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Infertility?

January 30, 2016

I have insurance through my work with Kaiser Permanente. I love Kaiser. Aside from a couple of years here and there when I had no insurance, I’ve had insurance with them all of my adult life.

My first doctor appointment was with my primary care provider. I went in rather than just shoot her an e-mail because it had been a while since I’d had a pap smear. I figured that was probably going to be on the list of things I needed to get done.

Here’s a good thing to keep in mind if you have to see your PCP to start this process: your PCP doesn’t know with any certainty how other departments and specialties work. Remember that.

Infertility Doc – Visit #1

I have to admit, I chafed when everyone kept saying I was having problems with infertility. It’s not a word anyone wants to consider unless they can’t help it, right?

“Just so you know, I’m not having infertility problems,” I told the scheduling nurse. “I want to have a baby by myself, that’s all.”

“Same thing,” she said. Good thing she couldn’t see me flipping her the bird.

I got to the office. As the nurse took my vitals, she set a laminated page in front of me and asked me to read the questions. They were asking me if my partner had made me come there or if I was suffering any kind of abuse from them.

How awesome. Sad that it was a necessity, but awesome that they took the precaution.

Wand

…At least take me to dinner first.

Anyway, without getting derailed—I could go on about domestic violence and rape culture forever—I was ushered to a room with one other occupant—this fellow, pictured on the right. That was when I remembered the scheduling nurse had said something about a physical exam and an ultrasound. Maybe she said vaginal ultrasound. I was too busy being pissed at her for calling me infertile. Whoops.

The infertility doctor came in, interrupting my staring contest with my friend who was so obviously ready to go. She invited me to come chat in her office where Mr. Intimidating couldn’t get in the way of our conversation.

My doctor is a trip. She’s prone to phrasing her conversation in questions which she then answers herself. She drew everything out as she talked.

First, she explained what I ‘suffer’ from is situational infertility. The problem is I can’t get my eggs fertilized on my own. Hence, I’m infertile for lack of sperm reasons. Ahh. I forgive you, scheduling nurse.

Then, she said she had to let me know my options.

“Adoption,” she said. “Either of a child or of a donor embryo.”

Adopt an embryo? I’d never heard it phrased that way. Regardless, I’d already nixed adoption of a child for situational reasons, and if I’m going to have to be pregnant, I might as well use my own eggs.

“You can freeze your eggs now as insurance so when the right person comes along, they’ll be available for your use or for a surrogate,” the doctor said.

No. I’m not waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right. I want to have a baby. Everyone else can fuck off.

“Then there’s what you want to do,” the doctor said. “Intrauterine insemination.”

When I assured her that was still what I wanted, we continued. The doctor laid out the basics–Kaiser didn’t have a place to store the sperm, so I would have to rent a tank. Kaiser didn’t endorse any particular sperm bank. That was all up to me. She did have a recommendation about what to look for in donor sperm.

“You want sperm that’s CRV negative,” she said. “Why do I care? Essentially, there’s a slight risk of birth defects in CRV positive sperm.” She rolled her eyes and waved her hands. “It’s so tiny, but why worry about it if you don’t have to?”

Then, she started in on me.

Addictions? I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. I drink at parties. Caffeine?

Well…

I’m not addicted. I know I’m not addicted. I’ve gone for a couple of weeks without caffeine. No headache. No withdrawals. I just happen to like caffeinated beverages, okay? Jeez.

“Why am I asking?” the doctor asked. “Caffeine has been linked to birth defects. It’s a small chance, but again, why worry about it if you don’t have to? Better to get help with any addictions now.”

Fair enough, doc.

Now, onto my friend we left ready and waiting in the exam room. “We want to make sure there are no problems that we can see. The ultrasound is to examine your uterus and fallopian tubes. We want to see five or more eggs in each tube.”

I’ve never been on a date, but hey, I’m open minded.

The doctor had a nurse there to “assist” her. Really, I knew she was there to hold my hand if I needed comfort. Like I said, I’m not ashamed of any of my various parts, but someone shoving an instrument–sheathed in a condom, as pictured–into your vagina is rarely going to make for a good time. Unless you’re into that kind of thing. I didn’t need the comfort, but I appreciate that it was there.

It’s not a horrendous procedure. The wand is only about an inch or so in. Again, not comfortable, but not painful. And it’s a quick exam as these things go. There was some pressing and probing—a slight pressure. The doctor narrated. There was my uterus. It looked like the millions of pictures of uteruses I’ve seen in my life, just sans the baby that’s usually there when people wave those things around. Then she went searching for my fallopian tubes. She pointed out the bumps in them—apparently indicators of how many eggs were hanging around, ready to be released. She pronounced herself satisfied with the number, and that was that.

Next step? Downstairs to the lab to let them take half my blood. No kidding—the technician pulled out eleven vials. Eleven. I suspect they’re feeding vampires on the side. If they have a Dr. Carlisle Cullen on staff, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Dear Baby,

Am I the only one who finds it funny that conceiving a baby this way includes the use of a condom? Would that be considered ironic? Ah, your mom’s easy to amuse. Don’t mind me.

The walls of the clinic here are lined with beautiful babies. I wondered what you would look like amongst all those pudgy faces. I wondered if the doctor and nurses ever stop to look at all the little people they’ve helped into the world, and what it must feel like to know they all exist partially because of them. Wow.

It’s funny, Baby. All my life, I’ve read stories and heard about how special it can be to make a baby with the person you love. Usually there are just two people involved. There are so many people who will play their part in bringing you to me. I think that’s pretty damn special too.

Go Back To: Episode 2 – Frequently Asked Questions or Go Forward To: Episode 3 – It Takes a Village

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Mina permalink
    January 30, 2016 1:39 pm

    I almost spit my coffee at the Mr. Ready part. OMG, Kris… you’re hilarious. And the irony of the condom? I was going to comment on that too. LOL

  2. Denise permalink
    January 30, 2016 9:00 pm

    I have to applaud you. I am so glad that you are able to laugh about the crazy parts of getting pregnant. With your attitude you are going to sail through this with flying colors. If you are going to be taking fertility drugs or hormones enjoy the crazy dreams that it will bring, your pregnancy will give them to you as well. Maybe you can get some inspiration from them.

    In am a single mom to a 12 year old girl and I ache for another baby. I had started the journey of having another baby completely by myself (really I have already raised a baby by myself, so I know how amazingly stressful it can be. ) But I just found out I am losing my job in 6 months, so I have to continue to ache.

    I am enjoying hearing about your wonderful journey. After reading your works over the last couple of years with all your author comments, it make me feel good to see you getting what your heart desires. You have given your fans a wonderful opportunity to know not only your stories but you as well. I wish you the best of luck with everything.

    • January 30, 2016 9:24 pm

      No drugs. There’s a trigger shot, but that’s about it. We’re doing this as naturally as possible. 🙂

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m sorry to hear about your job. “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” That’s the most nerve-wracking thing to consider. You can plan everything perfectly, but reality has a mind of its own. I’ll cross my fingers for you.

  3. cdnchoicemom permalink
    March 17, 2016 9:03 am

    Yes, it certainly is ironic!

  4. March 21, 2016 3:21 pm

    As someone who’s probably in the exact opposite side of your equation, I really enjoyed reading your thoughts. I look forward to hearing more about your journey. Your baby is lucky to have a brave guide who knows how to look at in this crazy world and make sense of it with humor and grace.

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  1. Frequently Asked Questions | Kristina M. Sanchez

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