Diagnosis infertility. Job description, advocate.

I made a difference at my fertility clinic. 

At the beginning of March, I met with the Patient experience officer and Dr. B after the failure of a fertility cycle. It was a two-hour emergency meeting. It happened because I was falling apart. We met because I felt like a number. I felt I wasn’t listened to and no one was hearing my concerns. I didn’t know who to turn to because if I asked the nurse the nurse couldn’t make any decisions and there were too many people involved in my care. I wanted one or two dedicated nurses who knew everything on file. I needed to tell them their support group sucked. The waiting room was one anxious space and nothing goes well at the clinic if you are not following one of the prescribed fertility boxes of procedures.

I needed to find MY voice in this entire runaway train and I needed to be heard.

I had no idea that my verbal dump changed many things at the clinic. Two months after this meeting and after my two-month break from not being at the clinic, I’ve become aware of results of this meeting.


Early morning, I’m sitting in the waiting room of the clinic. The chairs are plastic and white the walls are Tiffany blue. The door next to the reception desk opens and closes every few minutes with a sight bang. I wait my turn to see the doc. to figure out what drugs I need for the embryo transfer. I see Vee, The patient experience, walking into the waiting room and out. She waves and smiles as she sees me and stops, saying, “I really want to talk to you!”. I say, “we can talk now, I’m just waiting for one instruction but it’s not urgent”. She motions me in, we open the door, I hear the slight bang as it closes and I followed her down the hall into the boardroom of Anova. Cool, the board room. I’ve never been here, just the dark ultrasound rooms and the doc’s room. Vee seems so excited to talk to me. I wonder why…..

We sit down across from each other and talk about how I’m doing after the two-month break and the fact that I seem to be glowing. I am relaxed. I feel more chilled and definitely more grounded. I’ve put fertility into a box. Just one of the boxes that are me and it no longer rules my world. When I reflect and think about myself and who I was January until May, I don’t recognize myself. I’m so glad I took a break.

At one point, Vee stops and looks me in the eye and says, thank you. I’m confused what for…..? She looks me right in the eye, puts her hands together and says, “Thank you for speaking up, very few actually do. We don’t know how we can be better if someone doesn’t tell us, we can just think what we can do but are not on the other side. We have taken all your comments, complaints and observations and have changed our entire counseling department. We are still not perfect but want to let you know you have made an impact on for other patients”. 

Needless to say, I’m shocked because I think back how much I was hurting during that time and how long the 2.5 hr meeting was with Dr. B and the Vee. I remember I wanted to write about it but was so drained from the conversation I couldn’t bring myself to blog about it.

I tell Vee that I’m so glad this is going on and I hope that I can continue to be a voice for many patients.

What I want the clinic to recognize is that part of functional care and holistic care is to incorporate; counseling, mindfulness, hypnosis and other modalities so we can support the whole person not just the uterus, the egg or sperm.

Find your voice. We want to hear you.

You are not your diagnosis.

Don’t be afraid to let the clinic know what is not working for your treatment, you just never know, you may the catalyst for massive change.

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Having kids is irrational. They do not make us happier.

Mothering and workI often read Penelope Trunk. She is an interesting writer and often has an interesting point of view. I wanted to share her latest post as it’s a bit controversial but as women, we really need, to be honest with ourselves as to what do we really want. Supposedly we can have it all and are encouraged to “Lean in”, but ask any women who have two kids under the age of 5, a job and is still married, ask her how is she balancing her life even beyond the early years. It again goes back to my post “My friend Patricia. I’m sorry”. and her choice to stay home. Staring down the gun of an embryo transfer, I do question, why am I doing this? Why is it that as a woman I would like to be a mother? Fertility is such a funny thing, it makes you really think about your choices because they are right there in your face.

The question of what is a mother, does that always equate a mother and child? Can a woman equally have a strong relationship like this in a different form? I don’t know, because I have been on the other side, and the funny thing is, once you are on the other side, you can’t go back!

For three years, I took part of taking care of over 80 kids under that age 5, in an early childhood center, at times happy to have them go back home so I could take a break. I have worked with students since I can remember. I formed strong relationships and I know I have impacted their lives. I’ve learned lots about myself through my interactions with them. Is the term mother, just a reference to a mother and child or can it be towards another type of relationship? I mother my event clients. I coached them and take care of them, I house them and often feed them. I hear someone on the other side of this screen screaming at me, “it’s not the same thing”. No, it’s not, but honestly, let’s divide and conquer this mothering definition. As it stands, it means, “giving birth to”, “bringing up a child with care and affection”, a “woman in relation to her child or children”. A mother shouldn’t equate martyr.

