Monday, March 19, 2012

The journey to now, part one, oder Reise zum Teil jetzt zwei

If you didn't read the first part, you can find it here.

It was so frustrating....

On 11 May, we flew with our suitcases and our cats and, at least for me, without enthusiasm or patience. I didn't want to be back in Germany. I wanted to be close to home, to Mom and Dad, because I expected to be getting pregnant soon and wanted to be close enough for my parents to get to be grandparents.

We landed on 12 May. It was beautiful weather, and in some ways I relaxed a little bit. Our house in Colorado still hadn't sold, and we would have to establish ourselves in this new community, but at least we were here and could begin the process. On the way from the airport to the new base, I could hear Shadow yowling from the luggage compartment under the bus. Poor thing.

Imagine this, but smaller with less chairs.
When you get to a new place with the military, they put you in a hotel until you can find housing. In our room, there was a bed, a desk, a dresser, and one chair. It was DH and I and the two cats in that room for a month. The cats don't get along that well, so we ended up putting the luggage rack in one corner with a suitcase on top so that Shadow could sleep on there and Moo could sleep on the bed with us.

We went about getting settled. When you move overseas, there are a lot of things to do to establish normal life in your new location. There are driver's licenses, some basic language classes, finding a home, getting put into the medical system at the new MTF. Lots to do. We moved into our house (the only one that we had been able to look at) in the middle of June. At the end of June, I finally got in to see the OB/GYN on post. This was the next step in the referral process.

This doctor seemed nice enough, but he was dismissive of what I had been doing to try to help things along. We hadn't been trying quite a year at that point, so he seemed hesitant to work with us, but since I had been diagnosed with PCOS he deigned to give us his expertise. I'll call him Dr. Insensitive.

Dr. Insensitive told me to stop charting, that that didn't do anything anyway. He didn't seem to like that I was on Metformin, but refilled the prescription since I had already been taking it for six months. He prescribed Clomid at 50 mg, told me to get a blood test on CD 21, and we would go from there. He was very sure that I would be able to get pregnant, no problem.
Clomid, the crazy maker

I didn't stop charting, mostly because it's one of the very few things that makes me feel like I have some control over this process. Round one of Clomid was determined to be non-ovulatory by blood test. I was given another round at 50 mg. Same result. The next round was 100 mg, and that was determined to be a proper dosage, due to the bloodwork. That was August. I did another 100 mg cycle in September during which I know that I ovulated late, but Dr. Insensitive had stopped ordering blood tests since one came back positive at 100 mg.

Early September of 2011, my mom had had surgery on her stomach to repair some lingering problems from childhood. The surgery didn't go well and she had another one three weeks later. After I heard about the second surgery being scheduled, I went ahead and got a ticket back home. I left in early October and returned in early November. Those cycles I did not take Clomid; October, because DH stayed in Germany and November because I didn't have access to the medication early enough in my cycle.

In December, I called Dr. Insensitive's office. I hadn't seen him since June and I wanted to have a change in prescription or blood work done to verify ovulation (or lack thereof) or something to move this process along. The receptionist went ahead and scheduled an appointment with the doctor for the week after Christmas. At this point, I felt so discouraged and broken down. We had passed the year mark and the officially infertile status rang loudly in my head.

At our appointment, Dr. Insensitive was, well, insensitive. I told him that the Clomid wasn't working, that I wasn't ovulating. He said that the blood work proved otherwise. I tried to show him my charts and he told me that those were useless and that I really shouldn't bother with them. He asked if I wanted to keep going on Clomid. I said no, but I wouldn't mind trying Femara. He harrumphed at that, and told me to go get an HSG done, and after that, he would put in the referral. His parting words were, "Maybe you won't even need the referral. You could be pregnant by then." His false confidence made me break down. I needed some real hope, not placating words.

DH and I went over to the lab. They used to do HSGs, but didn't any longer because the community that we are in is in the process of shutting down. I had to go to Landstuhl, the big military hospital over here, to get the HSG done. I called them and they said that I should call on CD 1 of my next cycle to schedule the HSG. I was on CD 3, but it couldn't be scheduled for that cycle due to New Year's being in just a couple of days. I had to wait out another cycle.

February came around, and with it, the chance to do the HSG. I called the lab and scheduled the test. I had to get a blood test done for pregnancy beforehand, which is kind of crappy. Dr. Insensitive had put the order in wrong, but the people at Landstuhl were able to work it out. (I got a call the next week, asking if I was going to be in the next day for my HSG. Dr. Insensitive was apparently having some major problems with getting the orders in correctly.)

The HSG was painful. I wouldn't call it excruciating, but I would rather not to have to do it again. I had been researching HSGs as soon as I heard about them, so I pretty much knew what was going to happen. There were four people in the room, six including DH and I. I have gotten to the point that I really don't care who is doing or seeing things, if it's going to help get me pregnant. One tube had some adhesions, but the radiology doc managed to get it to open up and the dye spilled through on both sides. I was uncomfortable for about half an hour afterwards and took it easy for the rest of the day, but was fully recovered very shortly.

After the HSG was done, I called and got the ball rolling on getting the referral the rest of the way through. At the end of February, I finally had my referral in hand. I saw Herr Doktor for the first time on February 27th, 2012.

It's been a long road getting here. I've learned that I need to be my own advocate, that no one else is going to push things as much as I will. I've learned that research can be my best friend. Knowing what the next step typically is is very helpful for me. I can anticipate what is coming next and ask about the next step if the doctor doesn't mention it. I've learned that you have to know the system to be able to use it. Checking and double checking is okay.

Through all of this, I have tried to hold on to hope. Hope is the most elusive, slippery, crazy thing that I've found on this journey. The ups and downs of each cycle and the hope that keeps me going despite so much heartbreak. I hope to get pregnant. I hope to have a healthy baby. I hope to be a mother.

CD 22, 9 dp trigger

No comments:

Post a Comment