An unconventional journey through assisted reproductive technology (and hopefully pregnancy and parenthood.)

About Me

My photo
They say 30's are the new 20's. My wife and I have been together for over a decade now. We both work in the fast paced world of academia. Our state (and recently all others across the country) have finally allowed all marriage so we made that happen October 2014.

I'm a pretty big nerd, I'll be the first to admit. I love video games (yes, as a girl and yes, at my age). I have lots of other nerd hobbies and since I was unceremoniously banned from RuneScape, I've been playing Civilization and Skyrim. My real first nerd love is Magic the Gathering. 10,000 cards and growing, but that's an expensive hobby when you have two babies.

I have other grown-up interests too, especially reading. I like reading so much I have 3 Kindles and I also used to be a martial artist (one belt away from black belt. I'll finish someday.)

But now I've got twins and I have a feeling a lot of those hobbies are going to change.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Still no menses. I felt crampy at work yesterday but it was probably because I was holding in a poo all day. I just can't bring myself to go number two except at home. People have told me that will change when I get pregnant, though. Anyway, before we continue the trip down memory lane, here's my picture for today.

This is my collection of Magic the Gathering cards I told you about in the about me section. I wasn't exaggerating. It's pretty damn close to 10K cards. Oh and the brown binders are my sticker books. 

Well, on with the flashback now.

The Consultation Appointment – February 2011

This is actually one of my most amusing memories from the process so far.

Our appointment was on a Friday.  I know this because I had taken it as a personal day off from work even before we made the appointment because my girlfriend and I were going to stay in a nice hotel for the evening.  Shortly after our arrival we were taken back to one of the doctor’s assistant’s office.

The beginning of the appointment was pretty normal. We discussed procedure options and pricing a little.  We went through my medical history (I had to fill out a really long questionnaire before the appointment).  After that it got interesting.

She asked me when my last period was.  I had just started that week so I told her it had been a few days.  She then suggested that since we were already there and I was in about the right part of my cycle, I could have an ultrasound to check my egg reserve.  Just for funsies.  

Sure, why not? No harm in an ultrasound.  She took us into an exam room and told me to undress from the waist down.  I must have given her a O_O face because she then said “It’s a transvaginal ultrasound.” My face then went O_o and I hesitantly asked (though I was pretty sure I already knew the answer) “What’s that?” She simply said “It’s inside the vagina, with the wand.”

I thought this would be a problem, me menstruating and all but no. She said to just take out my tampon and toss it in the trash and hop on the table. She left and closed the door and my girlfriend and just looked at each other.  Surprise dildo ultrasound! Not what I had thought my day would entail when I woke up that morning, but it was happening nonetheless. I slowly started to take my shoes and pants off and then the underwear. Now I’m standing in the room half-naked debating about the tampon. I must have taken a little too much time because the door opened and the doctor started to walk in.

I quickly tried to pull my shirt down to my knees, the picture of modesty.  In hindsight that was probably not necessary since she was going to be looking inside my hoo-hah anyway, but it was my gut reaction. She saw I wasn’t ready and backed out to give me more time. After we got done silently laughing at the hilarity that had just happened, I finally yanked out my tampon, wrapped it in a paper towel and threw it away.

Now, the sink was a little too sci-fi for me to risk using it. It had this swirling metal hose-thing around the faucet, I don’t even know what it was and I had no idea what would happen if I turned it on. So I didn’t. I did have hand sanitizer in my pocket (I am a teacher, after all) so that would have to do for the moment.

I got on the table and after a few more minutes the doctor and her assistant came in again. We talked for a few minutes and then she told me to assume the position. If you’ve had any sort of gynecological exam, you know the position. Feet in the stirrups, ass to the end of the table. Then came the transvaginal wand. It didn’t hurt at all, but it wasn’t as pleasant as a real dildo. Maybe it was the context, I don’t know. Once I got past that and started paying attention to the screen it was really very interesting.

Now, I’m no dummy. I have a decent understanding of human biology but I’ve learned some things in this process and the first new thing I learned was on this day. I know during the menstrual cycle an egg is released and if it’s not fertilized it is expelled during your menses (lol, great word). Up until that day I had assumed only one egg matured per cycle and it was released right from the ovary. But it turns out that during any cycle, there are many eggs that form in follicles in the ovaries and it’s really the most mature egg that gets released of the bunch and the rest go away. I was amazed that I had so many little spots (follicles) on my ovaries! The doctor said that was a good sign. Lots of little potential future babies.

They poked around my vagina looking at my uterus and ovaries for a little while longer. After, they told me to get dressed again and meet them in the office.  We did and talked more specifics with the person in charge of financials.  We signed up for 2 IUI cycles with Clomid and were very excited about it.

Before we left the nurse gave me some orders for initial bloodwork and she gave me a plastic bag with about 17 empty tubes to take to Quest (local pathologists). The O_O came out again and she said “Oh, and there will be more tubes when you get there.” Now, I’m no stranger to bloodwork. I have a thyroid condition that requires regular bloodwork. But 17 tubes? And more when I get there? Holy crap.

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