Posted by: katedaphne | March 15, 2008

My beautiful uterus

The title of this post is funny considering the last post was about losing the letter to my body — and it was no love letter. It was more like a poison pen letter. I may try to recreate that. But first, here’s the update on my FET cycle.

 Thursday I had my mock transfer. They also measured the endometrium and did an SIS (saline sonogram) to make sure there were no polyps loitering around in there. Also, I met with the financial people and paid them their $2,000 and with the IVF coordinator and nailed down details of timing, meds, etc. There was a lot to do so I knew it would be a long appointment.

But I didn’t know I’d be wearing the speculum for about an hour!

I have mentioned in this space before that I have a history of difficult transfers. It’s a large part of my diagnosis: crappy cervix=bad transfer=bfn. So I knew it wouldn’t be easy. And oh, I was right. I get all undressed and on the table in a very small exam room. The doc was in there, the nurse was just outside. I was asked if I’d permit two med students to “observe” the procedure. I figured enough people had seen me in this position that a couple more wouldn’t hurt. (Although, a few minutes before, on the consent forms I’d just signed, I had agreed to accept blood transfusions is necessary but NOT to allow “video or photography for training purposes” during my real transfer in the hospital. So, live action yes, photos no.) And Mike was there. It was pretty crowded.

We then proceeded to go through every freaking catheter ever made in the attempt to get one all the way through my poor twisty little cervix. The nurse came in and began rummaging through her inventory. “This one? How about this one? I have this kind…” If we’d been out shopping for shoes it would’ve been great. But I don’t need this many options in catheters. I had no idea there were so many different kinds, none of which fit correctly up, in, and through my — ahem. Yeah.

So the doc decides this would all be simpler if we turn on the ultrasound machine that’s right next to me and do abdominal u/s to guide him. Great idea, should’ve thought of it before. Like, before they made me empty my bladder. So, I sit up, the med students are dispatched to get me some cups of water, I drink it down all whiel thinking it wuld probably be faster if someone would run across the street and get me a large McDonald’s sweet tea, THAT stuff goes straight to my bladder in seconds.

Soon we are back in business, with ultrasound. But — the picture is not very good. I’m sure it would be good enough under most circumstances, but my cervix is not most people’s, and it just wasn’t happening. So he decides we need to go across the hall to the space-age u/s machine, which is under the care of an ultrasound pioneer, Anna Parsons, who he says invented the saline sonogram procedure. Sounds good to me. Do I want to get dressed or just wrap up to go down the hall? I opt for wrapping up because it’s faster and I just want this to be done. So Mike grabs all my clothes, I grab the back of the drape, the med students take my water glasses, and we are off.

The doctor consoles me: “At least you are an interesting patient.” Seeing that I am less than thrilled by this idea, he admits: “I am sure you’d rather be boring and pregnant.” Actually, I’d like to be boring and in possession of a live baby, but close enough. I do not correct him.

The new ultrasound room is super nice. Large machine, looks like it could fly the space shuttle, lots of shelves lined neatly with medical supplies, but very homey — some are in little handmade, quilted bags. There’s a long pillow shaped like a trout (or a bass or a pike, what do I know about fish?) for me to put behind my head, so I hop on the table eager to sleep with the fishes for a little while. (I am all about the cheap humor. See how you get by your fifth IVF, med students?)

We get all settled again and Anna Parsons comes in to operate the ultrasound, and she is pressing REALLY hard on my abdomen. She asks if I had a good lunch, I’m like uh, yeah, I went out for Thai, is that a problem? No, but she needs to move my bowels, so sorry she has to press so hard. Wow, I didn’t know someone could move my bowels for me, from outside. This is the weirdest IVF appointment ever.

They mess around with a few more catheters and finally decide they’ve found The One. The mock is done; on to the saline infusion. He warns me it is going to cramp a lot starting… right… now! But it’s not too bad. I guess after all the other digging around in there, plus the three extra-strength advil I took a while ago, it doesn’t seem bad at all. What was worse was I guess I was more nervous than I realized because my legs started cramping up and shaking violently in the stirrups and it was all I could do to relax them and hold still.

