New beginnings…turned into a nightmare!

It’s been roughly 7 months since I last posted. Just enough time for me to wrap my head around the unfair circumstances my husband and I have been put in.

Getting the diagnosis of “Unexplained infertility” started my journey of trying to conceive. The RE was extremely confident that I would get pregnant doing medicated IUI cycles – generally 3-6 time would increase my chances of conception.

I was more than ready to make this happen.

Cycle # 1 (March) – Cycle monitoring began and the clinic ran out of funding for the year. I would have to pay out of pocket for the sperm wash- the clinic called me the day before I was to start. this threw me for a loop. in hysterics, I called my husband. We had to decide if we wanted to continue with timed intercourse or pay $750+500 for IUI and sperm wash, not including the cost of medication. We discussed our options and decided to wait and do a medicated cycle and timed intercourse. We knew it could be a long road emotionally and financially so we decided to wait. – after all it was only a month.

That ended with “Hello, Mrs. Williams just calling to let you know your pregnancy test is negative, call us back on cycle day 3” No rhyme or reason as to why it did not work.

Cycle # 2 (April 2017) -3 mature follicles measuring above 7mm each. thought I had this in the bag. “3 chances?! this is it for us!” Everything was moving along great but turned out I got that exact same heartbreaking call one month later.

Okay…I’ve got this!

Cycle #3 (May 2017) – Cycle day three arrived and I try and keep my shit together to endure another round of meds daily ultrasounds and blood work…only to find out I was overstimulated by the medication and had a cyst and that in turn was causing my estrogen to be way too high to continue this cycle.

I then had a short 19 day cycle, so I returned to the clinic shorty after that and they lost my chart and told me I should not have been there and my cycle was cancelled. They were wrong! I had already been on medication to stimulate follicle production for 5 whole days?! What do you mean I shouldn’t be here! Long of the short of it they did not document the cyst I had or the fact I had returned on cycle day 3, just a few days prior.

Does no one seem to care about my wellbeing? How does a clinic lose my charts? OH yes, I know why because you are treated like cattle! Overbooked doctors, rude reception staff who are probably overworked and underpaid. Sitting in a waiting room full of people who you can see the sadness, loss and many other emotions plastered all over their face. All in conjunction with the clinic manager smiling and whistling as he passes all these sad women. Nice huh! Glad your pocket is full of our had earned money that you can be joyous and condescendingly say “well good morning!” Really? Come on…. just because you are happy with all the money these women are forking over you could show some compassion.

Okay, moving on let’s try this again!!

Cycle #4 (June 2017) –Everything seemed great. Four good dominant follicles. His sperm count after wash was great! As I was having the IUI done I said to the doctor ‘I’m excited maybe this is it? His motility and count are fantastic.” she rudely lifts her head from between my legs and says; “don’t get too excited it might not work.. fantastic! I knew it was over from there.

Sure, the probability is low but why do the IUI’s if you just figure they won’t work anyway. You are quick to take advantage of someone who desperately wants a child and will fork over $700 plus a month to do something that isn’t going to work.

Guess what?! The fourth cycle was unsuccessful too! I got the call about an hour before my cousins wedding… I cried and cried everyone of those calls I cried! It is like a loss all over again.

We then decided to take a break with summer here and some holidays planned at the cottage we said we will take a break from all this. At this point I was thinking of switching clinics as well.

I spoke to my doctor in August and was referred to another clinic. Lets just say the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

My RE who was referred to me as a complete Jerk! He runs an independent clinic in Mississauga ON. He said I was overweight – I am 5 foot three and approximately 170 lbs. All the weight I gained was from my previous clinic (roughly 20lbs) – from the meds and the stress of everything. I am not big by any means but because my BMI is high that causes issues and because my husband smokes we would never have kids.

Okay, with all due respect you have run no tests on me and do not have all my records here yet. I let him go on about the damage I had done to my body because my AMH was low he said he could not fix that. He also said you don’t have unexplained infertility at all… you are going into premature ovarian failure. GRRRRRRREAT! 29 and going into ovarian failure! Awesome! So what is the purpose of me doing he me doing IUI if we cant even guarantee the eggs being produced are viable? He insisted I tried them and asked what medication I was taking with the other clinic. I responded 12.5mg Letrozole – “No way! how many tablets were you taking? 5 (2.5×5 =12.5 – do I really need to do the math for you) he responds by saying I don’t even put my worst PCOS patients on that high of a dose. possibly why I ended up with a cyst. His second question was how much was the IUI’s, they aren’t that expensive.. this clinic actually gives a “deal” haha $1000 for 3 IUI’s plus meds.

I left the clinic feeling defeated, upset, and angry. Angry at myself .. my body how could they be failing already?!

I let that sink in and my husband and I decided we would go though with three more IUI’s and go from there. I forgot to mention the doctor did say he’d put me on the OHIP IVF waiting list because after the IUI attempts that’s our only option. Once the eggs are retrieved we can really determine the quality.

My first cycle monitoring appointment was awful! It took her three times, a collapsed vein and blood pooling in my hand to draw blood. I needed 6 vials for the screening. Come on this is hard on me as it is. (note: never had an issue with the phlebotomists at the other clinic) the ultrasound rooms smelled – you can only imagine of what. I’ve never smelt anything like it!

