Friday, September 25, 2009

a bump in the road

I'm a little late in putting out an update from my hysterosonogram (HSN) appointment on Wednesday morning, so I apologize if any of you were waiting for it. I just needed a few days to process the information from that appointment before I could write about it.

Obviously, based on the above AND the title of this post, we've hit a little bit of a setback, such that we will NOT be going forward with IUI this month. Understandably, I have some very mixed - and strong - feelings about this change in plans.

My reproductive medicine specialist believed going into the HSN that he'd get a good look at the supposed uterine fibroid that the radiologist saw during my HSG appointment in June, and that it would most likely be a non-issue since the radiologist said it was "small." I think both my doctor and I expected this to be a simple peek to make sure it wasn't a big deal, and then we'd be good to move forward with my IUI this weekend.

Unfortunately, the ultrasound didn't give him a very good or complete look at what is going on in my uterus, so it looks like I'm going to need to have surgery. The procedure is technically called a hysteroscopy, which basically means that the doctor will insert a scope with a camera on it into my uterus (transvaginally) to actually be able to "see" what it is that he saw on the ultrasound.

As far as I know, the question is whether it actually IS a uterine fibroid or it's just a distortion in the wall of my uterus, because apparently I have a slightly twisted uterus. I never knew that before, so that was new news to me. And since the appointment, I've come up with a bunch of questions about that, too, but I'll get to those later.

I presume that if it IS a fibroid, he'll remove it as long as he's in there. I believe that can be done hysteroscopically. And, frankly, if it IS a fibroid, I'd prefer that he get it out while he's in there, since I've been reading that fibroids can be very pesky pains in the butt, both during pregnancy and otherwise. No sense leaving it there if it doesn't have to be left there, as far as I'm concerned. If it is a fibroid and he does remove it, then I'll have to recover, and then - hopefully - we can start a real, full IUI cycle after my period in 2 weeks. And hopefully removing the fibroid will give me better odds of conceiving, as they can sometimes interfere with conception.

If it's NOT a fibroid, then I don't know what happens. If it's just a distortion in the wall of my uterus due to it being twisted, I don't know what that means in terms of my potential for pregnancy, etc. My doctor seemed pretty nonchalant about that being the case, so I presume that we'd be okay to plan on doing IUI next month, but I'm not positive.

But I find myself wondering about this whole "twisted uterus" business: Has it ALWAYS been twisted? Was it like this before, when I got pregnant with Super Boy? I didn't have any issues getting pregnant with him, and my pregnancy went swimmingly, so I'd have to think that either my uterus WASN'T twisted then or it was and it's just not a big deal. If it twisted since my pregnancy, how did that happen, and can it be... untwisted? Can they fix that? And DOES it matter in terms of my ability to get pregnant? Will or might it cause problems if I DO get pregnant? Any big risks I need to know about? I'm chock FULL of questions about that, so I definitely need to talk to my doctor again.

And then there's what I'm calling the third possibility: That the thing he's seeing in my uterus is neither a fibroid nor a simple distortion of my uterus. Of course, I'm automatically freaking out thinking "CANCER!" but I don't know whether that concern is warranted or not. It certainly crossed my mind, but I don't know if it has crossed the doctor's mind. I know it's not really worth spending too much time worrying about at this point, and I'm trying REALLY HARD not to worry about it, but it's hard. I'm a mom, and a wife. I'm 35. I'm not prepared for that.

Anyway. So, the surgery... I don't know if I've ever mentioned this before but I've never been put under general anesthesia. My only surgery was my C-section with Super Boy in 2003, and I was awake for that with an epidural and pain meds.

The idea of general anesthesia completely - COMPLETELY - wigs me out. There are risks with that. Bad risks. My worst fears are DYING while under (top worry), or waking up from the anesthesia but being sick as a dog with vomiting (many, many thanks to my vomit-phobia for that). I look at both as unacceptable risks!

And I find myself wondering if they can't just give me an epidural or do it the way my colonoscopy was done (with Versed and fentanyl), so that I can be kept conscious for the hysteroscopy but not feel anything or be stressed and anxious during it. Can they do it that way? MUST I be put under for this? Because I'm telling you right now, if they MUST put me under for it, then we better get the friggin' surgery scheduled SOON so I don't have too many more days to spend freaking out over it, and they'll probably want to put me on some anxiety medication leading up to it so I can keep from climbing the walls until the day rolls around. I'm dead serious about that.

The only - ONLY - upside to the procedure Wednesday was that the doctor was able to see how well the Clomid was working. Both of my ovaries had several visibly developing egg follicles, so I definitely responded well to the medication. That's a good sign. Assuming we're able to go ahead with IUI next month - or ever - that is.

In the meantime, Super Man and I have been instructed NOT to try to conceive this month on our own and the IUI has been postponed. I can't tell you what a let-down that was for me when I heard the news. Here I had already taken 5 days of Clomid and gotten all jazzed up over the good test results that were coming in, and then the brakes were slammed on the whole thing due to the HSN. If all had gone well on Wednesday, I'd have had my mid-cycle ultrasound this morning, might've gotten an hCG shot today, and would've been going in for IUI tomorrow or later this weekend. I might've gotten pregnant this month. It's SO HARD to not feel sad knowing that. My mind was ready and my body was ready, but for the stupid uterine thing.

But then I think about the fact that I've been waiting, waiting, waiting for nearly four years now. Thinking about it that way, another month isn't the end of the world. Not really.

Still though... it's hard. Because after all those years worth of months spent waiting, for the past few weeks things have FINALLY been moving forward, quickly and well. I have felt positively elated the past few weeks, filled as I was with new hope and optimism. It felt sooooo good to feel that way again...

For me, hope for another baby has become SUCH a fragile and rare and blessed thing. I have to have reason to hope, because without it, I feel so empty. I don't want to feel empty.

So I sit again and wait. Wait for the doctor's office to call to schedule the surgery. Wait to find out what the issue with my uterus is. Wait to find out if I can even keep trying to have a baby or whether we've hit the brick wall I've been dreading.

I wait.

Please, whatever good thoughts and prayers you can send, please send them. And I am begging - literally, begging - God to give me strength and patience and peace with whatever comes next.

With hope,
SW

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for being so candid. I'm certain that your openness will be a blessing to readers who stumble upon your blog. I don't think I can offer much consolation, except to say that I had to undergo general anesthesia *twice* in August for my thyroid surgeries, and both times I was terrified for the same reasons you are. I was especially worried about vomiting because I was so afraid that it would cause further damage to my throat. However, I recall being given a pill before both surgeries (pepcid, I think) that was supposed to prevent nausea. I did not throw up at all.

    And if, God forbid, it is cancer, you'll be OK. You will find strength to handle whatever happens to you -- strength you never knew you had.

    You have so many folks pulling for you. If you need anything, let us know. Be strong. You'll get through this!

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