Tuesday, May 17, 2011

{all this for a baby part 1}

Before I get into what I've been up to lately, I wanted to say thank you for all of your sweet, encouraging, supportive, and loving comments. The love that's been felt is overwhelming we're so grateful for your prayers and sweet words! Mom's surgery went well, but the battle isn't over yet. I've learned that in life, nothing is as ever as easy as it seems. At least in my life. Like, you can't just go on a nice 'n easy road trip and go camping. Nope. In my family, the transmission on the minivan goes out in 90 degree weather in Fresno, causing a 2 day detour in the camping trip. You can't just go in for an easy lumpectomy and be cancer free. And you (and by you, I mean I) can't just make whoopee and get pregnant.

*sigh* There's always something!

The road to getting pregnant has been a winding, uphill battle filled with lots of mood swings (my poor husband), pain, and tears. It is seriously the most frustrating thing I've ever dealt with. Why is it so easy for some people to get and stay pregnant and impossible for others? I could talk about that until I'm blue in the face, but for now, I'll just share a few experiences as of late...

When I first met with my fertility doctor (Dr. Blauer- he's amazing!) he mapped out this big plan for us to follow in hopes of me getting preggers. One of the stops on the plan was to get an ultrasound on day 4 of my cycle. Now, I've never had an ultrasound, but I've seen movies and I basically knew how it worked. You pull up your shirt, they squirt gel on your stomach, and rub a microphone on your belly, right? Boy was I wrong!

When it was my turn the nurse took me back to the exam room. She had a thick, hispanic accent and I didn't really understand when she said, "Okay, so you gottatamponin?"


"A tampon. You gotta tampon in?"

"Oh...umm. Yes. I'm still on my period."

"Thas good. Okay, so go ahead and take it out an put it in there." She pointed to a trash can with a hazard sign on it. I stood there with a stupefied look on my face. Seriously?! Just take it out right here!? She must have read the shock on my face because then she said, "Oooh...okay, you can a use the bathroom if you want."

I used the bathroom and figured that when they did the ultrasound, they didn't want anything in me. "I guess that's normal," I thought. Then I came back into the exam room and the nurse said, "Okay, so go ahead and undress from the waist down and Ima gonna be right back."

That's when a bit of panic set in and my mind screamed "WHA!?" I wasn't expecting to take my pants off. Is this how they're doing ultrasounds these days? My mind was whirling. I had just taken off my undies and hadn't even had a chance to sit on the exam table and cover myself, when the nurse walked back in, seeing me in all my nakie glory. I gasped and quickly crossed my legs and used my hands to cover myself. She scrambled back out of the room, closed the door, and then knocked and re-entered, giving me just enough time to cover myself with the giant paper towel they give you (that barely covers).

The nurse was probably a bit embarrassed (not half as much as I was) because she started talking fast and gave a nervous laugh. "Haha- sorry! Sometimes I tell people, 'Okay, you undress and I be back!' and then I forget how long and come back too quick and is like 'Hello! Oops!"

Yeah- oops! At this point, I was sitting right next to the ultrasound machine and was face to face with a wand that had a giant condom over it. Suddenly, everything made sense and panic set it. "Ohmuhgosh....this is a vaginal ultrasound!?" Surprise! I had no idea. No warning. And I hadn't really prepared for it. Not just mentally prepared, but prepared, prepared if you know what I mean.

By then it was too late for any preparations...mentally or not. The doctor came in & pulled out the stirrups to set my feet in. My heart was beating faster and I felt like the room was spinning. I has worn shoes that day with no socks (hello stinky feet), and of course I'd taken my shoes off when she told me to undress from the waist down, so placing my feet in the stirrups by the doctors face was the last thing I wanted to do, let alone have my who-ha in plain sight too.

Apparently, I was sitting too far back on the exam table because the nurse kept saying, "Okay, scooch down....a little further...a little more...keep coming..." and I moved down until I felt like I was going to slide off the table. I kept thinking, "Why don't they just make the tables small, with a big X where your bum is supposed to go? Why make a big table when you're only utilizing 1/3 of it?"

Before I knew it, I was looking at a screen that showed my uterus and ovaries. I honestly couldn't tell what I was looking at, but the doctor tried my best to point out what we were looking at.

"Here's your uterus," he'd say, pointing to a blob on the screen. "It's a bit tilted, but that's pretty common....Oh! Here are your ovaries!" and I'd see another blurb on the screen. "Hmmm...see these?" I squinted at the screen. I wanted to say no, because I really had no clue what I was looking at, but I said, "Uh...yeah!" as convincingly as I could. "Those are cysts. You have about 25 on each ovary." That explains the PCOS, I guess.

