I’m sorry to say that, again, we ran into resistance with the medical establishment. In case anyone is reading this trying to figure out if they have something wrong with them or if there could be a reason they’re not getting or staying pregnant, take heed when I say, do not listen if a doctor tells you you’re fine or overreacting when you really feel like you’re onto something or justified in having tests done. You’d be surprised at the angles they don’t consider or the assumptions they make that get in the way of you getting what you need.
Doctors are great, I think most of them try very hard to do their jobs well, but they often have to make snap decisions knowing little or nothing about you – and not all of those snap judgments are right.
After telling the doctor at the hospital that I needed to have my progesterone levels tested, I saw his eyes narrow a little when I mentioned that I had already miscarried once this year. I wasn’t too surprised when his response was that I should take it easy, relax and enjoy being pregnant again and above all stop worrying that everything would go wrong again. Besides, he said, statistically a woman will miscarry up to three times without anything necessarily being wrong. (Sound familiar?) Continue reading
In case you’re just joining, check out this first post on this topic and just keep on reading.
The pregnant-not-pregnant-hepatitis story left off with the ears of a health department employee ringing and me sufficiently drunk to relax and laugh about it…a little.
Then came the inevitable question: Now what?
If you ever find yourself in a remotely similar situation, here’s what everyone tells you:
- Take it easy
- Enjoy yourself
- Try again in a few months, but again, r e l a x
My need for plans and to know where the year was going made this relaxation difficult. We’d cancelled Burning Man plans (my idea of fun so does not mix with pregnancy, hello two heads) and found ourselves looking at a loooong summer with no idea what was in the future. Continue reading
The weekend immediately following the book incident, Oliver and I had plans to visit friends in Munich. This was going to conflict with our decision to tell no one about the pregnancy until more time had passed, because me not drinking heavily was going to be an obvious sign. I felt strange telling other people, because I still didn’t feel any different.
That Saturday night while I sipped water and my friend Andrea drank a Hendricks gin tonic with a slice of cucumber and, of all things, a grind of fresh pepper (see below), I told her about how non-pregnant-seeming my symptoms were and how surprised I was to find out that pregnancy can also be confused as PMS. She found that interesting too. Her period was very late – although rarely ever regular – and she was feeling exactly like that.
Enjoy that gin tonic, I told her, and maybe take a test on Monday. Continue reading
There is nothing sexy about trying to get pregnant when it doesn’t happen easily and quickly. At first you try and ignore the elephant in the room, but pretty soon, when nothing happens, that big grey asshole is with you all the time.
No one likes to talk about how weird it is to strip sex of the fun spontaneity and turn it into something functional. No one wants to admit they’ve ever done that, even just a little. But if you’ve had fertility issues, the fucking elephant has been there.
I was worried about the cost but looking forward to IUI. It would take care of the functional side of things and sex could be just sex again.
I’d hoped to get pregnant again right away. Of course. After being tossed into the planning-limbo of early pregnancy, I found the place after a miscarriage to be even worse. It felt like negative planning land. I never wanted to be one of those women who obsess about pregnancy or who approach the whole process with a battle plan. I didn’t want to have to think about it. After a false start of sorts, I just wanted to get on with it already so my life could continue. Continue reading
Oh and it turned out that we did have fertility issues. Which I found weird since we’d managed on our own, but there you go. It was a little bit of him and a little bit of me. Combined together and *whammo* I found myself referred to a fertility doctor, a no-nonsense, crazy Nordic bald guy who was obviously raking in tons of cash.
Sitting in his waiting room, surrounded by annoying Anne Gedes prints and a I-kid-you-not-larger-than-life-sized-stork statue, the phrase “vaginas on a conveyor belt” popped into my mind. It was everything I could do not to post that on Facebook. Continue reading
This first pregnancy taught me a lot of hard lessons. Doctors don’t always match your personality or needs and serious conflict means you need a new one. I’ve also learned to insist on tests and checking on things that a physician (aka authority figure in a white coat) may not agree with and may consider irrelevant. I’m still learning to truly not care at all what other people think.
I’m not blaming my doctor for losing my first pregnancy, but I certainly don’t applaud her lack of support or apathy. There may have been nothing that could have been done to prevent what happened, but there were missed opportunities to gather information for the next time. Continue reading