The doctor visit brought sobering news. It’s time to see a fertility specialist. I’m angry with the doctor. Last July when I miscarried his response was, “Oh, a lot of women miscarry. You’re lucky you got pregnant at your age. Go home and keep trying.” At my second miscarriage I was concerned and asked if there were tests to be done, but we talked only on the phone and he didn’t seem to think a second miscarriage was a big deal (lots of women have a couple and then successfully conceive). This recent meeting he was blunt, and he said that I was getting to the point of no return (in so many words), and that each year I’m decreasing my chances of having my own child by half. If we want to have a child, we must seek treatment yesterday. When I mentioned his advice from last year, he explained that he felt bad about that, but that it didn’t feel right to tell a woman who just lost a pregnancy, “OH by the way, you’re old too.” But if he had addressed it, we would have acted much sooner. The thing is, the doctor didn’t even remember he ORDERED the FSH test, which I took October 3. He began to explain I could get the test done, and I pointed out it had been, and he looked and said, “Oh, so it was. There are the results.” I know he’s a busy man, but he could have freaking LOOKED at my record to prepare for our visit. My FSH is 10.6, and it should be around 7 or 8. FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) is what tells the ovary to release another egg. The higher it is, the more this means that my body needs a “louder” prompt to get an egg out.

I’ll be getting some counseling over the next few weeks to work through some of this. I’ll also receive EMDR treatment so that the trauma of my pregnancy losses don’t weigh as heavily. The EMDR will also focus on releasing a deeply held negative belief about myself that I have struggled with for years and have worked through to some degree. Only now it’s arising again. I’m open to the concept of EMDR; there seems to be reasonable clinical proof of its efficacy. The bottom line is I want to be a mother more than I realized, and yet I am nearly paralyzed with fear of allowing myself to feel my desire, because I am terrified that I will not survive the disappointment if my efforts to become a parent fail.

We are reading books too:

We have a lot of research and thinking to do, and some major decisions ahead of us. We’ll be seeing a specialist as soon as possible, and that’s probably all there will be to share for some time.

Meanwhile, I started training today to become an adult literacy tutor. My text (which looks yummy) is LITSTART: Strategies for Adult Literacy and ESL Tutors. The trainers are delightful and this highly motivated group made for interesting discussion for the six-hour first session. I’ll attend the second session next Saturday. I also trained on Friday to become a library ambassador for the San Jose Public Library. This will involve my attending parent open houses at elementary schools to inform parents about their local library branch and the services offered (such as homework help). In November I’ll begin assisting with the Even Start program in Santa Clara; I’ll work with ESL students to practice speaking using role-playing techniques, so they can function more confidently in the world (at the store, doctor’s office, etc.).

When I’m not reading and doing the above, I’ve been knitting a lot. I made my sister-in-law a tea cozy. I’m working on a Snuggles blanket for the shelter. I made a baby hat. And I’m working on a healing shawl for a friend recently diagnosed with breast cancer. The shawl is the priority right now. I also bought Knitting for Peace: Make the World a Better Place One Stitch at a Time, as it has good, basic patterns, and I like the concept of supporting peace (proceeds go to charity). There are lots of ways to knit for charity; this book presents some (along with their histories).

Work has been a bit less hectic now that HOBA Day is over. I’m winding down my tasks, preparing to transfer them to my successors. My last day is November 3rd. I feel a little sad about this. At the same time, I’m jazzed about the clarity and focus I feel regarding literacy work. I’ve also got plans to do some baking. I love to bake but certainly don’t need the cookies around the house. Fortunately for me, my friends recently opened Purlescence Yarns, and they’d love to offer my treats to customers. It works well for all of us. I’ll be seeing some friends, knitting, making art, reading, volunteering, and relaxing. Somewhere in there I expect I’ll be seeing doctors fairly often. I have no doubt that I will fill my time.

Tomorrow we will go hiking at Muir Woods with friends. It should be a gorgeous day trip, and I’m looking forward to it!

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11 Comments on “Homework”

  1. kate Says:

    . . . sending you many massive squeezing yet gentle hugs across the net . . . if you want me to ‘look’ please let me know . . . well wishes . . . 🙂

  2. Eden Says:

    Your doctor is a prick. Go find another, even someone else in his practice if that’s the only option. “A lot of women miscarry,” is NOT an acceptable response. I certainly wouldn’t want him “caring” for me during a pregnancy; it would add to my stress.

    My doctors began infertility treatment w/ me after a year of not being able to conceive (and it would have been sooner if I’d been older). That ‘s what a responsible OB-GYN does. Seems your guy got his license from sending in cereal boxtops. Ugh.

    BTW: I also bought Knitting For Peace, last weekend. Let’s do a knit-along sometime 🙂

  3. gerry rosser Says:

    I hope you hold on to your dreams, and that they come true, and that you stay the person you are if they don’t (I, too, have been afraid to want too strongly for fear of the result if my dreams didn’t come too pass).

    I think I mentioned in the past that our granddaughter is a “miracle” baby, the result of several tries at in vitro. There is hope.

  4. Laurel Says:

    First, have you thought about getting a new doctor?


    Preferrably, a female doctor?

    I have a friend who went through what you’re going through. She and her husband turned themselves inside out trying to get pregnant (she was in her 20’s at the time, he in his early 30’s). It was heartwrenching for both of them. When it was finally determined that the combination of his low to almost absent sperm count and her polycystic ovary disease were going to make it nearly impossible for them to ever become pregnant, they decided to adopt. She adopted a special needs child and is maybe the best mother I’ve ever known. Like you, she loves people, loves to teach, loves children. Motherhood is such a natural thing for her. She’s such a good mommy. I tell her that whenever I see her. And because she’s such a good mother, her special needs child has far exceeded the specialists’ expectations. A child that was never expected to talk learned sign language and is now actually talking. A child that was never supposed to walk is now iceskating. (I swear, I’m getting choked up as I type this)

    Just from knowing you via your blog, dear friend, I know in my heart that you will be a damned good mother however it happens for your, or however you decide it will happen for you.

    Oh, and the other thing I wanted to say is: Good lord, woman, you’re busy busy busy. You’re my hero. I swear, I read your blog and I think, damn, I should get my ass in gear and do something.

  5. Marilyn Says:

    Oh, Kathryn, medical ‘professionals’ can be so utterly uncaring and insensitive at times. I’m sorry to hear the anguish you’re going through…wishing you nothing but the best and most beautiful blessings for your heart’s desire.

  6. mark walter Says:

    Damn, Kathryn… very tough one. You are definitely coming across as being deeply honest, and willing to continue doing whatever you have to do to resolve any deeper issues. I sincerely applaud your spirit, although it is meager comfort. I agree with Kate… (((((Kathryn)))))

    P.S. I can tell Kate is a better hugger, but I am sending a lot of heart, too. 🙂

  7. William Sackinger Says:

    Glad you got through the incompetent doctor and into a place where they focus on helping you. I have a grandson, age 4, who was conceived in-vitro. In December I will give details. Keep your spirits up. Sometimes, prayer helps, too!

  8. Nacho Says:

    Hi Kathryn! All the best, and as folks have already noted, that doctor did seem insensitive at best to your needs, but if you change, before you change doctors, do inform him. He needs to know better so nobody else suffers the same fate.

    I wish you all the best with the EMDR treatment. Hope it works, and of course, wish you all the best with getting pregnant and looking deeply into that itself. : )

    Good to stop by again!



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  11. Liora Says:

    Just catching up with my blog reading and sorry to have missed this one until now. What a totally insensitive thing your doctor said! I’m glad you’ve sought future care elsewhere.