterone would have saved Aidan. On the one hand, I REALLY REALLY want to believe this. It would mean that I couldn't have done anything different, it was a fluke, a terrible tragedy that no one could have for seen. His placenta was defective, causing bleeding, causing pPROM, causing lack of lung development, causing death. The end. On the other hand, I wish there was something new and different that could be added 'the next time'. I'm so terrified that there is something wrong with me that will screw up the next baby attempt.

Her parting words to me were "We'll get these tests done, and then we'll get you pregnant".

Thought # 1) Ha! I bet you say that to all the girls. I'll believe it when I see it, thanks.

Thought # 2) Um...I'd really prefer that my husband get me pregnant...but thanks for the offer.

Thought # 3) Great...but what I really want is a baby. Pregnant is only the first step in a long, long process. *Sigh*.

Oh, Aidan...if only you were would be so different.

Have you had to consider (or tried) medical intervention to get pregnant? Is it as uphill as it looks from the start? Did it make you feel hopeful or depressed? Is it weird that it's making me feel like more of a failure?


  1. Hi Emily, Emily here. We are starting on our TTC-AL (after loss, because we need more acronyms;-) adventure next week.
    Our reason for needing medical intervention is our own damn fault. Not quite two months before Juniper died and was born, my husband finally got a vasectomy. Big mistake, though we didn't even consider or talk about anything like what eventually happened. He thought we were done no matter what. And my mind just never went there after the first couple months.
    We talked and went to therapy and fought and talked some more and finally he decided that a reversal was the way to go. So he got a reversal in August, but we had to wait for it to heal and then we had to wait until the due date wouldn't be too close to an event he has to be in Canada for next June.
    We have no idea if it worked or not yet. Or, if at 36, my eggs might be getting a little old. I feel like I might go crazy from the waiting.
    It is not weird that it is making you feel like more of a failure. Though we are never supposed to think of ourselves as failures (according to therapy and books and whatnot. What are we supposed to call it when we don't achieve our goals? If not failure?)
    But no, asking for help is not a sign of failure it is a sign of resourcefulness, bravery and perseverance!
    So, I hope that you can feel relieved that you have taken some steps and are on the right road. It might be a long, bumpy road, or it might not. Enjoy the scenery if you can.

  2. right now i feel like SUCH a failure. it was hard enough to get pregnant with kenny, and it finally happened on the fourth IUI. neither we nor our doctor expected that to work, and we were prepared to go on to IVF, and were thrilled that it turned out we didn't have to. once we were pregnant, it didn't seem like our infertility issues were so bad - i know lots of others have it much worse. but now that we have to start over, and i'm a year older, and we have only 2 more IUI's left to be paid for by insurance, well, i'm starting to feel a little hopeless. hope your blood work all turns out OK.

  3. Glad for you that the visit felt overall good. Very very glad that the doctor was compassionate and so self-assured. Thanks for sharing an update.

  4. Yes we had to pursue infertility treatments to conceive due to MFI. We conceived our daughter Lily through our first round of IVF/ICSI and sadly lost her at 23wks into my pregnancy. Now we're back at square one, which yes I find incredibly depressing. After considering all of our options we made the decision to move forward with frozen embryo transfer through embryo donation so we are starting the protocol for that Sunday and hoping for transfer in December. IF tx can be incredibly frustrating at times, but as you said we're willing to do whatever is necessary to have a baby.
    I just had a sonohystogram last week (my 3rd to be exact), not fun but definitely something you can handle. Will be thinking of you and hoping things go as smoothly as was promised by the RE:)