Monday, October 13, 2014

Infertility still hurts but definitely less than it used to

I went to get a pelvic ultrasound last week because I've been having acute ovarian pain for a while. Pain that is bad enough that it burns and pinches and radiates through to my lower back. Pain that is bad enough it wakes me up at night and makes it hard to fall back asleep. Bad enough that three ibuprofen do not nullify it.

It turns out I have a pretty large hemorrhagic cyst on my left ovary. The radiologist who read my ultrasound (who is super cool and double boarded in OB/GYN and radiology) also thought that the degree and duration of pain might indicate my endometriosis has recurred. Which would be a bummer and would probably require another laparoscopy to confirm and potentially treat. Pooh on that.

When I arrived for the exam, the receptionist handed me a form to fill out. It's the first time I've been faced with having to write anything about my reproductive or medical history in awhile.

I tend to think I'm over the past. Magpie is here. Yes, it was a challenge to get her (understatement), but here we are (and thank you but let's not dwell in the past).

But when I had to actually answer the question: "How many pregnancies have you had?" and write "7" and then "How many live births?" and write "1," things came somewhat rushing back. I have to say it is HUGE to get to write "1" instead of "0," which is all I ever thought I'd get to write. But it still was hard to acknowledge that WOW, that was me. I was pregnant 7 times to get to Ms. Magpie. I used to live in a land of what felt like almost unbearable pain over it. Wow. And now, miraculously, I'm over here on the other side, with an amazing almost two-year-old and a large hemorrhagic cyst.

I had similar sense of unreality writing my and my family's cancer history. Can one's immediate and second-degree relatives have THAT many instances of cancer? Hard to believe...Oh boy we are not genetically favored in the cancer risk department.

So physical and lingering emotional pain aside, all is well. My history still looks like a train wreck and it still hurts to have to answer questions that acknowledge it. But it hurts a heck of a lot less than it used to.

For any of you still in the trenches, I wish the same for you.


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  1. I'm the same as you - 1 for 7. And you're so right - it's such an amazing blessing to finally be able to put that 1 in! But it never goes away and, like you, I feel so much for those who still can't put that 1 on a form.

  2. I too feel like I've made it firmly to the other side, but I can still look out the window and see where I spent so much time. I think empathy is what keeps me from forgetting all the heartache and pain. Seeing someone else struggle with family building, especially IRL, brings all the feelings right back.

    Hope your endo isn't back. I have to laugh whenever I hear someone say pregnancy "cures" it. Ugh...

  3. OMG, can I tell you how much I can relate to this? I had an appointment yesterday too. WHY DO THEY HAVE TO ASK YOU THAT SAME QUESTION OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN!??! Pisses me off. I want to say, "look in my damn chart". I was posed with the question/statement yesterday (I've been having unruly irregular bleeding-they found a cyst too)..."You and your husband need to decide if you want anymore children (right now/ever)". EFF YOU LADY. I've been married for 8 years and never once pregnant on my own.

    UGH. Anyway, I hear you. Totally grateful and blessed, but, sometimes the past loves to sucker punch you right in the gut!!!

    HUGS MAMMA!!!!

  4. I hear you. I'm sorry that appointment brought those feelings back. I went and saw a gyn (doesn't do any ob in his practice) for the first time last week. After his medical assistant went through all my paperwork, with details similar to yours, she left the room, then popped her head back in and said, "Oh, I forgot to ask what you're using for birth control?" I laughed out loud at her.

  5. HUGS. So sorry to hear you have a cyst and pain :( I hope it isn't too serious and can be easily taken care of. I feel you on the form. I hate filling them out as the "date of last period" slot always gets me. If I'm not at the oncologist, the nurse typically does a triple take and apparently never bothers to read the rest of the form where I write that I had a radical hysterectomy. Sigh.

    I am so so so happy for Magpie and that you get to write 1 in that space now. While it doesn't wipe out the pain, I'm sure it does help to ease it.

  6. Mo - your post happened to be on the 3rd anniversary of my stillbirth at 26 weeks. I didn't cry this year but it is still so damn sobering. 3 embryo banking frozen cycles in CO later, I'm waiting to hear back on CCS testing of our 5 blasts. Still waiting to put down that "1". Your blog helps me hope for that rainbow baby. Thanks for all you've shared all these years. - a fellow (former) new yorker.

  7. Ugh, those questions. I'm still waiting for my 1 (hopefully just 9 weeks to go) and every time I have to explain to someone why I am at their high-risk OB practice (hello, look at my chart) it just kills me to say the words out loud.

    I hope the cyst and the pain subside...

  8. Filling out or talking about medical history is a huge, HUGE trigger for me. For IF, for loss, for cancer....It's so easy to forget but last week I had to get a mammogram, which of course required follow up and each time a new person came in and asked those questions.....I was a wreck by the time the next doctor came in to tell me everything was fine. Great, but major damage was already done. I took the rest of the day off. Just like A Few Good Eggs, it just kills me to say some words out loud. Still.

    Hoping the pain subsides. And hey, happy holidays!


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