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The journey so far – Part 3 – Initial Appointments

I apologize that it’s been a while since I posted! Life has been quite busy lately.

In my last post, I wrote about meeting with Whitney and her family so that we could all meet and discuss things. It was an opportunity to get to know one another and to ensure we were all on the same page. We felt really great about everything, so we went ahead and set up appointments with the fertility doctor and a fertility counselor.

My appointment was set for June 18. It was a little weird setting up this appointment because I was not really a patient in their traditional sense – most of the patients there are seeking fertility treatment or are donating eggs, neither of which was I doing. The fertility clinic is in Columbus, so after our morning work out on June 18, we loaded up the family and headed north.

Since we didn’t want to have our kids with us at the actual appointment, Whitney kept our kids at her house. I was glad for Ellie and Selena to have another chance to hang out. I have hopes that the two of them will end up friends. We dropped our kiddos off at her house, then booked it up to the clinic, as we were running late.

We were under the impression that we would try to get as much done at this appointment as possible, so that we wouldn’t have to make the trip back too many times. We had expected to have an interview and conversation with the fertility doctor. We also expected to have cultures taken of my vagina (to ensure I don’t have any STDs), to have an ultrasound taken of my uterus (to ensure that I don’t have a hole in my uterus), and to get some lab work done. We did, in fact, do all of those things, except for the ultrasound.

The conversation with the doctor went relatively well. She explained the overall process in greater detail than what Whitney had, which was helpful. I told her my history of pregnancy and delivery. She was a little shocked to hear that I had a successful homebirth, and she told us quite bluntly that she is not supportive of homebirth because too many things can go wrong. She did admit that she has a bias against it because of her experience in the medical field. She assumed that Whitney and Rob would be anti homebirth also, because of their experience with Persephone. She was pretty surprised when I told her that they were open to the idea.

Overall, she is on board with me being a carrier for Whitney and Rob. She was concerned about my weight and wants me to lose weight before transfer. She also told us that I would need to wean Charlotte, as the hormones I need to take can impact quality and quantity of breastmilk, and I would need to wean from my antidepressants. None of this was a surprise to me.

Things I was surprised about: she opted not to do the ultrasound of my uterus that day because she was concerned about how the sound waves might impact my IUD, so I will have to return to make that happen. She also told me that I will have to remove my IUD at least one month before we plan to make the transfer because they will put me on the mini pill. I am not excited about that; I was on the pill when Jesse and I first got married, and I did not have a good experience with that. The doctor explained that they do this so that they can control my cycle. I also feel uncomfortable with that terminology, but I understand the necessity for it in this circumstance.

After the appointment with the doctor was over, they sent me next door to LabCorp to get blood drawn for lab work. After this, Whitney and Rob met us at the clinic with all of our kids in tow, as we were supposed to have an appointment with the fertility counselor. However, there seemed to be a mix up with this – the counselor always sets her own appointments, but whoever Whitney and I had spoken on the phone with said that she set us an appointment. The counselor was not even there that day. After waiting around for a while, the clinic nurse came out to tell us what had happened and informed us that we needed to contact the counselor to set an appointment.

That was frustrating, especially since our kids were being a little on the ridiculous side at that point. We all chatted a bit about how the appointment went and then went our separate ways. On the trip home, I called the counselor. Luckily, she was totally comfortable with doing a video counseling session, so we set up a FaceTime appointment for the following afternoon.

The counseling session went great. We told our story again and explained why I was motivated to do this. I was open about my history of postpartum depression and my concerns about getting it again. I explained our plan for weaning off of my medication that I set up with my doctor. She was also shocked that I had a homebirth, and told me that I was “very brave” (ha. I would not describe myself as brave. I’m a Hufflepuff, not a Gryffindor). By the end of our session, she said that she felt very comfortable with me being a carrier for Whitney’s family, and that she was going to give her approval for us to move forward. Huzzah!!!

Stay tuned for my post on next steps in the next few days!

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