This feels like a dirty secret. We have told nobody. When people ask why I’m going to the hospital I tell them its related to the miscarriage I had a couple of years ago, and they don’t ask any more questions. It’s not the truth but I suppose it’s not a million miles away from it.
So yesterday saw our IVF journey begin. It feels really weird saying that, as it really doesn’t feel like that’s what we are going through. I think I’m still in denial that this is the way the long baby making road has taken us.
Sat in the waiting room at Guys ACU were a number of couples who LOOKED like they belonged there (in the nicest possible way). They were middle aged, they were married, they looked liked they had been there before. We didn’t tick any of those boxes. Being a 25 and 27 long standing girlfriend and boyfriend we had decided we wanted to try a few years ago. And 1 miscarriage and numerous tearful uneventful months later…still…no mini me. So the investigations began and here we were, filling out a range of forms, signing away all our rights, agreeing with things I barely understood. But it’s what we were expected to do right? Everyone ticked yes. Expect for the research part, I ticked no to that and felt a sudden swell of guilt after doing so. Why? We wouldn’t be here without the generosity of those who ticked yes in that box.
So here we were in the waiting room trying to fit in, chatting quietly, about how unlike an NHS service this was. With its grand shiny entrance and squishy chairs and sofas and coffee machine. I couldn’t help but sit there and make back stories up in my head about all the other couples who sat there. How many years they had been trying, what the problem was and those that were there by themselves were obviously donors! I wonder what our story was…I wonder if any of them were close to the truth!?
Finally…..our names were called. Yes, here we go, we will get our medication get a tick list and be on our way. Oh no, how wrong I was!? Why am I so naive?
The consultant took us through all the ins and outs of the treatment – which I smiled and nodded through not understanding the majority of what she said. I remember thinking “I really hope they remind me to do all of this stuff, there’s too many things to do!!!” Then came, “so if you can just pop behind this curtain and undress completely from the waist down”!!! Errmm WHAT? Aren’t they meant to warn you about things like this?? I would have “prepared” myself. I’m sure the biggest worry of someone having an internal pelvic ultrasound should not be “I wish I shaved my legs last night!!” There must have been at least a weeks growth in them. I spent most of the examination trying to keep the sheet of “modesty” paper over my legs!! How shallow! I’m sure the consultant has seen worse (hopefully – I don’t like the thought of being the talk of the staff room).
And then – just as she was getting ready to start. The boyfriend pops his head around the curtain “so what’s going on, what scans this then? Can I watch?!” Ha, oh god that’s so typical of him, so nosey!!! “As long as your wife doesn’t mind?” Chirped the consultant (she keeps calling him my husband and me his wife, I don’t feel it right to correct her, I actually quite like it). I shoot him the look out of the view of the consultant and nervous giggle “of course I don’t mind” (But did I really have a choice at this moment in time).
She takes lots of pictures and shows me the screen pointing out various images of grey and black expecting me to know what I was looking at. Apparently my womb is nice. Good to know. And I have ovaries too, with a few follicles. But then “Oh, see that there, you have a cyst” came the consultant. A what!!?! Why?! “But don’t worry I think that’s where you ovulated from” (too late I am worrying – who wants a cyst!?)
“Has anyone ever said anything to suggest you have PCOS?”
Well actually they have. I went on to explain I have had my suspicions for years but nobody could definitely tell me that’s what I had. Apparently that’s because I’m not a 20 stone woman with a beard. So in the space of 5 minutes this magic consultant was able to tell me what I had been trying to find out definitively for over 10 years.
But this changes things. We have to be put on a short protocol (which isn’t the “normal” route. I so desperately just want to be standard through this process). I have to take the pill for a month (doesn’t that contradict the very reason I am in this place?) and then go back at the end of May to see if my new friend has disappeared. I swear I can feel it prodding me from the inside now.
So that’s it, once my second scan comes back all clear (thinking positive) we can start a month from then, which will be the end of June. I’ve never been so excited to take daily injections before ever. I’m so excited Ive even worked out our baby (who isn’t even conceived yet) will be born at the end of March 2015!! How wanted this baby is! We left the centre feeling hopeful, like we were on our way (minus my dignity and a few vials of blood).
So for those of you about to start a similar journey….shave your legs!!