Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cleared for Take Off

Starting off this post with two warnings.

Warning #1
This is a really long post.

Warning #2
This blog is about surrogacy, IVF, pregnancy, and childbirth. You will likely get TMI on many occasions. So all my husband's friends who think they want to read my blog, feel free...but you will encounter words like vagina, cervix, discharge, and placenta. Just sayin'.

Yesterday was my appointment for my well woman exam, and of course, to get my OB to sign the clearance letter stating that it's safe for me to pursue another pregnancy. I was excited to go to this visit, because I haven't seen this particular OB since my 6 week check up after giving birth to my youngest daughter...and she'll be 4 next week! Because I don't have health insurance, I've been going to the health department for my annual exams. Which is another reason I was excited to go to this health department this time! Woo hop!! (That's for you, Jeni!)

The office was in a new location since the last time I was there, but it was still the same awesome OB and his nurse. I filled out all the new patient paper work, but decided to hold on to my OB clearance letter until I could talk directly to the nurse or doctor. I spent my time in the waiting room (there was a lot of waiting--one of the only things I don't like about this office) texting two friends who are Circle surrogates, trying to figure out what questions I should ask the OB. We decided it would be a good idea to make sure the doctor knew that I would likely be carrying a baby for a same sex couple. I didn't want to get half way through my prenatal care, have my IP's come to an appointment, and find out the hard way that the OB is completely against surrogacy for gay men. I really didn't think this would be an issue, but again, I just didn't want to take any chances.

Nurse C (I'm not identifying names just yet) finally called me back, got my weight (after I insisted on removing my purse, sunglasses and iPhone) and blood pressure, and then brought me into an exam room. I explained to her that I wasn't just there for my exam, but also for a gestational surrogacy clearance. She lit up and said "Oh, what an amazing gift for someone! A surrogate...if you love being pregnant, then why not!" So obviously they will be fine with having a surrogate as a patient! I also mentioned to her that I wanted to go ahead and have my IUD removed, and she said, "Oh sure, no problem. He'll just find the little string and pop that thing right out." Huh. (That is NOT what happened).

She instructed me to put on the paper gown and the doctor would be in shortly. I smile politely, but I am laughing inside, because I have NEVER been in any OB/Gyn's office where they come in quickly. Here's what usually happens instead:

I get completely undressed, hiding my underwear in my folded clothes (like it really matters if Dr. B sees my underwear, given what he's about to do).

I sit on the bed, in a paper gown, freezing my ass off and realizing that women, too, experience shrinkage. (Do you know what happens to barely A-cup boobs when the AC is set on "Arctic?!" It's not flattering.)

I eyeball the magazines on the other side of the room, because inevitably, I always forget to grab one.

I sit there thinking, "This is soooo boring. You know you'll be sitting here a while. Get up and get a magazine."

Then I immediately think, "No! What if he walks in right when you're scurrying naked across the room trying to get a celebrity tabloid?!"

This time, I waited until I heard the doctor go into another patient room, then finally gathered up enough courage to jump up and grab my phone and a magazine (which I quickly tossed aside after all that, because I was too nervous to read). Dr. B comes in about 20 minutes later (I am frozen solid), and pretends like he remembers me from the last time I was there. It was nice of him. :) He started the exam, did the Pap, and everything was going normally.

Then it was time to remove the IUD.

I would just like to start out by saying I know there are PLENTY of women who are perfectly happy with their IUD's. It was no biggie getting it placed, and they've been happy with this contraceptive. I am NOT one of those women. I have one nice thing to say about it...I do get pregnant easily, and I did not get pregnant for the four years I've had the IUD, so clearly it did its job well. However, I experienced incredible pain when it was placed 4 years ago. Let me just point out that I have given birth to two children vaginally, one with a mild form of hydrocephalus, so her head was a decent size. I was a super champ at pushing those babies out, and I almost (keyword) went without an epidural both times. I was 8-9 cm and nearly ready to push by the time I asked for the epidural. So, I can handle some pain. But the placement of the IUD had me whimpering, crying, and inadvertently scooting up the bed to try and escape. That doctor at the time told me that it was THE hardest time he's ever had placing an IUD. Just as I expected, removing it was no different. Again, I was whimpering, tearing up, and digging my nails into my palms. It was excruciating. I could tell Dr. B was really struggling to remove it (the string even broke), but he finally succeeded. He quickly helped me sit up, apologizing the whole time for "putting me through that," and then said, "In my 24 years as a doctor, that was THE hardest time I've ever had removing an IUD."

Yep, sounds about right.

Apparently, I have a stenotic (narrow) cervix, which means I feel more than just a "slight cramping." Needless to say, I've now decided I will NOT be getting an IUD again when I'm done with this surrogacy. Ridiculously irregular/eternal periods and having to go through that pain every time it needs removed or replaced? No thank you, I'm back on the good old fashioned pill o' hormones now. And it's chewable, which impressed me. :)

Anyway, so the IUD is gone (good riddance), and now I get to talk to Dr. B about the surrogacy clearance letter. He reviews, completes, and signs the form, and I tell him that I have just two questions for him:

1. "Have you ever had a surrogate as a patient, and are you okay with having one?"
Dr. B says that he has not seen a surrogate for her prenatal care, but he did deliver twins for a surrogate when she went in labor while he was the on-call doctor. He sees no issue with having a surrogate as his patient.

2. "I feel a little weird asking this one, but I just need to make sure. Are you okay with the intended parents likely being a same sex couple?"
Dr. B smiles his sweet smile and says, "'s fine." He continues smiling at me for several seconds, while I try to fill the silence by explaining that I don't know yet who I will be matched with, but my preference is to help two men become daddies, and I just wanted to make sure he knew that up front so there are no surprises. He smiles at me a little more, tips his head slightly to the side, puts his hand on his chest, and says, "I myself am a same sex couple."


Seriously, I had to restrain myself from jumping up and hugging him, but I know I had a huge goofy grin on my face. I felt like this was a way better response than I could have ever hoped for. How amazing is Dr. B, for sharing that with me when he didn't have to?! And how awesome is it that I know my IP's don't have to worry about being treated differently because of who they fell in love with?!

This amazing piece of information almost made me forget all about my traumatic IUD experience.


1 comment:

  1. I found your blog through the agencies website and this post is amazing! How awesome that your OB is gay. It's meant to be! :)