Eventually we could could see a perfect view of my anatomy on the screen. It looked exactly like those vaguely triangle-shaped diagrams of the female anatomy you see in high school health textbooks. And the doctor pronounced: “You have a beautiful uterus. … I bet you’ve never been told that, have you?”

“Actually,” I said, “I have been told that before by other doctors. But I bet you all say that to all the girls.”

Roar of laughter from all in the room. It’s a big roar, what with the doc, the nurse, Anna, the two med students, Mike, and me. He says no, they have seen some pretty ugly uteruses (uteri?) before, but mine is beautiful, no polyps, looks great in there. Meanwhile, Ms. Ultrasound Queen is still peering into the screen. Oh look, says she, she has a wrinkle in her tube.

I have a WRINKLE in my tube?

Oh it’s nothing, don’t worry about it. It’s just the way you are…..


But they’ve moved on, the saline is drained, everything is removed, and I’m left to get dressed. The med students thank me and I tell them I hope I’ve helped them. They assure me I have. I’ll bet. I bet they run screaming from infertility and become nice little anesthesiologists or something.

On the way to the car I inform Mike that on the way home he is to find a Steak & Shake and get me a large chocolate shake with hot fudge. After what I’ve been through today, I deserve it. He agrees, and though it takes some driving around (new clinic is in Tampa, rather far from our home), he does. I ride home curled in the seat feeling very sorry for my poor cervix and slurping happily on my hot fudge shake.

By the time we get home, I think I am feeling much better. But I proceed to pass out on the couch for an hour. I wake up long enough to eschew dinner and go back to sleep. That was a lot of stress on the body AND mind. Not to mention — wearing a speculum for that long is TIRING. It’s like one of those challenges on Survivor where they have to balance on one foot while holding a bucket of water above their head for an hour.

Friday I am slammed working on a big project and still so tired I can barely sit up in my chair. I sleep in Saturday morning, and now — Mike’s family is here from Kansas and Colorado for a week’s visit. I have a few vacation days, and I am READY for them. (The vacation I meant, but the family is nice too.)

The family visit is a large part of the reason we are holding off on the real tansfer until next month. We are all systems go, I start estrace again on CD2, which will be around the first of the month (convenient). We’ll measure the lining on or about April 13, start Crinone gel around the 15th, and have a tentative tx set for April 18 or so.

I am going to post this without proofreading (sorry) and go watch the sunset on the beach. Because I can.



  1. Heh. I like your cheap humor. Sleeping with the fishes indeed. And making the Survivor people wear speculums. I love it.
    I hope your poor cervix and wrinkled tube (um, what? what is THAT?) enjoyed the shake and sunset.

  2. You did spectacular with the speculum.

    I kinda like the sound of that. If we ever write a broadway musical about infertility, we’ll make it a show stopping number…

    And kudos for the Steak & Shake shake…one of my favorite crappiest-day-in-the-world treats.

  3. Oh my gosh – I never imagined such straightforward (no pun intended) could be so harrowing. I guess I should be thankful I escaped a similar experience.

  4. Making THAT kind of indrawn whistle at reading about having a speculum cranked up there for that long, let alone all the cervical antics.

    Hope they didn’t crank it open as eye-wateringly wide as my RE used to.


  5. Loved the ‘wrinkled tube’!

  6. Wrinkled tube!? Thats a first….
    Hope the sunset was purty=)

  7. That is dern good for no proofreading!

    Sounds like a long and tiring few days. I hope you are able to recuperate during your time with the family.

  8. How do they make a hot fudge shake? Sounds interesting… and well deserved!! Glad that one is over. Have a great vacation week!

  9. […] about fibroids, polyps, etc., so I decided to just suck it up and have another one done. Read this post to hear about how rotten that one went and you’ll see why I hesitate to have one. But […]

  10. Thanks for this great post Im pretty sure that many people are searching informative post like yours .

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