Friday, March 18, 2011

An adventure I'd rather not be going through

The last week has been a rough one for me and for my wonderfully supportive husband. We've been trying to conceive for quite a long time and within the last three months have finally begun seeking some help from the medical community. This has proven to be more frustrating to us than the months and years of trying on our own with no success.

I mistakenly thought that having some assistance from medical professionals would get things moving along and provide some answers and solutions. Instead, I have found myself at least weekly (if not more frequently) reduced to sobs and tears, sometimes very angry, frequently disheartened and discouraged, invaded, violated and deceived. I have truly felt like this process of investigating fertility issues is just a very complex and time-consuming process meant only to actually dissuade couples from trying to conceive. That may sound overly dramatic but our recent experience is all I have to go on at this point.

I'm trying to be open-minded and not lump all doctors in this area together but our assistance has been far less than helpful. The most recent and unacceptable event followed the procedure where dye is run through your fallopian tubes (I know I should know the name of the procedure but so many procedural names have been thrown around and I am suffering from overload). During this procedure, a spot was noticed that the CNP said would need to be looked at with an ultrasound but wasn't anything that she thought that would be preventing becoming pregnant and that she would call the following week to set up the appointment.

Fast forward to nearly three weeks later and no phone call. By this point in time I've determined that we definitely need to seek other assistance as we are clearly not going to get the help and attention we need from our current provider. I've gathered a couple dozen recommendations for providers in our area and am picking up the phone to set up an appointment with a new doctor when the phone rings and our current specialist in on the other end.

I am not happy and let her know it. I tell her that this has been extremely stressful and she basically says we got lost in the shuffle and pushed to the bottom of the pile and she's sorry and says it's entirely her fault and now says that the spot that was seen may very well be preventing pregnancy. This is small consolation to me and my husband. We now have our next appointment set up with one of the doctors recommended to us and we'll see how it goes as I have no confidence in her predecessor's professionalism and expertise. If we're feeling that this doctor isn't on board with helping us and can't seem to pay attention to us and loses us in the shuffle, I've got the next choices lined up.

Maybe I was naive to think that doctors who go into the fertility field would actually be more invested in helping their patients through this process. I certainly didn't expect this whole process to be a cake walk or anything but I thought the doctors would be more helpful than they have been to this point and not get the feeling that they're doing as little as possible and searching for problems without ever addressing solutions and ways to actually feel like there are steps that you can take to help improve the situation.

I'm tired of being poked and prodded constantly and having what amounts to basically a pap every month, something that I've dreaded my whole life and has never made me feel very good. But now taking a couple of days each time I'm examined to recover and feel a little bit back to normal, the last thing I want to do is have sex and that's all I'm supposed to do. At least men get to have a little bit of pleasure for their part in analyzing the situation but as a woman I just keep feeling violated and invaded and hurt.

I feel trapped in this whole system and completely at its mercy. If you're unhappy with your current level of care and seek out someone who's been highly recommended, you're likely to be stuck waiting for an even longer amount of time as the chances of getting in to see them in the near future is not very likely. And then if you dane to see a physician outside of your current health care system it's even more nightmarish as the competing systems in our area can't seem to play nice with one another as I've experienced.

I am learning that I need to be very direct in stating my needs with our next physician if I have any hope of feeling hopeful about this process again. I won't let another doctor forget about me and put me at the bottom of her pile. I also need for these doctors to see me as a person, not a nameless, faceless number on a file. I've had enough of that through this process and the whole gallbladder surgery experience.

Through all of this I am very blessed to have my sister as a great support and listener. I also have a couple of very dear friends of many years who've shared similar struggles and can empathize with our situation and I even have some dear friends whom I've never met in person but thanks to the wonder of the internet have been friends of spirit though we're hundreds and thousands of miles apart. I choose to focus on those wonderful, beautiful people and not on those who I thought would be there for me and be sympathetic and love me the most but have been absent from me emotionally through this whole ordeal.

I was also blessed to find a fellow blogger through my twitter account who is just beginning to share her struggles with this journey as well. All I had done was post "based on my experience I truly believe the whole fertility investigation process is only designed 2 discourage U from trying 2 conceive" and she became one of my twitter followers and then I discovered her blog and our shared experience. Reading about her experiences is like holding up a mirror to my life, particularly the insensitive comments that come pouring out of others.

This is certainly not my normal fare for my lowly little blog, but it is an adventure and one that I wish I was not having to deal with. I had to write about it as catharsis for me and so that I am able to refocus on other areas of my life and be able to get through the days without all of these thoughts trapped in my head spinning around endlessly.


  1. Hi! I'm a fellow Spoonflower-ite (is that a word?!) and came across your blog by Googling "Project Selvage" after seeing the disappointing semifinalists. I really liked your design -- neutral enough for either gender (a plus in my book!) and unlike anything I've seen already available. (My design didn't make the cut either; I'm jennartdesigns on SF). Anyway I just wanted to say I went through the infertility journey too and I totally empathize with you. It sucks more than anything we've ever went through... the poking, prodding, needles, blood draws, hystersalpingograms (sp?), meds, x-rays, specialists, doctors who were out and out rude, procedures... it was scary, degrading, mentally exhausting, and physically painful sometimes. I've had two close friends go through it, as well, and one friend had to use donor eggs after 5 yrs of unsuccessful IUIs & IVFs. Ultimately we were all successful and that makes all the crap worth it. I am hoping things work out the same for you -- sending many good thoughts your way!

  2. It's a crappy process, isn't it? Finding the right doctor can make all the difference. I started out with the wrong one and after two miscarriages, I changed doctors. The first one I had was not the right choice for me. The office staff was horrible and I got no answers, tests or support. I switched doctors and that was one of the best decisions I've made. I had a completely different experience with the second doctor even though I suffered two more miscarriages. It was awesome to find a doctor who seemed to care about finding answers for us. We now have 3 healthy girls and I hope you have the same success with doctors and babies!

  3. hey there! i am interested in purchasing your pantone fabric. if i were to stretch it onto bars to make a fabric canvas, what quality fabric should i be purchasing? thanks.

  4. (and on that note, i just posted without reading your entry because i couldn't find your contact info. hugs to you...)

  5. Thanks to all of you for commenting and for your support! I'm feeling a bit more positive about everything around this now and will share more soon.

  6. Hi Alison -

    I'm so sorry you couldn't find my contact info. Add that to the list of making sure I update my profile! As far as ordering the pantone fabric chart for stretching I would go with a heavier weight than the quilting cotton. I would say probably the upholstery weight twill would be a good bet. Here's the direct link to the pantone color chart.

    Thanks Alison! You can also email me at