Fertility Appointment Outcome

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“Ummm… you could have a tumor in your pituitary gland.”

I’m sorry… what?! All I wanted to know is if I am able to have a baby!

Abby here. To talk a little about our experience of finding out the results from our fertility appointment #1. As Chrissy mentioned earlier, our first fertility appointment was nothing less than a disappointment. Nothing got better after we left.

Finding out how to become pregnant when you have “fertility problems” (read: we don’t have sperm in our relationship) is scary to start with. We knew it would be daunting. We knew that our chances of getting pregnant the first time with IUI would be about 20%. We knew from our appointment and research that it was going to cost about $1200 per cycle. What we didn’t know is that your healthcare provider can sometimes make it even harder. Even scarier.

I had a panel of blood tests and an ultrasound done at my first doctors appointment. We waited 2 weeks for the doctor to call us with our results. The phone finally rang. The nurse introduced herself and said she had the results of my biopsy.

WAIT.

Biopsy?? I didn’t have a biopsy!

I politely reminded the nurse of this. She was looking at the wrong file. “I’ll call you right back” she says. 2 more hours go by.

When she finally called me back (with the right file this time) she let me know that my blood levels told them two things:

1. I probably have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). I know enough about PCOS to know that it can cause thick facial hair, weird, irregular periods and cystic acne among other things. She said to me that this is probably the reason I am having a hard time getting pregnant. Hey lady! I am a LESBIAN. That is why I can’t get pregnant! Please read my file. (I will get more into PCOS in a later post.)

2. High Prolactin levels. I had no idea about Prolactin. What is this? Is this something that can cause me to not get pregnant? Is this something serious? I just have no idea. This is not something they went over in Grey’s Anatomy! (Only sort-of a joke…)

That’s when it comes out. “Ummm… you could have a tumor in your pituitary glad causing the high levels of this hormone. I’m sure that there are other things that could cause it though! People hear tumor and just freak out when they don’t need to!” Trying to stay calm and not immediately flip out, I asked the nurse to please ask the doctor and call me back. Again, 2 hours go by.

She calls me back and says there are multiple things that could cause this heightened Prolactin levels. But, they would like to get an MRI to make sure that it is not a tumor. It wasn’t discussed (but I later found out through our good friend Google) that if it was a tumor, it is benign. That it is not cancerous. I wouldn’t have to go through chemo. I wouldn’t have to have brain surgery. I wouldn’t even have to take meds for the mass! It was literally just a small growth that could possibly cause the high levels of Prolactin. They never told me any of that. They just threw the word TUMOR into my day and then told me not to freak out. Okay, lady. That sounds GREAT! (scoff)

(Don’t worry, it was not a tumor – everything came back clear.)

Now, I’m not telling this to make you more aware of tumors or prolactin or just to blab. I want people to know how scary this process can be. That nurses sometimes don’t read your chart. Sometimes they don’t have the answers and say things they shouldn’t say when they don’t know for sure. Sometimes doctors have the personality of a wet mop (see previous post). Some doctors offices act like they have no idea how to handle two ladies trying to make a family together. For this reason, we have chosen to go with another doctor’s office. Would you allow someone to put a baby in you that seemed to have little to no care about you, your wife and your potential family? Uh… no.

You have the choice of doctors and you should absolutely feel comfortable. Talk to your doctor. Ask them questions. Know what your deal breakers are. Know what is going to make you and your partner comfortable and uncomfortable. Chrissy and I sure did. Now, onto the next! Our appointment with our new doctors office is in September. And now we wait.

Love,

A&C

 

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Fertility Appointment #1

Hey all, it’s Chrissy. I’m going to write this post from my perspective of Abby and I’s first fertility appointment and what I learned, didn’t learn, loved and found to be disappointing.

First, like most appointments we had to wait, which was fine because honestly I enjoyed sitting with Abby and sharing our excitement. We had a few questions written down, questions that we couldn’t find answers to on the internet and questions that were more opinion based for our Doc.

The first lady into the room was a nurse,  she asked a lot of questions about Abby’s general health, exercise, menstrual cycle and moods. The nurse was super friendly and seemed engaged in the process and the answers.  The next lady was our fertility Doc, who had the personality of a wet mop. I wanted to raise my hand and ask for the nice one to come back! Abby even tried to lighten the mood by making a “Jurassic Park” joke referring to how the sperm would arrive to the doctors office, I laughed, the Doc not so much.

