Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Give Me an "H!" Give Me an "S!" Give me a "G!"

Put them together and what do you get?! HYSTEROSALPINGOGRAM!!!! (cue: spirit fingers).

Oh yes, my friends. It was a banner day in my world. Shall I tell you ever little last detail about it? Hmmmmm? Okay.

I woke this morning knowing that I was going to start my day by driving insanely through Los Angeles rush-hour traffic with a specimen cup of, erm, let's call it "time-sensitive materials" that were donated to our cause by Husband. Thirty minutes, from collection to drop-off---that's all the time I had. Knowing what I know now, I SHOULD have had Ethan already in the car and standing at the front door like I was responsible for running the second leg of an Olympic relay race---I could start jogging as soon as I heard Husband running down the hall, brown paper bag in hand, shouting, "go! go! go!" and he could have tossed me the bag as I jumped in the car, threw it in reverse and tore down the street. Because having him hand me that brown paper bag, thanking him with a kiss and then getting Ethan's shoes on and leisurely going to the car and getting out of the neighborhood REALLY ate into my 30-minute time limit. We left the house at 8:10.

My GPS, not knowing that I was transporting said time-sensitive materials, and not having a human consciousness of what LA rush-hour traffic is actually like, kept trying to send me up to the 101 to get me to the lab. Um. No, Rhoda (this is what we call our GPS--get it? Rhoda? Road-a? We're wicked funny). I can't get on the 101 at 8:10 am! That is getting-to-your-destination-on-time suicide!!!! Stop telling me to make a U-turn and get on the highway! You just don't know!

So I wove through traffic on the surface streets and managed to get myself stopped at. every. single. red. light. ever. erected. in. Los. Angeles. I fear that Ethan perhaps learned some new words today. Words of the four-letter variety. Sorry, kiddo.

I pulled into the parking space doing my best stunt double impressionation (thankfully everyone was still stuck in traffic on the 101 because the parking lot was empty), grabbed Ethan and that damn brown paper bag and ran to the building. I was so flustered and rushing that a doctor saw me, with Ethan in my arms and assumed I was looking for the pediatric urgent care center in the same building. "NO!" I said, "I HAVE THIS!!" and held up the brown paper bag. Klassy.

He directed me to the lab. I walked through the door of the lab at 8:35. SUCK IT, TIME SENSITIVE MATERIALS!! Woo! Hoo! I beat your clock! I was so pleased with myself at having gotten 7 whole miles in the Valley in under 30 minutes, that it actually took me a few minutes of filling out paper work to realize that the lab tech was just letting that blasted brown paper bag (and it's contents) sit on her desk. HELLO???!!! THIRTY MINUTES!!!

Finally she came to get it (hopefully to put it into a refrigerator or something?!) and I filled out the paperwork (is it wrong that I still don't know Husband's social security number? Because I don't), and then we went on our way.

That meant I had 1.5 hours to drive all the way back to our house, drop Ethan off with one of my saint-among-women friends here who are always taking care of Ethan while I'm off being poked and prodded by medical professionals of all persuasions, and then get my infertile ass down to the local House O' X-Ray for my Hysterosalpingogram (which sounds more like a function of Twitter to me than a fertility test).

Fortunately I met very little traffic on the 101 (which leads me to believe that perhaps, just maybe, my earlier frantic drive through the valley wasn't really necessary, but whatever. I got to the imaging center and was able to relax for a few minutes. And by relax, I mean sit around a waiting room with a bunch of cranky, overly-perfumed old people, watching the local FOX morning news with no volume.

I have to say, watching the soundless segment of the Octuplet mom running into and out of her gigantic new home which will house her eleventy billion children while I sat in a waiting room trying to get information about why I can't get one more fetus to set up temporary residence in my uterus was SO not cool. I have seriously channeled all my rage about this situation into that woman and I've done everything in my power to avoid seeing stories about her because it's just not healthy or productive to feel that hostile towards someone you've never even met. But man, do I loathe her.

Where was I? Oh yeah.

