I forgot what life in the North was like

This is Mike.  I’m in Cleveland visiting my brother.  When we landed in Cleveland, the guy sitting next to me said, “Whew.  Glad to see that there’s no snow on the ground.”  Made me realize that I didn’t see any snow this winter.  And I didn’t miss it.

I was driving to my brother’s place this morning, when the traffic report said that there was a delay on Interstate 480 because of “sun glare.”  Guess Ohioans are having trouble handling the first sunny day of the spring.  I can report that people in San Diego don’t have any problems with sun glare.


What to expect when you’re not expecting

Life often feels like reading a book.  You can imagine what will be in the next chapter, but you really never know until you turn the page.

Mike and I have been trying to get pregnant for a while now and finally decided to go to see an infertility specialist.  During our consultation, we found out that my “Day 3 FSH level” was abnormally high, which means that I don’t have enough good eggs.  The doctor didn’t use the medical term for this disorder (I might have started bawling in his office if he had), but I looked online and they call it “premature ovulation failure.”  I guess all women start to lose their eggs at a faster rate as they age, and I started that process early, what a treat.   At 29, I have as many good eggs as a woman at 39 should have.

The doctor said that an average couple, with well timed intercourse, has a 22% change of getting pregnant every month and because of my bad eggs, we have a 5% chance.  But with Clomid and  artificial insemination, we can get up to about 15%.  Thankfully, this will cost just $500 a round for a maximum of three rounds, which is doable for us.  I was thinking it would be like $15,000 just to walk in the clinic door, so i was relieved to see we could at least manage this first effort.

So, that’s our situation, and here is my rant for the day.

When you’re trying to get pregnant, every one says, “Try for a year or two, and then go to the doctor if you don’t get pregnant,” but this is just plain bad advice for those of us that anticipate having problems.  My dad and my persistent, sweet momma tried for seven years to have me, so I should have foreseen that things might be more difficult for me than normal and gone to see a doctor a lot sooner.

And I certainly would have gone in earlier if I would have known that the first step was taking just four simple little diagnostic tests that your OBGYN can authorize (and that most insurance companies will pay for).  Amazingly, these tests can tell you volumes about how hard or easy it will likely be for you and your partner to get pregnant.  To figure things out, the guy will get a sperm test, and the gal’ll have a vaginal ultrasound, an xray of her fallopian tubes, and a day 3 FSH hormone test.  The process was so simple and clear that I hope all women, with our without a partner, that want to have kids but anticipate problems will get tested sooner rather than later.

Our society leads us strong women feel like we can do whatever we want when we want, but sometimes we just can’t.  Society also stigmatizes and over generalizes fertility efforts (think octo-mom), which is unfortunate for those of us that should be seeking help.  If I would have known the first step was four easy tests, and not treated going to the fertility doctor as a last resort, we would have found out about this out much earlier.

So Ladies, go get tested (xray of the female parts, FSH test, and utrasound) if you think you might have trouble, and tell the women you know that are having a hard time getting pregnant that it’s okay to ask your OBGYN for testing sooner rather than later.