Friday, 15 March 2013

We can now continue with our regularly scheduled programming

Well, I cajoled and pleaded with my uterus to just hurry up and bleed already so that the procedure to remove that polyp would not have to be postponed; and for once, a rant about my disobedient body would be totally unjustified. I'm feeling rather pleased with my uterus for her cooperation, as well as with the overall outcome of yesterday's visit to the hospital.

In brief: I am polyp-free. The procedure itself was slightly more eye wateringly scream worthy unpleasant than I could have imagined - especially since I wasn't advised to take a preemptive pain killer as is usually done with an HSG or whatever - but the pain was short lived. And this whole little debacle can now be relegated to the dustbin of my reproductive organ history (surreal and unfortunate mental image).*

But it gets better. We were actually called into the exam room by the very doctor who I was waiting to be referred to for further investigations on the recurrent pregnancy loss front. (In my experience with such procedures in the UK you don't get anywhere near a doctor, so I was pleasantly surprised off the bat). So far, I have to say I like this doctor very much. He asked us if we wanted to begin with that consultation for RPL as well, since we were already there 'and it saves you a trip'. He then spent the better part of an hour with us, going over our history, the risk factors we might be looking for, what procedures they will undertake to investigate those, and answering all our accumulated neurotic and random questions. He is a high risk OB/GYN, and he thinks our case is best dealt with by their clinic, but he also made a referral to their partners in the sub-fertility clinic 'just to rule everything out and put your mind at ease'. How lovely is that? He had a very calm, clinical approach, but he referred to all my pregnancies as involving babies, and not 'products of conception' or 'tissue'. According to him, since my progesterone levels are consistently strong, there is no reason for worry as yet about my LH levels this past cycle, and said that 38 is still a 'very healthy, perfect age' for having a baby. When our consultation was over and he had removed the polyp, he personally walked us all the way to the phlebotomy lab where we had our blood drawn. This guy gets lots of points for approach and effort and awareness so far. H and I both felt listened to, reassured and genuinely cared for, and that makes all the difference in our feelings of optimism for this road we're walking. 

We both left with a renewed sense of direction and calm, and for however long that lasts (see all the previous posts I've ever written on that likelihood), we'll take it. I said as much to H, that - based on what the doctor had said - I feel renewed in my determination to carry on carrying on for now and try to see no reason why things might not, for once, swing our way after all this time. H pointed out that this had been his message all along and that he was glad I was at least willing to listen to someone. Well yes, while I appreciate - indeed, crave - his optimism and certainty, it is also nice to hear those messages of reassurance from someone with training in something other than, er...political science.  


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And just like that, my birthday is around the corner. Last year, we were still living in Portugal, and we celebrated here, eating freshly caught fish al fresco and swimming outdoors. In March. (I really miss that place).

Of course I had no idea then that a whole year would pass and we'd be...I am tempted to say 'no closer to where we want to get', but when I think about it, there are so many ways in which that's not true. No, we still aren't parents to a living baby. But we're more solid in our determination as a couple to achieve that goal than we have ever been. We both know where we want to go, even if we're not there yet. And maybe, medically speaking, we're even going to get some of the support we need.

So for now at least, my duvet diving days are on hold, not least because we have more than a week of travels and visits and lovely cultural enjoyments to take in. This evening my mother arrives to join us for a celebration of my actual birthday, which will be spent here enjoying four days of long coastal walks, windswept beaches, fresh seafood, exploring castle ruins, and dinner in a real treehouse. After that, we're home for scarcely a day before heading out once again, just the two of us, to partake of some more urbane pleasures, the details of which remain a carefully guarded mystery to me, but which will involve three nights in London, likely visits to galleries, probably (if I have anything to do with it), a stroll through one of my favourite places to hang out in the whole city, and certainly prosecco.

