Archive for May, 2012

HSG take 2

HSG take 2 was this afternoon. Last time there was one ob/gyn resident and 1 lab tech. This time there were 2 residents, and intern, a radiology resident, several nurses, the radiology attending physician, and my regular RE. They got my situated, inserted the catheter and blew up the balloon. The balloon really hurt, and was freaking me out because of last time, so I started screaming and crying. They expected me to be able to wait with the inserted balloon while they lined up the equipment! So I asked if they could get the equipment all situated first. Luckily they were able to do it, even if it meant that it was much more difficult and uncomfortable for them (really, why does their comfort usually come first?). So they took the balloon out, and got the equipment situated, and tried to do it without the balloon sealing my cervix. But, unfortunately the dye leaked out. So my regular RE stepped in, and said he had another approach. He took the plastic speculum out, and inserted a metal one, and then gave me “medicine” to help numb the area, which really meant he gave me a shot in the cervix!! But, strangely enough, that didn’t hurt. Then he used a long catheter with a rubber stopper, and put the catheter through my cervix, and stopped it from the outside. They put the dye through, which was slightly uncomfortable, but bearable. Finally it was done, and they told me that both tubes looked good. There was a dark spot in the upper corner of my uterus, but they think it was just an air bubble. I’ll make a follow-up visit with the clinic soon, and we’ll make a new plan of action. And, in the mean time, I’ve made an appointment with the other infertility clinic in town for June 5. I’ll use it as a second opinion, and decide who I want to proceed with this summer. Thank god I never have to do an HSG again.


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Mother’s Day is hard for lots of women. As an infertile stepmom I belong to two groups that really dislike Mother’s Day, and don’t belong to the group that really enjoys it (moms). Infertile women feel left out; it’s the one thing we want so badly that we’re willing to put our bodies through hell to get there. Stepmoms feel unappreciated. We do lots of mothering too, but aren’t recognized on Mother’s Day. It sounds like a day that I should spend curled up in bed, but it really wasn’t so bad.

6:30am, I’m sound asleep.
Older stepson: “Amy, I don’t know what to do.”
Me, waking up quickly: “Ok, why don’t you go play Angry Birds on my Kindle.”
Walk out to living room and set up stepson on the Kindle.
Return to bed and doze.

6:50 am, partially asleep.
Younger stepson: “Amy, wet stuff got into my pull up.” (Code for he peed in bed and got his pjs and bed wet)
Me: “Ok, let’s go take it off and get you in some dry clothes.”
Go into the boys’ room, help stepson change, pull sheets off of bed, start laundry.
Start cartoons to entertain younger stepson.
Younger stepson: “I want cereal.”
Me: “I have to make breakfast first, but you can have cereal when it’s time.”
Stepson: “I want cereal. I want cereal.”
Me: “I understand you want cereal, but you need to wait for breakfast.”

7:15 am
Start cooking breakfast (pancakes)
Deal with stepsons fighting over the Kindle, fighting over the place on the couch, and wanting to watch bonus features on a different DVD all while trying to cook breakfast.

8:00 am
Completely lose my temper over the next stage of bickering. Husband comes to my rescue and relieves me of child watching duties so I can finish breakfast.

Breakfast and bathtime without incident.

Simultaneously try to pack some boxes, take them to the truck, and keep the boys occupied and out of the way.

Return the boys to their mom’s house so that she can have Mother’s Day with them.

Lunch with husband’s family so that MIL can celebrate Mother’s Day. The wait staff who don’t know me were the only ones to wish me a happy mother’s day.

Luckily I have a wonderful husband, and he and the boys had made Mother’s Day art for me the day before. It was sweet of him to think of me.

The previous week I picked up my Little Sister (matched through Big Brothers and Big Sisters). We’d planned an outing at the local children’s, hands-on science museum. S said she was hungry, so we stopped for a snack. Then she complained that her stomach hurt. I decided that she looked ill, and we needed to go back home. On the way home, while we were on the interstate, she puked in the car! Luckily I’d found a cardboard box in the back, and she aimed for the box and I didn’t have to deal with cleaning up the car. I called the next day to check on her, and she was out riding her bike and was fine.

