Saturday, July 14, 2012

six for six

Whoa. You folks don't play around when you say you're going to pray. What other possible explanation is there for the fact that we went six for six on my possible "Really Good Things" list at my appointment yesterday?? SIX FOR SIX!!! For REAL!! That's like...100%!! Since when has every possible thing gone right for me? A girl could get used to this. So feel free to go back and review the list, noting that each thing came to be or did not happen, whatever the case was.

And because I am SUPER awesome, I did a little photojournalism documentation of the day. Granted, if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you have seen/heard MOST of this-- but I saved a FEW things to be new and fresh, haha. So here we go. The official log of my visit:

 It rained during the drive there. Despite some moderate construction on 316, we still made it in an hour, which meant we arrived at the office with time to spare. That was nice, because we parked and re-parked in the deck several times before agreeing on the most optimal spot. We are awesome like that.

Once inside, we had to wait for awhile (because we were early), but there were lots of magazines, a Keurig, and a huge TV showing The Doctors (appropriate, right?) in the waiting room, so it wasn't too miserable. Eventually we went back to a room where they weighed me, took blood pressure, and...had us sit for a long time.

Luckily, we found this egg timer so tastefully decorated with a SPERM!! I mean...who doesn't want one of those?
 After awhile, we got to leave the little exam room and go wait in the doctor's office instead. This was a nice change of scenery, and there was a lovely shelf of light reading material to help us pass the time:

Matt decided to read up on his Infertility Counseling and skipped straight to the chapter about counseling people who are adopting during/after infertility. There were some passages of interest that I snapped pictures of:

"Sadness or anger around pregnant women that continues to be intense"? Nooo...not me...

The 5 steps!! Nice to see these written out somewhere other than on the interwebz. Anyone wanna have a conversation about going through those steps? Sheesh. That was a nightmare. Luckily, we've progressed through them all by now, although I'd be lying if I didn't say I don't go back and revisit different steps occasionally/frequently. But according to the latter half of the paragraph, that's okay. Glad we got that sorted out!

Finally, Dr. S came in. He apologize for being late, as he had to run real quick and get someone knocked up. I bet REs love making that joke. Except it isn't a joke. Good times.

He spent almost an hour and a half talking with us!!! Going over our records/history, asking questions, and talk-talk-talking. Let's be honest: there was a LOT of talk about IVF. There was a lot of talk about the probable prognosis of my reproductive system post-surgery. There was a lot of talk about Matt.

{Cool story: Back in 2010, the local urologist Matt had been seeing basically tossed up his hands and said "there's nothing I can do for you, you need to see a MFI specialist; make an appointment with Dr. W at ___, he's the best." So we'd made the appointment, but after scheduling it, found out that Dr. W was out-of-network (meaning we'd pay for everything OOP, the way we were already paying for all of MY treatment), and we just couldn't hack it, so we cancelled the appointment. WELL. Turns out, Dr. W is part of the same practice as Dr. S. And the check-in lady informed us, as we were checking in that morning, that a week ago, Matt's insurance company changed their policy and now the practice is in-network for him. Meaning COVERED. Interesting 'coincidence,' right?}

He really wants Matt to see Dr. W. He thinks Dr. W may be able to find some answers and help correct whatever issues are causing his problems. In fact, looking over Matt's history and labwork, Dr. S was like oh, Dr. W's done wonders for people waaaay worse off than this, so that was kinda cool to hear. And also, now that we know that this practice is covered on Matt's insurance (we're not on the same insurance, in case you didn't pick up on that), we actually COULD let him see him!!

Now the thing is-- all of this discussion and planning was obviously centering around getting both of us ready for IVF. And he barely stopped for a breath, so I kept not being able to inform him that uhhh...we're not here for IVF. At least not now. So finally I just had to break in and let him know. Which wasn't awkward at all, because I really have a way with words. Right.

Soooo...after we got that out of the way...Dr. S was actually really supportive of our goal to adopt, AND even offered to get us connected with some OB friends of his (which is great, since OBs tend to see pregnant women-- including pregnant women thinking of placing their kids for adoption)! But the best part was that Dr. S was still super excited about getting me fixed (via the surgery, of course) and Matt fixed (via Dr. W and whatever he sees fit), and said that seriously, in another 6 months, with both of our most serious issues fixed, we'd have a much, much better chance of conceiving on our own (although naturally, we could speed up the get-pregnant timeframe a LOT with IVF...of course...). So that was really exciting.

