I got my period August 8th, and in a normal world that’s uh, I didn’t need to know that, Risa. In the world of infertility, it’s YEEEAH! Let’s get this cycle going because there are babies to be had! *throws confetti*
Actually, August 8th pretty much sucked because I got my period while I was working at the coffee shop and didn’t have anything with me so I stuffed my underwear with a wad of public restroom toilet paper, said a prayer it wouldn’t fall out, and made approximately 27 phone calls the rest of the afternoon. Sure traveling across the country for a different fertility clinic was a good idea back then because we ended up saving a ton of money, but now I’m back coordinating between clinics and I forgot how much it sucks.
There was the call to the Houston clinic, where I had to announce the start of my cycle as clearly and quietly as I could because the two men at the table next to me were having some sort of business meeting and talking about my period would probably be really gross and appalling at a coffee shop. But packing up and dragging everything out to my car to sit in the heat would be a waste and I would get my window seat taken. So I talked about getting my period to the nurse on the phone and then I had to call my old clinic here to tell them the same damn thing and Leslie, the satellite coordinator got on and told me she’d let me know when she got the fax for orders.
Then Leslie called back to tell me she got the orders, and she needed to let me know that as a satellite patient, I could only schedule my monitoring visits on weekdays, and also some of the labs Houston wanted, yeeeah they can’t draw them there, so I would need to have those done elsewhere. Oh, she adds, we don’t schedule satellite patients for holidays either.
I took a deep breath. “That’s fine,” I told her, “I can see if my clinic can send orders to Labcorp or something.”
I scheduled my baseline ultrasound for that Friday morning.
We got off the phone, and I got ready to call Houston again to figure out where to get my blood drawn that would do all of the labs they needed. My phone rang again before I could and it was Leslie again.
“I forgot to tell you,” she says, “I was looking at the other orders they need and it looks like you need a height, weight, and blood pressure. We can’t accommodate that either.”
For fuck’s sake Leslie. I shoot off an email to one of the clinic nurses in Houston asking if she could let me know about me going to a Labcorp, and also what to do about the blood pressure reading they needed, and resigned myself to the fact that I was probably going to need a third referral to my primary doctor. Referrals all up in here today.
It was about this time I realized I was a tad late to get to my therapy appointment, with the amazing infertility therapist that I was paying out of pocket to see because I desperately needed a session with her, but I couldn’t find my keys as I was packing up.
Let’s fast forward a bit, past the fact that I went to check my car and saw them lying on the passenger seat, and the heroic, but painful attempts to unlock my car door by cramming my arm in holding my stainless steel straw to try and push on the lock like some pathetic MacGyver wannabee who has probably a now disintegrating wad of toilet paper stuffed into her underwear because she lives dangerously and won’t carry a damn tampon with her. And let’s fast forward to several tearful phone calls and emails later to the therapist’s office and AAA to have someone come unlock my damn car because seriously. Why not just keep on kicking me?
Aaaand… deep breath.
My therapist said she would add me on to the end the day if I could come at five. I got my car unlocked. I ended up making it to the appointment, and the nurse from Houston left me a voicemail while I was there—I could just get my blood pressure checked at the pharmacy when I pick up my birth control pills, and she sent an order to Labcorp.
I had plans anyway with my mom in the morning on Friday, but now I needed to make arrangements for her to watch Olivia so Chris and I could go to my appointment.
Thursday, everything got finalized with my clinic in Houston, but the nurse told me then that they did need me to get my blood work done by Friday in order to review everything and start birth control by the weekend.
Friday morning, Chris and I headed to my old clinic to get the ultrasound done. Some women experience PTSD going back to the fertility clinic. For me, I don’t know. I didn’t feel any of that. It was more like coming home. Pulling into the parking garage. Parking in the same few spaces we always did. Walking to the elevator. Approaching the desk.
I started my journey there. I went public with my infertility in the bathroom by the hallway. I sat in those chairs, wanting to desperately talk to the woman sitting next to me. I felt hope with every ultrasound that showed juicy plump follicles, and I sat in a room down the hall three different times while three different doctors came in with the embryo report: “It doesn’t look good,” they all said. I saw Olivia there for the first time, nothing but a smudge on the monitor, and then later, as a tiny baby with short arms and legs. It was like coming home for me.
The nurse who did my ultrasound, I had her for a ton of them. I was so thankful she was still there, and we spent time making small talk and catching up, and I was so grateful that was the first person to encounter me there this time around who treated me like a human who was important.
The dildo cam was welcoming as usual, and I felt the need to apologize for the blood as usual. I get the reason for doing these internal ultrasounds on day 3 of your cycle, but seriously. So. Much. Blood. She pointed out my C-section scar, and that I probably ovulated on my right side this month and saw the familiar black blobs that were tiny follicles, and then it was over.
We drove a city over to get my labs drawn and they didn’t have the order and while I was on hold with the clinic while the nurse was trying to figure out how to get another one sent, the lab said, oops, just kidding we have it here. I handed the phone to Chris to wait until the nurse came back and followed the lab tech back to get my blood drawn. Eight vials later, we were done. Still with me? Good.
I emailed off my height and weight, and luckily, my blood pressure from home was good, and I got the go-ahead that weekend to start the birth control and now I need to get my hysteroscopy scheduled. Because my doctor prefers a hysteroscopy, but will settle for the less expensive saline infused sonogram and for that, I get to call my insurance, figure out what they’ll cover, call the clinic in Houston to send the order and get the call from my clinic here to have it scheduled.
Because you guys, trying to have a baby while infertile is just as fucking fun as it sounds.
That was a bad week. I’m better now, but I also have been dragging my feet on getting the hysteroscopy scheduled. Once that’s done, nothing much exciting happens until toward the end of September when I will have another baseline ultrasound and hopefully start my estrogen pills and patches.
And if you’ve made it through to here, my friend, I applaud you. Thanks for listening to the whining and well, an entire post laying out all I had to do to get this started. More to come.