TMI? Yep, Lisa here. I’m all about the TMI! No fart and poop talk this time, but some vag talk. With my laptop on its last legs I’ve not had reliable access to the blog which means I’ve written several posts in my mind over the past couple weeks and, of course, they got lost in this mind not soon after – must be from all of the weed back in the day. (see? TMI!)
Just beware that I am a rambler when I write and my wife has said just to write what’s going on and not to pretty it up – if I enjoy hearing about other people’s real life to know that I am not alone, why wouldn’t someone else want to hear mine and know they are not alone.
Tuesday January 27th: My boobs don’t hurt anymore today! And my Fertility Friend app on the ol’ iPhone says my period starts tomorrow! Let this game begin…
…February is our big month – around about February 9th that is, based on the ol’ tracking of my cycle with the pee sticks every morning and temperature-taking and the noticing of when my cervical fluids are more egg white, creamy, sticky, or watery – yes, I have to fondle myself and check on my panties (when I wear them) watching for these things.
On top of all of the methodical tracking of things, trying to fucking remember what it is the doc said to do as it gets closer and then planning for the week of the sperm launch, our lives have been a tad bit stressful with the financial burdens associated with owning a business that hasn’t given me a full paycheck in 7 years coming to a head at a time when we need money to make this shit possible. I want to drink wine every day, but then there’s the whole keeping the body healthy for a baby to want to call my womb home. I end up drinking too much caffeine when I get exhausted trying to keep a yoga studio afloat that doesn’t support me and then also do the jobs that do – which isn’t ideal for our wallets or again for the whole healthy womb thing, but coffeeeee is SO good. (Am I really ready to be a mom with all of these poor choices in handling being stressed out and scared? I’m a yogi for Ganesha’s sake!) I’m so nervous and worn out worrying that I can’t even gather up the energy to get on my mat or workout most days – damn, I hope this womb is strong enough already. Anyone else felt this way during this whole process?!
Then there is the lack of communication or miscommunication between us and The New Hope Center – there have been several major missteps on their part during this relationship, but the most recent one is testing all of my yogi powers. When we met with Dr. Robin, she explained all of our options for hormones and the IUI procedure- the whens, whys, and hows with no mention of…ultrasounds possibly every day costing us money out of pocket each time during my period and while I’m taking the Femara!? That is huge chunks of my day being carved out to drive over, wait, pee in a cup, give a blood sample, and get a lubricated probe shoved in my vagina, and then drive back – it would’ve been nice to have been warned since I have, you know, a fucking job and clients that I am accountable to (who pay for all of this!) Did I mention that I’m stressed out? Maybe I’m not built for this mom stuff?? Thank the gods for my energetic, very capable, and devoted wife!
Wednesday January 28th: Day 1 of My Cycle: We were told to call on this day to start the ball rolling and that it is all time sensitive, oh yeah and that I am old and my eggs shriveling up by the month, so don’t fuck up the timing on all of this.
So, I did. I called at 9:04 am and left a message to let the nurse know that I Aunt Flo had arrived. By 4pm, I had heard nothing and I knew (and I also googled to be sure that I wasn’t being crazy…oh, and I called a dear friend who has been through this to be sure I wasn’t being crazy) that I needed to get in for the first ultrasound by Day 2. Where is their concern about the timely manner of this?! What the fuck are we paying them for?
When I called them back, they were so dismissive of my concern about not hearing from them and acted like, “well, no shit you need to come in tomorrow.” “Oh and by the way, since we are scheduling this so late in the day, there is only one appointment option available and fuck-it if you have clients already scheduled.” (she didn’t really say all that, but pretty much!) I was livid and exasperated – balling my eyes out. Anne-Marie and I both wrote emails to Dr. Robyn last night- we had had enough!