He moved the wand around this way and that, pointed out more blurbs, measured this and that, and then it was over. When they left the room, I got up, got dressed, and couldn't look anyone in the eye. To be honest, I'm not sure if the cysts are a problem. I don't even really know why they scheduled the ultrasound. I plan on asking more questions the next time I see him, but at the time, I was still in shock.

A week later, I was at the doctors again...this time for the HSG test. More on that later. The moral of this story? Be prepared! Not just for natural disasters, but for gynecological surprises too!


Lisa K said...

Just to prepare you for when you DO get pregnant, you'll have that same type of ultrasound again at Week 12!

paula said...

OK-I know this is a very serious topic but I have to say....I am laughing out loud right now. Your story is hilarious! Talk about invasive! And the x-marks the spot on the exam table...I feel the same way. Good luck with everything.

natasha | sohobutterfly said...

Ahhhhhhhhhh the dreaded dildo cam. Lady, I am sorry they threw that at you without any warning. Not cool. But, all this is more proof why us women should get to the choose the name. Not only for the whole labour thing... but all the crap we need to put up with before as well!!

BECKY said...

everything at the docs office is good times like this. get used to all these... they'll ask you to scootch forward your behind into their bizness a million times before the birth!
cysts on the ovaries are normal, but i don't know if 25 is normal.
Best wishes; I hope he is able to help you quickly. infertility is the worst and hardest thing on the planet to deal with. this means god trusts you with such a trail.... now you just kick it in the butt!

Anonymous said...

After having 4 kids can I just say-you will NEVER feel "prepared" when you are on that exam table. It's always at the last minute that horrifying thoughts about your toes, your legs, and your lady parts start popping up. It's normal though. And I have been told that unless you are truly horrifying "down there" most doctors don't pay any attention to the things that your find embarrassing.
AND-here is the good part-when there is a baby in your belly-you stop caring as much about all that stuff. I literally had an audience of 12 strangers looking at my "who ha" when I had the twins and I couldn't have cared less. So, it gets better. Promise. Your mom is still in my prayers. Keep us posted on how she is doing okay?

McCall said...

i didn't think this would be as funny as when you actually told me the story but, IT WAS!! hahaha. i'm laughing again. it'll get better! :)

Jen said...

When i read the comment about the stinkie feet by the head of the doctor, i died laughing! I love that you can laugh at hard situations - it definitely helps me out!

Lindzee said...

I had no warning either, but every single ultrasound they did during infertility was vaginal...and then the first three when I was pregnant, too. Gotta love the gyno!

Keep your sense of humor about the infertility...it's the only way to survive it. :) If you need a laugh, go to 999 Reasons to Laugh at Infertility. Only way I got through some days. :)

Good luck! Hope the HSG test wasn't too traumatic.

Bethany said...

You do such a good job at describing what we all go through on that exam table! Of course, after having 3 kids it is perhaps a little too common place for me now.

pollydove said...

OH NOOOOO!!! I could totally picture that and I am soooo sorry! I had a vaginal ultra sound once too that was totally unexpected for me as well. They had said make sure your bladder is full ... I did. I could hardly walk into the office (and had a fender bender on the way there which delayed the appt.) I seriously stopped to go to the bathroom (just a little bit) as soon as I got in the building because I knew I would have an accident before I got up the stairs!)

When I got up on the table she STILL said I had the most full bladder she had ever seen and I should go into the bathroom before they did the ultra sound!!!! IT WAS MISERABLE! (And that was just a couple of years ago. Sadly, most gyno things are pretty traumatic for us women.)

I can't even imagine how hard this must be for you Shan and I hope all of this trauma, and drama, and sadness, and disappointment ultimately ends up as a big, fat, 9 pound baby for you!!! xoxox

The Author said...

Oh, Shan, I was crying and laughing all at the same time. Always a good goal for a post. :D

I'm so sorry. No warning is the worst. But at least it was baptism by fire. There is nothing modest or descret about baby making or delivery. After I had my first and was in postpartum and thought all the embarrassment and shock was over a nurse and her nurse in training come in and ask me to roll over so they can check to see how swollen my ASS is.


She then pulled my (clenched) cheeks apart to inspect it as they both leaned way in. Jeez.

I have so many friends dealing with PCOS. I really wish you the best. I'm always available for the vent/breakingthings/shopping therapy.

good luck girl

Jason and Kate said...

Ahh the joys of infertility! I had to laugh because I experienced that same thing. Don't worry it will become your new normal and you will feel weird when you get pregnant and they do an ultrasound on the stomach. :) Good luck with everything. Just know you are not the only one that has to do it. It can be tough sometimes but hang in there. BTW..I am friends with Jen (Weekley) B. We were friends when she lived in AZ. I've seen her in pictures a few times on this blog.

