Archives For TTC

Life keeps getting in the way of blogging!  But I decided to start making some time.  Like a pre-new years resolution.  So to start off I’m getting back to my timeline.  I have many many months to get through.

In November of last year, after seeing the fertility doc and completing the obligatory visits to the lab vampires I was scheduled for the dreaded hysterosalpingogram a.k.a the HSG.  Recently a friend of mine had to go through one as well – she asked me how bad it was and I didn’t have the heart to tell her it was a painful and humiliating procedure and she should consider running the other direction… so instead I told her: “it’s not so bad!”.  She wasn’t shy about calling me out on my lie after her procedure.

Way back then, last Novembr when the good doctor told me what was involved I immediately started plotting a panic attack in my head.  I would have to go to the hospital where they would stick a long skinny catheter up my cervix and into my uterus.  After this they would inject a bunch of dye and take pictures of my innards to make sure everything was open and normal in appearance.  This sounded God awful.

Despite the fact that I am a doctor, I will admit I am every gynecologist’s worst nightmare.  I believe speculums were made as instruments of torture by a sadistic male gynecologist who truly hated women.  I believe he twisted his mustache and cackled as he created this torture device.  Yes, I am aware speculum exams and pap smears have reduced the incidence of cervical cancer in the modern world but can’t we find a better way to do that with all this technology we have now?  The HSG was like someone telling me I was going to have the supersized version of a PAP smear. Panic, panic, panic.

Lucky for me, God and a good pharmacist created something that would help me survive the HSG and many other uncomfortable things in life – Valium.  Good old reliable valium – my trusty friend, the crutch I could lean on, my happy happy pill.

We arrived at the hospital the day of the procedure and took the elevator all the way down to the lower basement – same direction as hell.  How appropriate. I put on my pretty blue hospital gown and did the death march towards a makeshift waiting room where my husband was waiting for me.  It was there I gulped down the valium and waiting with anticipation.

About 30 minutes of waiting later (the doc was running late) – I didn’t have a care in the world.  And suddenly…timber!  My head crashed onto my husband’s shoulder.  That valium – it’s like magic.  I tried to convince him with slurred speech that I was still extremely anxious and that I needed more valium.  Good thing he had his wits about him, another dose of valium and I would have been snoring on the floor.

My name was finally called and there started the death march anthem in my head again.  Dead girl walking (a kind of crooked walk thanks to my buddy Valium), down the dark hall towards for my not-so lethal injection of dye into my uterus.  Once in the room my feelings about the procedure were not made any more comforting.  There was a metal slab of a table I was told to lie on.  This really was like death!!  I kept thinking – more valium. Need more valium.

The procedure itself was fast but hateful and I was a hot squirmy mess.  Bright side:  it was normal.  So my husband dragged my sleepy ass home and I slept the afternoon away.

Surely the next procedure would be less painful… right?   I should know I am always wrong about these things.

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Good thing my husband is a vegetarian?

Mythology

October 19, 2013 — 1 Comment

I heard an interesting story the other day.  A friend of mine found out she was pregnant, without much trying even though she is in her mid 30s.  Of course she is relieved and ecstatic that it happened this way – she has numerous friends who have not had it as easy.  Although 99% of people she told were thrilled for her, others decided to give their unsolicited “advice” instead of their congratulations.  One person told her that she should be careful, now she was going to lose a lot of friends because they would be mad and jealous that she got pregnant easily.  Apparently that person had lost some friends that way so assumed my friend would suffer the same fate.  When she announced she was having a boy, another person told her to be careful because people want boys and would be jealous of her fortune.

Here’s what I say:  these people offering her these myths should be careful because they’ve got crappy friends.  As a person who has suffered through the fun of infertility can I say I’m allowed to be jealous?  Absolutely.  Should I say that I have every right to be envious?  Hell yes.  How about that I wish it would have happened that way for me?  Of course!  But she is my friend and has been my friend for years.  So you know what? I am thrilled for her because I don’t wish the journey of infertility treatments on anyone!  I am happy that she was spared and has gotten her miracle.  Of course I joke about my wrath and green eyed thoughts but at the end of the day – that IVF shit sucks, but I can take it so better you not deal with it too if you don’t have to.

Jealousy, envy – they are allowed.  However throwing voodoo thoughts someone’s ways are not going to help me in any way.

That’s my blog post – first one in a million weeks.

