Friday, August 1, 2008

H.O.V - High Occupancy Vagina

I am a total whore. Seriously. The number of people who have been between my legs in the last two years is astounding. I've spread my legs in at least 6 different buildings (often with 2 or more people getting in on the action) and that doesn't even count my husband. Boys, girls - doesn't matter. I swing both ways. And not a single one of them has bought me dinner. I used to be a serial monogamist. I'd get serious with someone and stick with them and only them for months or years. But something has changed in me these past few years and now I swap partners nearly as often as I change my underwear. I don't even feel guilty about my promiscuity. I mean, if they're not giving me What I Need I'm moving on!

"What I Need" has changed over these years. First I needed to be able to get my feet in the stirrups without hearing the word "miscarriage". Yeah, I knew I was bleeding (although what I didn't know at the time was that in spite of the blood my progesterone was never supplemented or even TESTED) so why was she unwilling to suggest even a reduced work load? I think she figured a miscarriage would be *easier* than bedrest, but we had heartbeats - 2 of them! - so I needed just a hair of optimism. It's funny - she finally shared that optimism (and a flu shot) after a joyous ultrasound...just 3 days before I started bleeding for the final time. Dr. Doom and Gloom didn't even bother to return my call that morning. I didn't hear from her again until a few days before what was meant to be my NT u/s.

The morning of The Big Bleed I was so frustrated with Dr. Doom and Gloom that I called a different OB instead. I'd been planning on switching gynos anyway (I so obviously wasn't getting What I Needed) and when my call about the latest spot of red went unanswered I thought there was no time like the present. I liked how cozy the new waiting room was (although the Muzak blaring left so much to be desired) and was hopeful that I'd watch my belly expand along with the women sitting alongside me. But at my first meeting with Dr. Sunshine and Rainbows I learned it was not to be. She wasn't used to giving bad news and left her nurse practitioner to clean up the mess, but she was generous with valium, vicodin and ambien. At my post-D&C checkup 2 weeks later she told me that everything was great and offered a prescription for an antidepressant to "get past this stuff". Dr. Sunshine and Rainbows wasn't having any sadness, regardless of how much I'd earned it. I turned down the script and remembered not to cry the next time we met.

I didn't cry - even though she was diagnosing a chemical pregnancy (my second). I don't think I *could* cry through my shock. In a confused haze I was hearing her tell me that I would never have another miscarriage. "You only have to do that once," she said. Dr. S&R quickly realized that I'd already proved her wrong (as she'd been the one to break the news on 2 losses already) and corrected herself by saying "well, I mean, after a heartbeat and everything". She then assured me that my spotting (at least 5 days prior to AF) wasn't a problem and literally guaranteed me that I'd be pregnant in 3 months. I wanted to believe her, of course, and she was right about one thing. I was pregnant within 3 months...and unpregnant again just as soon. No, Dr. Sunshine and Rainbows wasn't giving me what I needed. Time to spread 'em for someone else.

I was hitting the big time now. I moved from the easy streets of OBs to the much seedier world of REs, hoping to find What I Need. In walked Dr. Shortcut. She listened, she talked, she expressed concern, but she didn't test - not the recurrent loss panel and not my husband - she didn't see the point. Let's get started and get pregnant. I didn't know any better, so I opened wide for Dr. Shortcut. After round one of Femara failed to stop my spotting she was ready to move on to injectibles. I suggested trying progesterone first, to which she reluctantly agreed. It stopped the spotting but didn't make a baby. She threw in Metformin, not believing I had PCOS but not wanting to dig deeper either. On the next cycle, as a last ditch attempt, I made sweet love to a catheter instead of my husband. And then we knew that Dr. Shortcut might've gotten lost along the way. My hubby's junk was fucked and the 4 cycles of meds were wasted. But we never could've known without thorough testing...

Time to move on. I Needed to skip the shortcuts and find the best. I'd like to call my next paramour Dr. Thorough or Dr. Test(e) but nothing stands out more about the man than the fact that he looked exactly like my brother. So as I listened intently to the results of SO many tests, I couldn't help but wonder if someone who so resembled my brother could really be competent. And when I looked down during the hysteroscopy and saw My Brother peering up at me from between my legs I wondered how long this affair could last. This guy was supposed to be good (and trust me, the bills implied he had to be the best) but this relationship was creepy...and our pockets were quickly emptying.

