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Sunday, February 24, 2013

My 1st appointment @ the fertility clinic!

Here is my update on my first initial fertility clinic appointment!! 
I gotta say I'm glad that's out of the way.

I'm a little late in posting.. (apt was February 21st) Mainly because I'm not sure how to start my post and I've been trying to avoid thinking about my infertility over the weekend and just relax, do some (lots) of crafts and try and stay calm. I've got so many things running threw my mind after the appointment that I needed a weekend to just forget about it all since I've been a stress ball for weeks leading up to this initial appointment. So here is the breakdown. 

Our appointment was at 9:15 am. We live approximately 2 hours and 2 minutes away (says my GPS). Since we would be driving towards Edmonton right in traffic hour we decided to give ourselves some extra time to get there and not have to stress about the roads and being late. So.. I woke up at 5:15 am, showered and got ready, took my dog out and so on. I drove up since my husband was still half asleep in the car and I needed something to keep my mind busy. We left the house at 6:30 am. Turns out the roads were not ideal that day. It was incredibly foggy out and the roads were very slippery. On our way up, we saw 2 different cars turned on their sides all smashed up with caution take on them post accident. Then we saw a few cars abandoned in ditches. This did not help my stress levels. Luckily it wasn't snowing.. well it was snowing but barely enough to notice a different. Anyways.. We made it to Edmonton safely (fiouf!) and we both needed to use the washrooms so bad so we ended up stopping somewhere on the way. At this point we were so glad we gave ourselves some extra time to make it up there. The two pictures below were taken about 15 minutes from the hospital :) Kinda crappy ones since I was driving and took them stopped at a red light :) 

Once we got to the hospital, we ended up driving around in circles because my Gps brought us to the approximate location of the hospital but of course not the actual building we needed to be in. There were many one ways and we had the map of the hospital in hand but for some reason we still ended up going around in circles around the huge hospital. Finally we found our parking lot and I'm glad to say we got the LAST spot in the lot, not even kidding.. cars were circling the lots looking for spots after we parked.. I was very thankful for that because with the bad roads and stopping on the way, we weren't left with alot of time to spare. Note, we both hate being late for appointments or even cutting it close.. we always feel the need to be at least 15 minutes early, especially since we figured we might have papers to sign or checking in might take a while. We made it with 10 minutes to spare (fiouf!!)    

In the Fertility Clinic's Doc's office waiting for him.. after seeing a nurse who weighed us, measured our height and took our blood pressure. She also filled out a few papers for us to get some blood work done.. she said it was the standard test for new patients. Like they want to make sure we don't have hiv, aids and so on. Also she said I would need to get a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) done to rule out my tubes being blocked. To be honest this is never something that had crossed my mind as being a problem before she mentioned it.. lets just say my mind automatically started analyzing all the what if's. 

We didn't have to wait very long for the Doctor to arrive. Just long enough for my husband and I to talk about things the nurse had just said and asked us. Also just long enough for me to sneak in a picture ;) . The Doctor was old (white white hair and beard indicates age right?? LOL) and thin. (my personal observation). He introduced himself and started asking us a bunch of questions about our health history, past injuries, infections, meds we were on, herbal things we were taking and so on. I sometimes get overwhelmed with the questions and easily blank and forget answers I usually would know off by heart.. I really hate when this happens so I was so happy hubby was there to help out answering.. there were many questions and some I had to dig deep to remember. (wish they would give us a sheet with questions we could fill our for them prior to be prepared and not waste time answering them.. my own opinion..) Anyways.. we got threw all the questions.. but something he said stroke me as annoying.. I don't know if he was trying to be funny or something but he had asked me how often I consume alcohol, I blurt out 'once in a blue moon' (note I was trying to get threw all his questions quick because they stressed me out).. and so he looks at my husband and asked us if we actually knew how long a blue moon was. Naturally we laughed and said uh no. So I clarified my answer and said ruffly once a month if that. Then he proceeded in drawing pictures of moon's down on a paper he had in front of him and went on elaborating on the saying 'a blue moon'. I forget exactly how he described it as I was in 'awe' that he even felt the need to elaborate on that.. So the fallowing is a definition from Wikipedia witch was almost word for word what he said (weird!): 

blue moon is a second full moon in a single calendar month, which happens every two to three years. The rarity of this astronomical event derives from the length of the lunar cycle, 29.53 days,[1] so most months contain only one full moon. The usage of the term blue moon to describe it results from a misinterpretation of the traditional definition of that term in the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope.[2] Due to the rarity of a blue moon, the term "blue moon" is used colloquially to mean a rare event, as in the phrase "once in a blue moon".[3]

So.... after he was done grilling both of us with a list of questions he moved on to our blood work papers partially filled out by the nurse. According to our previous answers, he then started to check off a bunch more squares of things to check and also added a couple more papers to the mix. I ended up with 5 different blood work requisition forms and a urine sample to do as well. One of my sheets required I fast for 12 hours prior to getting the blood drawn so I had to wait till the next day to get it done so figured I would go and get it all done at once. 