Perhaps I’m on the side of this equation and I really don’t understand when I say, I want to be me first, then wife, then mother.  Is this balance even achievable? In another viewpoint, assuming you find mothering rewarding……

“the meaning of being a mother is virtually endless. A mother is a protector, disciplinarian, and friend. A mother is a selfless, loving human who must sacrifice many of their wants and needs for the wants and needs of their children. A mother works hard to make sure their child is equipped with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to make it as a competent human being. Being a mother is perhaps the hardest, most rewarding job a woman will ever experience”

I do believe that I (women) need to make a choice between that big ass career and a family. I don’t think it’s actually possible to be fully 100% engaged in both.  Anne-Marie Slaughter, writer of a well-known Atlantic article about this, “routinely got reactions from other women her age or older that ranged from disappointed (“It’s such a pity that you had to leave Washington”) to condescending (“I wouldn’t generalize from your experience. I’ve never had to compromise, and my kids turned out great”)”.

It’s time to stop fooling ourselves, says Anne, who left a position of power: the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed (although this requires being argued too). If we truly believe in equal opportunity for all women, something has to change, specifically how women who don’t have kids are valued more than those with a family.

This is why Penelope’s post make me think.

The post below is directly from her blog, I just couldn’t chop it up, it was too good. She just makes me things about things I don’t want to think about.

Continue reading “Having kids is irrational. They do not make us happier.”

The two week wait is our Hotel California

The whole thing about infertility that is crazy making boils down to uncertainty and lack of predictability. Every two-week wait (exactly as described in this link) is riding high on what your life will or will not look like after these two weeks. Since I am so overly aware of what is going on, its hard not to have multiple moments in the day where my thoughts trail off into LaLa land of what could be and have rose coloured glasses of parenting. A lot rides on these two weeks, but the part that is crazy making is that the medications they give me mimic signs of pregnancy. Did a man invent these drugs?

What is the two-week wait, you ask? It’s that seemingly interminable time period after you ovulate and before you can take a pregnancy test. Its exactly two weeks where you have zero control and its up to God. Yes, it’s an insane time because you are also wondering what else you can do or not do to have a positive outcome….its *crazy making. I googled, “Crazy making” and google told me it’s a form of emotional abuse involving things such as mind games, intended to make you question yourself. OMG. I’m rolling over in laugher, that’s exactly what I’m experiencing, except I’m doing it to myself. ROLFLOL….and then all of sudden I got a flash of clarity in my head after I read that definition. It’s like Hotel California, once you are in, you may never leave. Seriously, check out the lyrics I put together…..

Welcome to our Hotel California, its such a lovely place. There is plenty of room at the Hotel California (because of the constant flow of patients)…..We are all just prisoners patients here of our own device….Last thing I remember, I was running for the door to find the passage back to where I was before, relax said the man doctor, you can check out anytime you like, but you may never leave…..

This is not the first time  I’ve done the two-week wait. When you search google “two-week wait”, the resources are endless. I find that the first week is a week of hope, the second week so far usually been a week of sadness and why you’ve seen posts like, “No more needles! No more ultra sounds! No more 8am clinic visits! No more of this! Please make this STOP. and “Five lessons : Finding your voice and speaking up for yourself.

Because when you are going through the process of infertility, you are hyper aware of all your body functions all…..the…..time…… I’m going to assume, that most fertiles simply go on with their life after you’ve had, um, sex, and don’t think much about a ‘two week wait’. I actually don’t really know how that feels likes. But I don’t think you are sitting counting down days till you go in for a pregnancy test. Are you?

Usually, the first week is filled with tons of stuff I do and I actually don’t think about it. The second week draaaaaaags on. This is where the anxiety, the mental health and all of this crash together like a water hitting rocks. Physically, my body starts to shut down and I need to sleep it off. Mentally, the drag of one more day till the test, wears me down. As well, the knowledge that my body feels like it felt like the other ten times during the two-week wait where the results came back negative. But you sit there, hoping and waiting.

The actual results are a simple blood test (that I’m sure some of you have done) and then God Calls,  with a yes or no answer and says, “come at the start of your period” and do the whole thing all over again, for shits and giggles.

team_crazy_train

My fantasy has been to book a trip in the two-week wait to totally get away. Didn’t manage that this time around. It’s amazing how even now booking a trip, I take into account the Zika Virus. That limits travel to the USA and Europe. What do you think, should we go to Portugal? Uruguay, the backpackers heaven? Tell me which one I should go to in the comments.

This two-week wait period ends without me being able to bring myself to go and test, because I know its negative. My body has starting to shed and menstruate. This time around, the natural cycle we tried, with some additional hormonal help, it didn’t work.

I think what Husband identified, is that there is no stopping this wheel once it’s started. NO one told me that once you step in this crazy train you can’t get off. It keeps spinning because as soon as we find out that the test is negative, its the start of a new cycle because its period time. On day three of the period, I need to go in with a full bladder, do my full blood work and declare what of treatment I am doing this time around all within a matter of a day of finding out you’re not pregnant….all while grieving the loss of what just happened.

