As I made mention earlier the infertility doctor wanted me to have a vaginal sonogram (during my surge when I was ovulating) before doing the insemination just to make sure my follicles looked good. Now folks, this required me to use a calendar and keep up with what day of my cycle it was. This may not sound like a big deal to some of you but do you know how hard that is for someone with ADHD? Take my word for it that wasn’t easy. It was hard enough for me to remember to put my keys in the same place everyday. This required me to begin counting on the first day of my period until about the 13th day. At that time I was to use an ovulation kit each morning to help determine the exact day of my surge which usually occurred between the 14th-16th day of a woman’s cycle.
I wasn’t looking forward to the vaginal sonogram. It just sounded dreadful but it was an ends to a means. It was also the first time in my adult life I looked forward to having my period start. Once I did start my period and once my fourteenth day arrived I was excited to use my ovulation kit. It was the morning and I had to pee (my first pee of the day) onto the stick. Little did I know peeing on a stick was going to be a popular thing for me to do. Anyway, I then had to wait a for the results to see if I was surging (peaking). I can’t lie. I was disappointed when I saw it wasn’t the day. The next morning I repeated the same routine. It was the fifteenth day of my cycle and when I looked at the results I was thrilled to be surging. I remember yelling out to Carol, “I’m surging! I’m surging!” She calmly walked into the bathroom and said, “OK, so call the doctor and see what you do next.” I remember feeling disappointed that she wasn’t as excited as I was. However, it wasn’t as if I was pregnant. I was just ovulating.
That morning I called the infertility clinic and spoke to the on call nurse to tell her I was surging. She told me to come to the office the following morning. WHAT? The following morning? Why did everything have to be tomorrow? While I was speaking to the nurse on the phone she told me my doctor was going to be in surgery the next day so it would be the other infertility doctor who would do my vaginal sonogram. Honestly, I didn’t care. I just wanted it done. I wanted to know my follicles looked good. I have to tell you. I never in a million years thought I’d be wishing for good looking follicles and yet here I was wanting that to be the case. I couldn’t wait for the next morning.
The next morning finally arrived. I was nervous as hell but figured it couldn’t have been any worse than a pap smear. I hated Carol couldn’t come with me. I was so scared and I wanted her there. I had to be brave. I didn’t want to show Carol how terrified I was. She kissed me good bye that morning and wished me luck. When I arrived at the infertility office there wasn’t a soul there. Usually there were lots of women waiting in the waiting area. I didn’t even see a nurse and in fact it was the infertility doctor who called me from the waiting room to the examining room. While she and I were walking to the examining room she seemed quite pleasant. She even joked with me which I appreciated because I was so nervous. It made me relax- a bit. Once in the room she told me to go pee to empty my bladder before the procedure and then to take everything off from the waist down. On her way out she told me she’d return shortly to start the exam. And so I did as she instructed. I went to the restroom to pee and then I got naked from the waist down. I hopped up on the examining table and put a sheet over my lower half so I wouldn’t be exposing myself. And then I waited.
Those moments were absolutely the worst. My mind went crazy! As I sat there I looked around the room. It was your typical doctor’s examining room. Nothing unusual so I thought. When I looked at the machine next to me, my mouth fell to the floor in shock. My eyes had to have been as wide as a deer in headlights. Next to me was the sonogram machine. But that wasn’t the big deal. It was what was attached to it that was. It was this large thick wand. It was wrapped in plastic with a glob of clear jelly on it’s tip. OY VEY! What had I gotten myself into? That thing was going to be stuck up my vagina!? My first instinct was to run like hell but I couldn’t. If I was going to have a baby, I had to get past this part. I just wanted the doctor to get there so I could get the procedure behind me (no bun). The longer I waited the more menacing the wand became. When the doctor finally came back into the room I was very relieved to see her. It meant we were closer to the procedure being over!
The doctor was all smiles when she came back into the room. She didn’t have a nurse with her which I thought was strange. But as I thought about it I didn’t see any other person but the doctor. It sort of made me feel like I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone which certainly didn’t help my nerves. The doctor could tell I was nervous so as she was getting ready to begin the procedure she patted my leg telling me it was going to be fine. Even so, I felt weird about the entire thing. It’s that feeling you get when you’re not so sure you’ve made the right decision. It made me ask myself why there wasn’t a nurse there and why I didn’t see anyone in the hallway when I had arrived that day. However, I had never been to an infertility clinic so I dismissed it as that being routine for them. I needed to stop worrying because after all I was going to a well known facility. And plus, we had done our research. We were not in a back alley place by any means. I just needed to relax and stop worrying. So, I shrugged off my weird feeling to the fact I was nervous and focused my attention back on what was happening.
The doctor asked me to place my feet in the stirrups and to bring my bum closer to the edge of the table. When I did I automatically closed my knees together. Come on, it was an instinctive thing to do. Not as if that was a natural position to be in. She asked me to spread my legs as wide open as I could and she wedged herself in between them. Yes, I know, quite the graphic image. But, imagine it from where I was.
What happened next I will NEVER ever forget. Once the doctor was wedged between my legs (without preparing me) she shoved the wand into me with such force the pain it caused made my bum lift right off the table. I screamed. The doctor didn’t seem surprised by what happened and she calmly said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I’ll wait a minute for the pain to stop. You’re just contracting.” It felt like an eternity before I could even think of lowering my bum back on the table. I’m sure it was only a few seconds but I swear I had never felt pain like that before. I was almost afraid to lower my bum back on the table for what would happen next. But, I did and she started the examination. I felt violated. It was the most awful feeling and in my gut I kept telling myself what had happened was not right. But, I felt my hands were tied. I wanted a baby more than anything. So, I sucked it up and tried to be as present as I could for the rest of the procedure. It took only about 10 minutes. The doctor seemed different after she started the procedure than she was before it. Even though she said everything looked good, she said there were some things that concerned her. She wanted me to take some infertility drugs and then to have another vaginal sonogram. When I questioned her as to why, she could only point to my age (32 at the time) as to why she’d recommend doing what she suggested. Meanwhile, her suggesting for me to have another vaginal sonogram at that point was NOT wise. LIKE HELL WAS I GOING TO GO THROUGH THAT AGAIN. It was then I just wanted to leave. I stopped talking to her and just let her complete the exam. When she removed the wand I felt my entire body relax. But I think I was in shock because I couldn’t move. The doctor told me I had done well and to get dressed. She left the room. I will never forget that moment after she closed the door behind her. I continued to lie there. I wanted to cry but I was afraid to for fear I wouldn’t have been able to stop. What the hell had just happened? Did the doctor have to do what she did to me? Meanwhile, I couldn’t go there. I had to keep looking forward. I just wanted a baby so badly and because I was in a gay relationship, I knew my choices were limited. So, I forced myself off the examining table and got dressed. I did share with Carol what the doctor had done to me but I never showed her how upset I was about it. I didn’t want Carol to stop the process (and she would have been right to have done so). And so, I put it behind me and only focused on our next step: my next ovulation surge and then the insemination.