In July 2010, I had my first appointment with my OB/GYN. I had heard many good things about her and felt comfortable with her because she is a female with children. On my first appointment, I didn't know what to expect. I arrived at her office and filled out the necessary paperwork, which, at this point, I wish I would have photocopied so I could just hand it to every other doctor in the process.
As I sat in the waiting room, I noticed that there weren't many people there and I was glad for that. Up to this point, I didn't really want very many people to know what was going on. I don't know why. Was I ashamed? I guess I feared someone would see me there and assume I was pregnant. (Stay tuned for an upcoming post about that...) It didn't look like, however, I was going to have to go in cognito in the waiting room at this point. Celebrate small miracles, right?
Once called into the back, the nurse asked some basic questions about the date of my last period and how long we had been trying to have a baby. At this point, a woman behind some door down the hallway let out a moan. The nurse rolled her eyes, looked at me, and said, "She might as well quit that because she's not even in pain yet..." Uh, I hoped that my visit was not going to be painful, in her opinion. From where I was sitting, I could also see a sign on the wall that read, "Put your big girl panties on and deal with it." I was beginning to see that this visit was going to be all business. I was OK with that. I had been introduced to this line of thinking at my family doctor's office with her nurse.
After the rest of the preliminary questioning, the nurse asked me to follow her. She led me to the doctor's actual office - not an exam room - and I sat and waited on her. When I was seated in the office, a 2nd nurse poked her head into the office to re-introduce herself to me. I had known her years ago from childhood and had not recognized her. She wanted to know how I was doing and what I'd done since college. I brought her up to speed and then I told her that I was there because we weren't having luck having a baby. She was very sweet, offered some words of encouragement, and left. I had managed to avoid anyone I knew in the waiting room, but of course I knew someone on staff. I had hoped it would not be sky-written over the entire town that I was there before I even left the office that day.
I waited in the doctor's office a long time and managed to read just about everything in the room - magazines, newsletters from medical associations, the annual report for our local hospital, and all of her diplomas. I perused her pictures of her family - looks like she has a set of twins herself - and even went through an Anne Geddes book in great detail, all to the tune of the moaning of the woman down the hallway. Her cadence was off, but it was the only music playing at the moment.
Finally, the doctor came in, introduced herself, and began the questioning. And boy was there questioning! She wanted to know everything - detailed health history of me and my entire family, onset of 1st period, what they've been like ever since, sexual history, and how long and how often we had been "trying." We talked about how my periods had been painful and irregular from the onset and how I had gone on birth control when in college in order to just be able to leave my dorm room and attend classes. I told her that I'd been told that our lives are not examples of what people should do in order to help conception. I know that sometimes we don't get enough sleep, that we own a business, which causes lots of stress, and that I was not the skinniest person in the world (although I was running close to 4 miles per day). She said that while that matters, it should not have affected our odds for 3 years. At some point it should have happened by now. She also went on to say not to listen to people who tell us to "just relax" because that was the dumbest thing anyone had ever said. I didn't even have to tell her that people had said that to us....At this point, I knew I liked her! She took me into another room and performed my annual exam and then we formed a game plan. (Did she know I was an obsessive planner? Did she know how many points she had just scored with me?) She explained that the first step was to get some baseline bloodwork done on me, have my husband provide a sperm sample, and to have me chart my morning temperature to identify if/when I was ovulating. We were to do all of this and come back to see her in 3 months. I had a game plan - or at least the start of one. I had steps and we were now getting somewhere. She shook my hand and sent me on my way with my homework and I was happy about having it.