Love Author M  

It was early winter 2012 when I walked into this sterile looking clinic and boy was I feeling like a reject.  I had a dysfunctional reproductive cycle.  How embarrassing.  None of my family members had this problem – they wished a baby and got a baby.  Or at least that’s the way it went for them in my head.  At least for this first appointment my husband was able to come with me for some moral support.

The moment we got in I was handed some papers, normal operating procedure for a new patient of course.  I kept flipping the pages over and over again.  Following my “new patient” forms was a TEN PAGE questionnaire delving into the deep recesses of my medical and sexual history that would assist my doctor to finding the reason for my inability to get knocked up.  It was called the “American Society for Reproductive Medicine – Infertility History Form”.  Appropriately long name for a long form.

For those of you who have been to a similar office of shame you may know this form and all it’s glory.

They start you off easy –  “What’s your name? What’s your date of birth? When was your last period?”.  I could handle that.

Page two began with a genius question:  “What are your expectations for this visit?”  I was tempted to answer this question with one word:  Seriously?!!!  What the hell do you think my expectations are?  To come here for shits and giggles?  For God’s sakes it doesn’t take a genius to know my expectations are for you people to get me a baby in my belly stat stat.

Soon came the next section that had me squirming around in my seat.  Several questions about our sex life came up and stared up at me waiting to be answered.

How many times a week do you have sex?  Do you use lubricant?  Does it hurt you to have sex?

Wasn’t this kind of personal?  I’m a pseudo-prude and questions on my sexual escapades made the sweat glands in my armpits flare up.

After several more questions regarding my health and the health of every family member who shares genes with me, came my consolation prize.   Two pages of the “male medical history”.  These questions were fun and it was my hubby’s turn to squirm.

Do you have retrograde ejaculation of sperm into the bladder?  I don’t know how the hell that would happen but apparently it’s a thing.  And it’s a thing that sounds incredibly gross.

Did you have mumps after puberty?  Mumps?  Who the hell gets mumps these days? That’s not in fashion anymore.

Are you exposed to prolonged heat in the workplace?  Do you use hot tubs regularly?  Who knew the hot tub myth was true!!!  No more hot tubs for the hubby.  And I decided we were going to turn on the air conditioner all year long.

After 30 minutes of filling out forms we still weren’t done. So the first thing my doctor could see from our form filling out all those forms – was that we were not good at filling out forms quickly.  Good thing that’s not an absolute requirement for being pregnant or raising a kid.

That’s it for now!  To the next update….

Love Author M

Outside of having the “proper equipment” for babymaking, the other key ingredient to trying to conceive is the obvious…S.E.X. and it’s many synonyms:  Intercourse. Doing the deed. Bumping uglies. Putting some beef in the taco.

Whatever you choose to call it, unless you end up going down the medically-assisted route, this is your only other option to getting knocked up.

So, after months and months of trying to conceive, sometimes it takes a little motivation and inspiration to keep the love alive. No longer does playing footsy during a football game turn into a romp on the couch. Gone are the days when grinding on the dance floor of a club causes you both to rush home to get it on. Well…there might still be a little grinding on the dance floor. But spontaneous sex? Well in the days of babymaking – “spontaneous” requires work and preparation – Setting the mood. Cajoling with dinner. Enticing with some cute undies.

Why all this effort? Because the thing that we are all really trying to achieve is that elusive, plus sign on the pee stick.

Over the many months of trying, Authors S&M and their respective spouses have come up with interesting ways to “keep the love alive”.

1. Author M: Lingerie vs Jerseys (aka, How to convince your husband you’re sexier in sweats)

Because my bedroom attire is flannel pajamas, we negotiated that I buy a pair of sweatpants of my husband’s favorite football team with matching t-shirt.  They ran out of my size so yes – they were both TWO sizes TOO big for me. Whether or not he liked it, this is was the best he was gonna get.  The lingerie to this day continues to collect dust.

2. Author S: “Dance” lessons

Nope, not talking about the Waltz or Bhangra. Not even Salsa or the very sexy Bachata. Somehow I got roped into joining a group of my girlfriends for a striptease class at the local “gym”. It all seemed like good old fashioned clean fun with my friends until the statuesque and very stripper-looking instructor walked in. At one point, I was practically making out with the chair I was using as a prop. How did it go when I pulled out those moves for hubby one night? Picture me accidentally kicking him in the face as I tried to swing my legs around in a “sexy” move.
Clearly, I should leave dancing to the pros.

