Tomorrow I get to go in for a baseline ultrasound and blood work (CD4 actually). I counted and this will be my 13th visit to WH. So I realize that's not a ton of visits, but over 4 months it has felt it at times! By post-Thanksgiving, it should be up to 15 visits. That averages out to about 4 a month. Rambling here, sorry!
Not sure which doctor is doing the ultrasounds tomorrow. But to humor you all, I thought it might be interesting to tell you how these appointments go. It is NOT the typical, call & get an appointment time, be seen, leave. You see, WH is one of the few military infertility centers in the US. They see people from all over. Plus, they have an ob-gyn clinic there, too, so they see regular ladies and pregnant ladies, etc. Their doctors are extremely understaffed, I'd say. So, in order to make it easiest for all their doctors, ALL ladies needing normal pregnancy or infertility-related ultrasounds basically get a paper on the "routine" way to do this. They tell you to show up at 7, get a number at the labratory, get your blood drawn, get a number for an ultrasound, get your ultrasound. Well, ha! It's basically a "cattle call." If everyone shows up, they figure the doctors can do as many women as possible before regular patients show up for their appointments, then if you haven't been gotten to, they'll fit you in that morning if possible. Until then, you must wait! You could be there til noon! Makes sense though.
Now, thankfully my friend R has been through ALL of this. So she actually advised me what to really do. This is how it actually works for me, what I'll be doing tomorrow.
4:00am - Wake, Shower, etc
5:00am - Leave for WH
5:30am - Arrive WH, Come In, Get Number from Labratory, Sit down Outside Closed Doors of Clinic & Wait (read book or have quiet time)
6:30am - (Get irritated looks from the ladies arriving after you, since you'll get #1) Nurse opens Clinic, Go in and get #1, head over to Labratory for Blood Work
6:35am - Labratory doors open, Stand Amazed at ALL the Old People already Waiting with Numbers (10 at least!)
6:45-7:00am - Get Blood Taken Sometime In There
7:00am - Head to Clinic, Get Number Called, Get Room & do the fun "undress from waist down", Wait with huge real sheet on (thank God it's big & not paper!), Get called into next room for ultrasound, Get Follicles and Lining measured, Talk to Doctor, Pray they listen, Get next appointment scheduled
8:15ish - Leave (grab a decaf cappuccino from the coffee shop in the clinic)
By that time, you feel like you've experienced a whole day's worth of activity, when really it's barely time to start work!
I know that might be boring for you all to read, but things like this are a huge deal to me. The military world and the infertility world are so confined to themselves, and so few people even have the slightest idea what it's like. I think by sharing, perhaps it can help us all in general to be more compassionate and understanding when meeting other people in situations we don't know. Like when a friend tells me, "My son was in the NICU for 2 weeks after his birth." And I just say how sorry I am. Truly, I have not entered into her pain and fear and sorrow over that part of her life. If I just try to put myself in her shoes, I believe I can more truly fulfill the command to "bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." In a Charles Williams sort of way, the "Doctrine of Substituted Love." (If you haven't read Descent Into Hell, you won't understand that.)
Anyway, my perspective has lightened today and all shall be according to God's will. If this all keeps failing, that too must be the hand of God. The God who opened Rebekah's womb when Isaac prayed, who opened Elizabeth and Rachel and Sarah's and Hannah's wombs each. I take comfort in the fact that 3 days after the resounding "Not This Time" being all too obvious, I have fresh Christ-centered perspective again. Glory be to Him, because that is a gift Satan is eager to steal away. I want to guard is preciously, by hearing His Words fresh each morning, and Communing with Him throughout my Day.
And truly, each evening when my dear husband comes through the door looking so handsome in his olive drab flight suit, sweeping me up in his arms with joy at being home with me, I remember that by my marriage, I have been so, so blessed. This is the Season of Life I'm given, give praise, have joy, and turn my future yearnings back to God's timing.