katina choovanski

katina choovanski
Location
NYC,
Birthday
May 24
Bio
City-dwelling, country-raised, joyfully car-free, liberal plant nerd who would rather be in school for the rest of eternity. I'm not a writer by any means so I feel a bit small here on OS. I have no dreams of being published or changing the world with my writing but I do enjoy it.

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Salon.com
Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 4, 2009 6:37PM

Knocking me up - it takes a village

Rate: 21 Flag

You know how there are people out there who would be great parents but they opt to be childless; and then there are the disastrous baby factories that can't seem to keep their legs together?  Well, for most of my life, I was the former.  Then, about a year and a half ago, we started trying to get pregnant.  Apparently the years I spent poo-pooing the "biological clock" were for naught because suddenly we both wanted a baby somethin' fierce.  The maddening thing is that I knew damn well that it wasn't going to happen without outside help since I made it through the last 17 years baby-free and sex-full.  But you have to try for a year before they'll send you to a clinic.  I spent about 3 months taking my temperature every morning and, had I done a line graph it would have looked like a lie detector result. Completely useless.  Then, I bought a fertility monitor and peed on a stick every day for about 6 months.  Yeah, that was pretty useless too since I didn't actually even have my first drug-less period until I was 35.  Those little fertility monitors aren't meant for someone whose cycle could be 300 days long!  Then, we tried having sex every day for a month.  It was the longest month of either of our lives!!!  I like doin' it as much as the next person but that was just ridiculous.  There would be that moment at night when we made eye contact that silently said "yeah, I don't feel like it either but we made a pact"  

Finally, this last June, my ob/gyn took a whopping 10 seconds out of her record 4-minute exam to refer me to a clinic.  I was afraid of what we would go through since I had already been witness to my OB's slavery to the Insurance Master.  But, I have entered the nirvana of medical care.  This place is fantastic!  (if any of you un-mommies out there in NYC want a recommendation, let me know)  They have the patient in mind at all times and they always make sure you know what is going on and how much it will cost and what your insurance covers.  I just can't say enough good things about the place.  

 In keeping with my natural cynicism though, there are a few complaints.

Firstly, my doctor is hot.  I don't need Barry White playing in my head as some hot dude pokes around down there.  I have to be in baby-making form, and not worrying if the um, hedges are neat.  

 Secondly, there is the ultrasound gel.  It's not Death Valley, there is already enough natural moisture down there to negate using a full 1/4 cup of the stuff!   I've come up with a new job for Obama's economic stimulus plan.  "Reverse Fluffer"  It's a simple job really.  And since technology has led to less of a need for fluffers, it would be a great job transition.  All they'd need to do is come in and wipe up all that nasty gel before you get up.  Because as it stands now, by the time you stand up from the not-at-all-humiliating stirrups position, you've got that shit EVERYWHERE.  There's nothing like walking down the street 15 minutes later and realizing you've got a glob of it still in your ass crack.

 Thirdly, this one comes from my husband.  Apparently the room where guys go to provide a sample is  a bit sparse.  It was apparently like a bathroom with no toilet.  There was no porn at all and no lubricant.  So, he was glad he had loaded some porn onto the iPhone the night before but was concerned that saliva would somehow manage to contaminate the specimen.  I figure there's no porn because it might offend some people but I also think it would seriously limit the performance-anxiety time spent in the room.  I can't really offer much on the lubricant issue.  Perhaps they could use the spare stuff from the ultrasound rooms.  

 But I digress.  On to the process.  

The very first day, they had me in the room for an ultrasound to determine what my doctor already suspected from talking to him.  I have PCOS.  Basically, immature follicles are interrupted in their growth cycle and become little cysts on the ovaries.  After reading about it, I'm extremely grateful that I'm not experiencing the obesity and hair loss that many women do.  Just amenorrhea and a little extra tweezing necessary.

That seemed like a pretty likely cause for the infertility but my husband still had to go in to get his swimmers tested.  He was pretty unbearable for a few weeks after he got the "all good" diagnosis.  His answer to everything was "I'm fertile".  

Then, I had a blood test and they determined that I needed a Rubella vaccination.  On a fun side note, it seems those of us who are children of the 70's and had Rubella shots actually got a bad batch.  They started discovering it years back when a bunch of people started going back to school (and had to get tested) and discovered that the vaccine had worn off.   So, I had to go in and get that shot.  More waiting for results for an already impatient person.

After that, they were able to start me on Clomid.  First I had to take Provera to kick-start my period and then the Clomid.   I was expecting the crazy mood swings people talk about but got none of it.  In fact, I felt better than ever!   However, after a few more ultrasounds they determined that my eggs were not big enough.  

