Friday, April 30, 2010

Creighton Care

After three months of failed conception I started to amass my troops. I contacted my NFP teacher asking her to look at my charts and analyze what was wrong. I re-read the Creighton Fertility manual seven times to self-analyze what might be wrong. My husband showed my secular gynecologist the Creighton manual to see what he thinks might be wrong. I looked up airline ticket prices from California to Omaha. Why Omaha? As many Creighton followers already know, Omaha is the mecca of Catholic fertility care. I was obsessed with finding out all I could based on the Creighton model.

I found a NFP physician I could see so I booked an appointment. Now, I know I am thoroughly spoiled by today's health insurance standards. I have great health insurance. I'm doubly insured. I'm used to boutique-style health care. Please don't hold it against me. I know I'm blessed. For sure.

So, when I walked into the medical building, I noticed how everything looked like a janitorial crew hadn't been there for a week. No dusting, candy wrappers left on the floor. Everyone else in the waiting room was very pregnant. And they didn't look over 22. After waiting for a half an hour, I asked the receptionists if I was going to be seen next. Frankly, I wasn't feeling confident in having a physical exam with what the office looked like.

But, the doctor was very nice and just talked with me for twenty minutes or so about my Creighton charts. Despite my NFP teacher saying I had limited cervical mucus, (Oh no! Not that) the doctor said my mucus score was way high. (Saints be praised!)

He said he didn't see anything in my charts to indicate that conception would be a problem. But, he wanted to run some tests next time so that when I do get pregnant, I'll have the healthiest child possible. Well, sure, everybody would want that. He told me he does "extra" stuff that Creighton doesn't do. I went with the proverbial flow that time.

The second appointment, we went through a detailed health history. My past surgeries are confined to my nose and throat. While I used to have persistent, recurrent bladder infections, those have since gone away almost completely. (I love anonymous blogs :)) I told him I'd never been pregnant, ever. And sex has never been painful, never.

He did a pelvic exam which wasn't exactly gentle. Do you feel any pain here? No. How about here? No. No pain. I eyed the ultrasound machine and asked, "are we going to do an ultrasound?" "Why, do you want one?" "Well, I guess not."

I should have just told him straight out: Yes, I want an ultrasound now! Can't you tell some things with an ultrasound that might be useful to me? Instead, the doctor wanted some blood, urine, and hair samples for testing. "What kind of testing", I asked? Oh, we want to see about heavy metals.

OK, I see where this is going. After they told me the labs and tests would not be covered by insurance and I'd have to pay myself, I still submitted to the blood draw and urine collection. Hair sample would be collected at home.

When I got home I looked up these special labs and found out one had been sued for fraud. And it showed up on My husband had once suggested I see an alternative doctor a few years back and her primary specialty was treating autistic children through chelation therapy, because some people believe heavy metal exposure causes autism. I'm not one of those people.

I noticed this Creighton doctor was connected to D.AN! (De.feat Autism Now) I felt the doctor was not forthcoming with me about how he wasn't looking at my infertility issue, he was thinking about preventing autism in my as-yet-created, unborn child. Not a bad thing at all, of course but that's not how I wanted to go about doing it. I told my husband I did not want these tests performed. He told me that was fine by him.

So, I called the labs and even though they hadn't received the samples yet, that they should not perform the tests. I called the doctor's office and told them I didn't want to do the tests. The receptionist said I had to talk directly to the doctor. I didn't want to do that. I called my husband and told him I didn't want to do that.

But, I mustered the strength and called. He sounded offended. He asked me if I didn't want to be treated by him anymore. "No, of course I still want to see you." I felt like I was breaking up with a boyfriend. But, weeks later I still haven't called for another appointment. And I don't think I ever will.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

NFP Ignorance

I've had the same primary care doctor for eleven years. She's wonderful. I have always felt I've received great care from her and her staff. My husband and I began using natural family planning right after we got engaged. I told my doctor this and she suggested I get on folic acid right away because "you can never be sure with that method." Close friends told us we were playing Russian roulette.

After a few months, we trusted that Creighton did work to avoid pregnancy. Um, so how about achieving pregnancy? That concept was not covered in our NFP classes. In fact, it was only after three months of not being about to get pregnant did our NFP teacher tell me it took her and her husband seven months to get pregnant with their third child. Boy, I wish she would have shared that with me earlier.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Baby Business

I started seeing my doctors about fertility difficulties after just two months of issues. I kept stretching it out by one month to make it sound more legit. "We've been trying for three months!!!" I can't wait to share about my Creighton Method doctor but I have to pass on a great book I'm reading which sheds extreme light on the so-called assistant reproductive technology (ART) and the adoption businesses.

I found the book "Baby Business" on Ama.zon three months ago, but pulled the purchase trigger after failed attempt #5. I wanted to have an understanding from this kind of "health care" from the commerce side of things before we even explored those options. I'm only on chapter four but I've learned about the evolution of the supply side. While, according to the author, only 32% of infertile couples use ART, they are price insensitive, meaning they will pay whatever they can afford. And while these services have been around for over two decades, the price of services has not fallen. The treatment is still expensive and some people are going into debt to pay for it.

A good example of this is a report the NY Times did last year:

The Catholic Church is against some forms of ART, but I have to say I lean towards being against it because of cost and the rigors of hormone treatment. I can barely survive my natural mood swings, let alone medically induced ones.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why blogs can be amazingly helpful

As a practicing Catholic, my husband and I use natural family planning/Creighton Method/NaPro Technology. Most of time, I'm very confused by all the difference in names for fertility monitoring methods that look very much the same. I'll stick with Creighton Method for consistency sake.

I really believe Creighton to be a major gift to women and marriages and I'm very glad our parish required we learn it before we could get married there. I thought that requirement was in place for the whole diocese but I was told that was not the case.

I wanted to share how helpful some Catholic ladies' blogs have been to me. I was goog.ling an obscure term in Creighton terminology to find "people like me" and came across

From there, I've been able to find other folks going through somewhat similar experiences related to fertility. And while a lot of really nice people post their fertility journey on their main page, list style, I don't think I'm qualified to do something like that.

My story is bit more simple. We've been trying to get pregnant for five months and have come up empty. While the pseudo-accepted medical establishment wouldn't consider us infertile until 12 failed months, I'm infertile to me. My cursory medical testing and anecdotal evidence leads me to believe this is age related. Yes, I'm only 32 but I'm not 18. And this is why I appreciate the Daily Mail: "Of course, at 31, Linzi is hardly too old to become a mother, but that's not to say her fertility is not already in decline. Like so many women who want children at some point, Linzi believes that a baby will arrive as soon as she stops using contraception, but the human body does not operate like that."

Read more:

Monday, April 26, 2010


Several years after abandoning my "twenties" blog where I navigated the post-college, big city living, serial dating life, I thought I'd add to the larger Internet discussion of living a (mostly) faithful Catholic lifestyle. I was confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church before I married a couple years ago. I was an active Protestant in my old life and so I hold onto that tradition still.

And because my hubby, family, co-workers, general acquaintances, and other folks might be dismayed if they were able to pair my writings with my name, I won't be revealing identifying information. We'll all be happy that way...