Saturday, March 7, 2009

it's not me, it's YOU!

At first, I got the impression that they just didn't really care on a personal level. That was OK. Business is business, and if their business is getting me pregnant, then I don't need to make any new friends in the RE's office. Sure, it'd be nice if they acted like they had some stock in the outcome, but if they're seeing lots of infertile women and our collective chances are low, maybe the "professionalism" is just a defense mechanism. I talked myself out of taking it personally, and tried to convince myself that I was overreacting. I am, after all, a frustrated infertile who has spent half of the last 21 months in the TWW. Throw in periodic doses of clomid and you've certainly got a recipe for overreacting.

Today, I felt as though the nurse actively did not want me to become pregnant. She was pleasant enough to start, and even joked that if today felt like an early morning, tomorrow would be even earlier (daylight saving starts tomorrow). We dropped off the box o'paternal genetic material and headed off to breakfast with instructions to return in an hour for the insem. Fifty minutes later, I walked back into the vacant waiting room (C stayed in the car to nap) and announced my presence by filling out the "I'm here to get BW/US/IUI/etc. done" sheet of paper and dropping it face-down in the bin. A couple of minutes later, the nurse who took the box from us came out and said, "We can't proceed. The container was tampered with."

What the...? I was speechless. She walked me back to the exam room and explained that the seal on the cryotank wasn't present and their policy is that the seal can only be opened by medical staff in their office. Well, I had instructions from the sperm bank that specifically said I should open the tank and confirm that the correct donor specimens were sent. So of course I opened the tank as soon as it arrived. That way, if there were a probem, I'd have time to fix it before ovulating. The RE's office doesn't receive or store donor sperm. It has to be shipped to me, and the doctors and nurses don't see it until I show up for an IUI. Why in the world would I wait until the day of the IUI to check the tank? On top of that, I opened the tank last cycle and no one said a word about it. Once again, it seemed the staff in this office was throwing obstacles at me every step of the way, trying to prevent my IUI with every bureaucratic snare they could dream of and withholding information from me until it was almost too late to save myself.

Luckily, I had the instructions in the car. If I hadn't had something in writing from the bank to show the nurse, I think this cycle would have ended right there... as would any relationship I have with that office. The nurse had to page the RE twice- once to alert her to the fact that the tank had been opened and again to read to her the instructions I'd received with the tank. The RE finally gave her approval, and the IUI was done, but I was so angry and upset that I was shaking and fighting back tears.

The nurse didn't seem to understand why I would need to open the tank upon receipt, as though verifying the contents were secondary to complying with some rules I knew nothing about. I told her that if I need to buy another round of donor sperm, I will again need to verify the contents no later than the day before my IUI. She replied, "No, you can't do that." I explained again that I would not wait until minutes before my IUI to discover a problem with the shipment. Again, she repeated that I cannot open the tank. We went back and forth like this two or three more times, and I was trying really hard to remain civil. Finally, I told her, "Fine- next time I'll bring the tank here as soon as it arrives and YOU can open it." She huffed, as if to imply that I would be wasting her precious time.

I think tomorrow will be my last IUI in that office. On Monday, I'll call the more distant clinic, the one with too many men on staff, to find out if they'll take me as a patient and how quickly they'll get me started. I'd rather just be pregnant.


Melissa said...

Bitch! I'm so sorry you had to go through that. This whole process is hard enough as it is.

IrishNYC said...

OMG I want to punch that woman for you. WTF is it with RE offices being packed full of nothing but assholes on staff? My whole experience with the RE was nothing but heartache and misery, and like you, I felt that they did not really want me to get pregnant. I wrote them after they gave me a hard time about sending records to my OB and told them I felt like nothing but a cash cow when I was with them.

I often thought part of the problem in my clinic was that 75% of the doctors were women. Whenever I saw a male doctor, I felt as ease and as if he cared. The women? They were heartless bitches. The female nursing were great, but the front office staff were even more hideous (and all pregnant). You'd think women would be more sympathetic, but I didn't find that to be the case at all.