Thursday, February 18, 2010

To Laparoscopy or Not To Laparascopy? That is the Question...

So, I just got home from my doctor's appointment--my final attempt to get a second (actually fourth) opinion on our "unexplained" infertility. So that insurance would cover the visit, I did it under the guise of seeking help for another annoying-but-not-serious symptom I've been having that falls in the spectrum of non-fertility-related women's issues (but which I believe could be contributing to not getting pregnant even though three other doctors have said it's nothing to worry about). Well, FINALLY somebody has an explanation that may make sense! Woo hoo! If only the treatment options were as simple...
Since I realize that mixed company may read this, I'll keep the details to a minimum, but here is my new dilemma:

This wonderful new doctor took my descriptions of my symptoms along with what the other doctors tried and said and...she guesses that I may have one of two possible problems:
1--I may have something like polyps in my uterus.
2--I may have a form of endometriosis. This second one shocked me, since I have none of the normal symptoms associated with it (i.e. cramping, discomfort, etc...), but she said she has found other patients with no symptoms at all, and my mild/annoying one is consistent with endometriosis.

And here is the fun part:
The way to identify for sure if either of these is the problem, as well as then the way to treat either of these, is to do a laparoscopy/hysteroscopy. This is a surgical procedure where I will be knocked out, my abodmen inflated, my internal organs moved around, several tools inserted through incisions around my belly button, and then if they find anything (i.e. polyps or endometrial tissue) they will burn and/or scrape them away.

Doesn't that sound lovely?!

So now I find myself in the valley of decision.

My initial reaction is no way! That sounds horrible! The brief research I just did online has not calmed my fears in any way. And it isn't cheap. While they'll have to check with my insurance if I decide to proceed to get the actual price, it looks like it can range from several hundred dollars to one or two thousand dollars! From the beginning of this journey, Jim and I have decided that there are plenty of kiddos out there already born who need a family, and we don't feel comfortable spending a lot of money just so we can have one of our "own".

But...

If I don't do it, will I wonder for the rest of my life if this one procedure could have allowed me to experience pregnancy and childbirth--something I really do think I long for? Yep, for sure. Not to mention, that it should alleviate the "annoying" symptom I mentioned earlier.

But...

We're so close to being done with the adoption process. I anticipate that we'll be ready to go by late April, and we're really hoping/praying that we'll be matched with a kid by the end of summer. So, if this procedure worked, that would be just around the time I might be able to get preggo. But I would really love to be able to enjoy my first baby and my first pregnancy one at a time. I'm pretty sure double duty would stress me out and I'd miss out on a lot of the memories I've looked forward to so long...So, should we postpone the adoption matching process? Or postpone the laparoscopy procedure? Or...?

And, this still might not do anything...So, then, is it worth it?

Urg! While I wage this internal debate, I'm going to go prune my roses and enjoy this glorious day God has given me. Working outside tends to calm my mind and give me clarity. Let's hope it works today!

And meanwhile I ask you, what would you do if you were in my shoes? Help!

7 comments:

  1. well, if it were me, it would depend a lot on the finances. if i didn't have to pay much out of pocket, i would probably do it. if it was going to be thousands of dollars, i would probably continue with my adoption journey. as a matter of fact, chris and i tried for over a year to get pregnant. we had one early miscarriage. we started the adoption process since we figured we would just leave it up to the Lord to decide how we got a kid. we assumed if i got pregnant, we would just be able to adopt at the same time. about 6 months later, i was pregnant (after going through multiple tests and a few, let's just say, invasive procedures). yippee! we had just finished all our adoption classes and paperwork, so figured we would do both concurrently.
    well, we found out that we weren't allowed to adopt (agency rule? county rule? not sure...) until our bio kid was one year old. we felt pretty bummed, especially since all our adoption stuff would expire by then. oh, well!
    anyhoo, so sorry this got so long. obviously, ultimately, it's your call, and hopefully after some prayer the Lord will give you a clear answer.
    i say go with your gut! do you know if you would be allowed to go forward with adoption right away if you got pregnant?

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  2. Wow, Rachel, that is a huge decision to make. I would want to know what's going on with me, too, regardless of whether or not I was trying to have kids. I think any 'non-normal' thing going on in your body is something you should be aware of. I totally see not wanting to combine a newly adopted child with gestating one of your own at the same time. When/if you do get pregnant, you won't believe how incredibly tired you'll be cooking that baby. Reading that adoptive parents go through similar emotions of those who have given birth, you will definitely want to make sure you're able to digest and process the HUGE change that will happen in your home without the added stress of the hormone surge that happens in your body due to pregnancy. So I'm realizing this isn't really helping. If I were in your shoes and my insurance covered it (and probably even if it didn't), I'd want to figure out what's going on with my body and then go ahead with the adoption process. After you're in the groove of being a family of three, I would let God and biology answer the timing question of getting pregnant.

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  3. I don't know how much this helps, but I've had that type of surgery. It was exactly as you explained it. I had an ectopic pregnancy and that's how they fixed the problem. Here are the cons: the air in your abdomen can hurt, but will last only for a little while. The scars are minimal. The recovery is minimal. I hate being "put under" so I don't handle that well. The pros: it solved the problem. It wasn't as invasive as it sounds. You may get rid of your "problem". And, most importantly, you may have the answer to getting pregnant. I have had friends that had endometriosis without the really painful symptoms.

    If it were me, I would want to try the surgery. Even if it isn't the answer, you will at least know you did what you could to find out.

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  4. Thanks guys for the input!
    Freda, that actually helps a lot knowing that you went through it (and lived ;o)).
    Shanti, I did make sure that through San Diego County we can still follow through with adoption even if pregnant (that was pretty much the one factor why we chose to go with the county instead of Family Connections which also had an office right here in Oceanside).
    Jen, that's what I'm thinking--I want to know what's "wrong" with me...
    When Jim and I sat down and discussed it last night, he did his normal Jim thing and simplified and de-stressed the decision. So, I think I'm going to go call the office to have them start the process finding out if insurance will cover any of it...I can always chicken out later :o)

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  5. If this procedure can help the physical problems you are having, then it is worth exploring. One thing I have learned is that if Mama isn't well then she can't take care of the rest of the family. You must be well for either an adoption or pregnancy.

    I assume that since you and your husband started the adoption process you believe this was what God desired. If you have the procedure, continue with the adoption process. You don't know how the timing will work out. Continue to walk through the doors God has opened until He closes them.

    These are just my thoughts which are not divinely inspired. Continue to seek the Father. He will direct!

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  6. I just had laparoscopy in early August for "endometriosis". Recently had my post-op appointment and learned it wasn't endometriosis ... instead I had a "low-grade cancerous" tumor growing inside one of my ovaries. They took it out, but ruptured it in the process. Looks like I might be going in for a second surgery for more biopsy! :\ What a mess!

    I'm so excited to read about your adoption. That is definitely a thought Andy and I have had. We are still warming up to it, though. It's hard to imagine loving an adopted child as much as one would their own. But, what do I know! This is a learning process. We are trying to be closer to God as we journey along.

    God bless you guys!!! Hope you are feeling well and adjusting to parenthood smoothly. :D

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