May 4, 2015
I’ll never forget the day of my first appointment at the infertility clinic. My appointment was in the afternoon, so I had all day to think about it and hope that the specialist would have a miracle sitting on a gold plate when I arrived. I wanted answers, and AH HA’S! And I really thought I would be getting them! But, unfortunately, that’s not what happened…
As I was sitting in the waiting room of the clinic at our hospital, I was feeling really hopeful, but looking back – I think I was only hopeful because it was the “final” step to baby – it was the step that we had to wait over a year to do… this appointment would lead us to a child – this appointment would tell me something I didn’t already know, and we would have a plan for how to get pregnant… finally.
But in actuality, this is how it went:
I met my “new” doctor and we talked – a lot… He reviewed all of the notes that were sent to him from my gynecologist, which was nice and I learned quite a bit. After he explained to me that we were in the “unexplained infertility” category (10% of the infertility population) of couples trying to get pregnant, he told me that I would be having an ultrasound to check my ovarian reserve. Well that sounded pretty serious…? Ovarian reserve… like I’m getting older and might not have eggs left or something??… I had never heard of this test before and was immediately overcome with anxiety and nervousness. So many things were running through my mind as he explained that some women could be really young and have only 1 follicle, while others could have over 10. (The number of follicles you have basically predicts the eggs you have left.) I thought I would be getting answers at this appointment, not having another test to see if something ELSE might be wrong with me… As I got ready for the vaginal ultrasound, my mind was spinning and I was so scared. So so SO scared. What if I only had one follicle? What if our chances of conceiving naturally, our own child, were diminishing with each passing day at a much faster pace than we had even considered?
After the ultrasound was done, and the results were given to my doctor – he came to talk with me again. This time when I saw him, I wasn’t hopeful. This time, I was on pins and needles and felt like I was going to start crying at any second… It was pretty wild going from an excited/hopeful emotion when I first saw him, to a scared/worried emotion seeing him again, all in just one afternoon. The findings: They saw 10 follicles, which he explained to me is good, but not great. He was hoping to see over 10. But he assured me that having 10 was definitely good… So after we knew that I had a decent reserve, we made our plan.
Fertility appointment conclusion (Plan): My doctor told me some new findings had been recently reported regarding thyroids and he was going to put me on a daily pill for that, called levothyroxine. He also decided to take me off clomid (after 5 months on it) and switched me to letrozole – telling me – “which is basically the same thing but doesn’t affect the cervical mucus as much as clomid does; sometimes clomid can have a negative side effect on cervical mucus, which is what carries the sperm”… ah, oh, great, thanks Doc!… Because I had 10 follicles, he explained, we didn’t need to rush into anything extreme. But he recommended that we start IUI (intrauterine insemination). IUI is a procedure that basically puts the healthiest of my husbands sperm directly into my uterus using a catheter… it sort of does away with the traveling sperm typically has to do and the healthy sperm are simply put where they need to be. The doctor told me that we could do this procedure as many times as we want and the more you do it, the higher your chances of conceiving are. So, moving onward and upward… to IUI… and I’m feeling hopeful again as I walk out of the infertility clinic…