Picture above are my 5 sheets for blood work and the orange one is my procedure explanation sheet. The two on the laptop are hubby's blood work sheets. Took the pic when we got home when I was going over them and letting our apt soak in. 

A little side note here for the curious ones... I have hypothyroidism and take a very low dose of synthroid so that's one of the things he wants to check my levels again... I also take progesterone day 1-10 of every month to give myself a period and to help regulate (without it I don't get a period) so he wanted to check my progesterone and testosterone levels as well as a bunch of other hormonal aspects that play along with pcos and hormonal imbalances. Also checking my blood sugar level so my glucose along with something else I can't understand on my form..  I also have protein C deficiency.. For some reason Doc said he thinks I have protein S deficiency and not C so then he wanted to get that checked as well.. Also a weird one he wanted to verify was my blood type... I have no idea why he felt the need to test this again, aren't we all supposed to know our blood type from birth?! (in case of major accident or surgery's gone wrong?!) I'm one of those rare people with O- so it was easy to remember. (My hubby is A+ or AB+ he forgets witch just knows hes def a '+' so that means when I do get pregnant I'd have to take that shot for the baby to survive.. This I knew from the start.. and was warned years ago. There were a bunch of other stuff he checked off but I have no idea what they mean and I forget what the Doc said it was for.. I trust it's all needed so I'm ok with it.       

My husband got lucky and only has 2 papers for his blood work. (Note I absolutely HATE needles for the life of me but lately with my health issues I've grown a pair of nerves and learned to suck it up and just not look.. still hate them tho!) My husband had recently (3ish weeks ago) went to the hospital to give his sperm sample since we figured it was definitely something they would need and so we wanted to have his results handy witch I did. I gave the nurse the paper who made a copy for their files.. only when the doc came in, he said he wanted my hubby to do the test again because apparently they do more elaborate tests at the clinic and so after our appointment hubby went and did his business in a cup.. again. At least he was able to do that right away and get it out of the way. Doc went over hubby's results with him anyways and discussed what they meant when dealing with me who has pcos. (talked about his morphology rate and so on) His sperm is normal, just not perfect so they want to test again and test deeper or something. 

Despite all the test we now have to do, I was very happy with how thorough he was and getting all this blood work from both of us is a really good sign and it will help us get better answers as to what strategy to take next to attack our infertility problem. Towards the end of the appointment, the doc decided to book my HSG procedure asap since I had just finished my cycle on the 18th and he said it needs to be done right after a cycle and before ovulation occurs so it turns out Monday (tomorrow) I am going in at 11:00 am to get it done. I was very lucky to be able to get squeezed in. He said he was only available Monday or Tuesday as those were the 2 days he was performing the procedure so I jumped on that chance to get that over with as well. He gave us a Patient Fact Sheet with a huge detailed description of what the procedure is. This was helpful in feeling prepared for tomorrow :) . He also told me to book a fallow up appointment with the front desk right away as there was a bit of a wait. Turns out my fallow up apt is April 8th :S Kinda too far away for my taste but once again I will take what I can. He also mentioned that since we live far away, for the fallow up appointments I would be able to do them locally. I just have to book an apt with Tele-Health and I'd be able to do my apt threw a computer (I guess kinda like skype but professional :)) This is awesome news as it takes stress from driving there just for a 2 minute apt and also saves me lotsa money and means I don't have to book work off every single time!! Yay for technology!! 

Overall, Doctor was helpful, kind and I guess you could say made us laugh a few times. He did not at all make us feel rushed, in fact he really took his time and looked at ease and got comfortable in his office instead of checking his watch and the door. 

With the first appointment behind me now, I'm starting to feel hopeful again and this is such a great feeling. After the appointment tomorrow I will feel even better because I will have an answer as to if my tubes are blocked or not.. (keeping fingers crossed) deep inside I believe that my tubes are fine so I'll just keep holding on to that thought till I get a definite answer :) Trying to keep positive. 

Afterwards, since we had driven all the way to Edmonton and took the day off  work, we decided to go to the Edmonton Mall for a bit and check it out.... Here are a couple pics of our day :) 

Me in front of a real full size boat inside the mall! 
Please note I look like crap.. I was running on 2 hours sleep and feeling not myself.

Relaxing & enjoying my Starbucks Vanilla Latte while watching kids skate!
I had a really bad headache here from stress, being tired and so on.. 

Kids skating on the rink inside the mall.. So cute to watch.

Another neat area in the mall... view from the 2nd floor.

Hubby and I on our way home.. Exhausted & RELEAVED our day is over!!!
Haha.. gotta love my fake smile.. I had a really bad headache at this point.. couldn't 
wait to get home into my pj's and just relax and watch a movie on Netflix :-)

Weather on our way home.. Cloudy but roads ALOT better.. 
that's why we wasted time in the mall.. waiting for the roads to get better..
Took this shot while on the highway.. about halfway home from Edmonton.

The Infertile Mrs.White