Thursday, April 22, 2010

Parenting Magazines in a Fertility Clinic?

It dawned on me while waiting for my first ultrasound this morning, that all around me were parenting magazines. Today’s Parent and Parents Monthly both sitting at each of the tables in the waiting rooms. This struck me as odd, and a little insensitive. It’s like having a bar set up at an AA meeting, or a Bridal Magazine at a newly divorced seminar. Are they trying to keep you positive about your journey? As if to say, "For just 3 easy payments of $3,00 and a couple of shots a day, you too can have a child just like this one”! Like some sick infomercial? Or do these magazines represent the proverbial brass ring, to aim high, be positive and reach for the impossible? Or are they that out of touch with the emotions of their clients? Maybe I am a little bitter right now as today’s results were not good.

After stripping from the waist down in a little cupboard of a room. I “tried” to cover myself with what is in essence an oversized paper napkin. Now I am far from skinny, and not exactly seriously overweight, but I struggled to keep my bits covered with the napkin. Anyone that was a little hippier or bigger in the caboose, would have found it impossible to keep their bottom half covered. Do only skinny women do IVF? Is this the “standard” hospital grade napkin with perfect dimensions based on some study of the average woman’s lower half? I am far from the casual observer. I notice pretty much everything. My University professor once advised his students to “question everything” and it stuck with me. It may just be in my head, but I do question pretty much everything. So as I sat there pondering the little white napkin, I was called into the Ultrasound room. Both a doctor and nurse were there to greet me.

If men had to experience half of what a woman does as part of her general health care, more money would be spent, less invasive measures would be invented and a mammogram would be completely redesigned. Can you imagine men accepting that their penis needed to be flattened between to plates to take an x-ray? No I didn’t think so. Well until that day comes, I had to be politely violated AGAIN, with the blue lube covered, plastic condom encased, foot long wand up the Hoo Haa or as others call it the Ba Zsa Zsa. Yeah it may sound hilarious, but it is quite humiliating, and seriously creepy. Having a woman doctor do it, makes it a wee bit more tolerable. The doctor poked around the right ovary and measured it, while the nurse took notes. She saw one big follicle, and 2 small ones. Then she moved to the left ovary, and had some trouble finding it thanks to my fibroids. I kept asking where she was looking, as the screen is just a moonscape of black and gray swirling liquid. None of it makes any sense. She finally found the left ovary and only found one follicle.

As I slowly started to realize this was not good news, the nurse gave me a sad smile. I asked the doctor what this all meant, and would I need to increase my Gonal-F dose. Both said I was already at the maximum dosage. I do remember my doctor saying they were going to be really aggressive with my procedure. I guess I assumed that there was still room for them to really ramp up my medication should they need to. I was wrong. The doctor said, let’s see what happens in the next 2 days, and come back Saturday. I asked her what was the absolute minimum they needed to move on with my IVF. She said 5 follicles, and I had 2. So I have to grow 3 in the next two days. I am not holding out much hope. Clearly my ovaries are showing their age. Ideally I should be producing between 10-20, and I am clearly not responding to the hormones. I tired to keep cheerful as the nurse warmly rubbed my arm and said how sorry she was and led me back to the other room.

I walked back to my cupboard to change and started to cry. I haven’t got out of the starting gate and I am being shut down. I wanted to have one really good crack at the IVF cycle. I knew failure was a real possibility, but I wasn’t emotionally ready for so soon a final answer. I felt if I had the egg retrieval and embryo transfer and they didn’t take, I would have had a couple weeks to prepare for a negative outcome. Here I am being told no, before I have even finished my shots.

Driving back home to get my shots from hubby, seemed pointless. Hubby was warm and sympathetic as I cried on his shoulder. He was very supportive by taking the day off to be with me. I had my shots, and felt numb to the pinch. I feel like we are just going through the motions now. We took my son to preschool together and then spent the morning in the mall just walking around. I teared up over coffee, but got ahold of myself again.

Picking my son up from preschool was torture. Seeing all those happy mothers with babies while they picked up their other older children was tough. Watching the little girls in my son’s classroom, with their sweet feminine ways, reminded me that I will never have that in my life. A little girl. But that is not even it. I really have never pined for a little girl, in fact another boy would actually make me happier. I cannot explain it, I am now wistful for what I will never have. All I wanted, was to get my son and get out as quick as I could. But if you have ever been to a school to pick up a child, you would know that you are slowed to a crawl while you try to push past mom’s with strollers gabbing to other mothers, or try dodging the pack of little boys running and tumbling down the hall with one or more moms running after them and then tripping over the a kid having a melt down on the floor. Everywhere were precious faces of infants or young babies (my son’s school seems to be extra fertile), and I was feeling worse by the minute. The next 2 days is going to be an exercise in futility. Once I get the final answer on Saturday maybe I can start the mourning process. This will not happen overnight, I know this will be a slow acceptance. I just wanted to give it my all, just one time, but as I have said before, “what will be, will be” and I will do my best to accept it.


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