Abby and the Doc went over Abby’s cycles which seemed worrisome to the doctor as they weren’t always regular which could making conceiving more difficult. The Doc then made a very unfortunate comment basically stating “Well if Abby can’t conceive then we can try with you (meaning me!)”. What the heck? Just because there are two baby makers in this relationship doesn’t mean we can just substitute me in whenever. I was concerned with how quickly the doctor seemed to just pull in a pinch hitter and I could tell Abby was hurt too.

Abby and I quickly moved into our questions, “Which cryobank would you recommend?’ “What’s the process look like?”, “What does insurance cover?”. The Doc explained that Abby would need to get a blood panel done for hormones and they wanted to do an internal ultrasound that day to establish a plan.  The insurance question she wasn’t able to answer which was expected but we figured it didn’t hurt to ask. The Doc only referred two cryobanks which I thought was unfortunate, as the two the recommended were sister companies and basically one in the same.

I was happy to have the first appointment done but a little disappointed in the execution, it’s fair to say we shared a few adult beverages together afterwards!

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I think it is important to understand how Abby felt during this process and she can get into more detail about the medical process in her next post!

Love,

Chrissy and Abby

Step One – Donors

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Abby here!

So… what’s the first step in the process when you get pregnant as lesbians? Obviously the first step is to discuss the potential of parenthood with your partner. But, seeing as Chrissy and I did that via text before we even met … we had that step covered.

One of the first things we really did was make an appointment with a fertility specialist in our area. And, unsurprisingly, we had to wait almost two months for our appointment. In the meantime, we began doing as much research as possible about cryobanks, cost and how much testing and information they provide.

Something I think needs to be said here is that Chrissy and I discussed our donor options and we have decided to go with an anonymous donor. We do have friends that have and will use donors that they know. No one way is better than the other – this is just the route we have chosen to build our family.

We narrowed the search down to four cryobanks. They are all fairly well known. We were sitting on our couch one weekend, looking through all the information that was available. Saying that we were overwhelmed with the amount of testing, what was available, storage fees is the biggest understatement. Our heads were spinning…. But, I love spreadsheets. I used one to keep myself sane when I was planning our wedding and thought, why the heck not for finding the right sperm??

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I put all of the different banks on the sheet that we were looking at. I compared testing that they did. Storage fees. The information about the donor that was available to us. Pretty much any information I could find.

And honestly? They were mostly the same. There was some things that were tested for through some banks and not the others – but all of the big ones were covered (all STDs, all of the most common genetic diseases). The main difference in all of them was the amount of information that you could get about the donor and price. Since we had already decided that we didn’t want to know the donor – the amount of information that we would be getting was somewhat irrelevant to us. We would like for our kids to look like us. But we also knew that we would never get a perfect match because we were going outside of our own families for donation.

So, in the end, we decided to go with a very reputable bank that was middle of the road price-wise. They offered all of the testing that was important to us and the information on the donors that we needed to ensure that the babes will look (somewhat) like us.

What’s next? We will discuss insurance, our fertility appointment, stress, money and everything else that comes with this process, stay tuned!

Love,

Abby and Chrissy

 

 

 

Who are we?

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First, I just want to thank you for visiting the blog! Abby and I (Chrissy) started this because when we were getting ready to start a family we had little to no guidance and found that to be so disheartening. We didn’t have any friends who had begun this adventure and found ourselves floundering through so many different web pages for different stages of the process. We wanted to help, we wanted to put all the information from beginning to end and make it as easy to understand as possible. Feel free to follow us through this amazing adventure, we can’t wait for all of it to unfold!

Abby and I met in the most romantic of ways, online dating (haha). We were both in our twenties and were both looking for something serious. Our first date, was the best, last first date ever! I knew within the first few minutes that I was going to want to see her again and was so hopeful that she felt the same.

Fast forward 2 1/2 years, and we were married in front of 100 of our closest family and friends in an amazing vineyard in rural, Nebraska. It was the most amazing day of my life so far! I had waited so long for Abby and she was finally here and by some stroke of luck she had agreed to marry me!

Now, here we are. Chasing our family.

Love, Chrissy & Abby