What I Needed now was someone who would get me pregnant and do it cheaply. I was so thrilled to learn after a battery of tests (including one in which I was incorrectly diagnosed with a bicornuate uterus - a diagnosis which was just as quickly dismissed when I mentioned the other doctors who hadn't agreed) that I was going to be admitted into a FREE IVF study. *This* was What I Needed and so we signed the papers and officially became patients of Dr. Who. I first spread 'em at this office in January and got my final failed beta on May 5. During those 4 months I experienced every procedure known to man and must've had three-quarters of my blood drained. I was in the office multiple times a week, and yet I never saw the doctor. I probably wouldn't recognize her if we passed in the halls. We didn't discuss test results or protocol or schedules. Dr.? Dr. Who? We finally did meet to sign the official consent forms - a brief encounter in an impersonal conference room. She had no questions for me and no time to answer those I had for her. I felt no better acquainted than I had before the meeting, but no mind. I wouldn't see her again until the morning of the embryo transfer anyway. On our third and final meeting she explained that she was sorry that my cycle had failed but they were awfully busy with the study and didn't have time to tailor individual protocols. Dr. Who Does She Think She Is might be a more appropriate name, but as I never got to know her (and never will) she'll always be Dr. Who to me.

I'm getting so desperate for What I Need. A doctor who takes me seriously, who will test me and treat me and respect me. And I think I may have found her. We've only met once, but it was a long, intense meeting. She listened to me instead of trusting the (fudged) paperwork Dr. Who sent along. She was all for using donated meds and wanted to retest my husband's blood before jumping to the "A" word. Her office is small and personal but not fancy. She wants to make changes to diet and exercise in addition to pumping me with drugs. Her (monetary) rates are pretty great and her success rates even better. I don't know that she'll get me What I Need, but I know she's going to do her best and that's all I can ask for. I'll get to know her quirks and faults over these next two months, I'm sure. And it's likely she'll earn a snarky nickname in no time. But for now I'm just going to call her Doctor.

I've been a whore these past 2 years. My feet have been in more stirrups than shoes. But I'm thinking about settling down for awhile...



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On another note, in proof that sometimes good things DO happen to good people, Gretchen had her egg retrieval this morning. She went in with ~13 measurable follicles and out popped an amazing THIRTY FOUR eggs! Go wish Gretchen luck with her brood!

12 comments:

SAHW said...

Wow, what a story...I'm so glad you finally have found a good doctor who is willing to listen to you. It's unfortunate that they're few and far between...I hope she will be successful in giving you what you need. :)

JenM said...

I love the way you told your story! I'm sorry you haven't had luck yet, and I hope that your new doctor is the one who gives you what you need.

andbabybmakesthree said...

I'm hoping for the best for you this next cycle, and I hope this current doctor is the one who can do the trick. I want good things for you so badly; you've been through so much already!!

Hugs,
D

andbabybmakesthree said...

p.s. I love your snarky writing. It is seriously awesome! Tell it like it is, girl!

Amy C said...

Loved your post!! You are a very clever writer!

Thanks so much for your comment...I have felt a little alone in this new turn of events. It pretty much SUCKED! And since this is all new to me I just want to hear similar stories so I wouldn't feel like my body was such a let down!! I am def. going to post on the nest! Thanks again and keep up the very creative writing :-)

Lawfrog said...

You are a wonderful writer! I love your descriptive style. I do hope this new doctor is able to give you what you need. You deserve it!

Pepper said...

Heh. I just had my annual exam yesterday and it was old hat for me to hop up on the table, slam my feet into stirrups, and spread 'em. The exam went so quickly compared to RE visits that I was like, "That's it?" Damn shame.

I hope the new doc lives up to her promise. You definitely deserve some answers and someone who'll listen to you.

G said...

you have been through so much honey... i am always impressed with your wisdom and resilience. you are one strong lady. and i am hoping so hard that the Doctor is the last one you'll have to whore yourself out for ;) at least until you're delivering your baby(ies)... :)

G said...

oh and ps - thank you SO MUCH for your support this cycle :) you really are the best... xoxo

this one said...

You know you are a great writer, right?
Glad Doctor Doctor is a listener. That goes really far. I can't wait to hear what plans she has for you.

Just Me. said...

I smiled at the beginning of the post and felt the pain and frustration as I read along.

I really do hope she's the one who can work some miracles for both you and your DH.

Sarah said...

I hope this doctor is the one!!

Best wishes