(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.