At first when one has unexplained infertility, one is quite smug because after all there is nothing wrong, right? Wrong. There is plenty wrong only no one can find the answer. Not being able to find an answer leads to all sorts of crazy tests. Oddly enough, the only test I have not had is a laparoscopy. Not sure why… maybe because by the time of the third IVF it seemed pointless.

In any case, I am having more blood tests done and an endometrial biopsy. Ugh. Double ugh. My doctor suspects that possibly I might have a genetic variant in my MTHRF gene and that is hampering implantation. (Update: IVF number two failed. Two frozen blasts left.) This can lead to increased risk of blood clots which can prevent implantation, cause early¬† miscarriage, etc. It also apparently inhibits folic acid absorption. This condition is extremely rare. But we do the test anyway because by now, we are looking at rare explanations for why I, the one with many follicles, is not yet pregnant. The results show that although I do indeed carry a genetic variant, I actually do not carry the mutation that causes all sorts of problems; this is a two-part problem and I have problem one but not problem two, which equals I really don’t have a problem. Nevertheless, my doctor seizes on this information as a reason to give me still more drugs and decides that when I do the frozen embryo transfer I will also take blood thinner. Oh yay, oh bliss, yet more needles!

Next up: endometrial biopsy. My doctor wants me to have it done before FET because there is some data that show women tend to get pregnant the cycle immediately after a biopsy or a D&E. I make the husband schedule the afternoon off work because he is going to witness this medieval torture. This has to be done day 7 or 8 after ovulation. They are looking for any endometrial abnormalities that could prevent implantation. With great trepidation, we head to the clinic. Everyone is cheery, as usual. I get up on the table and it’s similar to a pap smear prep. Only the doctor has to dilate the cervix and she uses a tiny toothbrush-like brush to swab the inside of the uterus. It is F—ING PAINFUL. It is TORTURE. I actually scream, it is so bad. The 30 seconds feels like 30 minutes.

I don’t know why doctors always tell you, “It’s not so bad, it’s like a tiny little nick.” Or mosquito bite, or whatever. My retort is, have you had it done? Because if they have, then they know it’s not only bad, it is sheer hell.

I realize this is not as bad as labour, but at least for labour you can get an epidural. No one has figured out how to make a woman more comfortable during these kinds of procedures; we always have to endure intolerable pain. I actually read later on that in the US, doctors perform this test under mild sedation. Now that would have been helpful.

After the test when I leave the exam room, another doctor just looks at me strangely. Well, I guess she must have heard me scream. But I just shoot her a withering look because, honestly, she deserves it. The nurse tells me that I am quite brave to do this test; she herself had needed it done and refused, opting to have a D&E under full sedation instead. Well!

So I’m waiting two weeks to get the results. I go in for my appointment, ready to start estrogen for the FET and guess what? The lab has lost my sample. Yup. Lost it. I lost my cool right there and then. When I am very, very angry, I don’t yell. I get very quiet and my voice lowers several octaves and with a steely voice, I tell my doctor very firmly that she had better personally get on the phone to the CEO of that lab and give him hell, because that’s what I went through to get this sample and I’m not doing it again. I simply cannot believe this. I feel like I’m trapped in Narnia. Like I’m walking in a mirrored funhouse and can’t find the exit.Then I get up and walk out of her exam room without another word. I tell the nurse I will come back tomorrow when I have had time to calm down and when I expect them to have some better news for me.