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Thursday, June 28, 2018

The IVF Chronicles: The Transvaginal Ultrasound

I don't really remember my first "lady" appointment (is that even a thing that any woman remembers on purpose?); you know the one where the doctor gets all up in your business when really it's just been you and possibly tampax for several years.  But doctors, nurses, and techs, I have learned especially going through IVF and pregnancy, are super chill about lady parts that I don't even want to talk about with my mother or sister (I know there are some women who are really cool with their vaginas-not one of them right here).  Like I will never understand and always be in awe of the women of RHS on Rodi Road who were able to make chit chat and casual small talk during my several transvaginal ultrasounds.

The first one caught me by surprise which is not exactly how you really want to go into the procedure.  With our IVF plan, we were to call RHS when I started my period; because honestly, they are the only excited people when Aunt Flo visits you because that means it is time to hijack the hormone system and begin growing eggs.  I could have sworn that day 3 was supposed to be just a blood draw day where they evaluated my estrogen levels and other baby making hormones before putting me on birth control to get the timing just right.  Nope, I was poked first like I had anticipated, a bunch of blood was taken, and then I was sent back to another room and put in a special lady chair where I met my first of several friendly ultrasound techs.

If you are a lady, you know the speculum business from a Pap smear is one of the most uncomfortable experiences ever.  If you are not, I'd recommend comparing it to if a dentist had a crank to open up and keep your mouth from clamping down so they could see down into your esophagus (but in a body area you generally don't allow people to stare or let people poke).  Ladies, the poking, coldness, even the clicking (for me it's the clicking that is bothersome) of that damn machine being inserted and adjusted is a strange hell as a woman.  The transvag ultrasound thankfully doesn't use a speculum, however, there is a wand (that's right, expecto patronum, because making a baby without sex is so freaking magical).

The tech explained that today they were going to be observing the baseline size of my ovaries and making sure they and my uterus were in tiptop shape for egg growing and embryo housing.  Then I was handed the damn wand and told to go ahead and insert it then the tech would take over guiding it to do the procedure.  What in the hell?!  I have new appreciation and hatred for all of those antiabortion laws now that force women who are seeking to end an unwanted pregnancy who are forced to go through this first (like, I hope there is a special place in hell with a male version of this wand for their dicks, but I digress).  Anyways, this was my choice and I gladly obliged in the hopes for my future children.

Perhaps this tech was just down to business, or perhaps she was just not as small-talky as others would be, but this first go-around with the transvaginal ultrasound was super awkward because she didn't talk the whole time after getting started until about 30 minutes later.  Seriously, I stared up at the dark ceiling (why are these done in dark rooms?!) and observed the beautiful leaf patterns on the room curtain while listening to the camera clicking what I assume were pictures of my ovaries and uterus.  Later, techs would share the images with me of growing eggs and the two coffee stains that would become my babies, but for now there was really nothing to see but two quiet, broccoli shaped ovaries and a vacant yet healthy and welcoming uterus.

Gentlemen, if you are a loving member of your relationship and you know a woman who is going to have your baby, please respect the amount of embarrassing positions and moments they will endure on behalf of your progeny.  Get that lady some flowers to thank her for allowing so many to peek and poke and her being mostly good hearted because that is what is necessary to bring a healthy child/children into this world.  And ladies, hang in there, the transvag ultrasound is but an awkward stepping stone to some amazing and unbelievable moments.

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