Before I begin this blog, I would like to make an author’s note: If, while reading this, you’re inclined to believe that it was either not as bad, or no big deal, for me to go through this because I also own the equipment-in-question, and am therefore privy to all things female, you are wrong. I approached this, pretty much, as any dude would in my position.
Because Lesa got pregnant with Bean via IVF, the normal pregnancy hormones, estradiol and progesterone, were too low to support an embryo when she first got pregnant. This is completely normal, and due to the fact that Lesa didn’t actually ovulate to create the Bean tank. What this means is, for the better part of her pregnancy so far, she’s had to take up to 5 vaginal suppositories a day.
For the most part, I lumped this part of pregnancy into the category of clutter in the bathroom I’m not allowed to move. I did have a vague notion of how it made her feel icky and uncomfortable, and I was completely aware she was having blood drawn weekly to monitor her hormone levels. But that’s really as far as it went.
Fast forward to about 6 weeks into Lesa’s pregnancy. It’s hot, really hot, in May and I load our bags into the back of my truck for a road trip to Texarkana for my Granny’s graduation from college. Yes, I typed that correctly, my grandmother graduated from college at the young age of 80; from A&M in fact. That story is for another blog though. Seven hours and one increasingly grumpy wife later, we arrive in T-town, I unload the bags, and I’m just starting to unwind when Lesa yells for me from the bedroom. One of the two prescriptions of progesterone suppositories Lesa has to take to keep Bean from falling out of her vagina completely melted in the car. I look at the bottle for the first time. Apparently “Keep Refrigerated” isn’t just a suggestion. The once encapsulated progesterone is oozing out the side of the pill bottle. I immediately switch to fix it mode as Lesa is revving up for a panic attack. Sure, it’s 11pm on Friday night and we’re in Queen City, hundreds of miles and about 7 hours too late from the nearest specialty pharmacy. (The one we use in Austin isn’t even open on the weekends, I find out later.) But, I’ll fix it. “You could just swab some out with your finger and kinda, shove it up?” I suggested. Lesa wasn’t having any of that. I was already in trouble for letting it melt in the first place. This was not the time to mention I had no idea it was in the bag, let alone that it was supposed to be refrigerated. We decide skipping one dose wasn’t going to hurt anything, and I promised to get the script refilled in the morning. Surely someone in the greater Texarkana area possesses 400mg capsuled progesterone suppositories. Five phone calls and several Google searches later, and I resolve to leave it until the morning. This is when I start to wonder if this is why Baby Doctor told us not to go out of town for the first 10 weeks.
The next morning I send a beep, yes, they still use beepers, to our on-call nurse in Austin and frantically call around to any pharmacy open that may have progesterone. I finally find one pharmacy in the whole of Texarkana that has it. Dan, the pharmacist, who I suspect is the sole worker at this pharmacy, was very nice and tried to be accommodating: If you “brang it up here I’ll getcha whatcha need fer the weekend. Have ‘em call me with the script; we’re gettin’ ready to close.” When we got there I sent Lesa in to brave the pharmacist by herself since I had a hunch Dan might not be so accommodating if he knew the prescription was for my wife, and not myself. And, although I generally don’t back down from an opportunity show people we aren’t all sex-crazed drag queens, in this instance, Dan the pharmacist was our only hope, so I didn’t want to risk outing Lesa. While I’m waiting, the on-call nurse calls me back. She’d called in the script, but asked where in the world Texarkana was because the pharmacist told her to slow down, she was talking too fast for him. Oh yeah, you know us Austinites and our city slicker speech.
When Lesa got back to the car we rushed to the graduation, thinking she could take her dose there, since she missed two doses at this point and the graduation had already started. The Texarkana A&M graduation is held at a Baptist church. So, there we were, a pregnant lesbian couple roaming around the First Baptist Church of Texarkana, with vaginal suppositories (can’t leave the extras in the car of course), looking for a bathroom. When we get to the bathroom, Lesa pulls out the box and has me double check the dosage. The capsules are in 50mg doses. She has to take 8 of them! I’m reminded of a scene from Locked Up Abroad. Lesa did it though, and she was a trooper through the whole rest of the weekend.
Fast forward a few more weeks, and we’re on a family road trip vacation to Big Bend. It’s hot as hell, again. This time I thought ahead. Since we were going to be literally hundreds of miles from civilization, not to mention specialty pharmacies, I packed all of Lesa’s progesterone in the cooler with tons of ice. No melted suppositories for us! And, I’m happy to report I did succeed in keeping all the suppositories cool enough to stay in solid form. What I didn’t plan on, however, was them exploding.
Lesa yells at me from the bathroom to bring her another Crinone. The first one she’d tried since we’d gotten there, exploded into her hand. Crinone, the second of the two prescriptions of progesterone suppositories, is packaged in a twist top tube that you stick in and squirt. I bring her another one, and think, “that’s weird.” Then I start looking around at all the mountain peaks. Then I see the Doritos chip bag, all puffed out and about to explode. Then it hits me. The elevation is making them explode. When the second one exploded in her hand, I offer again, “Just stick it up there with your finger?” Lesa just laughs at me. I suggest she twist it off and stick it up there real fast before it has time to ooze out. Then she makes me leave the bathroom. Apparently she worked it out; Bean is still in there and doing fine.
Fast forward a few more weeks. We’ve got the bag of meds in Lesa’s purse in the AC, check. We’re traveling to the beach, no rise in elevation, check. We make it through the whole weekend without incident, of the suppository nature that is, and I’ve almost forgotten to be on guard for it. I load the bags early for us to go home, and we’re sitting around saying our goodbyes for an hour or so. Sure enough, the Texas sun baked Lesa’s whole bottle of progesterone. Thankfully we were headed home and she had an extra dose at the house for just such an occasion, (Although, it didn’t get me out of being in trouble about it).
Every Tuesday Lesa has been going to get her blood drawn with fingers crossed she can quit taking all the meds. Just this past week BD gave her the green light to stop the last one. She’s an all nat-ur-al baby oven now. We’ve also rounded the corner of Tri II and Lesa is perpetually tired, indigestiony, and positively glowing.
This is her official account of all the blood tests: