OB-GYN #1: I did start the process by going in for my yearly. I had put off my “female exam” for ohhh, probably 7 years or so. I have a diagnosis of endometriosis (mild, stage 1) and have had 2 surgeries for that, the last one being 10 years ago. So, I find an OB-GYN and made an apt with Dr. A. Once the “exam” was out of the way, I drew confidence and told Dr. A what my plan was. Dr. A was the typical suit and tie, not a hair out of place man. His face stayed in the plastered smile from beginning to end of my telling him that I have a friend who is going to be sperm donor and I am going to do home inseminations and that I want to make sure my fertility is still ‘ok’. It was obvious that Dr. A did not want to assist me on this journey, and he wasn’t willing to do anything in this area other than a couple of labs. He told me that I would need to go to a RE, (Reproductive Endocrinologist). Dr. A said, “So, I will order labs, you need to come in on day 3 of your next cycle to have the blood drawn…. Good Luck to you” He didn’t even tell me what labs he was ordering. I came in on day 3 and the lab tech told me what was ordered. (See “Tests” for more on results).
RE #1: I then looked on line for an RE and made an appointment. I was very excited for this appointment, as I figured that surely an RE would have lots of experience with single woman wanting to be mothers and I wouldn’t get the plastered smile and a handshake on my way out the door. Dr. B looked like Dr. A’s twin. But, I trudged forward, explaining my story. I had my lab results in hand and was prepared and ready to go. Dr. B told me “oh… you don’t want to use a designated donor (AKA- known donor)… first of all the cost for testing runs upwards of a couple thousand dollars…secondly, it has to be quarantined for 6 months and we don’t store samples here. You are much better buying from a sperm bank. He then walked out of the office and returned with a packet. He brought me to a conference room and laid out a piece of paper with a price list on it and said you can use these 3 sperm banks, you have to meet with a financial advisor and if you’re not insured for this you would have to pay upfront. If you decide to go forward with this, make the appointments. Nice to meet you. Dr. B then strode on out the door to see his next patient. Ok, hold on- he did actually do one thing for me- in between when he said “If you decide to go forward with this, make the appointments” and “Nice to meet you” he also told me he would order an AMH to find out my ovarian reserve. I sat in the conference room wondering if I was supposed to wait for him to come back and actually “answer any one of my questions” or go to the lab and go home. Finally, one of the nurses came in and brought me to the waiting room where I would wait for the lab tech. I did place a call to Dr. B, although I never did speak with him. I asked if I could get an HSG ordered, so I could make “sure” that I am ‘ok’. He asked that I get him my most recent operative report. I tracked it down and faxed it to him the same day. His nurse called and said “Dr. B is not willing to order the HSG at this time; he doesn’t feel it is needed”.
Around this time I got a letter in the mail from Dr.A’s office that said “your lab work came back within normal range, you should be able to proceed with attempting pregnancy if you so wish, with an RE as discussed”. I had already gotten my lab results online at that point.
I searched and searched online for any RE that in the description would have the word “nice”. However, everyone I found within 100 miles told me they did not accept my insurance.
OB-GYN #2 So, I then decided to just try an OB-GYN, for one last try. I called and pleased my case to the poor receptionist who probably got way more information than she ever wanted and asked if she had a doc she would recommended. This brought me to Dr. C. Dr. C listened patiently as I went through what I was in for and my previous experiences with Drs. A-B. Dr. C said, I am sorry you went through that and I can tell you that I have absolutely no problem or issues working with you. I think it is a wonderful thing and I will do anything I can to help you with this. I teared up as she was talking because I was so grateful for her kindness and I told her so. Unfortunately, when making an appointment for fertility, if you haven’t been specifically “trying” for a certain amount of time, they will not test/treat infertility. So, I ‘fibbed’ and said that I had tried for a year and a half while in a relationship prior to starting the alternative way of inseminating with donor sperm. Versus the truth which is I had only really tried “once” at that point. I felt guilty for lying to Dr. C but I had to think of my ultimate goal and how to get there.
