On Monday I had my first IVF appointment, I was nervous and excited as I drove into the big smoke wondering what was going to greet me when I arrived. I thought about how my SIL and BIL must have felt when they first embarked on this journey so full of hope and excitement which would decrease with each subsequent appointment until they were eventually told that as a couple there was no more treatments for their infertility.
I never had to worry about any of this, quite the opposite actually. I remember sitting on the toilet age 17 clutching the pregnancy test in my hands tears rolling down my cheeks looking at the two lines staring forcefully at me and thinking “Oh my God”. I also vividly remember sitting in that abortion clinic for a ‘chat’ with the clinic nurse and feeling physically sick after hearing her graphic description of the procedure.
I remember walking out those doors shit scared but with a new sense of purpose knowing that I was not under any circumstance going to return to that place and that despite the odds and hard road ahead I was in fact going to become a mother.
I remember that feeling of combined pure joy and absolute terror as I clutched my baby boy for the first time thinking ‘I am totally responsible for this life a real human being, its existence, its growth, its emotional well being and its future all depend on my actions’. It was a surreal moment.
Now as my baby is fast approaching ‘double figures’ I drive into the big smoke praying desperately that I can help two people that are young, healthy and very much in love create the family they have worked so hard for. The countless pregnancy tests SIL has taken and the gutted feeling of sitting on the toilet, tears rolling down cheeks because for her there is only ever one line.
I arrived at the Fertility Specialists private rooms and was met by the smiling and equally nervous faces of my SIL and her husband. We made our way up a narrow flight of stairs and long corridor to the office. As we entered we were greeted by the receptionists smiling face and I filled out the usual forms while we waited for the Fertility Specialist (FS).
Finally the door to her office opened and the FS walked out and ushered me in, she is a tall lady with a friendly demeanour and I felt instantly comfortable. She asked me a bunch of questions about my cycle, past medical history, past pregnancies and my lifestyle. When she had finished she gave me a big smile and said I was the poster child for egg donation.
She then invited my SIL & BIL into the room and she discussed genetics, hormone injections and went over the egg collection procedure in detail and she told what was to happen now. Basically for those interested, we need to coordinate our cycles (by way of the pill) and I need to have an internal ultrasound called a ‘baseline for fertility’ as well as a stack of blood tests to check hormone levels, STDs, and potential vitamin deficiencies. Then all going well we will start the actual IVF cycle in 5 weeks time.
We collected our scripts and my referrals thanked the FS and headed over to the Fertility Clinic to book in our appointments for the mandatory counselling – We need three sessions -one for The Husband and I, one for my BIL and SIL and one with all of us together.
We also booked in the ‘Nurse Chat’ which is where they will teach me how to use the different medications I will need to inject into myself daily for approx two weeks before egg collection.
We left excited and with the “We’re going to make a baby!” buzz. It was funny because although the circumstances are far from normal, it doesn’t feel weird at all.