3. Author M: Booze.

A booze induced altered state of mind is the best aphrodiasic!  CAUTION:  This is a fine science and may backfire especially when you’re the only one drinking (excessively) and your husband comes home to a stinky uncoordinated mess.  Moderation alone and excessiveness together is the key.

4. Author S: Speeches

My husband has a special way of sending off his swimmers into the dark recesses of my uterus. He offers them a speech:

“Men! You will be launching the largest aerial battle in this history of mankind. Mankind — that word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. And we will not go quietly into the night!”

Sound vaguely familiar? Think Will Smith and Bill Pullman movie from 1990s. Or, if you know this speech all too well because you ALSO have to hear it around the same time every month, my heart goes out to you.

5. Author M: The Forbidden Fruit

Pretend you’re sleeping, it works every time. 

6. Author S: Game of Thrones

Have you noticed how some of these HBO and Showtime shows are practically like watching porn?! Gone are the days when I have to agree to watch sports so we can cuddle up on the couch. Nothing like watching rampaging half naked men in loin cloths wreak havoc amongst poor village folk to get us in the mood!

So there you have it!!!  If you haven’t found something that works for you now you have some additional ideas to work on 🙂

Till next time!

Love Authors S&M

Yes I know… it’s been a while.  But we are finally back after a crazy few weeks.  Thought I’d kick it off by getting back to my timeline….

The only reality show I will indulge in is the Kardashians – this is my dirty little secret.   The show is like a train wreck you can’t look away from.  Last fall, I found myself catching up on an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians where I learned with America that Khloe Kardashian’s hormone levels were off and consequently she didn’t ovulate every month.  For a moment, I felt bad for Khloe.  Poor Khloe – she had to get poked and prodded and got stuck with needles.  But then during a commercial break I changed my mind.  Ok you don’t ovulate you rich bitch – so pay a doctor to fix you because if anyone in America can afford it you can.  In fact, Khloe could probably afford to buy a brand new uterus and ovaries if the stuff she’s got didn’t function the way she pleased.   I stopped feeling bad for her at that moment.

About a month after I watched that riveting episode, I got a call from the nurse at my OB’s office to “discuss my results”.  We had been trying for almost 6 months, my had drawn some blood work to check my hormone levels.  Apparently my progesterone levels were “on the low side”.  What that meant I didn’t know.  As an ER doctor I stopped caring about hormones the minute I finished medical school.  She proceeded to explain that generally during ovulation my progesterone levels should rise.  At the level they measured it was not at all clear whether I was ovulating every month.

She then proceeded to refer me to her partner who specialized in “reproductive medicine”.  You mean a lady doctor who helps the childless to become un-barren?  This I hadn’t expected.   When I had initially decided to get a check up, part of me had convinced myself everything would be normal and we would sit around and all throw our heads back and laugh that I had been dramatic as usual and had overreacted.  And then I would get pregnant shortly thereafter and feel silly that I had gotten the blood work done in the first place.

The episode came on as a rerun.  Suddenly I started feeling bad for Khloe again.  She and I were bound by a common thread – our dysfunctional ability to ovulate.  We were kindred spirits.  Watching this the second time, I cried as she got her ultrasounds, as she bared her soul for the camera talking about the tragedy of her broken ovaries.  The heartbreak when she told Lamar about her fucked up hormones.  I thought – I am with you Khloe.  I get you.  We should be friends and talk about this as we sip champagne and you buy me new Gucci shoes.  Me and Khloe – BFFs.

I had a Kardashian connection.

Love Author M

High Protein – get skinny and get baby? Yes please!

Author M: There go my chances for breakfast, lunch and dinner in bed

It’s been a while since I’ve gone back to my timeline.  Since Author S took the first brave step and told part of her story I thought it was time for me to buck up and do the same.   Can’t be the wuss in this duo of bloggers.  So it’s my turn to suck it up and open up.

So remember my grand plan?  To do the deed once or twice during days 10-20 using the trusty ovulation strips to have our planned oops??  Well if that worked this website would not exist.

We did our do diligence –

Day 1:  get period.

Day 2:  Drink through the disappointment.

Day 10:  Start peeing on ovulation sticks.

Day 10-20:  Do the deed whenever possible.

Day 28:  Pee on pregnancy test…. and cry.  Go back to the beginning.

Day 1:  Get Period.

Those damn Day 1’s kept on coming.  And by early November it had been 10 months since we pulled the goalie and our strategy for an empty net had failed to help us score.  I was 3 weeks away from that big scary age of 35.  And another month gone by that our oops never happened.

