Wednesday, 3 June 2009

First infertility appointment

It's a good thing that am very happy about my life, because it turns out the infertility center works out of the gynecological department in the hospital. So we watched many pregnant bellies walk back and forth while we waited.

We were then interviewed by a younger woman about our medical histories. She did raise her eyes at my numerous graphs and statistics. She asked me for how long I had had a "baby wish", and my husband wryly noted that she did not ask him the same question when it was his turn. I thought I had prepared quite well, but when she asked me how often we had sex per month, that was not a ready figure that I had with me. I pulled out Fertility Friend's intercourse analyzer of my fertile periods over the past 12 months, and she asked "and outside of these times, you do not have sex?" I denied this statement, but now I am sure that she thinks we are celibate for 24 days out of the month.

Then suddenly she said to me, "and now we shall do an internal examination", and made some sort of gesture with her hands. Now? Did she want me to take off my skirt this moment? Yes, she did. She did not ask my husband to leave the room. She did not walk out of the room or give me a gown. She merely stood there, waiting for me to undress in front of her. I felt very shy, and removed my skirt without even thinking to remove my undies. It was only when I sat down on the paper that I realised my mistake. I removed my undies, hoisted my legs up on the stirrups, and in a few seconds she was in and out with a cervix spear.

This was all a little shocking for me. Why is it the act of undressing feels more weird than actually being naked? And what is wrong with draping a bit of fabric over the top to pretend otherwise?

Once I was dressed again, she called in the doctor came in. He looked at my temperature charts and told me that these were the best charts that he had ever seen, which was to be expected, he said, as I was a scientist. Usually, he said, they ask women to track two or three cycles, never... fourteen. I replied that you get a much better standard deviation with an increased N.

He said that the plan was to test my blood at CD21 and CD3 and do a basic internal ultrasound. In the meantime, my husband would be tested for "male factor" (he dislikes being reduced to that phrase) and if that came up normal, they would conduct further tests on me. They would also begin genetic tests immediately, as they take two months for the results to come through.

Today was my CD21 blood test, then I have my CD3 blood test, and then I come back for my ultrasound in a month. We meet with the doctor on August 12 to discuss our next strategy. I tried to ask my questions about donor gametes and embryos, but he said it was much too early for those sorts of questions. But now we are moving forward, and I feel accomplished. In 70 days we should have plenty to talk about.