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

About Me

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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.

Friday, January 13, 2012

We got some good news today. Our doctor is doing a research study and asked us to be one of the participants in our upcoming IVF cycle. They're studying some sort of correlation between progesterone levels and pregnancy and some other stuff. The good news is that for participating they are going to pay for part of the medication during the cycle and for 10 weeks if I get pregnant! We figured it's going to save us over $2,000. Any bit helps.

This is the medication they are covering. It's a vaginal progesterone cream. You can probably figure out by the shape how it works. But let me tell you something, this shit is gross. It doesn't get completely absorbed so it builds up in the vag. Only you don't notice this until white chunks start falling out. Nobody told me about this the first time and I panicked. Once we figured out what the hell was happening, then I was just disgusted. I got up there with the detachable shower head and still couldn't get it all out. And there's a lot because you have to do them twice a day. You start after an insemination (or after an implantation in IVF) and you continue if you're pregnant, but if not then you stop. But let me tell you something else, the stuff that comes out with your period and this cream would give you nightmares.

Sorry, hope you weren't eating dinner while reading that. Next, flashback please.

The Hysterosalpingogram – March 2011

This was supposed to be one of the first tests I had, but it actually was one of the last. You can only get it done during certain days in your cycle. They won’t do it during menstruation and they won’t do it after day 10 because if you’re pregnant, the test can cause a miscarriage. So you have to call them on day 1 to schedule for days 5-10. They actually had me call the same day of the surprise dildo ultrasound consultation appointment in February, but there were no appointments available. So I had to wait until my March cycle to call and even then it was a pain. The first radiologist still didn’t have any availability so I had to call the only other radiologist our insurance covers*. They did have an appointment, but I had to take a day off. It’s hard to get appointments after school hours.

We went one afternoon to get this thing done. This was probably the worst of the testing, so it’s probably good that it was last because if we had done this first, I might not have wanted to continue. This was the only thing I had done that I cried from physical pain. Let me tell you a little about this thing.

A hysterosalpingogram is an x-ray of the uterus and fallopian tubes. It’s done to make sure there are no injuries or blockages or anything like that. You lay on a table with an x-ray scanner above your abdomen. Then you spread ‘em and they insert every woman’s friend…the speculum. They open you up, clean the cervix and then insert a catheter. Then it gets really fun because they pump a dye through the catheter into the uterus and fallopian tubes. The x-ray scanner above you picks up the dye and shows what your uterus and tubes look like.

I had to go back alone. With radiation, they don’t let other people in the room that aren’t getting tested. Safety issues, I guess. They brought me back to a room with a table and a bunch of equipment and screens and stuff and she told me to put on the cloth gown. I sat on the table and after a while the radiologist came in. I was a little surprised that it was a dude. I figured this was the kind of test they would have a female doctor perform. I had never had a male doctor look at my hey-nanner-nanner before. My regular gynecologist and fertility doctors are both female. It was a little unsettling but after talking to him for a minute I got the feeling that he was gay. It still didn’t make me feel much better, but it was something.

During the test they showed me the screen but it was so painful that I didn’t really care to see.  Nothing I read before said it would be that bad so I don’t know why it worked out like that for me. It was just an unpleasant experience, even after everything else that had already been done to my poor vagina. But at least this test yielded good news. My uterus was fine and my tubes were open. We were finally good to go.

* I should probably point out that my insurance ended up denying this procedure as well. I actually had high hopes that they would pay for it because people get it done for reasons other than fertility, but I still got a bill for over $1,000 a few weeks after. I was in no position to pay it at the time so I decided to wait until after income tax money came in (second Christmas, as we like to call it). By then the insurance did pay for a part as another write off, but I still had to pay quite a lot out of pocket.

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