Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Uterus on T.V!

Clearly I should never say in any post that I'm going to finish a story the next day...because I probably won't.  Most likely, I'll leave you hanging for days at a time.  But, you love me for my quirky charm, no?

So, let's carry on with the tale of my hysteroscopy.  I have had one before but it was done with my D&C last year and I was knocked out for that.  The one done most recently was performed at the clinic, I was wide awake and the Boy and I got to watch it all on the monitor.  Good thing I don't have a squeamish husband!  This procedure is even less fun than an ultrasound.  In fact, an u/s is a day at the beach compared to a hysteroscopy.  Here's why - instead of a wand pressing up against my cervix, a hysteroscope is inserted through the cervix.  Basically, it's a long thin tube (like a 'swizzle stick!' said the Dr. doing the procedure) with a tiny camera that magnifies all that it sees.  
On the (full colour!) monitor, I got to watch all of this happening.  None of it was surprising to me because when you've been trying to get knocked up as long as I have, believe me, you've checked out pictures of a million female reproductive organs.  It is kind of nifty to see your own though.  Really!  Try it.  The good news was that the passages to/from both of my ovaries were nice and clear.  The less than stellar news was that some slight ripples could be seen on part of the uterine wall.  These 'ripples' are apparently the beginnings of polyps.  

The doc who did the procedure said that these ripples could be easily taken care of during another hysteroscopy with a tool she described as being 'like a spatula!'.  I'm not sure what was up with her descriptions of things but she was very enthusiastic.  Anyway, I would have to be admitted to the hospital and knocked out for such a thing.  After my short follow up conversation with Dr. K about it, it was decided that I would be referred to a doctor that can do that.  Not sure when that will be happening, but given hospital waiting lists, it will probably be a few months.

On the upside, Dr. K said that the ripples are low enough that she doesn't think they'd interfere with implantation.  Also, since they aren't fully formed polyps, they're not blocking anything important like my cervix or aforementioned tube openings.  So, the Boy and I can carry on with TTC and I can give the progesterone a shot.

There is some frustration for me with the whole thing.  A) The doc who did the hysteroscopy, upon seeing the ripples, said 'I guess that's what Dr. H was talking about in his notes'.  Now, that was news to me because Dr. H, after performing the D&C and hysteroscopy last time, told me that everything looked 'normal'.  I'm sure his reason for not saying anything to me was because he didn't think what he saw was something that would interfere with my TTC and perhaps the ripples were smaller then.  Still, I would have liked to have known that he did see something.

B) Dr. K called me back the same day that I'd had the hysteroscopy.  I appreciate the follow up, but she had done 9 egg retrievals that day (we know because the nurse told us) and was clearly not fully focused on our conversation.  I would have preferred to wait a bit to hear from her, when she was less busy and had all of my information in front of her.  I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt though and for now, I'm going on the assumption that she's just not great on the phone.

Mostly though, the frustration comes from:

C) This whole business of trying to get pregnant is really just a series of fortunate (or unfortunate) events.  The medical profession seems to know HOW a baby is made but not WHY.  What I mean is, you can have two perfectly healthy women, with bodies that are able to provide the same welcoming environment for an embryo, yet one will get pregnant and one won't.  For the most part, reproductive medicine appears to be made up of educated guesses.  There are numerous tests that can be done, and that helps to give some direction to the course of action that can be taken but it all really comes down to the luck of the draw.

For myself, what I believe I need to do is to accept that knowledge, work on getting myself as healthy as I can be, work on being as happy as I can be, and hope for the best.  It's become a lot easier for me to do that recently and I'm working on perpetuating that feeling.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Me and my Uterus...

Want a uterus of your very own?  Click here!
If the title hasn't given you warning enough, I will be talking about my lady bits in this post. I understand that not everyone finds my uterus as fascinating as I do so, if that's the case for you, may I suggest you go here instead.

As I mentioned previously, the Boy and I are now using the services of a new fertility clinic. Our initial appointment was great. The new doctor (Dr. K, as she will be called) is new to the clinic and was thorough and seemed keen throughout the hour that we spent with her. We went over all the usual mumbo-jumbo regarding our health and TTC history, she gave us some lab requisitions for blood work (my old friend!), and gave me a prescription
for progesterone. This last item is to help lengthen out my LP or luteal phase, for those of you not in the know. I had often wondered if maybe taking progesterone would help at all but my last doc never seemed to think so. Anyway, I'm now fully stocked, so we'll see what happens with that.

After we finished our chat, Dr. K surprised me with an ultrasound. Never one to turn down the chance to look at my insides, I agreed. At a fertility clinic, this is generally done with a transvaginal ultrasound wand, because it provides better images of the uterus and ovaries than an abdominal ultrasound. There are few things as uncomfortable as having something jammed up against one's cervix, but this is all part of the fun of trying to produce a new human. While she was poking around, Dr. K noticed two things - first, that I had what she thought might be a polyp in my uterus and second, that my antral follicle count (follicles that are big enough to be seen and counted) was a little low for my age. Dr. K phrased this as my ovaries looking 'older' than they should for my age. I prefer to think that they're just lazy. They're probably procrastinators and are thinking about producing more follicles tomorrow.

