red elephant in the roomThere was once a time when this blog was ALL about my lady town. Every post, every day was dedicated to the ins (and outs) of down there. When you begin your blog within the infertility blogosphere and 99.9% of your readers are also female reproductively fascinated it is no big deal to breezily write about a wonky period or monster cramps.

2012 was the year I tried to get pregnant twice and failed twice so this blog was jam-packed with details about those two cycles and their complicated and tragic aftermath.

This year I have been pretty quiet on mentioning my vagina. Although during my unmarketing panel at BlogHer I did tell a packed room that I didn’t consider myself a blogger with a brand as my vagina was unmarketable. The only other mentions to my fertility, or lack thereof, have been in reference to money and saving and the practical and obvious decision about saving to move to a better school district vs saving for my final FET.

So here is what I haven’t been writing about: nonstop bleeding.

I expected things to be odd after the D&C in December last year. And they were. Odd. I kept waiting for things to find a normal and yet here we are eight months after the miscarriage and I have yet to have what a woman would refer to as a “normal” cycle.

In the past my regular cycles started of with a light flow on day one. Day two and three were the heavier days, and by day four things were fading. Day five was similar to day one. My luteal phase has always been short which made my cycles average around 24-26 days.

Since February of this year my normal has been to bleed for 20 days, have a few days not bleeding, bleed for 30 days, few days not, bleed for 23 days, couple of days not…etc. Having the “new normal” be a period that lasts three weeks is bullshit.

IT HAS BEEN AWFUL. The cramps. The fatigue. The moodiness. The bloat. The mess.

If this had happened to me last year I would have been on the phone with my doctor the first time I got dizzy. Instead I bought iron supplements and tried to get more sleep. I also would have immediately written about it here.

So what kept me from calling the doctor? What made me hesitate to write about this red elephant in my room? Embarrassment. Shame. Probably not for the reason you think though.

Here is my confession, which feels odd to phase it that way but it is a confession nonetheless, I no longer have health insurance. W has it and I will always, always, always make sure that he does. But last year the health insurance program I was enrolled in let me know I was no longer eligible to continue to be in the program. This, in a sideways way, is a good thing as it means I made too much money to qualify for the program anymore. I felt a similar “WOO” moment when our family no longer qualified for food stamps. But try as I might I could not find an affordable individual health care plan for me so I remained uninsured.

This has worked out ok in relation to my other health issues. My doctor has a great self pay program so I am able to continue my regular check ups and when I was feeling really awful earlier this year I had no hesitation calling him. My pharmacist also has a wonderful program that has allowed my medication to remain affordable.

But OMG!!! Problems in the vag are terrifying to think about. All of my vagina doctor notions are wrapped up in the world of expensive fertility treatments so I have been certain it would be several hundred dollars just to get someone to look under my hood and then several hundred more to talk to a doctor. Last year I paid a doctor $200 for a “15 minute consultation”. That “consultation”, in reality, was a less than 3 minute conversation in the hallway where a doctor asked me if I had any questions about my miscarriage. (I later got the clinic to issue a refund.)

This week has been especially tedious and awful and, just, VERY not pleasant in the department of bleeding profusely from my crotch. I decided it was time to make phone calls. My plan was to first call the office of the OB/GYN who performed the D&C and see if they could help me (in an affordable, self-pay kind of way). If they weren’t a good option I was going to call my primary doctor and see what his office suggested.

As soon as I found out that I could see someone at the OB/GYN at a self pay rate for under $100 I felt like an IDIOT. Seriously. I am an idiot.

I have an appointment next monday morning.

Let’s start guessing what it could be!

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Image Credit: Smithsonian Institution

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