Dear Baby Boy,
I thought should record the story of how we found out you existed. Our journey began in August, when your Dad and I took an in vitro Fertilization (IVF) class at the fertility clinic. We really wanted your sister to have a sibling, and so far things weren’t sticking very well. In vitro seemed to be our best bet, because it would increase the odds of a good embryo being implanted. We took the class. I did a bunch of tests. I was told my eggs were plentiful, but they were becoming “geriatric” before their time and IVF was indeed our best bet for a high quality embryo. We really wanted another child, whatever the cost, so we signed up and I went and picked up medication to start the process.
Fast forward a couple weeks to the end of September. It’s a few days prior to starting the medication for the IVF process. I had what appeared to be food poisoning or an intestinal bug. It hit over the weekend. Lots of abdominal pain. So much so that at one point I passed out (luckily I was sitting and your Dad was there). Dad wanted me to go to the emergency room. I resisted. I canceled my weekend plans and stayed home. By Sunday night I was feeling much better.
At work the next day I felt a little off. By mid-afternoon I was freezing in a room others said was a little chilly and didn’t think much of it. Some of the stomach cramps had returned. At about 5:00 p.m. I walked outside into a beautiful 70 degree day and realized that I had a fever. And stomach pains. Which, together, can signal something bad. Of course, it’s after regular doctor hours, so I call First Nurse. Where do they send me? The ER… A friend came over to watch Amelia (with all her groceries + her own two kids I might add - Thanks Desi!), and off we went. After being taken back to the room, they quickly decide that it’s not my appendix. The next step, a CT to see what is going on in there. I ask for a pregnancy test, because I wanted to rule out the slim chance I was pregnant. They give me one, but it’s a urine test. And, since I had a horrible headache as well, I had drank a lot of water to ensure I was hydrated. News flash: urine pregnancy tests aren’t very accurate that early with diluted pee. It does not take a medical degree to know this. My attractive ER doc was very annoyed when I asked about the sensitivity of the test and tried to blow me off with vague statements like, “Oh, it’s VERY sensitive.” Yes, well HOW sensitive Dr. Hot & Full-Of-Himself? He didn’t know the answer to that question, so I requested a blood test. Despite his reassurances that his course of treatment wouldn’t change regardless of the outcome of the pregnancy test, a little voice was nagging me to get the blood test. Dr. Hot & Full-Of-Himself tried to talk me out of the blood test, saying it was unnecessary (as if a CT was necessary!) and would keep me in the ER much longer while we wait for the results. They even had a tech come to take me to CT prior to giving me the blood test, which I did not appreciate. After another conversation followed up by a snarky comment from me wondering aloud why a $100 test is such a big deal when they want to spend way more on a CT, I got my blood test. I had requested literature regarding the safety of CTs during pregnancy, and while we were waiting he brought me a single piece of literature explaining that if you are newly pregnant in a nuclear disaster, you will most likely miscarry. Never mind the amount of radiation and exposure is vastly different from Chernobyl and a CT.
To this day I thank God for that nagging voice that made me, in my feverish state, insist on a blood test. Dr. Hot & Full Of Himself came back in with the results and quietly said, “Well, you were right. It’s 88.” Keep in mind that anything above a 5 is technically positive. I said, “What? Can you repeat that?” And then number was the same. Yep, the test was POSITIVE. And just like that the course of treatment Dr. Hot & Full Of Himself was recommending changed. He called in an OB to consult. The OB noted that I had one of two issues happening: 1) diverticulitis, which was uncommon at my age and couldn’t be safely treated during pregnancy, or 2) colitis, which is basically an intestinal inflammation. Treatment? Go home. Wait a day or two. If it goes away, it was colitis. If not, diverticulitis. Seemed reasonable to me.
And by the way - it was colitis. I am just fine.
Now tell me, Dr. Hot & Full Of Yourself, why was this not your recommended course of treatment from the beginning? Seems a lot cheaper than a CT which would expose me to unnecessary radiation. Perhaps we could have discussed these options, hmmm? I hope you learned a lesson here. I hope it knocked you down a peg or two. I appreciate confidence from my doctors, but not arrogance to the point of recklessness. I do hope it knocked you down a few pegs, but given that at no time did you apologize for being an ass, I don’t have high hopes. Let’s just hope we do not meet again.
And just like that, my geriatric eggs pulled through, without assistance. I believe you were meant to be here, Baby Boy. So, in those teenage angst years, please never forget: you are wanted, and you are loved. Always.