It has been awhile since my last post; it turns out that I have a difficult time writing about infertility when my in-laws are in town. Who knew?
The first time that I was told that I might have difficulty getting pregnant was in 2010, the moment itself is actually etched into my memory. Right before I moved from Haifa back to Jerusalem, I am sorry to say, that I paid another visit to Dr. Google – I know, I have no excuse.
I told Dr. Google that it would be my last visit as I was moving to Jerusalem and would be getting married at the end of November. Mazal Tov! I could tell that he was genuinely happy for me. He asked me how old I was and told me that at 32 I had no reason to be concerned about trying to get pregnant. “It’s a wonderful age,” I believe were his exact words. We talked about the vitamins that I should start taking a few months before we tried to conceive. There was a lighthearted air in the room.
Then he started to review my electronic medical records which included his own notes.
His tone changed and his face appeared concerned.
“Eh, you have ovarian cysts,” he says.
At this point I am thinking, “yeah, we have been through this for the past two years; it’s all in the file that YOU wrote!”
Without any warning or much explanation – that is pretty much par for the course with this guy – he tells me that I should have the cysts surgically removed and that he can take them out next week.
WHAT?! Okay, next week, you want me to cancel everything and have surgery at the drop of the hat? There were many things that I had planned for the upcoming week: I was going to finish my job in Haifa, move to Jerusalem, start a new job, oh and yeah my parents and in-laws to be were arriving so that we could finalize the plans for the wedding. Why not just add a surgery in to make the week complete? I was starting to feel pretty overwhelmed by the conversation. I told Dr. Google that I would consider his advice and get back to him.
I walked home considering the option. How pressing was this? What about a second or third opinion? Did I really want Dr. Google to be my surgeon? The more I thought about it, the more it was clear to me that I needed to learn more about the situation before considering this surgery.
I also realized some important things that are crucial and have changed my approach to dealing with infertility. Our doctors work as partners with us, they don’t dictate all decisions that are made. We all know that doctors can make mistakes, miss the whole picture and have conflicting opinions. The decisions regarding the treatments that we choose are mine and Tommy’s to make. We don’t ignore medical advice. Instead, we consider it as we make our decisions about how we want to proceed.
More importantly, I learned that infertility cannot trump all the other aspects of my life – in most cases. This is a part of what I am doing these days. Yes, I do move mountains to have tests and procedures done at specific times and places so that I can get pregnant. It is not, however, all consuming.
Sometimes the cysts have to wait, and wait they did.