Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I have been a such blog slacker. I just realized I never published this post this when I originally typed it back in April until I just went to type a new post. So here it is, more than a few months late...
We've all heard it before. "If it's meant to be", "Everything happens for a reason", "It'll happen when it's the right time", "God has a plan".  Generally when I hear those statements uttered (which is quite frequently) I roll my eyes, nod my head or give a simple "yeah" response.  But I don't actually believe it.  My faith has been tested over the last year, many times. My spiritual faith, faith in myself, my body, and faith in my doctors have all been questioned and doubted. Who do I trust? What do I believe in? Can I keep doing this? 
I was hoping with Spring on the way, April would bring a fresh change in our lives. A restart. We were going to do everything in our power to try to make this happen on our own this year before taking the invasive treatment course of action the fertility specialist wants us to take.  We started a vitamin and supplement regimen, and got back to dieting.  When I started getting very light positive tests, I was ecstatic. I was feeling so good, a bit different than normal symptom-wise, I was not stressed and we were really happy and had faith this was going to be IT for us. Perhaps it was blind stupidity, but we didn't utter a single negative thought or give any "what if's" a chance to register. Our excitement started to build.
Conveniently, I had scheduled a follow up appointment with Dr. Laibly, my regular OB/GYN, because I wanted to discuss the possibility of trying a few cycles less-invasively. I had mapped out a plan for us and we needed minimal help, mostly in the realm of a prescription and some lab work. But now I was going to be able to able to walk in there with a positive test instead and didn't even have to worry about it.
My appointment was on Monday, but by late Sunday afternoon I had started spotting. I had hoped it was leftover implantation bleeding because it was "old" blood, very light and I had no cramps or pain.  I rested with my feet up, but unfortunately by the time the evening rolled around, I knew things were over. I was upset and discouraged, but took comfort in the idea that I had an appointment in the morning and we would be able to make a plan and get some answers and get things rolling in a better direction for us.
What happened that morning is something I'll never forgive or forget. I've been through some rough appointments, both mentally and physically before, but this...this was unbelievable.
His first words were "Your established with Severino (the RE/ fertility specialist).  Why are you here?" I told him about the tests and said that I had just started to miscarry. He looked at his notes and shook his head. No compassion, no "I'm so sorry", nothing.
He asked if they were treating me yet & I said "no, not yet. We did this one on our own". He said "So what do you want?" I said I actually ovulated later than normal this cycle so I was hoping he would run Cycle Day 3 labs (which measure 3 hormone levels and can be a good indication for ovulation issues), give me a prescription for Clomid or Femara & do some day 21 labs to keep an eye on my progesterone. He immediately got defensive "Why? Because you want to?" I was surprised by his reaction. I said yes, that after our appointments with the specialist, I wasn't sure we needed to be that invasive with treatment since my results all came back normal and we are able to get pregnant on our own, we just can't get things to stick.
He said "I looked at his notes, he said you need IUI with a trigger or IVF. You need to ovulate earlier. I practice science and evidence-based medicine. Look, your 34. You have challenged ovulation and sperm issues. Your case is beyond me".  At this point, I'm crying pretty hard and I said "Ok, I just feel like we're getting so close and that something must be missing. I just thought it could be the possibility of being a progesterone issue".  He shook his head. "You've been tested, you're hormones are fine. Severino wouldnt try selling...uh, pointing you in the wrong direction".  I told him he specialist specifically told us that he can't guarantee Tom's sperm morphology issues are the reason we aren't getting sticky babies. I said one of the RE's nurses had mentioned my late ovulation as a concern for why things aren't working...that my lining is breaking down as implantation is trying to happen. It's such a time-sensitive process that even a day or two could make a all the difference in the world. 
He said "Look, again, I'm a science guy. There's no proof progesterone supplementation even works. I'm not going to do that."
He turned around a piece of paper and started writing my options. 1. Nothing. "But your here so obviously that doesn't work". 2. Clomid days 5-9 "but I won't monitor it and Severino already said you need IUI with a trigger." Then he wrote 3 and 4, and started talking about IUI and IVF, and their cost, which he proceeded to quote incorrectly.  "Look its expensive to have a baby. If you guys had saved up for all the years you have been trying I'm sure you could find the disposable cash or your savings. He crossed out options one and two and circled 3 and 4. "You need the best bang for your buck. You need to go home and discuss it with your husband. You guys need to decide between IUI and IVF at this point".  Talk about a crushing blow. He was saying we had no other options. This was it for us. He said "I don't do IUI. I won't. Well, maybe when I'm old. I don't want to be stuck here on my weekends doing that stuff". 
The appointment was summed up him saying "Im putting follow up "As Needed". That means I don't want to hear from you again until your pregnant".
As I sat in the chair crying, he asked if I needed a few minutes. I said yes and he started to walk out. He turned around and smiled. "Hey, if there is anything else you need or that I can do for you, just give nurse Jen a call and let her know you want to talk to me and I'll call you back". 
If you cannot already see why I was upset over the way he treated me in those 15 minutes, let me recap...
  1. He made me feel old by commenting on my age. At 34, I haven't even reached the "advanced maternal age" designation.  All sorts of women have babies at 34, and many even older than that.
  2. He certainly wasn't willing to listen to my concerns, nor was he familiar enough with my chart to actually know what our issues are.  
  3. He chose to say I had "challenged ovulation", even though on paper my tests have all come back perfectly fine and I do ovulate regularly. Our "sperm issues" are minimal and even the fertility specialist said plenty of men with known morphology issues go on to father perfectly normal healthy children.  So, why the resistance?
  4. The whole science vs progesterone issue...progesterone doesn't hurt anything. You can't overdose on it, it's not a controlled substance and the fertility specialist (who belongs to the same hospital system and who my OB said he works closely with) regularly prescribes it to their patients.  Again, why the resistance? 
  5. The rude and unnecessary comment regarding him being stuck on weekends doing IUI procedures was completely uncalled for.  I wasn't asking him to do an IUI on me. In fact, it was exactly what I was trying to avoid entirely.  
  6. His follow-up comment about not wanting to see me until I'm pregnant?  Who says stuff like that to a woman who has had multiple miscarriages? 
It was truly awful. I only wished my husband had been along to witness his behavior.
So maybe, just maybe, this was meant to happen. Maybe somewhere along the way I would have found him to be intolerable or the wrong fit for us if I had ended up with a successful pregnancy and would have been "stuck" with him. Tom didn't like him from his first experience at my HSG with him, said he was a jerk. He absolutely traumatized me.

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