Jessica said...

I know exactly what you are going through. Me and my husband are going through this very same thing... for three years now. I just had one of those ultrasounds and thought WTH. I thought there was only one kind.

I had one of those HSG tests two years ago. Man, did that hurt. I think this was the most embarrassing thing so far. But it was cool to see my reproductive system on TV...

I just found out what was wrong with me. I am not ovulating. Your progesterone levels have to be above ten to get pregnant. I was at a 5. As of date my doctor has me on clomid. I have a strict set of things I need to do on certain days. I never thought it would be this hard to get pregnant. I take the Clomid pills for five days, a few days later I have to take a ovulation test, if its positive, (you know what comes next) then a week later I have to have a blood test to check my progesterone levels. The last day of the cycle I have to go in for one of those lovely ultrasounds you were just talking about. Apparently Clomid can cause cysts, so my doctor wants to make sure they don't start to grow.

So ya, I know what you mean when you said "all this for a baby."

The best bit of advise I have gotten thus far (from someone that actually had gone through infertilty)was, "just focus on being a good wife, everything else will fall into place when the time is right."

It helps to talk to people who are going through this. Your post helped me smile today.


Lindsey said...

Dude Shannon, I'm sorry! I have been there! HSG test, not my fav, but what do you do? I feel for you! I really do. It sometimes seems so unfair, but then you just keep plugging along, because you still want that baby, HSG tests, ultrasounds or not. I have to say, all the testing proved inconclusive for us, but IVF did work. It's a strange world. But I know you will have your family one way or another. Life just takes us on a little journey sometimes. By the way, you are hilarious. Why don't they make a table with an X on it?

I just kept reminding myself all these tests are embarrassing, but I think the boys test is the worst :) Ha ha. When you mention you are going through infertility testing everyone gives Scott a sly smile!

Laura said...

I echo everyone else's comments! :) I remember when they did a vaginal ultrasound with Dallas (they never did it for Sydney) and I was like "What the heck!?!? And I totally remember not wearing socks and having stinky feet too and being so embarrassed!:)
You are in my prayers. You are a strong woman. It will all work out!

Chelsea said...

AHGH! Never fun. I guess you can at least be comforted somewhat that they see that stuff everyday, and it was I'm sure a lot more shocking to you than it was to the nurse. But it is hard not having to "prepare" in all the ways we have to prepare. I had the HSG done too, and had a few problems with the doctor and procedure that made it quite uncomfortable...but then again, what did I expect? haha. It is so NOT FUN and I am sorry you have to be going through it. I hope that it all pays off soon--then you will forget all of the discomfort and it will all be so worth it. I am thinking of you. Hang in there.

Hawleywood said...

Shan I'm so sorry they sprang the dildo on you!! I have to get one of those done next week to check for cysts, but at least I know ahead of time! Hope all is well! You and your mom are in my thoughts and prayers often!

I'm Em, and I love to see the world! said...

I've had these ultrasounds done when I was unprepared for them ... Not fun at all! Even though it was traumatic for you I enjoyed reading about it! :)

The Brady Bunch said...

I have had a few of those ultrasounds myself over the last couple years on our struggle/journey of getting pregnant. I don't think that particular ultrasound becomes any less shocking each time...but at least now you know. (P.S. they do still have the "old fashioned" belly ultrasounds, but that's for other stuff. Fertility ultrasounds and problems with lady parts always seem to go the way of the invasive ultrasound ;)

Brooke said...

Not only can I TOTALLY relate to this, it was so nice to be able to read other peoples comments and make me feel NOT so alone in this whole thing. We did the whole test run, clomid run, and IVF run so hopefully I don't ever have to do those ever again. You know its sad when the doctors recognize you by the color of your toe nail polish.

Thanks for sharing, I know its not easy.


Craig and Katie Neuman said...

Hey there! I found your blog through another design blog. I love this post, i laughed so hard I cried! I wanted to send you a quick note to tell you that you are not alone! I've been there. I too was diagnosed with PCOS. Believe it or not...for me...these ultrasounds ended up becoming routine and they didn't bother me any more (weird...but true!). On another PCOS note, a short story of my infertility. We tried for 2 years, tried clomid for about a year and finally an IUI cycle. All failed and I needed a break from all the infertility treatments. We took a couple of months off and out of nowhere, pregnant completely on our own! PCOS patients can get pregnant on their own too! Good luck to you...and your time will come too. I promise!

Karlie said...

Oh, boy. And I'm just reading this!!! I can't believe you had to go through all of that! Oh, girl. I hope things look up for you. They will, they will. Hang in there.

Elizabeth said...

This is a nightmare (the surprise exam). Glad you retained your sense of humour.
Good luck and best wishes on your baby catching ;-)