When I was 10 years old I had a tummy ache. I told my mum, a nurse, who in the grand tradition of medical parents told me to stop being such a drama queen and go to school.
Two months later, after a series of doctorly balls-ups, my appendix ruptured in spectacular style and I spent two weeks in hospital with full-blown peritonitis, vomiting through a Mos Def-style nose tube (though it should be noted I didn’t wail like a little girl when it was being put in. Well, not every time).
Fast forward two decades and it seems that ruptured appendix not only gave me a wicked cool scar (which got me off PE for like two years), but the two surgeries also caused scarring to my fallopian tubes such that they are now both blocked. This is what we discovered after my HSG last week.
Knowing this feels… kind of a relief, actually. I’m glad we know what it is. I’m glad it’s not some vague unexplained infertility, which in my head means endless rounds of unsuccessful IVF.
“Ah,” my mother-in-law nodded when I told her. “Dynorod.” Well, yes. I am going to have a laparoscopy. Which is not, as I thought, a minor procedure, but a full-blown lights, camera, general anaesthetic jobbie.
(I know this because while I was busy digesting the fact I may never have to use contraceptives again – there are some advantages to this infertility malarkey – J had Googled the entire procedure.
“Did you know they puff air into you to separate your skin from your organs?” he asked, glancing over casually).
The procedure, which requires you to take five days off work, is a kind of multi-tool procedure, which will a) make sure the blockages are not the product of the radiologist’s fevered imagination; b) attempt to clear them; c) if they can’t, seal off or remove my tubes to make sure no gross stagnant water (I’m paraphrasing) escapes from them into my uterus, which could be dangerous for any embryo that goes in there.
(I asked the doctor if that was the same as tying my tubes. She looked as though I had deeply offended her. Pretty sure it is though babes.)
After that? IVF, probably. Coupled with PGD, genetic screening of the embryos. I was so determined to do this naturally – but the longer we’ve been trying, the more upset I know I will be if we finally get pregnant, only to lose the baby because of J’s translocation.
Everyone has told me how marvellous all this is. “You can relax! You won’t have take your temperature every morning! You can have normal, non-baby-making sex!”
Yes. But if you don’t know when you’re ovulating, how do you know when to have sex?