So, I had to start all over again.  I did the whole Provera thing and then Clomid.  First check after the Clomid showed that stuff wasn't ready yet.  So, then I went in last Tuesday.  There was just one egg but it was nice and big and the uterine lining was "fluffy".  They told me to start checking with the "pee-on-a-stick" ovulation predictors.  First one said I was ovulating!!  I had to check again because I'd never gotten that result before.  That meant sex for the next 3 days while my brother-in-law was visiting.  The most interesting night was New Year's Eve when we had to kick him out of the house and back out to the bar so we could get to doin' it!  Poor guy got hit on by a girl half his height in the interest of getting a niece or nephew.  

We are now waiting an excruciating 14 days before I can go back in for a blood test to see if it worked.  I really hope it did because after this, I graduate to giving myself shots and I after that it gets even more complicated.  I know that if this does work, I'll consider myself lucky because I know there are tons of other women out there who have to go through much more.  

 But once it finally works, I have Lyme Disease issues to contend with so I know I'm in for a few more years of adventure at least.  And advice from every stranger I run into.  

 Alright, now who is first in line for babysitting duty?   

 

 

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This might not have been fun for you to endure, but it sure was a hoot to read! Raaaaaaaaated!
Best of luck to you both.
Oh god, nothing worse than a hot doc poking around down there. jeez!
good luck... I've heard horror stories about Clomid from a girlfriend who's going through this - glad to hear the crazies didn't visit you!
Hot docs -- my favourite gynie was a gorgeous-looking man in Montreal named Dr. Wiener. Very married. Seriously. I finally had to stop going to him.
I hope you are successful.
I recently interviewed a NYC acupuncturist who specializes in women's health. Have you considered supplementing your IVF with alternative treatments? They can be complementary.
Hilarious yet pleasingly funny at the same time. It's a wonder more people don't have kids. You make it sound so easy.
Good luck! Know that you're doing all you should be doing. Here's to that big, fat follicle.

Let's hope for no shots. I had shots, and I was a NUT and felt like complete shit on them, and then, sans the shots, I simply ovulated, and the little sucker will be one tomorrow. She's so cute. But walking. Have I mentioned the walking? argh.
I'm sure that you've seen the IVF Barbie write up circling the internet. Well after 9 IVF cycles, 2 donor egg cycles in South Africa and a 16 week loss (with a repeat myomectomy thrown in for good measure), I am definitely Veteran IVF Barbie.

Good luck. Your enthusiasm takes me back a long long time ago when I felt as happy and eager. Now the thought of an REs office makes me break out in a cold sweat.

(rated)
I have many friends who've been through similar ordeals, but they weren't nearly as good-humored as you are. Very amusing, from the title to the end.
The last post of yours I encountered was such a sad one...glad to see life is looking up ;-)
Thanks to all for the good wishes. I'm sure I'll be posting more on this subject since it's a whole new and exciting world for me. A few notes:

sciencechick - no crazies but my nipples hurt like hell. all things considered, I'll take it.

Emma - I'd heard of that doctor but I thought he was just one of those urban myth things like the proctologist named Dr. Butts.

Pretty Lady - I actually had my regular GP suggest acupuncture as well. She gave me a name of a practitioner but I don't think it was the same as the one you interviewed. I plan to check that out if this cycle doesn't work. The only reason I haven't up to now is that so far all of the fertility treatments have been covered by insurance and there is only one acupuncturist in the city who IS covered under my insurance.

odette - I don't know why the shots seem difficult to me. I have tattoos and have blood taken all the time. But when I had to give IV fluids to my cat, it just freaked me out. It has to be someone else doing it.

teendoc - I was thinking of you when I wrote the part about many women being through much more. I didn't know how much you had been through but read your bio a while back. I haven't even had to get into IVF (yet). Does it irritate you to see people popping them out like Pez?

Laurel - Yeah, I have been through a lot since the events I wrote about in that one post. Hell, I think I went through about 10 years of experience in 6 months back then. I'm happy for where I am now but I could never say I would go through it all again to get to this point. I still see him in my dreams pretty often but now I don't wake up crying. Now, we are friends.
Best of luck, Katina! Sounds heart-wrenching.

I'm sensing triplets for you ;)
I'll never forget when my wife and I were trying. For my fertility
test they ushered me into a typical hospital bathroom that didn't
even have a decent door jamb (anybody could have peeked in).

I too was insufferable for some time as I was deemed "potent".

As a postscript my wife and I eventually said to hell with it
and adopted a girl from China and a boy from Kazakhstan.
And we couldn't be happier.
buckeye - had you heard the thing about it being good luck to carry a buckeye when you're trying to get pregnant? A very good friend sent me one.

qwerty - we talked a little about adoption if it comes to that. we both feel very selfish about it. My husband may be the last male on his side of the family to carry on the family name which was a pretty well-known and, dare I say, kind of respected name at least in this country. The "me" of 10 years ago would have said that having children was a selfish and irresponsible undertaking considering the number of parentless children in the world. I still feel that way but am overwhelmed with a desire to have a biological child of my own. I am proud of you for giving your parental love to children who needed it.
Very funny take on a serious issue. If it helps, I had a different problem, no issue getting pregnant but staying was a different matter (10, count them, 10 miscarriages) but after a few, I had a girl, and then after a few more, I had twin boys. Doctor said I was making up for lost time. Fingers crossed for babification.
To answer your question, it still stings when I encounter the clueless fertiles, but being a mom to the best baby in the world has been very healing.

