Friday, October 15, 2004

what i know now

Since Wednesday, the staff at my school has been attending a conference for educators here in DF. We finished around 3:00 yesterday afternoon, and a group of us headed to a bar in my neighborhood for tapas and sangrias.

One of the teachers asked me how old I was, how old my husband was and I told her: 31 and 33. She asked if we were planning on having children. And I hemmed and hawed over my answer, wanting to be honest with her because she had just shared the intimate details of her recent separation from her husband, but in the end deciding no, that I don't want people at work to know about this. At least, not yet. And so I told her that we probably did, but we'd just been married a year and were giving it some time. What a load of crap. The confession made me feel guilty in two ways. One, for telling a bold faced lie to someone I really like and hope to become better friends with. And two, for feeling like infertility is something I can't talk about openly, honestly.

I was in an unbelievably good mood yesterday thanks to the consult with Guru. We have a plan now it seems, a realistic one. One that sits well in my stomach and doesn't make me cry with the sheer improbability of it actually happening.

My husband met me at the bar when he got off of work and when everyone else had left, we stayed for another sangria and talked alone about our days, about Guru.

I didn't realize how angry I was at our DC clinic until we started talking about the things we'll say to them when we break it off for good. Because we are going to break it off for good. I realized that despite the clinic's claim to work with patients from all over the world, they were especially unaccomodating with us in terms of scheduling our appointments and recognizing that when we fly from 2000 miles away, we want a little more than a brief consult. I think of all of the unanswered e-mails I sent, the questions I had answered only vaguely, the reluctance for anyone on that team to commit to a plan of action for us, and I boil.

I realize how my urgency to get pregnant, to get started with our treatment blinded me in some ways to the fact that the doctors we were working with weren't the best doctors for us. And I wonder where we'd be if I hadn't tapped into the blog community, the RESOLVE message boards to learn that there are people out there who specialize in male factor infertility, who are responsive to their patients, who are respectful of their patients who travel from far away in the hopes of getting the best care available.

I also can't help but wonder if things are going more smoothly with Guru because of our experience in DC. I know now what to ask for, what to demand in terms of patient care. I know now what to expect. I'm more educated about infertility about the treatment options and the diagnostic testing and I know what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. With Hope, I was following along blindly, snatching at any promising offers he made because I just didn't know what was realistic and what was off-base. And now I do. I'm no expert (though I might be by the time this is all over), but I certainly am no longer wearing my rose-colored glasses as I navigate the system.

While my husband and I were talking last night, he tried to figure out when our baby would be due if we did IVF March. DIf I get pregnant in March, I corrected him. It might not work. The eggs might not fertilize, the embryos might not implant, I could miscarry. That won't happen he said and I told him that it might, it could, it was probably more likely that I won't get pregnant than I will. And I explained that I wasn't trying to be pessimistic, but realistic. Reminded him how devastating it was to pee on a stick every month all of those months ago when we were "trying." And how much more devastating it would be to pin all of our hopes on one procedure, all that money and time and energy spent, only to have a negative result. I can't do that to myself, I told him. I can only hope for the best and expect the worst.

I think he got it.

So, this weekend, we write to Dr. Hope and tell him that we are no longer in his care. I'm hoping that we're not too chicken to explain all of our frustrations with his practice and that we're not too bitter to tell him that despite those frustrations we really liked him, his nurse. But (and I won't write this part), we just like Guru better.


Blogger Alana said...

Good luck with your new Dr!!!!

Your conversation with your husband strikes a familiar chord.. then I think if my husband were as skeptical as I am... we would truly be a mess.

I'll be following your journey.

12:22 PM  

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