My Fertility Doc

I thought it might be appropriate to talk a little bit about our doctor and our clinic.  Funny thing is, I’ve only “met” our doctor a few times, and most of those times it was right before I was put under via anesthetics.  And yet, I really do love it and have really liked most of the people we’ve worked with there.

A few things about NH: Most of the patients are Asian, I am most definitely the minority there.  They specialize in mini-IVF and so their “freezing” and “thawing” techniques, along with Frozen Embryo Transfer, are great and their success rates are very high.  Also, compared to the real estate docs in Indiana can get, the place is tiny, cramped, and old; and yet it’s the best office I’ve been to.  Many of the staff members are foreign and it appears some speak English as a second language.

Also, they don’t always have “scheduled” appointment times.  During your cycle, while monitoring, you just go to the office anytime before noon and sign in, and when they get to you they get to you.  They call you in and draw your blood.  You go back out and wait and they eventually call you in for your ultrasound.  It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2.5 hours – you need to be flexible for sure!  Then depending on what was happening that day, you might need to go back after 2:30p.m. and wait to speak with the head nurse.  This was when they would give us our meds or further instructions and answer any questions we had.  Sometimes they would instruct me that I didn’t need to come back in the afternoon and so they will just call with the results.  It’s all a very different experience than what we were used to with our other doctors.

When you are having a procedure done, things are a little different.  Firstly, you have a set appointment time, usually first thing in the morning.  They take you upstairs where you undress and put on the gown in a room 1/8th the size of a normal dressing area.  You lock all of your belongings into a locker, take the lock, and go and wait in the communal waiting room. There’s a small tv, regular chairs, and then “recovery chairs” that recline and have armrests.  Men are not allowed on the second floor unless they’re staff (so no husbands, kids, etc.).  When it’s time for your procedure you’re taken into one of the operating rooms, quickly given anesthesia, and the procedure is done.  The next thing you know, you’re being wheeled in a wheelchair back to the communal waiting room and placed into a recovery chair.  Your vitals are monitored for about an hour, depending on the procedure and type of anesthesia you were given (all in the communal waiting area).  This was a very awkward part at first but now I love it.  You should hear some of the things women say as they’re coming out of their daze, and I’m sure I’ve said things just as funny.

New Hope must see an average of 100 patients a day, on an average day.  They probably perform 20-30 procedures (D&Cs, Hysteroscopies, Egg Retrievals, Egg Transfers, etc.) before noon.  They literally whisk you in and out.  It took probably 15 appointments before some of the nurses started to know who I was.  It’s craziness.  Half the time that I’m there the receptionist pulls extra folding chairs out of the closet so that there are more seats for everyone waiting in the waiting room!  (I uploaded a pic from one of the corners this morning of the waiting room)

I think that if we had gone to this clinic first, we never would have gone back.  But after having seen two of the best doctors at two of the most renowned clinics in Indiana and leaving with a sense of emptiness – something was missing from those experiences.  I didn’t feel like we were going to get the results we were looking for at those places.  I didn’t feel like the doctors, and even more so the nurses, cared that much about us.  I felt like a number, not a person.  Which is funny, because most of the time we were in the waiting room with only a few other people at those places.  But now, being at New Hope with tons and tons of people I feel more “at home”.  The nurses really care about us and want us to get pregnant – they tell us all the time!  And even though most know me as a number, I feel more like a person at NH than I felt at the stuffier places.  

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A Tough Time

I can’t blog and lay everything out there without addressing the other things that are going on in our lives.  A few posts ago I mentioned Lenny’s grandmother being ill; on Saturday night she passed away.  There is no easy way to talk about the loss of a loved one, and yet it plays such a large role in everything that is happening.

Nan was an amazing, talented, strong and independent, and beautiful woman.  She lived to 92 years old, and she leaves behind Pop, one of the strongest 91 year olds I’ve ever met!  I can only pray that God is with Pop over these next few weeks as they will no doubt be the most trying he’s ever experienced.  It’s been a whirlwind, and quite the experience, being here in New York for the whole thing.  Living with Lenny’s parents and watching them slowly lose a loved one left me feeling so powerless; it’s so hard to know that there is nothing you can do to ease that pain.

Please pray for Pop and all of Nan’s family this week.  Rest in peace, Nan.

Mantras

You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.

~Dr. Seuss

Since starting on our journey I have had many mantras that I repeat over and over to make it through the day.  Right now, my mantra is the one above.  Leave it to good ol’ Dr. Seuss.  But he is so right – we choose where we head.  We choose how we view each day and what we do each day.

I’m not going to sugar coat it, things are hard right now.  In addition to being in limbo with our second cycle, Lenny’s grandmother, our dear Nan, is very ill; it has been an extremely upsetting time for everyone.  I’m trying to start a state-wide nonprofit from five states away, by myself, without a paycheck.  I’m living without my husband and without my friends.  But I choose how to wake up in the morning, how to handle these tough times, and how to face the challenges.  Thank you, Dr. Seuss, for that wonderful daily reminder.

Meet, Date, Love, Marriage, Baby(ies), Happily Ever After

And so goes life.

I feel like every time I go to the city I have 10 more things to talk about then on a regular day.  So the next few posts will probably be about all the things that came about during my visit to the city yesterday.