And regarding your comment to Quertyfish about adoption, I'm just going to add from my perspective that there is nothing noble or selfless about adoption. It's honestly pretty selfish (not in a bad way) to want to be parents and to pursue your dream of making it happen.

Our adoption was domestic and had Zara's birthmother not chosen us, there would have been another family waiting in line for the opportunity to parent. So this was not an "in need" situation. We didn't "save" a baby. But we were entrusted with our angel by her firstmother, and that was an incredible blessing.

After seeing her come into the world and being there every day since then, I can honestly say that neither my husband or I care how she came to us: whether from our old egg/sperm combo, donor egg, surrogacy or adoption. It really doesn't matter. What matters is being the parent to an amazing little miracle.

So whatever your path (and there are so many paths to parenthood), the joy (and drama, exhaustion, and all the other emotions) are wrapped up with your kid, whatever way s/he comes to you.

Again, good luck!
Well...
What can I say ?
That I'm pretty amazed that WE women have handed over the "control" of our sexuality to the doctors ?
My reproductive days are behind me now.
At least, at 50 +, I can tell the doctors to go shove, and not in MY private parts.
I have always HATED the way that the medical machine reduces our bodies to spare parts.
I wish you luck, although I don't really understand why you are so ready to flagellate and humiliate yourself at what has become a new American church : the doctor's office, or the medical clinic.
I wish you luck, although I don't really understand why you are so ready to flagellate and humiliate yourself at what has become a new American church : the doctor's office, or the medical clinic.

Debra: Judgmental much?

I can't speak for Katina, but for those of us with a strong desire to become parents, we would do anything and everything to have this happen. And please do not toss off adoption as as if it is any less intrusive, flagellating or humiliating in the process. All roads to parenthood other than those who just happen to be luckily fertile are filled with difficulty and fealty to some external party. But maybe the desire to be a parent makes it worth it for some of us. Is that enough of an answer for you?
So much is involved, isn't it? I wish you both good luck. Try to keep that wonderful sense of humor. You'll need it for when the babies get here. :)
Me! I want to babysit! I have a ten year old daughter and she's kind of lost that baby look. I can't have any more kids and just touching babies makes me so happy. I hope and pray your fluffy uterus will accept everything that goes into it (I'm hoping for just a baby though) and that your fat egg gets really fertilized. Good luck! I'm excited for you!
pf - I've had a few miscarriages along the way, I think. They were prior to even taking a pregnancy test but you just know when something isn't right. One time in particular was pretty horrible because it was during my husband's grandmother's funeral. Made me feel like grandma was saying "no, not yet".

teendoc - I really value the tales and experience of someone who has been through it all. If you don't mind, I may contact you later for a little feedback. There are a whole ton of emotions (most not influenced by extra hormones) to go through with a decision of this magnitude. I know I will be a good mother no matter where this journey takes us and I am so glad you finally got that experience as well.

Debra - to boil it down, I'm willing to go through all this and more because I want to have a baby. If I were fortunate enough to just get pregnant at the drop of a hat, I would still be going to some sort of medical professional though. Although I have a hard time with people who run to the doctor for every little sniffle, I will be the first to admit that I do not know all I need to know about pregnancy . I do understand your point about knowing your body better than any doctor but really, we are just a bunch of component parts and when one of those parts isn't working, I'd like to refer to someone who has made it their life to understand such things. But I also reserve the right to tell them what my instincts tell me and make sure they listen. As for the humiliation - I've had much worse, and it's just as funny to talk about that now too.

Lisa - I'll try to remember to laugh when the little bugger pees on me! I actually experienced that babysitting many years ago. That was just his first foray into disrespect because he grew up to rob my parents' house. Seriously.

Jess - ok, you're on the list! I think you'd be an amazing babysitter because I want my kid to have a very healthy sense of humor. And if some sort of good luck charm would be accepted by uterus, I'd at least give it a try. x-rays might be funny though. "ma'am, your embryo appears to be clutching a 4-leaf clover"
wow, for like 5 seconds there, I was on the cover. do you really lose your cover virginity if it only lasts that long?
Maybe they should give them out like drivers licenses with a test. Your IQ doesnt crack 90 you cant have a kid. That would rule out children for the president, Paris Hilton and Pamela Anderson. Actually most movie stars, ow that I think about it.