That was pretty much the end of our appointment. Dr. K didn't sound terribly concerned about it and said we'd stick with the plan of my using progesterone for awhile, then we'd move on to Clomid and if still no success, we'd look at more aggressive treatments i.e. IUI or IVF. I was also booked in for a hysteroscopy for a closer look at my uterus (an appointment which occured yesterday!).

All in all, it was a successful first appointment. I left feeling like we'd actually learnt more in that hour than we had in the past year or two at the last clinic. We have new things to try and I finally feel like we have some kind of game plan, rather than just 'wait and see'. I don't want to disparage my last doctor but I do feel like there were wasn't much effort on his part to help me conceive. Having said that, I am aware that he is terribly busy, is the only doctor at his clinic, and that IUI and IVF are what pay the bills.

I don't want this post getting out of hand, so I'll bring you Part Two: My Uterus on T.V! tomorrow.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Oops. Looking at my blog, it appears that February just didn't exist. Apparently, two posts in one week took it all out of me and I had to rest for an entire month. Turns out I really should have put 'Procrastinate less' on my list. Consider that done.

I really should train myself to post more frequently - it would save me from having to do 'update' posts. Sorry, guys. This is going to be one of those posts were I go over the events of the last 49 days. I'm going to edit my previous list and put 'Blog more' (along with the aforementioned 'Procrastinate less') in large, italicized, bold font. Let's dig in, shall we?

I was quite successful at the removal of junk and the rearranging of furniture. The Boy and I took a trunk full of things to the local Salvation Army store and there is currently another trunks worth of stuff waiting to be donated.* Our bedroom and living room have both been rearranged. The bedroom I've already touched on (yes, The Boy liked what I did. He didn't actually care how it was arranged but he didn't complain about the changes so that's a win in my book.) but the living room was also a success. The whole dining/living area is basically now one large open area and makes the space seem lighter and larger. I should post pictures. Maybe later. We do need some more photos or art on the walls. I have a number of framed pieces all ready, I just need to get one of those nifty gadgets that help to hang things perfectly straight (spoken like a true procastinator). Also, we may be getting some of my grandfather's work to hang until such time as my family finds a more permanent home for them.

My fitness goals haven't been quite as successful. However, The Boy and I have been shamed into eating better after a recent visit to our new RE (reproductive endocrinologist). It's not like we both weren't aware that we should be living a more healthy lifestyle, but there's nothing like a doctor saying 'Hey fatty, drop some pounds.' Okay, I might be paraphrasing but that's what it boiled down to in my mind. So. That's all a work in progress but I'm sure I'll update how it's going every now and then.

As I said, we have a new RE and for the first time in quite awhile I'm feeling positive and fired up about our chances of success at the whole making a baby thing. I have more to say about our first meeting with the new doc but I'm going to save that for a posting on it's own. Perhaps tomorrow!

Also tied into health and fertility is my lack of caffeine. Still going strong on that front. I haven't had a coffee (except for one small decaf) since I decided to quit. I've always been a fan of tea, including caffeine-free herbal teas so it hasn't been that great of a struggle for me. Having said that, I do miss the taste of a good cup of coffee and as soon as I have a baby, I most likely will be guzzling the java like a pro once again.

Another area of success was my completion of my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project. The tour will be hitting Seattle, WA the second weekend of June and The Boy and I will be taking a little trip to check it out. I didn't sign up for the Fiction Project but I'll be keeping an eye on the upcoming projects at the Art House Co-op.

I finished reading 'The Happiness Project' and will probably re-read a few chapters. I found it to be a great, and easy, read. I do, however, think you need to be in the right mind space to read it and really get something out of it. I just happened to be at that point. You don't have to be unhappy to find inspiration in the ideas presented in the book. If you're looking to improve your attitude or find some motivation, I recommend it. In a funny coincidence, when I went to find the link for Gretchen Rubin's site, I see she had an interview with Piers Steel, author of The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff Done. I think that might have to be my next read!

I don't know that I've become more organized. This is something I need to work on. I'm still blaming this all on my not being the proud owner of that organizer I linked to. Maybe after we get our tax return? I suppose I've made some progress - the getting rid of things we don't need, the rearranging. There's always room for improvement though. I have some thoughts on this topic as well, but I'll save those for a different post.

So, there you have it. My intention is to post more often. If I start slacking off again, I urge you all to leave comments or email me and tell me to get off my butt and write something. I'm feeling inspired by my cousin James and his recent commitment to doing the same. Here's hoping we both follow through.

*Included in the pile of things to be donated is my old 1980/81 Kenmore sewing machine, formerly the property of my mum. It's in good working order, was serviced a couple of years ago and has 3 small boxes of accessories. It will take The Boy and I a couple of weeks to gather all of things we want to donate so if you're keen on the sewing machine, let me know.