Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I know all that there is to know about the waiting game

(And I'm sorry if you have Boy George's "The Crying Game" stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Better that than "The Macarena." Or "My Sharona.")

When I made an appointment with my OB a few weeks ago, I explained to whoever it was I was speaking with: I have questions for her about fertility. I've been trying to get pregnant for a while and ... nothing is happening. 

I guess I assumed that, armed with this knowledge, the appointment-person would set me up with a non-standard meeting with the doctor, during which I could explain my basal rate temperatures, ovulation tests and suspicions about what I think is going on. With that assumption, I wrote down about ten questions for the doctor, packed my temperature charts in my purse and headed off to war. I mean, the gynecologist.

The next thing I knew, I was flat on my back with my legs in the air and a speculum in my nether regions and couldn't remember half of what I'd wanted to ask. In the past, my doctor's cheerful brevity and ruthless efficiency have been extremely welcome. That woman can do a breast exam and papsmear in five minutes flat, and before you know it, you're back in your car and feeling the least molested you've ever felt following a visit to an obgyn.

I tried to relay my concerns -- tried to convey that I'm not just some silly girl who's been bopping her husband and doesn't understand why she's not pregnant. I mean, I have charts! I've read books! I pee on sticks!

So you're having timed intercourse? the doctor asked cheerfully.

Timed intercourse is the least of it, woman!!! Timed intercourse is for amateurs! I deserve an honorary doctorate from Stanford! is what I was feeling. "Yes," is what I said.

Well, you're healthy. You're 32. Sometimes these things just take longer for some people, she said.

For her to say that was basically an indication of just how much she does not understand my level of obsession. I don't know whether to love her for making the situation seem like it's not a big deal or hate her for not trying harder to get me.

It's not as though she did anything wrong. She ordered up all the necessary tests, which is all I could have hoped for. I guess I'll stick with loving her for now.

So here's the plan. I'm on Day 19 of my cycle. I'll likely welcome Aunt Flo on Day 30. On Day 3 of my cycle, I get to have some blood drawn. Around the same time, my husband will also donate his own sample. Hopefully this will reveal something. Anything, for godssakes.

You never know. Maybe it will happen this cycle! my doctor enthused happily. 

Yeah. And monkeys might fly out of my butt.


  1. Gynecologists need a new closing line. It's always, "Well...see you soon and hopefully because of something exciting (wink, wink)." Or "You are young. It will happen. Stop worrying." My response to that is...then stop calling it a geriatric pregnancy after the age of 35. Maybe that will stop my worrying. Sheesh. I think next month will be a calming/proactive month for you because then you will really know what might be going on. And if not, you can still laugh with hubs about having to deposit his specimen. hehe

  2. Does your doctor have an e-mail address so you can contact her?

    I would scan some of your temp charts and charts of the things you've been tracking. Or scan 1, and tell her that this is indicative of every month. Also send her a list of all the supplements you're taking and some of the questions you have.

    That way, once she gets the blood work and other results, she can have a better picture of what's going on, what you're doing, and the amount of time you've already invested.

    It couldn't hurt. :)

  3. Mary - I know. If they want to put all this pressure on women to have kids before 35, they need to take us more seriously during regular exams. I really, really hope they can tell me what the problem might be after these first tests...

    Shell - That's a good idea. I don't know if my doctor is the emailing type, though. I figure I'll wait for the results and once I have those I'll clue her in about all the other crap somehow. She does have a list of my supplements but didn't seem very interested.

  4. Okay, first - I didn't have the song in my head until you suggested it - muchos gracias. ;)

    Second - I have had this happen with non-fertility GYN issues. It's horrible! It's one of the worst feelings in the world - to try to voice a concern that is near and dear, makes you sad, makes you frustrated, and to have the doc's response be something like, "Yes, all women sometimes have this," or "Let's see what happens in a few months," is like having someone pop your special balloon of hope you carried in there that this time you might actually get an answer. And it happens so fast that you can't think of a response until you're in the car.

    Here's what I did - again - not on a fertility issue (well, it would be but I wasn't trying to conceive - my issues would have made that hard): Call the dr's office back and complain. Ask to have the doctor (not the advice nurse, not the front desk gal) call you, write down your list of issues, but start with this: I felt very rushed at my appointment and I feel like I wasn't able, in the time we had, to express my concerns accurately. Is it possible for me to come in for a follow-up appointment?

    If she says no, find a new doc, which is what I ended up doing. With the new doctor, I was SUPER clear right when she walked in the exam room, refusing to even undress until I talked to her.

    It might not work, but it took me almost 5 years to finally get this resolved. If I had done this in the beginning I could have saved myself so much time. Instead I just kept quietly switching doctors, getting the same damn bloodwork done, etc.

    And of course, feel free to ignore my very bossy advice. :D

  5. QB - this is good advice. I think for the time being I have only myself to blame for how this appointment went. If I'd wanted a more extensive appointment, I should have made that clear with the appointment-taker. Since I'm in the beginning stages of figuring out what's wrong, I will let this one slide, but after this I will definitely expect a little more. I hope my doctor is up to being the kind of doctor I want/need, because I do really like her.

  6. I get it - I did the same thing. And I think b/c I wasn't trying to conceive, it wasn't as much of a priority to the drs or to me. I'm glad you like your doc - that is half the battle!! Good luck with the blood/bodily fluids testing!

  7. Nothing like a good wayne's world quote to really convey the gravity of the situation! :-)
    I think as long as she's taking your concerns seriously in terms of testing, then you're good. Some docs are just brusque. Though at least in my experience, I've found that if I feel like a doctor isn't addressing my concerns it's better to just move on and find someone who will. That's not to say that I don't give them a chance - but well, for me, missing the fact that I had an ectopic pregnancy was the straw that broke the camel's back. Here's hoping you continue to feel good about this doctor and that those tests give you some answers!

  8. Shell - you had an ectopic pregnancy? How did I not know this??

  9. She's just trying to make it so you won't freak out. She doesn't know you've already started...

  10. Erin: I'll go in with you next time. I'll stand at your head, giving you the illusion of privacy :) I'll have a clipboard, and every question you could possibly dream up written on it and for good measure, I'll throw in a few of my own. I write down detailed answeres and we stay till every question is answered. Hand holding on request, no extra charge.