I started a post yesterday to summarize my 2nd opinion appointment. I didn't even have the energy to type it out. I feel drained. I feel lost in this world of life creating science and medicine. I am amazed to truly have an understanding of the analogy "this is a roller-coaster ride", used by so many people who are facing infertility. I thought that the roller coaster effect was measured over the course of several days or cycles. I had no idea it could apply to one single doctor's appointment. I think it has taken me a day to get over the nausea related to the emotional G-force that we experienced yesterday.
The clinic was well-appointed, the rooms nice, the staff friendly. There was neutral artwork on our doctor's wall, not one framed diploma, article or magazine cover. It was clean and he was 'purposfuly neutral.' Given my experience with Dr. Million.pictures.on.the.wall, and his 'slam-dunk and super sperm' comments, I was OK with this subdued persona. Dr. Neutral gave us an hour of his time and went through my 12 page, new patient registration form with a fine toothed comb.
The safety harness of the Free Fall at Great Adventure just tightened around my chest.
I felt that I may fall of the side of the world at any given moment. Drooling for a scrap of good news, terrified of the bad. It was wonderful to have Mr. T by my side and pen and paper to make my notes. Dr. Neutral believes that my history and lab work are in conflict with one another. For instance, I have an undetectable measure of AMH. This is bad. This indicates poor egg quality and low egg count. But in reality, I have gotten pregnant 3 times, with no assistance and no more than 3 months to attain a pregnancy. He then asked about diagnostic tests. Truth be told, we sort of jumped past all of that, because I was told by two doctors that the safest way for me to get pregnant was via IVF. I did not feel the need to subject myself to more testing and Dr. M agreed. Dr. Neutral, did not.
CLICK, CLICK, CLICK, going up to the top of the ride
His recommendation was that I take one month to have a diagnostic cycle. Clomid Challenge Test, HSG, a complete lab workup. Mr. T will complete a sequential SA to get a more accurate picture of his motility and all that great stuff. I was perplexed, why, why back to this, when I needed IVF?
Dr. Neutral isn't convinced that we needed IVF in the first place.
Yes, you read that correctly. He is not in agreement that I have a 30-50% chance of a 3rd ectopic. In fact, he'd put it around 8-12%. EIGHT TO TWELVE percent is a low enough percentage, that I would have considered trying naturally without one damned injection or ultrasound or 7am blood draw or any of it.
He suggested starting back with an IUI. That with close monitoring, if a pregnancy resulted and IF it was ectopic, he would know early enough to avoid rupture and treat with methotrexate.
AND GO AROUND THE FIRST TURN, UP TO THE TOP.
Then he preformed an ultrasound and commented that I had a low Antral Follicle Count. and that this low AFC coupled with the low AMH, was concerning. These two together, indicated a challenge with egg production and obtaining a healthy, intrauterine pregnancy.
AND SWOOSH DOWN
And then my voice cracked and the tears welled up. I sat on an exam table with my familiar paper sheet, Mr. T at my side and said "I am losing hope that this will ever end."
When all of this started, I truly believed that given what we had been through, Mr. T and I would dodge the bullet of the emotional train wreck that is infertility. From my very naive point of view, I looked at it like this: Ectopic pregnancies are bad. My risk is high, issues are tubal. IVF will be the answer and I will be pregnant with one baby by Christmas. Six months after my 2nd ectopic pregnancy and I am NO closer to bearing a child than I was on the day I was discharged. I am now going back to the drawing board. In a way, that is a good thing... because obviously something was off. But emotionally, these are thoughts and feelings I wasn't ready to need to face.
This is all consuming. It is the first thought when I wake up in the morning and the last thought before I go to sleep. I feel half present in my interactions with family and friends. I am conversing and smiling and maybe even cracking jokes. But in the background, there is a person with a megaphone SCREAMING... YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO GET PREGNANT! I am afraid that I am becoming self-centered and unable to be invested in what's going on with those around me. I am not sure how to turn off the megaphone. I want to, but fear it will only be silenced with a successful pregnancy.
Mr. T and I are together on a ride we never signed up for. No one does. But we stay on it, because I want the picture that you get when you leave. Not the one of everyone making a funny face with their hair standing up, that was taken by an automated camera at the second drop, but the one taken by an ultrasound tech that outlines a perfect baby that you will meet in just a few months.