“We’ll just go to a reproductive specialist when we go back home.”
Reflecting back, I said it all nonchalantly because I wasn’t really reallyworried. We had been married for less than a year and had only half-heartedly been trying to conceive. I had fumbled around with the ovulation thermometers and keeping track of my cycles and noticed that my cycle was shorter than normal, around 22 days. I tried charting but never saw the dips on the ovulation charts but I just chalked it up to user error. It was rare that more than a couple of days passed before I forgot to take my temperature FIRST thing in the morning, often sleepily remembering after I’d already stumbled to the bathroom, body temperature skewed and worthless for the day’s measurement. It was wack anyway. All that different monitoring of body functions and cervical mucous, timed sex (we even tried sex for 28 days straight – we only made it to day 17), reading up wives tales and new age treatments on websites which led me to lay for 30 minutes with my legs in air, or wonder who could bring me some flaxseed oil back from the US.
What we needed was to talk to a specialist. We just needed some professional guidance and all would be fine. After all, we had gotten pregnant once and all the websites said that was half the battle. We just needed calibration.
Bear found the doctor – Dr. M, a reproductive endocrinologist, who was professional, funny in one of those slightly snarky ways. I could see us going for drinks in another life. She did a quick examination including an ultrasound. She said my ovaries looked great and I was about to release not one, but TWO eggs. Woo-hoo for my super-duper ovaries. She was concerned about the length of my period and prescribed suppositories to increase my estrogen to ensure the cycle would last long enough so the eggs would have time to attach. The timing was perfect! We both took some blood tests and Bear did a semen deposit, just in case. We walked out of the office uber-positive and ready to work on getting pregnant.
Dr. M called us about three hours later. This can’t be good. She asked for both of us to be on speakerphone and said she would rather tell us this sooner than later. Going straight to the point (which I appreciate), she told us that our initial results were in and that it would be very unlikely that we would be able to get pregnant.
You know on television when the main character hears bad news and the voices fade into the background. That actually happens. The room got silent and time moved slowly. Suddenly I was aware of how bright the lights in the room were, the empty bear bottle on the floor, the shoe flipped upside down under the table. I looked at Bear’s face which was a combination confusion and fear. He was trying to process the information. He was thinking about the baby that we lost and how it could be possible for us to have been pregnant if this was true. He was wondering if the condition was permanent, as in no children, ever. He was wondering, why did we, who did everything right like we were taught, have something so wrong happen to us.
We went the next day to talk to Dr. M in person. She outlined a plan which included us visiting a specialist for more specific testing to see if there was a cause. It could be hormonal, or it could be blockage caused by trauma from a previous surgery. I could see Bear visibly perk up. There was hope. A blockage could be fixed. But – Dr. M told me that even if they found out there was a blockage, most likely we would still need medical intervention to have biological children. He may have hope, but now I had worries. How would we do this living overseas, how much would it cost, how long would we have to wait, what if it didn’t work. I swallowed hard, knowing that it was my time to be strong for us. All our plans were out the window.