H's penchant for meticulously planned decadent surprises remains unstoppable. When, post-freak out last week, I told him I didn't want to celebrate my birthday this year, as I was starting to see it as nothing more than a cruel reminder of what we haven't managed to achieve, he replied that we don't need to make it about birthdays or the progression of time at all, but that he wants the opportunity to stop the clocks, be in the present, and celebrate me. 

And if I intend to stick with the attitude I embraced post-hospital yesterday, I suppose there is nothing wrong with the enjoyment of some very grown-up pleasures and moments of joy (I have to work harder to stay true to the header of this blog), especially as jungle time will definitely fall in this period, and there's always the hope that such grown-up jaunts may become a thing of the past for us in the not-too-distant future.


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Friends, thank you for all your kind words and thoughts through this tough past week. Your lovely, warm messages of camaraderie and understanding allowed me to feel very much buoyed, and a little bit less crazy in my moments of melodrama. I hope that whatever you have planned this weekend, it includes brief moments of joy, opportunities to stop the clock and celebrate you. Because I think you're pretty awesome.




* I am sure you'll think I'm ridiculously melodramatic for spending as much time in print as I have on this topic. You'd be right, but in the absence of anything resembling even the hint of the promise of a future baby on what might otherwise be considered a ttc blog, perhaps I felt obliged to discuss lady parts. I know that a lot of you lament the lack of education we otherwise highly educated women have about our own bodies, but I for one really really wish I wasn't this interested in my own cervix. Just saying.

32 comments:

  1. Oh, what a wonderful and pleasant surprise to actually see the doctor you had wanted to see AND that (it sounds like) he is just the doctor you need working with you.

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    1. It was indeed unexpected but really very heartening.

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  2. I am just so very glad you actually got to see the doctor and he gave you TIME to go over everything. It is also wonderful to hear he spoke of like you said your other "babies" as not just tissue! Sadie, I am praying for you. I pray this will be your time to have a live bring home baby. I had severe endometriosis which doomed me, but I proved the doctors wrong. Blessings to you and lots of hugs.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and wishes Gale. I'm hoping this appointment was a very good start for better things to come.

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  3. I'm so glad you are getting the answers you need, and that you are feeling hopeful. That looks like a lovely place to celebrate your birthday, Happy Birthday!!

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    1. Thank you! Those feelings of hopefulness inevitably come and go, but I'm finding that recording them here has been a great way to remind myself and hold on to them as well.

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  4. Glad you're all better love. And happy birthday.

    You're guy sounds amazing by the way :) xxx

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    1. Why, thank you. I for one think he's pretty grand :)

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  5. Oh, we have a week booked in Portugal in June. I love that place. I am dreaming of the sun and seafood already.

    I am so glad you saw a doctor who seems to be moving things forward. Onward and upward, and you are right, you are getting closer every day, even when it does not feel like that.

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    1. I love it too and we were SO fortunate to have lived there (the upside of our sometimes precarious existence). I miss the place, the sun, the sea, often.

      I have to keep reminding myself that each day is a step closer to realizing our hopes and wishes. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  6. Congrats on being polyp-free! Your doctor sounds lovely- I'm quite jealous that he had such good beside manner!

    Have a lovely birthday.

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    1. Thanks for the wishes!

      I am actually feeling quite fortunate to have found such a good 'un, having experienced my fair share of ass hat doctors in the past.

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  7. It's great to hear all these positive things! I'm so glad your polyp removal went smoothly & that you were able to meet with the doctor unexpectedly. It sounds like you have a lot of fun things to look forward to in the near future (I LOVE tree houses-- that place looks amazing). Enjoy, celebrate, and have fun!!

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    1. Thanks for the wishes! The treehouse was, in a word, fantastical. (Even if I was distracted by baby seal rescue ventures).

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  8. Way to go doc, and way to go H on the optimism front! Glad you're feeling a renewed sense of calm, just in time for a wonderful travels and surprises.