Sometimes you just know yourself and your body and I knew my oops wasn’t coming.  No other way to explain it – I just knew I needed an “evaluation”.  I’m no gynecologist but I’m a doctor with access to doctor type materials so I read the guidelines:  the fancy instructions tell you that if you’re less than 35 you should see a fertility specialist after a year of trying.  If you’re over 35 you get some help after 6 months of trying.  Well I was 34.9 years of age so I figured 10 months was ok to at least talk to my Gyne about seeing a specialist and asking some questions.

So one day, as we lay in bed last November I nervously started a conversation with my husband.  Maybe It was time to stop closing our eyes and crossing our fingers hoping and/or planning for that oops.  What if something was wrong?  Usually I’m a spaz and his job is to tell me I’m overreacting.  Except this time he agreed I was right.  I called my OB – time to get the netherlands checked.

Stay tuned – this story is just beginning.

Love Author M

Here’s the disclaimer for this post:  We really do love our mothers.  And one day we hope to be as wonderful and annoying to our children as they are to us.

Growing up, we were clueless so we looked up to our mothers for comfort and advice.  Somehow, mom always knew what to say to set things right. And if she didn’t have the right words, she would inevitably offer food as a means of comfort.  Later on as teenagers, we continued to listen to our moms, perhaps partially out of habit, even though we didn’t always like what they had to say.  Still they were often right when our juvenile emotions led to stupidity.

Then – you get older and you grow a brain and start to think for yourself.  Suddenly, Mommy’s words of wisdom are sometimes not as “Money” as they used to be.  You realize although she was the master of life advice when you were 10, some of the pearls now offered are a little out of date.  In addition you realize much of her advice is not quite based on scientific fact and be may coming from an alternate universe (or from early onset dementia).  This realization is further amplified when you grow up to be a doctor and your mother tries to give you medical advice that she swears is the cure for all your body’s problems.

But nonetheless we are good daughters and listen to Mommy’s advice over the phone, and offer our “Yes you’re Right”‘s and “Uh-huh”‘s to them, all the while practicing our eye rolls and make finger guns to our heads on the other end of the line.

Our Mother’s combined have offered us much advice on what we can do to create a fetus or why it’s taking too long to create a fetus.  We’ve decided to share this wealth of advice to all of you so may also employ it in your quest for mommyhood.  And if you’re not trying to be a mommy then share it with your friends who are. Or just share it because it’s hilarity.  These tidbits of love from our Mothers will be read much more enjoyably if you read the below mother statements with an Indian accent…

“This is because you do all that crazy exercising”  (You mean the 20 minutes I do on level 1 on the elliptical is killing my eggs?  Yes I better stop because I hear obesity is good for fertility)

“This is because you don’t take it easy.  You don’t have to go out with your friends for dinner you can stay home and rest”  (Yes, you’re right.  Getting in my car, walking into a restaurant, sitting on my ass and stuffing my face is probably a lot of stress on my uterus). 

“This is because you do all that dieting you should eat more”  (But wait then shouldn’t I go out to dinner with my friends more and eat shitty food?  This is confusing)

“This is because you do too much heavy lifting.  You should stop vacuuming”  (Ummm, ok thanks good idea.  I’ll send you the bill for the cleaning lady)

“Are you sure that the dog isn’t preventing you from getting pregnant.” (Yes the dog must be kicking me in the uterus while I’m not looking.  Better drop him off at the humane society stat.)

“You just need to relax and let it happen”.  (There’s that word again – relax.  YOU RELAX DAMNIT!! )

“You need to stop obsessing about getting pregnant then it will happen”  (But you’ve only been asking for a grandchild since the first day I got married!  You’ve planted the seeds of my obsession!)

“If you do this prayer and do this ceremony then it will happen” (Maybe… but first I gotta find a temple.  Can’t you do it for me Mommy?  And while you’re at it make me some Indian food?  Please?). 

“Next time you need a procedure I’m going to come to the Doctor’s office and I want to talk to him.  And then you have to rest I’m going to stay with you for a week or you come home to our place for a week.”  (OMG NO.  You just told me to relax – this would not happen with this plan. That and I think my doctor will hate me for being trapped in a room with my Mommy answering an hour’s worth of questions I already know the answer to).

God bless our Moms they are so sweet for caring about our uteri.  We love them dearly.  But we’re gonna leave the babymaking and pregnancy advice to our Doctors and the all knowledgeable Google.

Till next time!

Love Authors S & M