Before I get on to the what happened next bit, I feel like I need to talk about this stuff. And when I say “stuff” I guess I broadly mean about the fertility industry and how it treats women. Arguably, I’ve had more interaction with this industry than most. I’ve heard it referred to as the Wild West, I’ve heard people say that it exploits women, that it uses experimental practices that aren’t proven as cynical money-making ventures, but I’ve honestly never felt I had that experience. You might think that having spent the best part of £100,000 – honestly, I don’t know, I’m guessing, I stopped counting mentally after I figured I’d reached about £50k – trying to have a baby, that I’d feel bitter. But until now, I never felt bitter, I never felt exploited, I never felt like a cash cow. I’ve defended – largely – the industry. For all that I’ve complained in the past that some people working in it seem to forget that their day job is the most important thing in someone else’s life, on the whole, I’ve never felt that decisions that weren’t in my best interest were being made.Continue reading
I don’t really know how to talk about the next bit because, without wishing to sound overly dramatic, I don’t know what the legal implications are of writing about my clinic and what they did or didn’t do, without giving them a chance to respond to what I’m saying. And I know I’m anonymous and I know I haven’t named them but I’m still wary. So I’m going to try to use quite broad brushstrokes.
I’d felt that there had been communication issues between us and the clinic for a while. Questions going unanswered, inexplicable delays and a lack of a sense of urgency, me having to request tests that I thought they should have already organised, information not being passed on. But I’d kind of sucked it up because everything up to this point hadn’t really been about me, it had been about our donor. I didn’t feel as if I could force issues because maybe there were other things at play. Maybe the delays were down to the donor (which I was totally fine with). Maybe the lack of information was a privacy issue. Maybe, maybe, maybe…Continue reading
But once bitten, twice shy and all that. We said yes to the agency, we signed paperwork, we paid sums of money for treatment, but I felt very detached from it all. I just didn’t really engage with it. It was all taking ages, there were tests for her, tests for me, tests for B – the tests went on and on, the weeks and months went by. The process of getting our donor to the point where she could actually donate, that we’d been told would take three months, dragged on and on — if this were a film or TV programme, this is the point at which you’d see the leaves on the trees changing colour from autumn to winter to spring to denote the passing of time.Continue reading
I was so much more emotional about the embryo transfer than I expected to be. I guess it’s because it’s a whole year since the last one and when I think what I’ve been through in that year, and how hopeful and optimistic and excited I was this time last year, it’s hard not to feel that even getting to this point is a culmination of so many things, and yet that there is so much further to go.
I didn’t know the consultant or the nurse, but they were both so lovely, as I lay on a bed with my legs in stirrups and tears pouring down my face. Continue reading
So I came back from my holiday, went for a scan, and then later in the week there was a whole load of last minute fucking about that made me wonder — yet again — how on earth anyone who doesn’t work for themselves does this.
The call at about 4pm on a Thursday went something like this:
“So your bloods suggest that you might be near ovulating so can you do an ovulation test and then call us back with the results? If you are, you’ll have to have the egg collection tomorrow and we’ll have to work out what time you do the Ovitrelle tonight, and if you’re not then it will be on Saturday and if it’s on Saturday you’ll have to stay up until quarter to 1 tonight and do the Ovitrelle injection, but you also need to do the Cetrotide injection when you get home tonight, oh and start taking the Indomethacin straight away but don’t take it on an empty stomach. Anyway, just call us back when you’ve done the ovulation test.” Continue reading
Former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright once said that “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” I’m going to go further than that. There is a special place in hell for fertility clinic admin staff who get their kicks by wielding the small amount of power that they have over women undergoing fertility treatment.
Sorry for the silence. I was sort of regrouping and had nothing to say that wasn’t crying and raging at the world that it was really unfair. But thanks to everyone who took the time to message me and comment and be lovely. Knowing complete strangers have your back and are rooting for you is strangely comforting.
For various reasons I’ve not seen my pet consultant in a while — she’s been on holiday, she’s been in theatre, she’s been ill — and so the cycle that was cancelled I didn’t see her at all, and so far this cycle I haven’t seen her either. The clinic doesn’t make any guarantees about this, after all it’s a 7-day-a-week operation, you can’t ever guarantee to see the same person each time. But because I have up until now, it’s been a bit weird for me.
I sort of feel dumped and cut adrift even though I know Continue reading
I realised that in my last post I rather glossed over that crucially important point when they actually put the one good embryo inside me. Which, rather like my not spending much time thinking about the actual donor, is a little bit weird when you think about it. But then I think my reactions to so many parts of this process are weird — they definitely seem weird to other people.
Various friends asked if I wanted them to come with me for the embryo transfer. I didn’t. Continue reading
“When exactly ARE you going to tell Mum and Dad?” my sister asked me the other day when we were discussing my latest scan. “Dunno,” I replied, “I’ll worry about it at the time. I might get you to do it.” (I wasn’t entirely joking.) “You could just send them your blog,” she said. “I’m not sure THAT’s a good idea…”
It’s not that I’m cavalier about it, it’s just that it’s really not a significant concern of mine right now. Partly because I’m not really worried about what they’ll say, but also because it’s SOOOOOOOOOOO far away.
Before I get to the point where Continue reading