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Sh*t Just Got Real


Ladies, (and the ever-elusive gentlemen), we have a verdict.

The jury was out for a good, long while, but within 45 minutes, the final decision was finally made.

BOTH of my tubes are completely blocked.

There is a weight on that sentence that has been rolling around on my tongue for a while.  But before I get into that, let me break down how I got this long-awaited answer.   Things started with an HSG test.

My appointment was at 9am, and I was actually taken back sometime around 9:30.  After undressing from the waist down, I was led to the x-ray room by a very nice nurse named Tammy.   Prior to getting things started, Tammy had me sit down so that we could discuss each thing that was going to take place.

First, she asked if I’d taken any pain relievers prior to coming to the appointment, which I hadn’t.  She then double-checked to make sure that they had been recommended by my doctor.  They had. I have a pretty high pain threshold in my opinion, and couldn’t see how two tylenol an hour beforehand were going to make much difference, so I didn’t take any.  After those preliminaries, it was time to break down the procedure itself.

My doctor, Doctor C., would be called down to the room to insert a catheter, Tammy would remain at my head to keep me calm and explain what was happening, and a radiologist would be called in to perform the x-ray itself.   Through the catheter, my doctor would use a syringe to push dye directly into my uterus, while the radiologist simultaneously photographed the process with the x-ray machine.  Done correctly and without complication, we all would be able to see the dye travel through my uterus and tubes by way of the monitor placed beside the exam table.  She asked if I had any questions.  I didn’t.  Then it was time to sit on the table and wait for the doc.

My doctor came down, as explained, asked me if I was comfortable, and went over the details again.  Then it was time for the catheter.  Okay, now I have a pretty high pain threshold, like I said, but this was very uncomfortable for me.  It didn’t “hurt”, but it was extremely jolting.  There is a precise feeling of someone pushing or pulling on a tender part of your skin, but it feels somewhat worse because it’s internal.  I was pretty cool I think, but according to Tammy, I was definitely tensing up, so she sat beside me and talked me through a few calming breaths.  I stared up at the arm of the x-ray machine, where there was a sticker that read: “7/2”.  I focused on that sticker because it is actually my wedding anniversary.  I found this, combined with the “breathing exercises” to be maddeningly ironic, considering the situation, but I shook it off.

Once the catheter was fully in, I couldn’t feel any other discomfort.  I forgot it was there actually.  In about three minutes, the radiologist was there and turning on the machine.   Tammy moved the monitor closer so that I could see.  Lights, cameras, action!

Only, there was no action. LOL

I watched the screen, I felt Doctor C. push the syringe harder, and none of us saw a damn thing.  My lady bits basically flipped us all the bird.  I remember vividly that there was one moment when Doctor C. said, “I really can’t push any more.  I think they’re both blocked.”

And that’s when shit got real.

I don’t know.  The picture in my head was of the dye showing up brightly on that monitor, and of my leaving there with a new script for Clomid.  I fully intended on beating this thing with the most minimally invasive procedures as possible.

Instead, she walked to the head of the bed and told me flat-out that I would need to call the RE, and that the most viable option for me would have to be IVF.  She put a hand on my shoulder and said, “You did what you said that you wanted to do. You went as far as WE could.  This test, was that last thing that WE could do.  Now, you go further.  Call the doctor I told you about.  She’s a great person, who is very honest and personable.  This is fixable.”

And I don’t really remember much after that.  I mean, it isn’t that this wasn’t frustrating or painful before.  It was.  But somehow this felt more devastating.  There’s something very definitive about the moment you’re told that this thing you didn’t want to do, this path you were avoiding, is the ONLY way to your goal.

Bring me the slippers of the Wicked Witch of The West!

I do remember some things.

I remember getting dressed.

I remember telling my mom, who was in the waiting room.

I remember her taking me to breakfast, and asking gentle questions about what to do next, and sitting there for almost two hours.

I remember her taking me shopping.

I remember holding on to my facade for hours.

I remember watching every mother I encountered, even when I told myself not to.

Mostly, I remember feeling really confused and shitty.

I also remember feeling like I “had” to be positive.

I remember thinking to myself that I didn’t want anyone “worried”, “concerned”, “feeling sorry for”, or “uncomfortable about” me.

So I just shut it off.

I was about to think of the finances.  But I shut that off.

I was about to think of the frustration.  But I shut that off too.

I just, completed the day.

Fill in the bubbles completely on this standardized test.  If you don’t know the answer, after using your study and test-taking skills, make your very best educated guess.  

And that’s what I did.

And that’s what I’m still doing.

There’s a plan in here.  I always have one.  But at the moment, it’s tightly buried beneath my anger and frustration.  I’ll pull it out in a bit.  But at the moment, I’m frantically filling in these blank test bubbles.




Regina Townsend is the primary author and founder of TheBrokenBrownEgg. A librarian and writer, Regina’s mission is to make people aware and active about the unique concerns of reproductive health in the minority community.


  1. Chandra

    So I just re-lived my very own experience through the words on this page. Diagnosis. Doubt (finances). Lunch with a fake smile. Completing the day.