Here is the gist of my wife’s email:
Good Evening Dr Robin,
I feel that it is time to express some concerns with our relationship and experience thus far with The New Hope Center. We entered this relationship after careful consideration of whom we’d like to handle my wife, Lisa’s, struggles with her attempts at trying to conceive. The New Hope Center came highly recommended to us by previous clients and even a personal physician in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. First of all, we have been VERY pleased with Kat the NP and Tanesha at the front desk. The level of service they provide is professional, courteous, friendly and should not go without notice. It shows that they take pride in their work in the way they interact with anyone we’ve witnessed, especially us. Dr Robin, we also appreciate the amount of time you take with us in answering our questions, speaking in lay terms when necessary, and showing compassion to your patients (i.e. us).
Now for the unfortunate reason I’m sending this email. I have been completely disappointed in the level of customer service that we have received from nearly everyone else not mentioned. This process, trying to conceive (TTC) with a known donor, is a challenging, expensive, exciting, stressful process. In choosing The New Hope center we look to mitigate a lot of the challenge as you are the experts in this field. We look to you for guidance in this regard.
A recent example, my wife contacted The New Hope Center today to make whomever need to be aware that today is day one of her cycle. This process being incredibly time sensitive, as you have impressed upon us, we expected to receive instructions on how to proceed via a return phone call in a timely manner. Lisa had to return a call to the office this afternoon when there was no word. This is unacceptable, and in my wife’s email to you I believe she will state that this is not the only occurrence of untimely communication.
It was also brought to our attention that Lisa is to have multiple ultrasounds during this time that she is on Femera. This was not expressed to us before this time, had it been we likely would have had more questions regarding her treatment. For example, how and when do we schedule these ultrasounds? Lisa, like you, have clients and a business that depend on her presence. As a matter of respectful business practices it is customary to give correct time frames as both business are based on fairly specific timing (Lisa’s massage business and TTC). Also, what, if any cost is associated with these ultrasounds? Yes, having, and preparing to have, a child is expensive – luckily we are in a position to plan (a much as one can) for this unborn child. A little heads up in costs is not only respectful and best practice to inform the customer, but it’s also beneficial for one’s budget. During Lisa’s conversation with one of the staff this afternoon regarding her scheduling of these ultrasounds, Lisa expressed her disappointment and frustrations in the lack of communication. The response was “Mmmmhmmm, I understand….” and then silence. No offer of solution to this vital issue.
Also, in the very beginning of our process, our donor’s urine specimen was “lost” – a significant inconvenience as you can imagine. While I understand that the lab is separate from The New Hope Center placing blame on them is completely unprofessional. As a paying customer, client, and patient I would encourage a symbiotic relationship as their behavior (as well as The New Hope Center) reflects on both companies as a whole.
Again, YOU are the experts in this field and as such should be creating a pleasant experience for TTC hopeful parents. We do not know everything regarding this process and are looking to you for help and solutions in a highly specialized process. We expect phone calls returned in a timely manner, especially when time is of the essence. We expect as accurate as possible time frames to be given in regards to procedures that need to be performed, understanding that there are always exceptions to this rule. A time frame of 20 minutes to be “in and out” seems to be a completely unrealistic assessment when we’ve never spent less than an hour and a half in the office to date. We expect to have, to the best of your ability, a realistic expectation of costs to be incurred through each process every step of the way as to not be blindsided as we have just been regarding the ultrasounds. We expect education in all that we need to know, as this is ultimately my wife’s body and our decision as a family to continue in this process with your guidance.
Lisa and I are employing YOU, The New Hope Center, as the specialists and expect to be treated with respect during what can be a potentially stressful process. Our confidence is diminishing in the ability for The New Hope Center to provide the quality healthcare that your reputation claims you provide. Respect our decision to engage in this relationship with you by treating us like adults and not continuing to nickname us “honey, sweetie, dear” as this is not only unprofessional but condescending. Please do not continue to ask us to think about planing for another child when we haven’t even attempted with the first, do not assume that we would like to TTC a second time – we are individual clients and expect to be treated as such.
Thursday January 29th Day 2: Went a little better…