Sunday, December 22, 2013

the fertility clinic waiting room: part 2

(see part 1 here)

I went back to the Fertility clinic a few weeks ago on December 5. The last time I was there was for u/s # 2 in August 2012. Earlier this fall, I called my RE's secretary to book an appointment. I needed to ask him some questions about my hormone replacement therapy and also, get his take on the birth and what he thought would happen with a potential second pregnancy.

I gave a lot of thought to the visit beforehand, starting with the waiting room. Was I even allowed to bring my baby to a fertility clinic waiting room? I asked the secretary, I called the nurse, and by all accounts, it was a-ok to bring Gummy Girl. But you know me by now. I still felt awful for the women/couples who would be waiting there and have to be subjected to the sight of my living, wiggling, super-cute reminder of their childlessness.

I also thought about how I would probably loose my shit and start bawling. Did I ever tell you about the phone call I made to our dear fertility nurse a month after Gummy was born? I got her voice mail and just said that I had given birth to a baby girl and....wah, wah, wah (I was unable to finish my message and just hung up, hoping she would understand). I found a parallel to the advice of not texting/phoning anyone while inebriated: Don't call your beloved fertility nurse within 6 weeks of giving birth. But now Gummy was 9 months, so more time had passed. Except that I would see my nurse and my doctor in person. So, I had real reasons to be concerned about lots of public crying on my part.

The three of us trekked down to Fertility Treatment Town on what happened to be a beautiful, warm late fall day. Gummy looked awfully cute in her green corduroy jumper with a mouse on the pocket. My heart was filled with pride and joy: I was taking MY daughter to meet the people who helped usher her into existence.

The fertility clinic where we've been treated used to be located at another hospital in FTT, but moved in the spring of 2012 to a different hospital in the same city. The funny thing about the new location is that it is directly 2 stories above where my office was as a resident. So going there brings back all sorts of memories. Overlaid are the memories of the early ultrasounds when I was pregnant with Gummy.

I got myself worked up about it all. As I do.

I stood outside the waiting room with Gummy after checking in. The nurse made a huge deal of how beautiful Gummy was and made us feel welcomed. But the waiting room was packed and my heart hurt for those couples. At the same time, I had a legitimate appointment for a legitimate reason. And the waiting room is where we would be fetched. Not the hall. So we went in, the three of us. I took Gummy to the end of the room, where there was a Christmas tree, and did what all good fertility patients do in the waiting room: avoided eye contact with anyone.

And it occurred to me: I was that woman.

That woman who brings a child to a fertility clinic waiting room.

But I couldn't/can't apologize for Gummy's existence. I am blessed beyond words by her precious life. I am just am sorry that there isn't a different, smaller, perhaps painted in brighter colours and filled with toys, waiting room for people who have kids and still need to go to the fertility clinic.

Strangely, I also could almost see myself sitting in that waiting room in years passed. At times hopeful. At times completely beaten down by failure. At times worried sick. And now I was sitting in the waiting room showing my daughter the Christmas tree ornaments.

A nurse called us in shortly after arriving to our seats in the waiting room. We got to see our dear nurse who was pleased to meet Gummy, and happy to see us. We waited a long time to see dr. RE. As always, I could hear the prosody of his speech, muffled through the walls of the exam rooms and knew he was taking the time he needed to consult with the couple in the other room. Hearing the sound of his voice through the walls always helped me wait. I knew when our turn came, he would give us the time we needed.

Dr. RE was pleased to meet Gummy, but wasn't really all that focused on her. It was the most striking thing about our visit: neither our nurse nor Dr. RE were all that focused on Gummy. Their attention was on Mr. A and I. They were happy to see us smiling, see us having become parents. It seems that when you have a child, everyone's focus turns so sharply to the baby, which is so wonderful. It really is. I'm saying that the contrast in this instance was noticeable.

It was a full appointment. The short version is that Dr. RE confirmed my fears that complications would be expected with a second pregnancy. He flat out said it would be a high risk pregnancy and I would need to be followed at the large University Health Centre nearest to Pleasantville. While I am worried about placenta accreta (what I had last time) or increta, Dr. RE went straight to worrying about percreta (where the placenta invades not only the wall of the uterus, but the adjoining organs). He did nothing to help me want to get pregnant again.

Despite that, I did agree with him that running some investigative tests right now while I'm on mat leave would be a good use of my time. He posited that my uterus might be in rough shape after what happened, and thought that I may end up needing one or two hysteroscopies, but that we should start with an u/s and a sonohysterogram. We also talked about interim and long term HRT strategies. I fell in love with him all over again. He's the only doctor whose ever really understood what's going on in my reproductive system.

