PeachyLife Chapter 1: Infertility Testing & Why It Sucks

First journal entry… let’s see if I can actually keep this up!  Why PeachyLife?  I live in Georgia and I’m writing about my life.  Didn’t want to waste time overthinking it, I just want to write!

The primary and most frustrating topic in my life right now is infertility.  This anonymous journal is a pretty good place to vent.

For 7 months/cycles now T (my husband of almost 10 years) and I have been actively trying to get pregnant.  After watching friends, relatives, and coworkers get pregnant left and right with ease, I assumed it would be the same for me.  Follow some typical precautions, find out when you ovulate, have some baby making fun at that time, and in a month or 2 I’d be pregnant.  Well, that wasn’t the case.

After the 7th month, we decided to start testing partially thanks to input from some friends who went through IVF.  Today testing was completed, although we’re still waiting on T’s results.  It was a 3 step (or 3 visit process after initial consult), with 2 for me and 1 for T.  

Step 1: Day 2/3 blood tests and Ultrasound.  I forget the reason, but they have to do it on day 2 or 3 of your period.  You call on day 1 to schedule it, which was a frustrating process given the challenge of scheduling around my crazy job while keeping it private.  Blood draw was no big deal, the tech was excellent.  Ultrasound was surprisingly painful.  The probe is small but they have to press really hard against your cervix area to see what they need to see.  Between the pain and the awkwardness of having it done with blood everywhere, I was thankful it was short lived.  Results of all step 1 were normal except my Vitamin D was low.

Step 2: Semen Analysis & Male blood tests.  I realize that this was a very embarrassing process for T, but he sure did complain a lot more than me considering both of my tests involved pain and his involved quite the opposite.  He did an at home collection where you schedule a timeframe and bring it within an hour of collection.  He didn’t want to carry around the brown paper lunch bag they gave him, so he put the bag & ahem.. sample.. in his iPad messenger bag (not to be confused with a man purse).  Unfortunately the receptionist didn’t pay attention to the fact his appt was specifically for the analysis (which is time sensitive) and didn’t see that he had a brown paper bag (what was given for collection).  T waited an unacceptably long time in the waiting room before he was forced to ‘announce’ to the receptionist (with a waiting room full of people) he had his sample with him and was worried about the time cutoff.  After that mess thankfully his blood draw went well also.  We think his bloodwork is fine (they say no news is good news) but still awaiting semen analysis results.

Step 3: HSG.  This is an imaging procedure where they put dye in your uterus & fallopian tubes then take an x-ray to see if there are any blockages.  The instructions say you will experience period-like cramping and to take ibuprofen beforehand.  Period cramping my ass!  This procedure was EXTREMELY painful.  Supposedly your uterus contracts when the balloon & dye (esp the dye) are put in, so I have a hunch I got a preview of what labor contractions feel like. All I can say is WOW was that painful.  Again, thankfully the procedure & pain was short-lived, maybe a minute or two.  (As much as I want to have a natural at-home birth, I can totally understand why people scream for an epidural.  I could barely tolerate 2 minutes of that, much less hours & hours.)  My uterus felt traumatized for a few hours afterwards along with some bleeding (equivalent to the last day of my period) and cleaning off the dye as it spilled out (and it dries sticky like syrup, yuck).  Roughly 3 hours after the procedure I felt back to normal.  Results were normal according to the PA performing the procedure, the physician will confirm at our next appt.

So that concludes the typical fertility testing workup. Once we get T’s results we make a follow up appt with the physician and come up with a game plan.  The plan could go 1 of 2 ways… if any results are abnormal, obviously the issues will be addressed.  If everything comes out normal, it gets diagnosed as ‘subclinical infertility’ which is a nice way of saying ‘something must be wrong but we have no idea what it is’.  I honestly don’t know what they do in that case.  They will probably suggest weight loss on my part and some IUI’s then IVF if needed, neither of which I want.

Stay tuned for more!  Also to come.. the trials & tribulations of trying to build a custom dream home and details of my Advocate 24 Day Challenge with a goal of weight loss.

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