So his game plan for me was to first re-do my ovarian reserve tests (and all other relevant bloodwork), because ovarian reserve levels will determine how he approaches the surgery. He actually went into a lot of detail about this connection and it was SUPER interesting and news to me-- and I've done a lot of endo research in the past few weeks, and this was nothing I'd seen or heard before, so it blew me away pretty good. If anyone cares, I can write more about that later (let me know). It made me feel really good to know that I'm being treated by someone who knows a lot about my condition and doesn't just follow the status quo for treatment, but treats with the ultimate goal of preserving fertility. Anyway. So he wanted us to stay for an ultrasound, exam, and bloodwork, but had to rework his schedule to fit that in (versus us coming back another day for all that).

He ended up being able to squeeze us in an hour later, giving us a very short window of time to go find food. We ended up at Gruby's New York Deli, and it was pretty fantastic.

Since I'd already been weighed, I decided to go ahead and get the Reuben, because I love Reubens. We also opted to share an order of fries. GREAT DECISION, since "an order of fries" turned out to mean "an entire acre of potatoes, fried." We managed to eat about 1/5 of them.
Upon getting back to the office, Dr. S congratulated me on choosing the Reuben, saying "I like girls who aren't afraid to eat!" to Matt (it was funny, not creepy, although from the way I wrote it you might not be able to tell). He also referenced the Reuben several times throughout the ultrasound-- "see that wiggling black line (aka the WHOLE SCREEN, who can read those stupid machines??!) back there? That's the Reuben moving in your bowels!" Umm...awesome. But I've gotten ahead of myself!

While we were waiting for Dr. S and the ultrasound tech to get back to our room, I was sitting on the exam table and looking at the screen. This is what was on it. It had some of my data filled in, but not, apparently, my gender...which was "unknown." That really cracked me up.

The ultrasound went really well. The endometrioma was measuring and looking the exact same as last month, which was good (well, better than growing). That endometrioma/ovary is the same size as my whole entire uterus, by the way. Which...yeah, uteruses (uteri?) are really small when they're not filled with babies, but was bizarre. And then there's my other ovary, looking super tiny, which is how it's supposed to look. Anyway. So Dr. S did the internal exam as well, and used the ultrasound to get as much more information as he could about the situation in there. Basically he said that besides the endometrioma and a smattering of other, smaller cysts/endometriomas (he'll remove or laser those as well during surgery), things (that he could see/feel, obviously) looked good. He is a very enthusiastic man, and he was rather EXCITED about the whole thing, like "This is GREAT!! I mean, it's not great that you have endo. But your ___ is really ___ (whatever, I didn't know what he was talking about, this was him describing various parts of my reproductive system and saying that they were looking/feeling the way they were supposed to) and your ____ is not ____, and so this is a GREAT situation, I LOVE doing these surgeries!!" and it made me feel like I don't love my job enough, haha.

After the ultrasound was the blood-drawing, which I did have Matt photograph. Sorry for not getting pics of the ultrasounds...I'm sure you would have just loooooved that!! Ha.
 Here I am squeezing balls (heh heh) to prep my arms for the needles. Ugh. I hate needles. But I didn't cry, so...Point, ERIKA!

And then we were done!! 

He wants to do the surgery ASAP (yaaaaaay!!!!!), meaning right after we get back from vacation. They will call me next week to finalize the date. I am a little bummed that they have to do the surgery in Atlanta (I had thought they could do it in Lawrenceville, which is a bit closer to where we live), but...we'll survive. (Side note: although the trip TO Atlanta in the morning, took only about an hour, the trip home (at 2pm, not exactly rush hour in my opinion) took 2.5 hours. Sooo...multiply that by post-surgery pain, and you'll see why I'm not thrilled about having surgery in Atlanta...)

We stopped by Starbucks for some free drinks (and a cookie, fine) to get us through the forever-long drive home and to celebrate a REALLY GREAT, best-case-scenario four hours of doctor visiting!

And then proceeded to sit in stupid Atlanta traffic for 2.5 hours and swear that we will never move to the city. 
 Take me hoooome, country roads!

