Parthenogenesis

October 1, 2012

Okay, not really. It would be pretty cool, though, wouldn’t it?

Ultrasound this morning. We got there at the usual time, around 7:30, but we weren’t the first. A woman I’ve met before had beaten us. She’s a dentist and had to get into work, so she made sure to get there early. The thing about fertility clinics is that you simultaneously want to see familiar faces and never want to see them again. The familiarity is comforting, but if we stop seeing each other, hopefully that means good news for you.

By the time the clinic doors were unlocked, there were three of us (patients, that is, not counting my mom) swapping stories. They left us alone together a bit too long.

“Oh, we bonded over my knowledge that Leavin’ On a Jet Plane is a John Denver song even though it was first made famous by Peter, Paul, & Mary,” I said.

“Oh,” said the third woman, “for me it was Roman history. I knew why July and August have 31 days. The whole Julius and Augustus Caesar thing.”

“Has he sung to you yet?” the dentist asked.

“No,” said the third woman.

“Yes,” I groaned.

The dentist went on to tell her story. Apparently her veins are hard to find for blood draws. He sang “You’re So Vein” to her. (Frankly, while still somewhat inappropriate, not nearly as much as my “Uncooperative”. I did not share that story.)

There was general consensus that he is an odd person to deal with. We all also agreed that he has dreadful bedside manner. And we all also wished he would actually tell us what he’s seeing when he does the ultrasound.

“My husband was with me one day,” the dentist said. “He asked the doctor what was on the ultrasound, and the doctor said, ‘These appointments are for data gathering only. If you wish to discuss the results, then you need to schedule a consultation.'” She was particularly appalled by this because her husband is a doctor. I do hate to tell her that an MD who has specialized in something as particular as fertility medicine would never consider a DDS to be a “real” doctor. Trust me. I used to work for a transplant surgeon. He didn’t consider DOs to be “real” doctors.

And, yes, we were all appalled by that statement. You know the episode of Seinfeld when Elaine thinks the doctor has written that she’s a difficult patient in her chart and she keeps trying to get her hands on it so that she can see what it says? This doctor is a lot like that. He is frequently more than a little too paternalistic. The dentist’s anecdote pretty much sums it up. He knows what’s best, so we should just trust him. All of us are of the mindset that if he just gave us all of the information he gathered, maybe we’d decide that he is right, but we’re not going to blindly follow.

So that was everything that happened before eight this morning.

As previously stated, I was second in line for my ultrasound. My mother was disappointed, but I wasn’t terribly surprised. Another month missed. (Annoyingly, he asked about whether I’d taken any OPKs. I did point out that there was nothing in my chart about whether or not I should have been doing them.)

Where the appointment got interesting was when he asked me when the last time was that sperm had been introduced to my system. Dude, if I’d suddenly found someone to start sleeping with, I wouldn’t still be coming to you to try to get pregnant. There was a bright spot on my ultrasound that he couldn’t identify. (That’s always reassuring.) “Parthenogenesis,” I whispered to my mom.

But here’s the thing. It’s been less than a week since I had my annual. I had a pap smear. The midwife was poking around in there. I’m sure that bright spot is related to all of the fun I had last Tuesday. I’m still probably going to totally stress over it, but unless it’s still there in a month, I’m sure it’s nothing.

And since he was baffled by the fact it looked like I’ve already ovulated, I got to do another blood draw to find out. His bewilderment is more than a little frustrating to me. I will be the first to say that anecdotal evidence is not scientific evidence. But at the same time, the use of Femara as a fertility drug is off-label. Femara is, in fact, a cancer drug. There are restrictions on studying off-label uses of prescription drugs. Studies can be done, but they are much more limited than studies done on labeled uses. And the many fertility forums that are out there are full of women saying they ovulate early on Femara. So, yes, anecdotal evidence, but a hell of a lot of it.

And when he called me this afternoon with my results, sure enough, they showed I’d already ovulated. His response to this was that he wasn’t sure what was going on. (Hmmm… How about this, doc? I was on a drug that appears to regularly make women ovulate earlier than expected, and I happened to ovulate earlier than expected. No? Too obvious?)

All in all, it’s been an incredibly long day. Jenny is starting up a weeknight stitch ‘n’ bitch. And since I’m getting really tired of using PTO for these appointments, I went to work after the ultrasound and stayed there until it was time to go to knitting. (This means I worked enough hours that I can use flex time and not PTO.)

But at least we’re getting the timing worked out!

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