19 March 2012

On a sea of paperwork


One thing I didn’t expect when we started the IVF process was all the paper work! Last week we went to the Patient Information Evening (PIE). When we arrived we were given a thick folder of leaflets and forms and an envelope stuffed with test forms. One of them even requires us to have passport photos taken, to attach to our files!

Last night we sat down to tackle the forms, it’s not nearly as easy as it seemed. Several of the forms look identical at first glance, but the men’s forms are slightly different than the women’s. On one set I accidently filled my details in on the man’s form. Luckily Mr Goldfish caught it early so we only had to scratch out the first page of information. It still required a double check though as we nearly declared Mr Goldfish was married to himself!

We needed to sign forms giving permission for the tests; permission for treatment; give our NHS numbers; passport numbers; decide if we’d donate eggs, sperm and embryos; decide what would happen to them if we die or are declared mentally incompetent. These serious questions have added to an already emotionally odd week.

Last weekend marked a year since I was rushed to hospital with a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. For the most part the day passed without note, and ironically the most distressing part was that I didn’t feel that upset. They say that everyone reacts differently to loss, but the ease with which I shrugged it off has always bothered me.

Though I feel fine, there are still signs that I'm reacting to the stress. I appear to be a bit more brittle and I nearly burst into tears in the hair salon this week. It's mostly small and unimportant things that set me off and it's awfully embarrassing. How you explain that the hairstylist giving you a helmet style finish or a relative asking how you are doing after such a hard year has reduced you to tears?

Ignoring the occasional outburst, we're doing pretty well. Our next step is an appointment on the 21st to have a sperm analysis and to have our blood drawn.

This was originally written for the Emma's Diary Blog.