So...sorry for the extremely long and detailed post, but you should know that I actually DID spare you a lot of medical details. Hard to imagine, right? But true. I just figured I owed you a solid update, since so many of you cared enough to pray, think of us, and send sweet notes, comments, texts, and emails. I really appreciated it (and so does Matt, who finds it strange and wonderful that I have so many "friends" via blogging), and I wanted you to know that your prayers were answered. Now if only the MAIN prayer (ya know...for a kid, one way or another) could be so quickly and thoroughly answered, then we'd really be in business!!

Happy Saturday! I'm getting ready for Bacon Fest...yay!


  1. awesome news!! yay! so glad your dr is on board with your adoption and not pressuring you into any treatment you are not comfortable with right now. eat bacon for me please!!

  2. Looks like your dress was a good choice! Glad everything went well!

  3. Looks like your dress was a good choice! Glad everything went well!

  4. Seriously, sounds like pretty much everything was best case scenario! Glad it went so well!

  5. Such great news! So glad that it went well for y'all.

  6. I am so, so, so happy about all of this. I am also amazed that your endo is leading to Matt getting to see the specialist after all. I mean, if y'all hadn't been there would you ever have even known that the insurance now covers the MFI dr? At the very least it could have taken much longer to find that out. Pretty cool.

  7. Sounds like your/our prayers were answered and then some, and it sounds like this doc is a great fit for you, so that's awesome! I'm also very encouraged to hear that he is so optimistic on Matt's behalf, so hooray for that! And lastly, I could have eaten that "really huge" order of fries all by myself EASILY. I'm a little disappointed in you, BUT very pleased that you picked up a cookie at Starbucks.

  8. that's so awesome! so excited for you guys!

  9. Dr. S sounds awesome! I'd love to know the specifics about ovarian reserve stuff...I haven't come across that in all of my research! I LOVE that he is supportive of adoption AND that he is so excited about your good chance of conceiving on your own after surgery/Matt meeting with Dr. W (that is seriously wonderful about Dr. W being in-network now...too much of a coincidence in all of this, imo...something good...and I mean REALLY GOOD seems to be on the horizon here!!).

  10. Prayers are awesome. I was thinking about you yesterday and waiting to hear the results. Which is weird, since I'm just an online creeper/blog stalker. I'm so glad you guys got answers and that the doctors treated you as an educated adult!

    Glad you love Brian Regan, too :) He is favorite.

  11. I love that you got 6 for 6 and that this whole endo junk has lead Matt to finding out that his doctor is now covered. I do admit, I'm wondering a bit "Okay God, so what are you doing here? How are you going to work this all out?" I want to read the last chapter first. But I've always been that way.

    You might consider staying in a hotel after your surgery. I did that after a treatment I had done in Charlotte. We weren't sure how I would do with the drive back to Augusta. No one likes to think about it, but in the case of a complication, it is nice to be closer too.

  12. Hi Erika, I don't know you but started following your blog through Amanda. While you might be a stranger I nonetheless was really excited to read this post and admittedly teared up a bit at how wonderful all the news was (but that might be thanks to the clomid and injections Ive taken this month....). Best of luck with both the adoption and getting all fixed up to possibly conceive naturally avenues! -Lindsay

  13. Woohoo! Sooo happy to read this. I pray the good news and answered prayers will just keep piling up. And ugh...Atlanta traffic is horrific. James and I have vowed to each other that we will not live there because we just can't handle that mess.

  14. You look super hot in that dress!! And this entry was chock full of good stuff, and if I know anyone who deserves some good stuff in their life it's you :)

  15. Yay, yay and triple yay for six out of six! And for others that you didn't even know to mention in your original post -- ie Matt being covered for Dr W, etc. Rejoicing with you today!

  16. This is awesome, Erika!! We are so excited for you. I know God has good things ahead for y'all.

    And we don't miss Atlanta traffic, either!

  17. Woohoo!! I'm so glad it went swimmingly. ;) And yes, EXCITED is the only way to describe Dr. S. He leaves you feeling hopeful and excited yourself which is a gift, I think. And preserving fertility is a good way to describe his approach. He didn't want to put me on Clomid b/c I have a lot of eggs (called me a mother hen), so he didn't want to create problems by making me produce even more eggs. I appreciate his outlook. I'd love to hear more about the medical stuff, it's pretty interesting. Now it's all about your vacation! Live it up!!

  18. So pleased it went so well! Wonderful news!


I love comments almost as much as I love Mexican food. Seriously.