    And then I got up the next day and kept moving.

    01 . Jul . 2012
    • Mrs.Tiye

      Sometimes (most times), it’s all that can be done.

      25 . Jul . 2012
  2. laughing808

    I wish there were words of comfort I could offer, but I’m at a loss for words. I totally understand your anguish and frustrations as I went the the very same experience. And as Chandra stated, you have to move on. You mention having a plan, give the new reality a moment to settle then get to moving on to the next step/phase.

    10 . Jul . 2012
    • Mrs.Tiye

      Thanks love, I’m still working on it.

      25 . Jul . 2012
  3. Melissa

    Yes, its scary and yes it sucks but understand this – there is hope. When my GYN told me in 2009 that my, “only option was IVF” since both of my tubes were blocked I got all indignant about it and tried everything I could to prove her wrong (chinese herbs, special diets, acupuncture, yoga, etc.). All that really did was cause me to lose a few years of precious time but it did teach me a lot about how strong I am, how supportive my husband is and how awesome it is to finally get through the forest [of infertility]. Fast forward to earlier this year and my first round of natural cycle IVF – it worked and I am now patiently waiting it out.

    I’m sharing this to let you know that you should never give up hope. I know you are in the forest right now and it feels terrible but you will get out. Talk to more than one specialist and more than one practice – when you find the right option for you, you will know.

    God Bless.

    15 . Jul . 2012
    • Mrs.Tiye

      Thanks for your words, Melissa! I work extremely hard to not lose hope. I also know how mis-directed passion can send us in a frenzy to out work the doctors! I was very much thinking just like you said about researching the alternatives to IVF, but then I thought, WHY? Just get like NIKE and do it. LOL So that’s where I’m headed. Congratulations on things working out for you!!!

      25 . Jul . 2012
  4. Nikki

    I’ve been lurking on your site for a few years and check every now and then to see if you’ve been blessed with your baby. I read this article and decided to finally share with you..Here goes my story..

    I became pregnant a few months after trying in 2007 only to be told it was ectopic and they would have to remove my right tube. The Dr. told me that as long as I had one (tube) I could get pregnant again so we tried and tried. Then in 2009, I had the infamous HSG exam and was told that both tubes were blocked a week after my exam. I remember feeling like a big ball of worthless $hit!! My in-laws felt so bad for us that they immediately withdrew the funds for us to try IVF (I was beyond blessed). So in 2009, I referred to an office where I felt like I was just another patient, saw the Dr. a total of 4 times through the entire process, just a horrible experience. It didn’t work, and the day we received that news was even worse then finding out my tubes were blocked. This infertility thing is really began taking over my life. After a year or two I began to withdraw from friends, walked around depressed, it was starting to take a toll on my marriage.

    I finally picked myself up and decided to go to a different specialist that had a lot of good reviews. I discussed my concern with the Dr. and told him that it seemed that the previous HSG seemed inconclusive and he recommended a Hysteroscopy. My results from that exam showed that my left tube was blocked, but the right tube that was supposedly removed during my ectopic was only partially removed and open!!! After doing some more research I found that I qualified for IUI which is less expensive then IVF and my insurance will cover six tries!!!!! On my first attempt the medicine was still going to be pricey ($1500) but I called my prescription drug company to double check and was told that if I did a mail order through them I would only have to pay $400. Well after all that, the first try (12/11) still didn’t work 🙁 We will try again soon and again and again until I exhaust all my attempts or have my precious baby.

    I gave this long drawn out experience to say, don’t give up! Just because the HSG said blocked ask for a Hysteroscopy to be sure. Blocked fallopian tubes to me is almost one of the worst diagnosis because there’s pretty much nothing they can do to fix it. I mean Dr.’s can clone a f-in cat but can’t repair my tubes? WTF? Sometimes I find myself wishing I didn’t ovulate or something like that because at least I could receive medicine to regulate that. Well sorry if this is all over the place because I got all emotional as I was typing.

    God Bless

    16 . Jul . 2012
  5. JV


    I just to tell you that you should definitely repeat the test. My first HSG concluded that both were blocked, a seconded revealed that only tube is blocked. IVF is certainly the quickest route to pregnancy, however, my RE recommends trying 4-6 IUI cycles before proceeding to IVF. I just underwent the first and that was a bust. I’m taking a month break to regroup and will be abck at it soon. Good luck!

    13 . Aug . 2012
    • Mrs.Tiye

      I was totally thinking about this! Because after the test, my period basically waged war on me…and I wondered, in my fantastic, dreamy way, if that was my body clearing out a tube. LOL

      14 . Aug . 2012
  6. JV

    Yes, we often hope and pray for miraculous things like that because we know with God they can happen. An HSG can be thearapuetic in that they can clear blockages. Have they told you were thet blockages are? Near the ovaries or uterus? If near the ovary, I’v read that type of blockage can be cleared. Let me know, as I have done more than enough research on blocked tubes!!

    Definitely ask for a repeat, however, if you’ve decided to go with IVF, I think that is a hard, but good choice.

    I may eventually go that route if the IUIs arent successful.

    15 . Aug . 2012

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