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    1. Yes, at the moment I feel kind of fortunate to have some reassuring optimism around to keep me and my neurotic brain in line.

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  9. Happy birthday my dear, and enjoy your time away! it sounds lovely.
    And so glad the Dr took his time right there and then to start the process of investigation. One step closer.

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    1. Thank you so much my friend. One step closer: I hold on to this thought.

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  10. Happy birthday! I hope you will enjoy the time with your family, and later in London with your husband.
    I am so glad to hear that the polyp is gone, that your progesterone levels are well, and that this new doctor seems to know what his doing and is optimist as to how to approach your situation.
    Crossing my fingers for you and wishing you all the best. Hugs.

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    1. Thank you so much for the wishes! I'm trying to see these all as very hopeful developments.

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  11. Congratulations on having such a great, involved, caring doctor. I believe factors like that actually do better and will make a difference.

    Enjoy your fun plans with family!

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    1. I totally agree, and as I've ranted about before on these very pages, I've encountered his professional opposite too many times, so I'm hoping this will be the care I need to turn things around for us.

      Thanks for the birthday wishes!

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  12. Your writing is refreshing. I was googling cervical polyp removal (ha ha) and have been reading about your journey and I didn't feel so alone. Happy to hear you have had the procedure, mine is next week - yikes! I had this polyp discovered the same way as you, during a smear, I didn't have it removed as there were no symptoms and the doctor said it was OK as many women have them and probably dont know. Then it niggled me a few months ago and the other doctor said to remove it - then followed exactly as you describe so well, the vague and un reassuring replies to my questions. If I have no symptoms, then why remove, if it's nothing then say so, if it's possibly but very un-likely cancer or pre cancer say so, if it's just a precaution and no problem say so. The most annoying bit was asking why it was there and how to solve the reason behind it so it doesn't happen again - no answer. The anxiety seems so un-neccesary - why don't they just say things clearly, even if the outcomes are many.

    No answer as to what happens in the procedure, just a vague mentioned of twisting off ...ouch but if a problem I will be referred - what problem? No answer, good god, it's ridiculous. So so happy to hear you had the appointment and despite an ouch, all went smoothly - fingers crossed I can experience similar.

    As for nurses being unaware of them - the clinic, when I rang them to ask what happens when I go, said I don't mean to be rude but they are really common and it's the main reason people come in. So we are common and I guess that could have alleviated the worry and concern a lot sooner.

    I feel for you having to face the non direct attitude of the NHS these days - I think they are afraid, I know they are, because I asked the GP why she couldnt remove the polyp in the surgery and after umming and arrhing she said, because these days we are risk averse! Oh dear, so glad you bumped into an attentive doctor and all the best for some positive turns in your journey.

    So glad I read your posts, they sounded so like me :)

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    1. Sally, I'm so glad that you found something of use (and hopefully even reassurance?) in my rants and ramblings. It really does make me feel good to share these things here. I hope your own polyp removal went without a hitch. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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    2. Thank you for your reply. Sadly, the saga continues, I still have the polyp!

      I wanted to say that although I don't have children and am not in a situation anymore to try, I relate to much of your writing about the wanting, hoping and waiting and living with the uncertainty.

      Anyhow, my GP referred me to a community gynae service where they usually remove polyps. I have now discovered it is a GP and not a gynae consultant and when she looked at the polyp she said it was too big to remove there having said the referral letter from my own GP suggested it was small enough to have simple removal.

      The reason she is now referring me to the main gynae department at the hospital is because they have the means to stop the bleeding which may happen as it's bigger and they wouldn't want to send me home with bleeding.

      To say I was anxious beforehand is an understatement and now I am completely freaked out that it appears to have grown since my gp visit - much like you said yours had. No-one is telling me why it's growing etc and now have to wait another 8 weeks. I am of course equating 'growing mass' with cancer or a major problem - even though there are no symptoms??? Wish I could get my head around this..

