Sunday, April 5, 2009

Clear the Way, We're Coming Through...

I promised that I'd document as much of this experience as I could. So here it is. My boobs are killing me. I couldn't sleep, because I sleep on my stomach and couldn't stand the pressure. I coached third base for a little league today and all of my signals had to have NOTHING to do with moving my arms laterally.  I jogged to the facilities during a break and had to slow it down because of the excessive movement. 

Seriously. Chop them off. And I swear to goodness, if they get any bigger I'm selling them on ebay. So far they're just sore... slight swelling (maybe)... but if they end up growing, that's it. I'm putting my foot down.

I am currently on Femcon, a form of birth control. I believe this to be the culprit of my current complaint.  I am also still on antibiotic from the HSG and have started up with the metformin again... but only the BC could cause this side effect... I think.... 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Can I Keep This Pink Gown?

I survived.  On the drive to the doctor, I had myself so worked up about the procedure I had to do breathing exercises to get myself to relax. G couldn't get off of work today, so I had my Grandma drive me up to my appointment.  You're supposed to have someone with you.  Apparently the potential to be pregnant in a few months leads us fragile women to need constant supervision. 

So, we arrived early, and I was immediately led back.  To the room, you ask? No.. to the desk in which you pay.  So, I forked over some cash, then was asked to have a seat in the waiting room.  The torture whoever is waiting with a horrible soap opera that you can hardly hear.  The TV has a "please don't adjust the volume" sign on it.  So I am forced to read the subtitles to distract myself.  

I waited in this room for about an hour, and then I was finally taken back to what looked like the emergency room at the hospital. There were beds lined up, lots of curtains, and these poor women with hospital gowns on and booties on their feet.  It was pretty crazy to see this... I mean, geez, this is a fertility clinic - these women looked really ill.  I still am wondering what they were in there for... I hope they're all okay. 

So, I am asked to pee in a cup and then leave the cup there. No idea what this is for, but I have a feeling it was a last minute pregnancy test (just in case I'm suddenly fertile?).  Then I am sent into a small curtained area to change out of my clothes and into a gown.  Ladies: I suggest wearing a dress to the procedure; 1. more comfy after if you have cramping, and 2. you don't have to take anything off other than undies.

I slipped on my booties, put the gown on over my dress, and waited patiently to be told my next step. 

Does anyone else think this sounds like a scavenger hunt gone wrong? "Here, sit here and we'll come soon with your next clue."

So, finally, I am picked up by a perky and probably completely fertile nurse - who takes me to a room with THE stirrups.  They were padded and the size of my entire leg. Comfortable though, even if the leather made my leg sweat.

By this time I was sweating.  I was so nervous, I think I was stuttering.  The great thing was that MY doctor (reproductive endocrinologist, or RE for short), was the one doing the procedure.  Women, if you have a choice - get this HSG done at your fertility clinic or through your RE!

Here's the skinny:  You get to experience the wonderful world of speculum.  Then, in order to make things go smoothly, your RE might also "clamp" open your cervix. This pinches. I said "Ouch" but it wasn't terrible, just surprising. Then my RE injected the small catheter (I didn't feel this) and started injecting the dye (I didn't feel this either).  I began to feel slight (very slight) discomfort as the dye travelled and filled up my uterus and fallopian tubes.  At one point I think she moved the catheter to extend towards one side, and that was uncomfortable.  She also distracted me at this point by saying "Almost done!" so I was more excited about that than anything.  I remember thinking at the beginning that I was afraid that she was going to try to talk to me throughout the whole thing, and how I was afraid that my conversation skills while I was propped open would be lacking. 

So, then she declared it was over, and she released the clamps.  I then sat up and was pretty sure that I was leaking all over the table - but the RE wanted to show me the HSG movie of the x rays.  As she replayed the movie on the screen, she would click to capture still images (or at least I think that's what she was doing).  She narrated the whole thing on the screen, which was really great.  "Here's the dye filling up your _______" for every part - it was really informative and great to see immediately.

Then, I changed out of the beautiful pink robe and took the booties off of my feet.  I was free. It was over. I was so relieved.  What about all of those crazy messages I read yesterday about how excruciating this procedure was?? I laugh in the face of you, crazy messages that filled my brain!  I shared my relief with my doctor and she confirmed that it would be best to have someone who does this procedure often. She said that I was her 10th of the day, and today is a typical day - so she's a pro.  Thank goodness for that. 

The news at the end for us - everything looks good. My tubes are normal, as is my uterus, so everything is a "go" in that area.  Now it's just getting me to ovulate! (Oh, and to check G's sperm).  :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

HSG Stress

I totally do this thing... I know you do it too.... I look up ailments and procedures on the computer.  Inevitably, it winds up meaning that I read far too much and I freak myself out about that rash, cough, or strange feeling in the left side of my stomach.  

Well, I did it again. I googled HSG procedures and OH MY did I find the gold mine. If by gold mine I mean a huge amount of women writing in with their HORROR stories about the procedure.  Now I am a bundle of nerves, which will only make it worse I'm sure.  I hope that I am getting myself all worked up for nothing, but still... what if all of those women were right and this IS the most excruciatingly painful procedure I will ever encounter?! 

So, from what I have read, here's my plan:

G and I both took, and will continue to take an antibiotic for 7 days.  We started this today. HSG has a low risk of infection, so this is to keep away the infectious germies.  

Tomorrow I will take 800mg of ibuprofen in the form of Advil about an hour before my procedure.  Others suggest I take a Xanax, but I don't have any of that just lying around. 

I will then lay on the table and allow a technician working at a branch of my fertility group to place a small catheter through my cervix and into my uterus.  They will then pump a dye, a clear dye apparently, into my uterus.  If all goes well, the dye will then travel through the fallopian tubes and spill out at the ends into my abdominal cavity.  

Then I will leak this dye for days.  How wonderfully awkward.

All the while I will be watching the screen to see the image, and hopefully I will not be in any pain whatsoever.  

So nervous, but trying to chill out...