2 March 2012

PIE - Patient Information Evening

So last night we went to the IVF patient information evening. Even though we were there about 15 minutes early, the lobby was over flowing with uncomfortable couples. I’d guess there were about 30 couples, all talking alkwardly in hushed tones in a dim room.

Upon checking in we were given folder about an inch thick and a chunky brown paper envelope. A bit of investigative squishing suggested it was a sample pot. Glancing around I noticed that many people had flat normal envelopes. I managed to resist the impulse to open everything for all of 5 minutes. Perched on the edge of a table I decided taking a nosey would keep me distracted.

Eventually we were allowed into the auditorium. For the most part we didn’t really learn anything new. The consultant gave us an over view of IVF and ICSI. Then an embryologist explained the practical process and explained what would happen in the lab. Then one of the counsellors explained the support that was available.  Finally a nurse came out to speak about the next appointment and the paper work we were given.

When I’d been flipping through the paperwork one form had raised some concerns. The ‘Welfare of the Child’ form asks if there “Are any aspects of your medical history regarding your physical health which may pose a risk of serious harm to any child you might have or anything which might impair your ability to care for such a child?” and “Is there a history of any physical health problems which might influence a pregnancy or your ability to raise a child?”

We know that having and raising a child won’t be easy. It will be difficult to manage my health conditions and it will limit my abilities – but there are two of us in this, I won’t be doing it alone. So these questions seemed like they were seeking to pass judgement. It felt like they were deciding who could and couldn’t have children.

I hung around after the meeting to speak to one of the counsellors. Though it still feels a bit intrusive, we’ve been reassured it’s a question of support not judgement. They are taking a comprehensive look at pregnancy and birth. It still makes me a bit nervous, but I now feel more confident in filling in the paper work.

Oh I almost forgot the lady from the BBC. Apparently the company behind 'One Born Every Minute' is filming an IVF documentary at the hospital. I've never seen 'One Born Every Minute', but based on the comments I've seen on Twitter I'll be avoiding the cameras! I'm not convinced anyone looks good on these programs and I certainly don't want to open my life to judgement from the whole country.

So next week we’ll probably be searching for a photo booth for the required passport photographs and starting all the paperwork – but mostly we’ll be waiting for the 21st of March for our next test appointment.

And can I just point out that appointment is a whole week before the rescheduled appointment they tried to force on me back in January!! I’m so glad I stood up for myself and didn’t let them guilt me into waiting.