He convinced me to come in for an u/s the following Sunday at 8 am (which means leaving my house at 6:30am). I did agree to it, and drove down that long highway at the crack of dawn like the good ol' days.

And just like that, on CD21 using my regular HRT regimen and nothing more, my lining was at 8mm. What. No coaxing? No del.estrogen shots? Just fluffed up to 8mm after 5 days of prome.trium!

That was a surprise. Crazy what having a baby can do.

I'll book a sono for the new year, and we will see how things look in there. But beyond that, I'm not looking to work up to a FET anytime soon.

I'm just thankful that we have one amazing little girl to call our own. And so grateful to everyone who helped us welcome her into our lives.
 

15 comments:

  1. Yes this is a tough situation. On the one hand, I just flat out could not believe they lets kids in the RE waiting room. On the other hand, if they would have been wearing DE IVF bibs I would have been thrilled for a show of "success stories!!"

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  2. My OB's office shares a waiting room with an adjoining fertility clinic. I think that is awful and horrible and horrid. I felt like an ass strolling in there pregnant with a stroller full of babies. I had panic attacks about it. I mentioned this to the nurses and doctors. They said they agree that it is less than optimal to have a shared waiting room but that someone felt it would be good advertising that their fertility programs actually work, I can not bring myself to go there anymore. It is anxiety inducing for me because of that.

    I think you handled your situation really well and I'm so very glad to hear that the focus was on you both. People forget about Mommy and Daddy sometimes.

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    1. Wow! I have not heard of an OB clinic and a fertility clinic combining their waiting room. That's cruel and unusual punishment. I can see why you can't go there anymore.

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  3. I'm glad you had a good visit and that they were so happy for you to be parents. It must be nice for them to see those successes and help fulfill hopes. I always kind of wanted to do that in person but we emailed a picture and thank you as our clinic doesn't allow children at appointments which I think is wise. Also happy to hear that your lining is doing what it should whether or not you determine to go forward. Hoping that you have good follow up appointments as well. Also I loved going back and reading the linked posts.

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    1. thanks for your sweet note, Michelle. I also imagine that the health care providers who see infertile couples struggling day in and day out, it must be nice to see the success stories as well.

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  4. My clinic has signs explicitly asking patients not to bring their kids into the practice, due to the "sensitive nature". And on difficult days it helps to know that I won't see babies in there that might take me over the edge, so to speak. But realistically, those are very likely success stories. And on one of my first visits, one of the nurses was very pregnant... it's impossible to escape the reminders, and as we'll have them anyway, success story bibs might be the best way to go.

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    1. I vote for the bibs. I'm putting it in the suggestion box next time I go to the clinic. We have Kimberly Q to thank :)

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  5. So glad to hear the visit went well, but sorry to hear your fears were confirmed about the risks for another pregnancy. I know to well those risks and understand your concerns.
    Happy holidays we should skype soon!

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    1. Happy Holidays and yes, skyping would be good :)

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  6. You should never worry about taking your baby into a fertility clinic. When I see a baby at the clinic I think about being next…about it working and it's a sense of pride to know that someone has gotten past the heartache of infertility.

    My doctor recently said with my most recent diagnosis that IF we can get my lining to grow, I am also at risk of placenta accreta or percreta. I'm in the very early stages of researching this, but it's certainly not a happy thought. Hopefully BOTH of us can avoid it all together!

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    1. I'm glad to read you feel that way about children in the waiting room, that you can draw hope from that and not despair. Again, this speaks to your resilient, loving spirit, dear Suzanne.

      I ask the Universe right now to spare you any placental disorders when you get pregnant (note my optimism). But, I'm glad your doc mentioned it so that you can ask the question to your OB and get additional tests if there are any question marks about whether you have a placental disorder. I can only imagine how much more manageable things would have been had mine been diagnosed before the birth, instead of after the hemorrhage.

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  7. I'm so happy that you got to be there as That Woman, rather than repeating the Other Experience. I think being bitter at the sight of children is an important part of the IF experience. You did everything you could to make sure it was okay, and you had sympathy in your heart...it's about all you can do.

    "He did nothing to help me want to get pregnant again." OOF. Of course you're thrilled to have your girl, and what a girl she is. It seems impossible she could ever have not been there, shining her sunny face over your world, and ours too. Still, I bet there are some complex-ass feelings about being told your placenta is going to eat you alive if you ever try again.

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    1. Seriously! That's what my nightmares are about: placental cannibalism.

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  8. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that.

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