I had my HSG today. You know, the one I’ve been dreading since I first started this blog? I don’t find myself truly scared often, but this HSG has had me completely frightened.
My journey started yesterday at Walgreens trying to fill my Z-pak antibiotic prescription. Turns out the nurse that wrote my script didn’t sign it. Opps. They would call my doctor in the morning and I’d have to come back. I came back this morning to find out that my doctor’s office sent them to the dreaded nurse line answering machine. I don’t think I’m ever getting my antibiotics. Whatever, I’m a beast.
So I came back home, bathed myself, popped an aleve and vicodin, and set off for my doctor’s office. First part of the process is taking a pregnancy test at the office. Considering I haven’t even ovulated yet I wish they could take my word for it but alas, pee in a cup for everyone! Let me just say this bathroom was outrageous. There was like a plush chair facing the toilet,why? Who’s going to be in there with me? Nice pictures on the wall, air freshener, dimly lit. Nicest hospital bathroom ever.
Yep, not pregnant. Now I get to navigate the maze of the hospital to radiology. My doctor’s office probably got tired of ladies asking for directions and were prepared with a print out of the correct route. I still got lost, but showed up on time. At radiology I was fitted with a hospital bracelet and sat in a waiting room watching CNN for 15 minutes. I had absolutely no cell signal, like they were blocking it. Grrr, I wanted to read comics.
Eventually my name was called by an older nurse, who was very pleasant and chatted it up with me. I was lead to a huge room with a bathroom, a large table with a hovering xray machine, a cart with a monitor on it, and several chairs. I was told to undress from the bottom down and put on 2 hospital gowns, one on front and one on back. The room was comfortably warm, which was nice. I debated keeping on my electric green and black stripped mitten socks. Mmmmm no. Barefoot it is.
At this point my heart was in my throat. I was so nervous and it was making me nauseous. The smell in the room didn’t help, all those chemicals, ick. I came out, sat in a chair, and waited. The nurse came back and told me I could put my socks on if I wanted to. She also told me how much she liked my doctor, how kind she was. I asked her if other women had the same opinion after the procedure was done. “Is she gentle?” I asked. “I’m not going to lie, it gets a little crampy, she tries to make it as good as she can, she hates having to do this to you girls”. I decided to put my socks back on. Looking in the mirror I told myself that I was strong and I could do this.
My doctor popped her energetic head in the room and greeted me warmly. She asked me to hop up on the table and commented on my socks. She actually remembered that I wore toe socks for my last appointment! Then she got really serious for a second. “This is going to sound crazy, or maybe it’s not crazy but I’m a crazy doctor…” Oh crap, what could this be about. “I got your blood test results, and I totally don’t remember asking for Factor V Leiden but it was on there…” Yeah I actually put that on there. My dad had it and said I should get tested so I was kinda sneaky sneaky. “Oh no it’s fine that you were sneaky sneaky it works out because it came back positive!” Yeah I kind of figured that, it’s not really a big deal right? “Yeah I think you have only one copy of it and it just means you can’t be on birth control….ever…again. Oh and when you get pregnant you’ll probably have to take blood thinners as a precautionary”. I figured as much. My dad found out he had it when he had his hip replaced. It’s basically a blood clotting disorder, one of many out there. For a young healthy woman like myself, it really doesn’t mean much. It’s only when I combine my genetic predisposition for getting blood clots with other medications or situations that cause clotting does a problem arise. I think of FVL as a multiplication symbol. Hormonal birth control carries a risk of blood clots for everyone. Multiply that with FVL and you have an increased risk of dangerous clots. So I can’t take it ever again. Not that I would, obviously. Also I shouldn’t smoke, which I don’t. Yep, besides carrying a miscarriage risk FVL means very little to me. It’s just good to know about.
It was crunch time now. All the fear of the past 2 months filled me as I was told to lay back and get ready. She put the speculum in, which felt a little pinchy and uncomfortable. She seems to not ease things in, it’s like BAM speculum all up in your business. I have a tight vagina so that’s probably why it felt pinchy. She ratcheted the speculum open and my arms were positioned at my side. Oh god. It’s happening. I was told to take deep breaths, so I did. I gasped for breaths heavily, waiting to feel the pain of the catheter on my cervix. And I waited. And waited. She kept telling me to take deep breaths so I did. I watched the screen with eagle eyes, catching a glimpse of my insides. Then… I saw dye flowing about and immediately though WHAT?
“You’re already injecting dye?” Yep.
Where was the catheter pain? Where was the dye pain? I was laying there on the table just waiting for pain that never came. I watched the dye fill up my uterus and flow out one side. “I think I see it coming out one side!” I said excitedly. Yep…and here comes the other side, finally! Your tubes are clear, yay! “Awesome!” I said. She instructed the nurse to take pictures. I wasn’t told to shift at all, I was flat the entire time. Once a few pictures had been snapped I heard “all done” and she pulled everything out. Out came a flow of gross yellow tinged oily dye onto the table with it. “Your all set, here’s a pad, feel free to wipe up and get changed.”
Really….that’s it? Are you serious. ARE YOU SERIOUS? I asked. Yep, I was all done. I wiped up, got changed, and came back out. My doctor bid me farewell and told me I’d see her Monday. That was it. My dreaded HSG was over. It didn’t hurt! My periods cramps hurt worse. My ovulation pain hurts more. My 2 weeks of costochondritis hurt WAY WORSE. I feel kind of silly for stressing about it for so long. The 2 months of stressing was far worse then the 3 minutes of HSG. Ugh.
Please take it from me ladies. The internet is full of pussies. The pain of an HSG will vary woman to woman but there’s a very, very good chance your HSG will not be that painful. Don’t stress about it, it’s not worth stressing over, and the feeling of being told “your tubes are clear” is soooooo worth it.
Monday is the top of the mountain. I get results of my blood test and my husband’s SA. We get to take the next step after that. I’m so excited. For the first time in a while I’m getting the spark of “I could be a mom” back. I’m scared that the results will be bad, but even if she says “we need to go straight to IVF” that’s a GOOD thing in my eyes. It’s an answer. It’s a solution. It’s moving me closer to being a mom. I’m also scared the results will be good, but hey, if everything is good maybe we do IUI. Either way, we get some much needed answers. Here’s hoping the top of the mountain is awesome.
EDIT: It’s now later at night and I have noticeable cramps. It feels like straight up CD 1 cramps. Minor bleeding but that’s to be expected. My lining is good to go by O day and of course shooting dye in there is going to knock some of it loose. I wonder why it took so long to start cramping? I know the Aleve is just now almost gone from my system, but the Vicodin was to wear off 6 hours ago. Maybe my uterus was sleeping. It totally just woke up and was like oh shit I’m full of stuff that doesn’t belong here, better get rid of that.
My OPK went positive tonight, I’m going to ovulate tomorrow, one day early. I decided that unfortunately I’m going to have to sit this month out. My first month in a year that we won’t be trying. I was told to abstain from disturbing my cervix with intercourse, douches, tampons, anything really for 48 hours. That plus my lack of precautionary antibiotics means it would just be reckless of me to try. I don’t want to get an infection or damage things. Plus I’m sure the mixture of blood and dye isn’t exactly sperm paradise. Oh well. The HSG halo of added fertility is said to stick around for a few months. Being the dye didn’t immediately clear my left tube it could have been somewhat clogged, which is now fixed. I’m really excited for next month.