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The Okavango

If you’ve spent any time at all watching nature shows, chances are you’ve heard of Botswana’s Okavango Delta. This part of the earth is subject to a seasonal flood. Much of the year it’s dry as a desert, but for a few months, it becomes a lush swamp. Large numbers of animals (elephants, rhinos, hippos, lions…basically the whole roster of African wildlife) come here to drink. It’s like Africa’s luxury spa. The mud baths are the best!

Now…and be sure to read this section in the voice of David Attenborough…so it goes with my vagina. Since begining Lupron, it’s been hella arid up in there. Nary a drop of fluid to be found on my panties for weeks on end. But…at long last, the floods have come! And even though it will be six weeks (SIX WEEKS!) before any…uh…hippos…will be…er…wallowing in my…um…wetlands, it’s still great to see some signs of life returning. I like to imagine my husband as a dust covered elephant (you know, might as well be kind to his ego…) slowly treking his way towards my region. Let’s hope he doesn’t die of thirst before he arrives.

I also wanted to say a few words about why fibroids are not necessarily a problem for the baby makin’ machine. Like some of you, it’s hard for me to look at those suckers in their bucket and not think I’ll be cured. But there’s a ton of research suggesting that the situation is more complicated. There are a couple of ways fibroids can interfere with conception. Fibroids in the uterine cavity prevent implantation, and it’s well established that those are stone cold baby killers. Fibroids outside the cavity, like mine, can still be problematic if they prevent egg pickup, or if they reduce blood flow to the uterus, or fuck with its shape or contractility. It’s clear one of mine was fucking with egg pickup on the left, but it’s not clear that the situation will be improved. And it’s not clear whether blood flow, shape, or contractility were impacted by the others. Seriously, there are women with fibroids the size of FOOTBALLS (vomits a little) that conceive perfectly well and carry to term. I guess I’m saying this in case there are any readers with fibroids who are thinking AAAAHHHH! And contemplating getting them out. Mine were removed because of the egg pickup biznazz, and because they were unusually large for such a wee tiny girl, and because my RE was not about to let them fuck up his IVF success rate.

Anyways, like I said before, I am hopeful. Just super cautious.

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. I understand your caution and I think it's smart, Ms Okavango. At the same time, even if those suckers weren't in the cavity, the weight of them must have distorted things something awful. And I like to think that you have an elastic uterus that is since snapping back into shape. And, anyway, now you know that you're working with a good canvas for IVF. Am laughing about the dusty elephant:) Here's hoping that frolicking days are coming to him (and to said delta). Glad that the signs of life are returning:) I have the Circle of Life running through my mind now…

    April 30, 2010
  2. david attenborough channeling your vajayjay – nice! i think if there was a voice for mine, i'd pick a horndog rapper :o)6 weeks. that's how long it'll take you to fully heal?? which of you is likely to have the tougher time waiting until then? after stims, i was chasing hubbs around the house trying to get lucky, but he was afraid to touch me bc i was still in a bit of a pain. i googled fibroids and fertility yesterday bc i wasn't sure exactly what you were going through. thanks for the explanation. i am having loads of trouble imagining anyone with a football sized 'roid in their body plus a baby. that must be on a bigger woman who's body can handle such a mass?? did you have a full(er) belly when the fibroids were at their biggest?? hope you're not going cuckoo at home and finding fun ways to amuse yourself :o)

    April 30, 2010
  3. OMG, this post made me laugh so hard! Thank you!!! I have never thought of that area of my body in that way before. And the "hippos" comment…perfectly delightful!!!So glad that floods have returned and life is revving up!

    April 30, 2010
  4. haha, i DID notice ovum, and was going to post her, but then my A.D.D. took over and i forgot what i was doing :o)

    April 30, 2010
  5. Actually, David Attenborough in real life sounds nothing like David Attenborough. Disappointed? I thought so. I was too. He did a segment on my study species while I was a grad student, and I spent several days working with him and his crew ($100 a day! Not bad, eh?). Basically, I arranged the animals for the camera, and I also acted as David Attenborough's stand in. Once I had to lie on the ground while they arranged the shot, and then when they were ready for David, I got up, and one of the crew then put down a coat for David to lie on!!! Dude, where's your chivalry? How come we couldn't have put down the coat for ME?Anyways, David actually speaks in a very clipped, rapid way– sort of quickly eating his words like a typical Englishman. The contrast between his off-camera voice and his on-camera voice was pretty damned astounding! Really, NOTHING alike. You can also see that he has teeth like Austin Powers when he laughs.But anyways, good news on your vagina!!!

    April 30, 2010
  6. Ok, I know you know more about this fibroid stuff than the rest of us so I understand your cautiousness and I get that you are protecting yourself in case you don't magically get pregnant instantly after surgery. And thanks for clarifying the difference between fibroids in utero vs outside. I learnt something and thats what is so crazy about this IF journey. Having been here for well over 4 years I often think of myself as a complete know-it-all and then I read your blog and wham! I realise I am just a small pebble in this massive infertility rock pool. It's all so complicated, we are all different, we all have a slightly different problem (or multiples of them) and so its impossible to compare your future prospects with that of someone else. I guess what I'm trying to say is… no matter how much research we do (and I know you dig researching this shit as much as I do) it doesn't really matter because that research is based on OTHER people, not you… not your special and unique circumstances. So although your research has told you that you may still have a long road ahead of you in the baby making game, I choose to believe that it's going to be better and brighter and easier for you. PS – Had to laugh at your husband as a dust covered elephant! xxx

    April 30, 2010
  7. Al #

    Hope you and your hubby enjoy the return of the, um, moisture to that region.I understand your cautious outlook on your TTC prospects…if fertile bitches with football sized fibroids why couldn't you? Like egghunt said, your situation is unique and the placement and size of your fibroids…only time will tell. I hope you're pleasantly surprised when you get back into TTC.

    April 30, 2010
  8. FOOTBALLS?????Can I repeat that? FOOOOOOOTBAAAAAALLS??????My brain has shorted out and I'm no longer able to process what you're typing. I'm just going to hope that the fibroids DO have the effect on your fertility that we all hope for you and that your husband's elephant enjoys your fertile plains.

    May 1, 2010
  9. All I know is I'm glad you got those suckers outta there before they got any bigger. Football sized fibroids are down right scary. I'm glad you now have no barriers to the success of IVF or maybe even get knocked up before that.

    May 1, 2010
  10. JB #

    Well, your ladycavern is better off being free of those fibro-pests either way. And like everyone else, I certainly hope the path has been cleared to egg-drop and sperm-greeting and baby-making.Hope your elephantine husband enjoys the renewed springtime valley of the cooch… 🙂

    May 1, 2010
  11. OMG, I really did hear David Attenborough's voice when reading through it! (Though am disappointed to hear that he doesn't talk like that IRL, Leslie. That's too bad – he'd probably pick up more chicks if he did.)Yay for the wet season! 🙂

    May 2, 2010
  12. "…hippos wallowing in the wetlands…"That was choking on my tea-gasping for air-scaring my husband-funny! Holy crap :).I know it's painful to be too optimistic, sometimes, but I'm really hoping getting those fibroids out will work wonders when it comes time.

    May 2, 2010

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