I did my regular wake-up, get ready, drive to train station – except that I missed my train because I couldn’t find parking.  Not a big deal, just taught me to leave a little bit earlier now that they’ve cut the train schedule back.  When I got on the next train it was FULL.  I did manage to find two vacant seats next to each other, so I took the one nearest the window.  On the very next stop a guy sat down next to me; he smelled like an Axe commercial.  I was holding my nonprofit management book so he started the conversation by asking where I was going to school and we talked for the rest of the train ride.

As a side note, I have recently changed my approach to “strangers” and the city; I am mirroring a good friend of mine, Josh (from the Journey).  On one of our retreats, which took us to Chicago, our entire group was pretty mesmerized by Josh’s ability to strike up a conversation with anyone (even a really tall guy on public transp.  The conversation literally started “Wow, you’re really tall”).  He also had the ability to find amazement, excitement, and revelry in everything we did, every building we passed, and every sign we read.  Why not live life like this?

As this stranger and I became quick friends, the conversation trickled to Lenny in Indiana while I was here in New York, and eventually to “John” and his new wife (married in July).

John: “You are very lucky that he is there and you can have some time to yourself.  You are also very lucky that you were given so much time to make sure that he is the one that you want to spend the rest of your life with.”

Macara: “I suppose so, but I would definitely prefer to be in Indiana as well.”

John: “My wife, I have only known her since the new year.  It was an arranged marriage; you know, her mother and father and my mother and father met a few times and then they had she and I meet.  We went to a backroom and talked, only twice before we were engaged in February.  She was in Canada so we talked on the phone a few times, you know, to get to know each other better, and then the wedding was in July and she moved in with me.  In my culture, I am from Pakistan you know, we live with our parents so we now live with my parents and my older brother and his wife and their new baby.  I am a new uncle.”

Macara: “Wow.  I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who was in an arranged marriage before!  How has it worked out?  Do you get along?  Are you happy?”

John: “It is okay.  You know, we still don’t know each other that well.  But she does not work so she does my laundry, irons my shirts, cooks our meals, and is there whenever I need something.  This is our culture, she now takes care of me so that I can take care of her and our future children.  We are pressured, um asked, to have children soon.  So now we focus on having children.  This is my culture.”

Macara: “I don’t think it’s just your culture that wants babies after marriage (with a chuckle).  But are you ready?  Is this what you want?”  -(side note: yes, I realize I was asking extremely personal questions to a stranger – hell, people like to talk to me and I can be a bit nosey 🙂 )

John: “Sometimes it is not about what we want, but about what we are supposed to do.  I am, was, happy being bachelor.  But I am turning 27 next month, it was time that I settle down and become a man.”

As we exited the train at Penn Station and he headed one way with a wave as I headed the other, tears came to my eyes.  I cry pretty much all the time now regardless of the situation, but John had me thinking about so much.  Can you imagine being in an arranged marriage?  Knowing you are spending the rest of your life with this person?  And what happens, in their culture, if they struggle to have children as we have?  Can a marriage built through arrangement withstand the test of infertility?  Would the marriage be abandoned?  Would she take on the blame without any actual explanation?

It made me again thankful to have Lenny.  The first year and a half of our marriage was extremely trying, more so than a normal newlywed couple.  Would we have made it through all of that without the six years of foundation we had slowly built before our marriage?

Yesterday was a rough day.  I was missing home, missing Lenny, missing my life. But even on bad days, I am so thankful to have an amazing husband, wonderful friends, and a great support system to help me through things.

My new best friend

is a forum.

Lenny and I found a forum about a month ago that was started two years ago and is a discussion among women that are going through the exact same procedures, under the exact same circumstances, with this particular doctor’s office!  There are 351 pages of posts and I’ve read them all.  Today I mustered up the courage to create a name and make a post!  Seriously, you’d think that pressing submit wouldn’t be that hard considering I’m already laying it all out there in my blog but I was sweating like crazy!  Weird.

Regardless of my fears though, I would highly recommend that everyone find a forum to follow and contribute to that is relative to what your life circumstances are.  Looking for a job?  There’s a forum for that!  Want to lose weight?  There’s a forum for that.  Secretly addicted to Jersey Shore and America’s Next Top Model?  There’s a forum for that!  It’s like happy hour with your closest friends at any time of day.  And, you’re as anonymous as you want to be…

I Love The Office

That’s it.  🙂

And on Sunday, we rest

It has been a pretty crazy week.

I’m still in New York, and Lenny’s entire family came into town this weekend.  It was Poppy’s birthday (his grandfather) and Nan (his grandmother) is ill in the hospital, so it was a good time to get the family together.  Lenny flew in Saturday morning and left this evening (after the Giants game of course!); both of his sisters came in on Saturday and left today as well.

And my most recent doctor’s appointment was… interesting.  Last Monday, while still in Indiana, I started having some weird pains and knew something wasn’t quite right.  When I got to the doc I explained what had been going on and my suspicions were correct.  The doc found three cysts on my left ovary and one on my right…and now we just wait again.  Not sure what the next steps will be, but I am pretty sure that they’ll cancel this cycle and I’ll come back again next month.

Since Sunday is a day of rest – I’m going to take advantage  🙂  More tomorrow!

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