Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Step D: Poke Out Your Eyeballs

I scheduled an appointment with my general practitioner right after Mother's Day 2010.  I figured this is where the process should start.  It took only a couple weeks to get in to see her.  I've seen this general practitioner for 12 years and have a great relationship with her.  A nurse took me through the door, took my weight (ugh), height, my blood pressure (which I'm sure was high given the reason I was there and having my weight just recorded) and led me to the examining room.  The nurse asked me why I was there.  I looked at her, took a deep breath, and said, "We've not been able to conceive after 3 years of trying."  She sort of nodded, typed it into the computer, and breezed right out of the room saying that the doctor would be right in.  That was it.  I was sure I had said something remarkably profound there, but I didn't even get as much as a 2nd glance from her.  I had explained what had plagued my mind for almost 3 years.  I had said it aloud to another person other than my husband and my mother.  I got no shock, no awe, no gasp, no pity, not even really eye contact acknowledging I'd said it.  I felt like I had just poured my heart out to this woman with that single sentence and she had the nerve to just stroll out.  I was dumbfounded.

Pretty soon, my doctor came in and asked what I was there for before even looking at the computer.  (I didn't even need to tell that unfeeling nurse, did I?)  I told her that despite having gone off birth control almost 3 years ago, my husband and I had not been able to have a baby.  I told her that I had decided to bring this to her in order to find out if there was some reason we were having trouble.  She told me that she usually informs couples to see a doctor anytime after a year has gone by.  A year?  You mean I should have been here, sitting on this white paper, two years ago?  Why didn't someone tell me this?  If I had known the year mark was a big benchmark, I'd have found my way to this office and talked to unfeeling nurses years ago.  Little did I know that several months later the fertility clinic would, in no uncertain terms, point out that I was in my 30s and therefore close to death, and I should have gone to the doctor years ago - but we'll get to that later.

So my general practitioner said that it was time to visit more of a specialist to see if there was something to be done to help us out.  She gave me the option of several OB/GYN's in town to choose from that she would recommend.  I had heard very good things about one particular OB/GYN - another female - and asked to have a referral to her.  They would make the call, get the appointment for me, and then let me know.  She handed me the check-out slip and led me to the door.  I got a call later that week that I had an appointment 2 months later with the OB/GYN.

That was it.  That was it?  All that worry and turmoil to leave with just another appointment several months later with another doctor?  Little did I know that this was the beginning of the world's longest waiting game - and patience is not a virtue of mine.  Not even a little.  I had decided I wanted answers.  I was finally ready - why wasn't the rest of the world? 

Much like the rest of this process, I'm discovering that I have to find out every step of the process for myself.  There is no guide book.  There is no, "What to Expect While Trying to Get Expecting" book.  There should be, or at least be a pamphlet, right?  Out of courtesy, I think the world owes us something to read that would give us a map as to where we're headed.  Step A: Try for a year.  Step B: Go to general practitioner who will refer you to an OB/GYN.  Step C: Wait months to be able to get into the OB/GYN.  Step D: Poke out your eyeballs.

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