Even though both of these days were very chaotic and difficult to deal with, they were a reminder that I am a maternal figure to these children, even if I’m not supposed to celebrate Mother’s Day. Strangely enough, I want to deal with early morning wake-ups, wet bed sheets, bickering siblings, and puking children. It makes me feel good to be a part of their lives. I hate it when people glibly tell me I’ll wonder why I ever wanted children when I tell them that I’m dealing with infertility. They take for granted the privilege it is to be a part of a child’s life. And even though I didn’t get much recognition on Mother’s Day, I was still able to celebrate it by being an active part of these childrens’ lives. I’m looking forward to someday being able to spend an entire Mother’s Day with my own child, but until then, this mother’s day really wasn’t so bad.

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More waiting

I’ve been going to the local university hospital’s infertility clinic, and my test on Monday was performed by a resident. In theory, teaching hospitals are great. It’s nice to be able to help people learn. I’m am also an employee of the university, and my insurance rates are better at this hospital. But I’m getting tired of residents. They fumble through procedures that the nurses are much better at. When I have a consult with my RE, I always have an initial consult with a resident, and many times the real RE says something completely different. I know more about how to get pregnant than they do. I think the residents are actually regular ob/gyn residents, and just rotate through the fertility clinic for a few weeks at a time. I’m getting tired of it. Also, the clinic is very small, and seems to only have a few patients. It’s probably because there’s another fertility clinic in town that’s highly regarded nationally. The university clinic also isn’t open on weekends for IUIs, which adds even more stress to ovulation time. But I like the RE at the university clinic. I agree with what he says, and have wanted to follow this through with him. But I’m getting tired of all of the other problems, and a resident screwing up a test this badly makes me not trust them with my body any more.

I called the other fertility clinic in town and made an appointment. Unfortunately the earliest I could get in was June 5, but my HSG redo at the University is scheduled for May 21. I can’t get an HSG at the other clinic until after my initial appointment. I want to be aggressive with treatments this summer because I only have a limited amount of time before my endo comes back. I have no idea when I’ll ovulate again. I might ovulate before May 21, and then shouldn’t do the HSG at the university. That would make the decision to do the HSG at the other clinic easy. But if I haven’t ovulated yet and want to be aggressive, I should do it on May 21 at the university so that I can start treatments right away at the new place. I guess I need to sit on it for a while longer and see how I feel next week.

On a related topic, I’ve been spotting since my HSG. It’s dark, old looking blood, and is about as much as a very light day at the end of my period. I don’t know why I’m spotting. My irrational fear is that having a balloon blown up as far as it could go in my uterus might have damaged my uterus. Realistically, it’s probably ok. The uterus can handle IUDs without damage, and obviously a baby fits too. It could also be break through bleeding. The Lupron should be wearing off, and my last estrogen replacement pill was on the 5th. I’m not in any pain, the blood isn’t bright red, and it’s a very light flow. I think these are the questions my dr. would ask, so I’m not going to panic until one of those things changes.

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So the doctor (resident) that did my HSG yesterday just called and admitted that she screwed the test up. She put the dye in the balloon instead of my uterus. So I have to do it again. But it means that my tubes might not be blocked. Yesterday was like torture and I decided that I never want to go through that again. But now I have to. Why oh why is this happening to me? I can’t face doing it again in 1 week, so I scheduled it in 2 weeks. But I’m seriously considering switching clinics.

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HSG and cycle #22

I had my HSG today. It was one of the most painful experiences of my life. I screamed through the whole thing and probably scared all of the other patients in the radiology lab!

No dye flowed through either tube. My first reaction was denial. “It’s still possible to make a baby without IVF without tubes, right?” In reality, I think the IVF/adoption decision point is here.


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New house

We closed on our house on Monday! Woo-hoo! Now I have a big weekend of yard work ahead of me. Luckily it will keep my mind off of my HSG on Monday.

On Saturday I’ll run out of the estrogen replacement pills, which means that the Lupron should be working its way out of my system. Hopefully ovulation isn’t too far away.


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