Crazying making

This is why people in fertility clinics go bat shit crazy. It’s like Hotel California. Once you enter you may never leave, because even if you leave, it’s still on your mind.

Because God keeps calling, leaving a message, saying, “We’re, sorry, please dail the number and try again”.

No more needles! No more ultra sounds! No more 8am clinic visits! No more of this! Please make this STOP.

I know its hard to understand but I experience the full emotions of grief every 6 weeks of so. I experience the complete sense of loss of hope and need to grieve. I grieve my hope. I get angry at myself for allowing myself to hope. I declare, I am infertile. Then I say, no, there is nothing wrong with me. Its a see-saw, up and down. I don’t want to get attached to an outcome, but how I not be excited and be hopeful?

Crap. I think I’m finally feeling it today. The baby pictures are getting to me. I swore I wouldn’t be one of those people but today I feel like I’m crumbling. I’m sorry. I don’t want to take away anyone’s joy and happiness in this moment, but this push of pushing through everything just got to me today. I don’t want to push, I really want to take your advice of “just relax”…..why can’t I just relax? No, really, I love your baby photos I just want one of my own. I know you are tired and have not slept in days, but honestly, I would like to be part of your club. Please don’t tell me how lucky I am to not have kids. You know how hard that is to hear? It breaks me. It shatters me. Then I get mad at you that you are not appreciating what you have.

Shit, today I’ve become one of the ladies from the support group. A complete victim.

I can do this. I can do this. I can do this…..I can get myself out of this hole.

Every baby announcement. Every baby shower. Every baby that cries. Every baby that smiles. Every baby… reminds of what we are doing. I really don’t want it, but today, it does. Today I feel the struggle.

ecards-fertility

I’m at such a loss of what else I could be doing.

  • I’ve seen the specialized naturopath
  • I’ve taken the thousand pills as prescribed by the naturopath
  • I’m going to acupuncture
  • I’m creating a bedroom of fertility and love with symbols of creation as sent by a friend of mine as a suggestion
  • I’m doing functional medicine
  • Every night now we are talking to the ovaries and said reproductive organs to just aim and fire

I’m at my wits end….what have you done that I have not? Why can people who don’t want to get pregnant get pregant. 

There are millions of sperm, for heavens sakes it only takes one. Lets go fellas! We just need one of you. Just one!!!! Keep on swimming!!

Today has been a day of feeling low and all my fears coming up. Am I ready to do this. Am I supposed to do this. This is the day of darkness. What else am I NOT doing? Is my soul aligned? Am I breathing right? Maybe should be going to those yoga classes. Maybe I should be doing more acupuncture. WHAT THE HELL!!!

Now I’m getting the comments of:

  • “just relax”, you’ll be fine.
  • Just feel optimistic and have a positive mind-set.
  • Just meditate, this will help
  • Just surrender to the journey it’s not yours to decide
  • Just be patient
  • You want kids, are you sure about that, take mine.
  • You are not using the right positions

At least I have not got the “Maybe you should think about adopting”, thanks, do you have another $35,000 dollars?

I’m puking out positive mind-set and relaxing. Today is feel like shit day.

My ego is saying to me, “what if this doesn’t work”, “you need a back up plan”, “what if you run out of time on your leave”, what if….what if…..what if……Just shut up in there.

I’ve gone through the hardest treatments I never imagined having to go through. Things that I don’t wish upon ANYONE. Through hundreds of tests, procedures, surgeries, needles, shots and prayers.

The voice of doubt is terrible.

Last minute I text Saviour Stephanie for acupuncture. For a spiritual connection that I’m missing from the clinic. In the hour session which I’m usually able to sink into and just relax, it took 45 minutes for my mind to let go of all the monkey thoughts.

But I feel like I’ve now done everything I could possibly could do and I’m tired.

Its been over three years on this full journey and now an intense 7 months of full-out commitment to The Clinic. We are talking YEARS  if you count the first time I went to The Clinic. It has taken a lot from to surrender to The Clinic and be OK with all of this poking and prodding. I’m so done now. Can something be easy, just a little bit? I know you are teaching me patience. I know it will be hard with kids and this will seem easy once I’m over this hump.

Please Universe. I beg you. Show some mercy and let something be easy. Please just work with me here. Lets aim and work together for Spring 2017.

I know, it’s not up to me, but I’m setting up the intention. I’m doing what I was taught. So fucking frustrating.

Why do I have to be a statistic?!

Universe, Power of all dimensions, all beings that we see and not see, please help. Work with me. I think I’m balanced about all this and I don’t wake with “children” being my first thought. I’m so sorry for putting all those women down. Please just embrace me in your love.

I know, EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON: Even if you don’t see the reason for a long…long… long time.

But today I just fall to my knees with tears in my eyes, please let this come naturally and easily. Please…..

No more needles. No more ultra sounds. No more 8am clinic visits. No more of this.

Just good news.