      I am currently envious that you are polyp free :) Wishing you well on your journey and that maybe being polyp free will be helpful.

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    3. I'm so sorry you're facing more delays with the polyp removal, and not getting clear answers from your caregivers. If you followed my own journey with this, you'll know that I know how frustrating and nerve-wracking that can be! I just want to reiterate (as my kind bloggy friends have done) how unlikely it is that you have ANY cause for worry, even if the polyp has grown. I hope things do run smoothly for you; please feel free to drop me a line.

      Also, thanks for saying that you relate to the other aspects of my ttc journey. I often get the sense that there are many people out there who, although they wouldn't identify themselves as 'infertile', have faced similar desires and disappointments and just not the right circumstances (which partly accounts for my situation too), and somehow it helps to be reminded of that, to not be so focused on ME ME all the time. However, I'm sorry you ever had to face this uncertainty.

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    4. Hi Sadie, I know you are on holiday right now (hope it is wonderful) but writing as you came to mind this afternoon while I was reflecting on my polyp removal this morning!

      I am a great believer in the interconnectedness of situations and feelings and this polyp saga is no different. The thing is, it has brought so much fear up, it's quite shocking, not like me at all, I had gynae things years ago and never thought of cancer or ongoing problems etc..

      Anyway, I was in a good state of mind on arrival and then told if it was too big a general anaesthetic might be needed or a local. As it turned out, neither, as you say it wasn't the most comfortable of experiences, but it was done and this time the doctor and nurse could not have been more communicative and focussed on my experience.

      That, I think is why I was able to realise that the tears and shakes this afternoon were very much to do with not having children. There was a moment in that chair - with the nurse holding my hand where I had flash backs to being a birthing partner for friends (yes twice) and the determination in myself to be brave and stay centered while various things took longer than expected where I thought of giving birth or the idea of it! That wouldn't I rather be going through these intimate and uncomfortable things for that reason? Maybe in a weird way that's why I keep worrying something will be wrong and I will have to have more treatments which might stir these emotions again.

      Anyhow, I think this polyp and the fear I have felt is covering lots of other feelings that are sometimes hard to access now that my journey with having children seems to be over. The feelings and missing element of experience of that has come right up after this over inflated polyp situation. It's all life, it's not always in our control, so I guess we run with it :)

      I read but don't comment on your blog. I love your attitude and writing and thanks again for replying previously. I have to wait 3 weeks now for the official letter to say all is well with this polyp and I imagine I shall worry a bit until that is done. I will also process the feelings mother related that have come with it.

      Feeling a bit sad but equally not alone for some reason :) Thank you for your writing

      Sally

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    5. Sally, just wanted to say that I hope you have received good news from your doctor about the results of the polyp removal.

      Thank you so much for reading, and for your thoughts and kind words. Your support is so much appreciated, even if silent! I feel less alone too, and - because I ay end up there too - am encouraged knowing there are other women out there who have faced this, taken a different (childless) route, and continue to lead full and happy lives (we don't hear enough from such women in this community, I often feel). I am glad to know that you are also still able to process those feelings honestly and with such self-awareness and compassion. Thank you for being so brave and so generous.

      Please stop by whenever the mood takes you!

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  13. I'm so glad to hear about this doctor. He sounds like a good one! I hope so much for you that this would be the outcome you dream of. Keep a tenacious hold on hope x

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    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement! I'm nothing if not tenacious :)

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  14. Happy birthday! Your plans sound wonderful -- relaxing and fun.

    I know how focusing on a goal like parenthood can make it hard to pay attention to much else. Birthdays remind us that we're not "there" yet, and "here" becomes a place to hurry through on the way to "there." Good for you two for making time to enjoy these present moments, and each other.

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    1. Very well said, that's exactly how it often feels. H is a wonderful reminder for me to pull myself back into the 'here' and really suck every little pleasure out of it.

      Thanks for the wishes!

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