So they called my name. I was instructed by a dorky male nurse to "remove everything. well, I guess you can leave on your bra. And your shirt. but take everything else off." Um. Awkward. So I remove only my shoes, pants and underwear (which would have been so much easier for him to say, but he had to go and make it all uncomfortable by asking me to strip naked. Ew. It's been a long time since I helped myself into a hospital gown, and I have to say, it made my palms a little sweaty to see myself as a patient again. I've been not-a-patient for so long now, the realization that I'm going down that route again kind of hits me at every turn. I'd love to be the woman who can consider her pregnancy "not a medical condition" and give birth in the privacy and comfort of her own home, but that is not to be for me. My pregnancies are UBER-medical. And this felt like the beginning of that.

But it's okay, because if that's what it takes to have another child, so be it. (See, universe???!!! I keep telling you I'm prepared for this!! Cut a girl a freaking break!)

And then I found myself in a ginormous, cold x-ray room with the male nurse who moments ago had asked me to take it all off. And the male doctor. I kept waiting for the female nurse---the one who in theory puts you at ease by being another woman in the room?--I kept waiting for her to show up. But she didn't. So I was stuck with socially (and, erm, professionally) awkward male nurse, and male doctor, who thought it would be appropriate to try to make jokes with me about how expensive it is to have kids these days.

Seriously? You want to pull on that thread?! Because I believe I'm lying here on this table, spread eagle, letting you shoot blue dye into my uterus for something like $750. You want me to start re-thinking the cost of raising a child NOW???!!

If I ruled the world, I would require daily sensitivity-training for all medical professionals dealing with a woman who is pregnant, trying to get pregnant or has just given birth because there's NO ONE in this world more sensitive and some of the people with the medical knowledge to help them have the bedside manners of a box of rocks. Seriously.

So there was that discomfort (both of the conversation and the industrial sized speculum that's required to find my useless speck 'o cervix). And then, on the x-ray machine, there it was. My cervix. This is where you picture Seinfeld and his greeting to his arch-nemesis, Newman. "Helllllo, Cervix," was all I could think when it showed up on the screen. The bane of my existence---the sad little door with the rusty hinges and busted locks. Sigh. There it was.

It looked pretty good---long, strong. Not at all like I remember it from my pregnancy days when it was all smooshed and tiny with the "weight" of my just-bigger-than-a-grain-of-rice baby. So maybe the "no transabdominal cerclage or bedrest" OB was right. But whatever, focus. focus. focus.

The blue dye went all the way through my tubes. More easily on one side than the other. But at least it went all the way through. and was very cool to see. The fact that anyone ever gets pregnant is absolutely amazing to me, after looking at the delicate little system that makes it happen. And I went, on some level, from being sweaty palmed with fear, to sweaty palmed with anticipation. I'm a sucker for seeing how it all works and this little peek back into this part of my body renewed that fascination, and the hope that pretty soon I'll be seeing a whole lot more of the inside of my uterus. Only in the near future, I hope I'm not looking at blue dye, but a heartbeat.


Sarah said...

"Hello, Cervix"-- totally awesome-- best line ever!

I love this post-- I am so stressed by the time I leave the house to do something totally non-time sensitive. I cannot imagine how freaked out I would be with the brown paper bag AND the 10 frigging minutes it takes to cajole coats and shoes.

Good luck!

Becca said...

I had that done too. Isn't it amazing how tiny fallopian tubes are? I always pictured them about the size of fingers for some reason. Did your doctor tell you that everything else being equal you are more fertile for the first cycle after the HSG? Because that's how we got Charlie. Something about it cleaning out your tubes or something. It's good to hear you sounding positive!

Cubby's Mom said...

I am cracking up at the idea of you doing some sort of sperm relay in the Olympic games. I really hope you have a little heartbeat in there soon!

b schu said...

I've been lurking around for years - tempted to write many times and, well, today's the day! We have a lot in common...I lost twin boys in 2005. Got pregnant again (both times via IVF) and when I got my cerclage (or was it in '05 on bedrest?), I found your blog. I too have a healthy boy (just turned 2), am trying for another baby, just started acupuncture and cannot stomach that octo-mom. It's nice to know there are people out there in the same boat. Good luck with the ride - I'll be reading.

Anonymous said...

LOL, i love the first part with the bag. i was cracking up.

by the way, did i tell you what my friend peter said about octomom? His facebook status was: Peter just saw the new Denny's Octomom Special You get 8 eggs, no sausage, and the guy at the next table gets to pay the bill...

oh, also, so don't deserve sainthood for watching ethan. we love having him anytime!