Today is cycle day seventeen. I spent the weekend agonizing over my pee sticks, as I always do when ovulation is imminent, and finally decided after lining up four nearly-identical pee sticks in front of my wife and sister on Sunday night, that it was too early. Yesterday, I got a true “light line” in the morning, scheduled my IUI for today, and then confirmed with a “dark line” last night. I was still fretting that I had missed my ovulation, since I usually don’t get the dark line until I am practically ovulating, but my temp this morning was nearly identical to what it was yesterday, so I took that as a good sign.
[An aside about temping. As annoying as it has been, I find it really useful. My temperature barely fluctuates from 97 degrees, and it was a relief this morning to find it at 96.99, so that I was pretty confident I had not missed the boat. I am hoping to see a good solid shift after ovulation. All-in-all, useful, and not nearly as annoying as I thought I would find it. Also I get up to go to the bathroom, and I drink, and whatever, and it hasn’t fluctuated too much, so if you are on the fence, give it a try.]
Allllllright. So I go in this morning for my IUI at 8am. The first bad news is that the one doctor in the practice that I really don’t like will be doing my IUI. He ignores my wife, he doesn’t tell me when he’s about to stick shit in my vagina, etc. We refer to him informally as “the mean guy.” He’s also the doctor who habitually keeps us waiting — once it was over an hour, with our little squiggles just sitting there in a test tube, losing vitality.
We pick up our sperm at apparently a really high-traffic time, because there is a guy leaving the masterbatorium (what is that jack-off room called? I don’t know) awkwardly standing there with a paper bag and two other guys waiting for use of the masterbatorium while we wait to pick up our sperm. Classy. Our numbers are good – upwards of 60% motility. I am feeling happy as we head into the room.
HOWEVER. The Mean Guy enters, and as per usual, talks to the countertop while ignoring my wife. He does not adjust the stirrups, so my heels are somewhere up my ass and it’s really uncomfortable — even after I joke that the bed is set up for a person much shorter than me. Without a word, he sticks the biggest metal speculum I have ever seen up my dainty lesbian vagina, and does the insemination. I jump when he touches me, because every other doctor that has shoved things in my vagina ever has said something along the lines of “I am about to shove something in your vagina” before they go ahead and do it. In fact, every person who has shoved something in my vagina has given me some kind of a heads-up, doctor or otherwise.
After the insemination, he does the sonogram with the screen tilted away from both me and my wife. When my wife stands up and asks to see, he says impatiently “I’m going to show you.” Okay fine. Only he doesn’t, not really. The other doctors all show us the whole thing: Here’s your uterus — this is your lining, looking good. This white stuff is the sperm we just put in there. This is your right ovary, no follicle. This is your left, let’s measure that follicle, do you see it, etc. Not so for Mean Guy. He is keeping all the info for himself, and only after he finds the follicle does he turn the screen. He says “This is your follicle. You haven’t ovulated, so you need to come back tomorrow,” and then turns the screen back to himself. I ask how big it is, and Mean Guy says he’s about to measure. “Seventeen millimeters,” he says. Then snap-snap off come the gloves, and he’s gone.
SEVENTEEN? It just can’t be right. I have never, ever in the 8 months I’ve been monitoring, ovulated after day 18, and almost always on day 16 or 17 — only once on day 18, ever. The follicles grow about 2 mm a day, which I know from a different doctor who actually stuck around for questions. And I usually ovulate with that sucker around 25mm. That would have me four days away from ovulation, which can’t be right given all the other signs. I have never ovulated as late as day 21, and I would be shocked if I was about to start doing that now.
We then find out that there are no doctors available to do another insemination in the morning tomorrow, only in the afternoon. So we make an appointment at 2:15, which I will have to cancel if my temp is up in the morning, as it will be far too late in the day to catch an egg that is released sometime today or overnight.
So I am sitting here worrying. More, again. There is so much of that in this process. Did Mean Guy mess up the measurements? Is my follicle really only 17mm? Is it possible I have already ovulated and that the follicle he was measuring was already collapsing? Shouldn’t he have been able to tell that, if he’s any good? I wish he hadn’t even done the sonogram. I wish I didn’t have to have Mean Guy anymore. He always seems to be the Tuesday morning doctor, though, and I’d rather have the timing right with an asshole doctor than miss the timing and have a nice doctor.
Also. What if sonograms kill sperm?