Dr. C said that her normal course of action would be to start someone on clomid for 3 months and then evaluate, however, she would like me to have an HSG, because clomid has side effects, she said, there is no reason to start you on it if your fallopian tubes aren’t open. She said they likely are but this will just make sure, and then after the HSG we will meet and come up with a specific plan for you. She told me to schedule it as I leave with the scheduling desk. I practically skipped out of her office, stopping at the scheduling desk on my way out.
After getting the negative result from Decembers insemination, and getting no where with trying to schedule my HSG (for more on this see “The Testing”), I called and left a message for Dr. C’s nurse, explaining the crazy time I have had scheduling the HSG and asking if I could have a prescription for clomid to start now, as I was just starting my cycle which is when you have to take it). Since she is the one who brought up clomid to begin with. I truly had images in my head of my producing 8 eggs and at least 2 being fertilized, and my next insem giving me twins. I started thinking of names for twins. Oh… how naïve…. I got a call back from the nurse that said “Dr. C is not comfortable giving you clomid until you have the HSG. She said you can make an apt if you want to discuss it further”. Don’t get me
wrong, I still adore Dr. C, but I was frustrated by yet another road block. Not to mention I started reading about the HSG and realized I really don’t want one….
Although Dr. C is not a RE, I am hoping that after the HSG, Dr. C and I can come up with some promising options for me.
Dr. C, wonderful, supportive Dr. she is, ordered clomid, trigger shots and ultrasounds- OH MY! (Sorry, Wizard of Oz Flash-back… ) Ok, So, back to Dr. C’s office, and she said she would order me the clomid. I called back to beg for follicle u/s monitoring and a trigger shot and she agreed!! 2 rounds of that produced zip, zilch, nada! And, my wonderful friends in the blog world strongly urged me to go to an RE, as they can do the meds a GYN cannot.
RE # 2: Dr. D…..with an established, reputable RE practice in MN. I was actually referred by more then one person to see a different doctor in the practice, who had worked with many singles like me, but I didn’t want to wait the extra week…. Dr. D was ‘nice’. but….. not perfect like Dr. C. It was very business-y. But- we have a plan…..OH SHIT-WAIT…PLAN DELAYED.
So, still with Dr. D, who decided to forgo some of the testing I had already had- if I get her the results which I have since requested be sent to her… but- I mentioned I came back CMV positive-reactive in September with Dr. B, so she re-ran the CMV test…. Got a call 4-5 days later from the nurse- sorry….can’t do IUI your next cylce- your positive-reactive for CMV! SERIOUSLY-WTF? I thought once you got the damn shit-you then had antibodies for it- so I may be positive- but could never be reactive again. SO, the
scientist I am .. NOT, had no clue what she was saying about IGG/IGM etc… but heard the part that said come back in 4 weeks for another blood test.
I made a major faux pas in the world of RE Clinics- I made a lab appointment for this past week (6/21/2012) and did a no call no show…. I know, I know…. why didn’t I just c all being I pretty much decided the night before I didn’t have time to do it with work…. So, I am going to call (READ: BEG, and PLEAD) for them to reschedule me a lab appointment…. B/c I can’t proceed with anything until I get the all clear from the CMV. but- then that brings issues with picking DS….. But- at this point, I just want the all clear- then all I have to do- is switch from zoloft to something else. Then I can do the IUI.
I am still hoping that home/self insemination with my known donor will work. I mean, when I really look at it, the number of times I tried, when you factor in bad timing, and technique improvement- it isn’t that odd that it hasn’t worked yet. I skipped last month, and I am hoping, if Tyler will agree, to try this cycle- and if all goes ok- the next cycle will be IUI- unless it works this cylce and then I will do Cart-Wheels across the city, the state…. I will never utter a crabby word again, never think a mean thought again…. Ok, I’m probably lieing but- it sounds good right?!