Last Thursday began with a feeling of foreboding at the pit of my stomach. You know that feeling you get when a plate or cup slips out of your hand and you just know it’s going to shatter and there’s nothing you can do about it? It lasts for a split second but feels like eternity.
The day before, I got a call from the fertility department saying my appointment may have been booked with the wrong consultant in the wrong hospital. The receptionist said that it may have to be cancelled but that she’ll call me back in the morning to confirm. As soon as struck, I didn’t wait for her call me, I called her. I played it cool, I was not about to get all weepy and beggy; I mean the appointment was booked in October 2010; more than three months ago; I’ve only spent 3 months of my life waiting for it!
I got there 10 minutes early only to be told I was in the wrong department. After getting directions to where I was supposed to be, I literally sprinted down there because it was in another corner of the hospital altogether.
I got there just in time, registered at reception, and a nurse came to weigh me then told me I was 3kilos fatter than I was when I weight myself that morning. Even after telling her that I was wearing jeans, 2 pair of socks and 3 tops (considering it’s winter) she still insisted that the ‘extra allowance’ added for clothing was 1kg and she was not going to go above that. Here’s a lesson for everyone out there, if you’re ever visiting the fertility clinic, 1)never wear jeans and 2)dress as lightly as you can, otherwise you’ll find you’ve gained a few extra kilos which could affect your BMI and your chances of qualifying for treatment.
When I was finally called in to see the consultant he started introducing himself and I said, ‘It’s okay, we’ve met twice’. What I didn’t say was, ‘and on both times you were looking up my vag.’ Ha Ha. Anyway, while he was collating my test results something hit me; a very weird feeling that I’d lost something. I started rummaging through my bag and realized my wallet was missing. I retraced my steps to the reception, hoping I’d find it where I’d been seating earlier. When I didn’t find it there I didn’t know where else to go looking so went back to his office and sank my bewildered self into the chair.
I was still contemplating the loss, mentally ticking away the things I would need to re-apply for: ATM cards, drivers licence, the lone £10 would be sadly missed too... then my phone rang and I instinctively knew it was a Good Samaritan. He asked if I’d been to the other centre earlier because they found my wallet in front of the reception desk. I was so relieved; he asked where I was and even volunteered to bring it over to me. I went out to meet him and was so grateful I gave him a hug while trying to explain that it must have fallen out when I pulled my folder out to show the receptionist my appointment letter. He was a bit taken aback by the gesture. Honestly, if it wasn’t against my religion and I wasn’t married, and there was no possibility of being sued for sexual harassment, I’d have kissed him too, Ha Ha! That’s how relieved I was. See I was robbed last year, precisely around this time, so I had a very unpleasant deja vu.
While all this commotion was going on the consultant was still busy scribbling away in my file. I went back into his office and plonked myself in the seat next to him simultaneously exhilarated and drained of life. I genuinely believed whatever news he had for me couldn’t be any worse when he starts reviewing our test results, looks up and asks me, ‘Is your husband HIV positive?’ I’m like WTF DUDE!!!!!!!! You don’t go blurting out shit like that unless you were 100% positive. How many heart attacks can one woman have in two days?
Turns out the guy was either cross eyed or just too exhausted. I wanted to snatch the papers out of his hands, but leaned over instead to read the test results and it clearly stated that ‘HIV1 and HIV2 antibodies NOT detected’. The NOT was in caps and somehow he still managed to miss it. After realizing his mistake he then asks if my husband has Hepatitis C. I couldn’t take it any more. I rolled my eyes, sighed with irritation and whipped out my folder containing all the previous test results which clearly showed that me and my husband neither had HIV nor Hep C. Good God! Doctors should watch what they say. One of these days some poor soul might jump out the window and die over a non-bad-news.
When I thought we’d finally settle down to discussing my case all he nonchalantly tells me I may not qualify for fertility treatment because of my BMI. I tried to explain to him that my weight is 81kg not 83kg but he wouldn’t have any of it. Luckily their dodgy calculations still gave me a BMI of 30 which is just borderline. Any higher and I would have heard the dreaded words, ‘Go home and come back after you’ve lost X amount of weight’.
To cut the long story short, and after scaring me to death trice within 30minutes, he said all our blood work was normal, Dh’s sperm was normal (Thank God!), the blood results showed that I was ovulating but according to him that might just be sporadic because I still have PCOS and hence, may not be ovulating regularly. He said my right tube was open but my left tube was partially blocked. He wouldn’t recommend unblocking it because it is a major surgery that requires anaesthesia, etc. Instead he recommended me for IUI (intra uterine insemination). He said I’d be put on 50mg of Clomid monthly. During which I will be monitored via ultrasound and once it’s clear that I am ovulating, I will be inseminated with Dh’s ‘washed’ sperm. He said if that doesn’t work for 3-6 months, I’ll be referred for IVF treatment. He warns me that there’s a risk of multiple pregnancy. Honestly at this point I’ll take ‘any’ kind of pregnancy as long as it’s viable.
That said I was sent on my merry way with instructions on when to book an appointment for an information session to prepare us for what lies ahead.
I've been doing a lot of thinking since last Thursday and now that I feel I'm ovulating and Dh's spermies are normal I want us to try for 3 months before starting the treatment. The good news is all my hormones are within normal range; including testosterone and leuthal progesterone. The only symptom of PCOS I have remaining is the cysts on my ovaries; and even those have improved. I have a strong feeling if I give it some more time, and maybe start on the fertility self massage dvd, I could get pregnant naturally.
I really am not looking forward to the barrage of hormones and invasion of what little dignity I have left. I would like fertility treatment to be the last resort. If we can have 3 months of uninterrupted 'trying' maybe something will happen for us. Anyway, I'll discuss with Dh when he gets back.