Okay, now you are being hard on them.. let’s not judge so quick. well let me tell you it only got worse…the receptionist would rip your health card from your hand and rudely tell you take a seat. the one day I couldn’t help it, she rolled her eyes gabbed my health card from my hand and I said “You always look miserable” she gave me a half assed smile and old me to take a seat.

This blood draw it was four times for one vial! I was in tears after the second attempt. They told me to go do the ultrasound and come back. I did that and the ultrasound tech asked if I was okay, and I said yes just having some issues with the blood work. I then spoke with a nurse who I told about the shitty phlebotomists they have working there and she said oh I will find another one from the downstairs lab who hopefully can help. This one was no better 2 more times. She chuckles “oh fourth times a charm” after trying again in my arm and moving to my hand.

It get’s better the last appointment they figured out I had already ovulated! I didn’t even get to have a full conversation with he RE who was on duty – instead I got told this in a public hallway and was told to speak to a nurse because he was rushing into surgery –  once again overbooked clinic. The nurse seemed good, went over the fact they do not tell you when you surge they figure you are doing it every two days so it shouldn’t matter. Okay, fair enough! She then tells me I will need to come back for a progesterone tests and a pregnancy test as part of the investigative cycle. She gets a sticky note out and writes two dates on them. Off I go again into the dreaded two week wait!

The day before I was to go in for the progesterone test my period starts! They scheduled it too late! I have short cycles! I thought to myself. I called the nurses line at the clinic no answer and no returned voice message. What was I to do? I showed up the following day and immediately asked to speak to a nurse. she flailed her arm in the directions of the offices so I went in. She told me I had the dates wrong, and that I was supposed to be here for my pregnancy test that day. This was far from the truth there was a post-it note with the information handed right to me! so now what I have to do another cycle, because really the progesterone test was the only one the other clinic did not do. So I questions if I’d have to pay now seeing as it would be considered another cycle monitoring because I don’t have all my tests in for the review with the doctor to continue with medications and treatment plan – progesterone. Yeah, it’s only $50.00 she says. I almost lost it right then and there. They screwed up the dates and now I look back at it she was probably reading off the other patients file. the doctor was rushing and me and another patient had the pleasure of discussing our private health records in the hallway.

I kept my composure until I got to the car, called my husband. The clinic won again…I was in hysterics. My husband said we won’t be going back to that place anymore. They couldn’t even get one cycle right. why waste time, money and jeopardize our sanity.

I haven gone back. this is my first cycle of a second break of my fertility journey. Please continue to read and follow me for my infertility journey.

I believe there is more to all this than daily internal ultrasounds, medication, overstimulation, and incompetent medical staff. I am only 29 right..my day will come. I am confident!

 

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New Beginnings

As of yesterday I officially began my journey of infertility investigation, and I once again feel hopeful for positive and new beginnings for my husband and I.

I had a mild panic attack walking up the stairs to the reception area of the clinic my first visit. It was a very overwhelming feeling as I looked around the waiting area. It was not a packed room, but there were a handful of couples waiting to see the Obstetricians.I was assuming the worst; ovarian cysts, endometriosis, google even had be convinced it was a possibility of cancer! This is a great example of why we should never self-diagnose. I spent well over a week obsessing over what it could be and questioning why me? As I sat patiently with my husband to see the doctor I looked around and for once felt like I wasn’t alone. All these couples are here for the same reason and it is a REAL struggle.

We met with the Doctor, who greeted us with a smile and a handshake. She also was very impressed with my husbands career choice, which was indicated on his initial paperwork – this really broke the ice for him and I! I had to mention this because I had  read some negative reviews about the clinic and the Doctor specifically – again do not believe everything you read on the internet. Make your own judgement from a place of love NOT negativity.

She proceeded to go over my blood work and and ultrasound results and she said explained there were no concerns with the tests and I did in fact ovulate according to my blood work. She was confident that I was experiencing unexplained infertility and that she would help us conceive.

We then sat with a nurse who presented us with a manual, which contained a laundry list of testing and required appointments. Not going to lie- I was a bit overwhelmed. The nurse assured me it was a lot of information, and that I should go home and read it over. I left the clinic bit overwhelmed but with a new sense of hope.

I did not pull out the folder containing the information until I had to – Cycle day one! As I read through the required tests and timing of these tests I began to feel overwhelmed once again. The fear of them finding an issue, how am I going to get all this time off work, they want me to do what?! Flooded with fear and negative emotions once again had me a bit down for a few days until the time came to go do the dreaded testing.

I made it! They weren’t all that bad. I need to remember the clinic and the staff are there to support me in this journey of conception.

This time around the waiting area for diagnostics was quite busy with women waiting to have ultrasounds and to see the doctor. Once my diagnostics were complete I was asked to wait to see the Doctor. The anxiety flooded my soul  like a title waive again… Did the last ultrasound not detect something? Is the doctor going to say we cannot help you? the wheels continued to work in overdrive as I waited about a half an hour after the tests to be seen by the Doctor.

Again, greeting me with a smile asking how I am doing. She looks down at the results and says – everything looks good. See you cycle day 10 to commence your cycle monitoring. Again! left the building with a smile and a sense of hope!

I feel drawn to write about my infertility investigation and treatment to hopefully touch someone else going through the same struggle… Unexplained infertility at the age of 29!

I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I would be sitting here writing this, but this struggle to conceive is REAL and I want women to know they are not alone.

This is my path and my struggles, which I look forward to sharing with everyone.