A Very Specialist Appointment

Note: Since these posts were written so far in the past (generally at least 3 calendar months), my mental state is usually very different by the time you read them. So don’t worry too much about my bad moods. I have a few people in an inner circle who get everything in real-time and are being super-awesome at keeping me sane (props to you!).

Super-Secret Post
Originally written late in month 17

We’re headed to the specialist tomorrow for our first meeting (the testing I already wrote  about was requisitioned and done ahead of time at other labs).

The relief of finally having my questions answered is currently lost in a sea of anger and sadness. I don’t know anyone else who has to look at a list of prices to try to comparison shop between  fertility treatments and adoption (or if they are, they’re not sharing it – maybe I’m just the odd one out for airing all of this so publicly). “It’s not fair” is orders of magnitude too weak for what I’m feeling.

A friend of a friend is visiting from another continent and a different culture. She has God on her side but more importantly she doesn’t have my ingrained sense of responsibility for my own circumstances. I was raised that I could be whatever I wanted to be: scientist, doctor, mother. Only one of those isn’t guaranteed after enough hard work. And in personal stuff – the apartment I live in, the car I drive (or in my case, choose to not own), the job I hold (or the program I go back to school for) – has always been my own responsibility. I don’t let people tell me how miserable they are in their jobs – I tell them they have to change it because no one is going to do it for them. So this friend and I have vastly different scopes of what is possible to control and what is not.

That, and she generalized lack of control to “there’s a reason” and that’s a big no-no for me.

Never before have I wanted to be someone else’s responsibility so badly.

I wrote a little while ago that I thought I would never be able to reconcile with someone who got pregnant by accident. Lately my perspective is different; I feel like I have more in common with them than friends who can get pregnant on demand. We might both feel cheated by our bodies and feel like something is messing with us with no respect for our own plans. (Well, assuming they were using reliable birth control.) I considered reaching out, but Stalkbooking helps to judge whether or not that’s a good idea and in this case I fell on the side of not.

I considered moving the blog to live updates once we started seeing the specialist. But updates would still be stop-and-start with lots of hurry-up-and-wait while we wait for test results and follow-up appointments, and the delay lets us review the results and consider our options before sharing news and forces us to only post results in the larger context that later results would provide.

It was around this time I sought out support groups instead. Finding the online ones full of conflicting information and dense with esoteric acronyms and annoying emoticons, I searched harder and found an in-person group in my city. Free of charge and mediated by two therapists who specialize in fertility counseling, it has turned out to be catharsis extraordinary (details to follow).

After the specialist

We’re starting the second round of tests — preliminary results pointed to a possible problem. Testing continues to confirm that that is a problem, that it’s the only one, and what its cause might be.

Fun fact: I think our clinic’s website’s claim that if a problem is found in one person, testing doesn’t happen in the other is complete codswallop. Any of the interventions they will want to try are expensive and the testing is cheaper or even free, so they check everything closely in both partners to make sure that no money will be thrown away on the wrong intervention. There isn’t a single non-surrogate intervention they advertise where they wouldn’t want a clear map of everything first.

My favourite part of this appointment was having most of the worry about doing something wrong thrown out the window. Positions? No worries. Handstands? Don’t bother. Have sex every day? 2-3 times the week you ovulate. Am I crazy to track ovulation with predictor kits? It’s good to know when you ovulate and you should use whatever method you are comfortable with to track it.

That validation was awesome.

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