It’s been a little while since I’ve filled you in on where we are in the whole baby making process. Following our missed miscarriage back in March and our D/C I decided to take the entire month of April off to just try and be “normal”. Not that I have any idea as to what normal is anymore. Infertility has robbed that from us. But in an effort to try and get a glimmer of what is ‘normal’ I basically stopped doing all the things I had been when pregnant or trying to be pregnant. This included going on a binge and eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted … cue the excess weight gain. I also started going out with friends for cocktails, partying it up when appropriate (friend’s bachelorette and bridal shower etc), I stopped taking my zillion vitamins daily and gave the good old avocados and pomegranate juice a break. Lastly, I took a full month off from any needles that includes shots as well as acupuncture.
As you can image all of this wild and crazy infertility rule breaking behavior lead me to feel less than stellar! So starting May first I tried to slowly reel myself back in as we begin to prepare for IVF round 3, our 2nd Frozen Embryo Transfer. Following my D/C I was kind of left hanging as to what the next steps would be. I knew I needed to get my next cycle and then I had to have a series of tests/procedures done but I didn’t have any set timeframe. April was truly a weird month. Part of me was excited to be taking a bit of break, part of me felt guilty, part of me was sad that I wasn’t pregnant and the other part of me just wanted to hurry everything along and get started on the next steps!
Thankfully my loving body gave in fairly quickly and I started a new cycle on May 1st! I swear I never thought I would be so happy to have aunt flow show her grizzly face. But the start of af meant I could finally call my clinic and get the ball rolling on everything else. Little did I know those next few steps would be less than impressive.
A week or so after af started/stopped I had my first appointment back at the RE’s office. I was scheduled for a hysterscopy, a uterine biopsy, a mock transfer, and an endometrial scratch. Doesn’t sound particularly too complicated until I realized I would be WIDE AWAKE with zero pain control during all of this.
Wait hold up, you want to stick what? in where? while I am awake!? Can’t a sister get a little pain support over here?? Crickets… guess I’m on my own while I clutch a bottle of advil.
On wednesday of this past week I came in for my quadruple office procedure. I had followed the directions to take 800mg of ibuprofen an hour before and just in case I had taken some anxiety meds. Needless to say these all proved to be completely useless once the procedure began. Thankfully, my instagram IVF community had warned me I was in for a major pain experience. They were not exaggerating.
My doctor warned me when she entered the room that for some women the procedure is only slightly uncomfortable and for others the pain can be so severe that the procedure needs to be ended early. I will allow you a moment to guess which side of that spectrum I fell on …. It was excruciatingly painful.. as in I screamed out loud “Holy Fuck!! That hurts!” as tears streamed down my face.
Step 1 – Set up & Mock Transfer: It all started with the typical get undressed from the waist down, plop your feet up in these lovely stirrups, and lets get this party started gig. I’ve done this part thousands of times! I’m like an old pro. Then came the dreaded speculum, but just in case this wasn’t already a party, I got to add a special additional friend… a cervical clamp to the mix..yay!
The cervical clamp immediately caused cramping but those were mild in comparison to what was coming next. My RE told me she would do a ‘mock transfer’ first whereby she inserts the same sized catheter they use on transfer day to practice placement in my uterus. Round 1 went smoothly with only mild discomfort. Since that wasn’t fun enough she decided to go for round 2 just to make sure she had it just right! Well lucky me she pushed in too far and jabbed the back of my uterus… cue the knives!! It felt like a sharp knife was poking my insides. Not pleasant.
Step 2- Hysterscopy: First step was to insert an even wider catheter so that she could conduct the hysterscopy. Side note: I once dated someone who sold medical devices.. these cameras to be exact. In that moment I thought back to how I use to laugh and play with these mini camera’s at his house thinking “those poor souls who have to have these inserted in their neither regions”… Flash forward to me waiting anxiously for one of those bad boys to be shoved in my lady bits…’Karma you really can be a bitch’ I thought as I realized I was now one of those poor unfortunate souls.. except I wasn’t even getting the common courtesy of anesthesia, it was just me and the hysterscopy camera coming face to face for what I hope to be the first and last time ever.
While this part was less than comfortable, cue more cramping as my uterus is being filled with saline and a camera probe is being moved around inside to check for scarring and any other issues, the pain was manageable. The one cool part about all of this was that I actually got to watch it all go down the big screen. I got to see what the inside of my uterus actually look like! Now its not every day that you get to say that! Jason on the other hand was less than thrilled. He peaked once and immediately regretted it as he apparently can’t handle the medical parts of this gig. He started asking “does anyone care about me? I’m about to pass out”… Sorry buck-a-roo I’m the one with a camera up my whoo-ha ain’t nobody checking in on you. Thankfully all looked good so it was on to the next steps.
Step 3/4- Uterine biopsy & Endometrial Scratch aka HELL: Thinking that I am almost in the clear, I figured this next step wouldn’t be so bad.. Nothing could be further from the truth. Ladies.. If you ever have to have a uterine biopsy done, please do yourself a favor and ask to be knocked out.
I felt like I was back in the 1800’s when shoddy medical practices were conducted with nothing more than a swig of alcohol and a dirty cloth shoved in your mouth to quiet the screaming. The pain was no joke.
After removing the hysterscopy camera my RE inserted what must now be known as a straight torture device. I never got to see what it looked like, but I sure as hell felt it. She started to “scratch” my uternine lining to be collected for the biopsy as well as to help create a more inviting uterine lining for my upcoming transfer. She wasn’t in there for more than a few seconds when the pain set in. It felt like a someone was taking their very sharp finger nails and just scrapping/digging at my insides. My whole uterus began spasming and clamping down. I was in agony. She quickly stopped and asked if she should be done. I told her to just try to finish as quickly as she could (because thats what infertility does to you.. you become the biggest warrior and will do anything to get to that baby!). Upon starting up again the pain intensified to the point where I almost blacked out. She stopped and told me to try and relax my muscles, but to lay still and not to get up for fear I would collapse.
And just like that it was all over. The entire procedure probably only took about 20-30 minutes but it felt like an eternity. I’m glad I went through with it all as I hope to set myself up for success on this next transfer. But I can tell you this, if I ever have to do that procedure again I will request to be knocked out. Looking back I think it was my endometriosis that made it so painful, everything in that general area for me is always inflamed and uncomfortable. Cheer’s to moving forward with happy and healthy uterus!
Until next time, as always, wishing you and yours lots of love, luck and baby dust!