Today I donned my lucky stirrup socks:
...and Cory and I headed up to Portland for my mock transfer and my saline sonohysterogram. I got a little nervous on the way up because I wasn't totally sure what they'd find. Back when I was getting my lining looked at by the doc at OHSU, he said he found a couple of fibroids but they weren't in a place that would make trouble for transferring embryos. Then, during our over-the-phone debrief from the failed FET a few months later, he said maybe the fibroids were the reason we weren't able to get pregnant yet. By then I wasn't excited about continuing with him, but it was always niggling in the back of my mind that there might be something going on and I was happy that my current doctor was wanting to check things out.
Cory and I both had some blood drawn, and then I stripped down and spent half an hour in the stirrups. (There was no pain, only verrrrrry mild cramps later, by the way - I'd read about others' experiences with SHG's and they ranged from very painful to not painful at all.) The mock transfer was quick and easy, and then the doctor filled my uterus with saline (it was weird to see the little air bubbles swirling around in there, on the screen) and took a look.
Courtesy of bioscience.org
Here's an ultrasound with some labels so you can get a feel for what a normal uterus should look like. And here's mine.
My uterus looks like a little black sperm! There's a few things going on here. One, that you can't actually see in this photo, is that I have three large fibroids but they aren't a big deal. The bigger deal is that I have some tissue (he said they were unrelated to the fibroids) on either side of the uterine cavity that shouldn't be there. You can see them around the "tail" of the "sperm." There's also a polyp, that spot in the middle of the larger black space.
So just like that, the FET was postponed and I'm now going in for a hysteroscopy. You can read about it on Stirrup Queens. Basically they'll go in, at least through the cervix and maybe also laparoscopically, and get rid of that extra tissue and the polyp. The doctor didn't feel comfortable attempting to transfer embryos into an environment that wasn't perfect.
After I got dressed again, we talked to my coordinating nurse about what to do next. She said that since I don't currently have a gynecologist (I just see a general practitioner - a naturopath), their newest doctor would be able to do the hysteroscopy. She's going on vacation in two weeks, so they're going to try to fit me in next week, but I might not be able to go in until the end of June/beginning of July when she gets back. Either way, I'll be able to start another FET cycle a few weeks after the procedure, when I've had a bit of time to heal, and since I'm on birth control already they'll be able to control when I start the FET. So that's nice.
After the initial shock of the worse-news-than-I-thought wore off, and I was able to process things, I've come to the conclusion that the lucky stirrup socks worked today. I feel more confident that we might see success this time, now that we've found something else that could be wrong. Unexplained infertility is so much more of a crapshoot than knowing what you're up against. Now I just hope that this is the only thing we're up against. :)
The only downside to all of this is that I found out that the estimate that I got from the financial coordinator at the clinic didn't include every procedure that we'd been planning for. I found that out when the front desk asked me for over a thousand dollars today for the mock transfer and SHG, and said the loan that I'd set up only covers the lining check through the transfer itself. So now I have to go back to the loan company and ask to add another few thousand to cover today's procedure as well as the upcoming hysteroscopy. Without knowing how much the hospital fees will be. I also need to check with my insurance provider to see if a hysteroscopy might be covered - if it is, that would be fantastic. I have my doubts though.
So all in all - it was a good appointment, and I'm happy to feel like progress was made. Now I just have to mentally prepare for surgery!