21 June 2012

Hoop Jumping

When we last left our heroine, she was waiting for news about the last hoop she needs to clear before starting IVF – the antenatal clinic for pre-existing conditions in pregnancy.


A few days after my last post, I finally received a phone call from the antenatal secretary I’d spoken with when chasing up the appointment. She offered me an appointment on the 27th of June. I nearly cried. Though it was only five weeks away, the timing would mean delaying our IVF by two months. I felt like I couldn’t question the date as I’d already been a pest by chasing the appointment up – but just before hanging up the phone I couldn’t help but ask if this was the earliest appointment available. The secretary hesitated a moment before saying they did have an appointment on the 20th. I jumped at this date, though it would be close - the extra week might cut a month off our wait.

My heart nearly broke when she called back shortly later to say I couldn’t have the appointment on the 20th -- but instead there was an appointment on the 6th! I snapped it up, obviously, squashing my irritation that we didn’t start with that date. The fertility doctor had said if we could get an appointment within a week of my next period we might even be able to start IVF this month! It would be close but an appointment on the 6th gave us that chance.

So I rang the special number on the first day of my period...to be told they had no idea what I was talking about. Instead of just needing to be on a doctor’s book in case I got pregnant – as we were previously told – suddenly we needed a referral before we would be allowed to start treatment. I was furious. Not because we couldn’t start this cycle, but because we’re constantly being given conflicting information! For the last six months we’ve been frequently told that IVF is just within our reach...only to find more hoops and delays have been put in our way. With our hopes for an early start shattered, my enthusiasm for the antenatal appointment was non-existent. Now I had to go in and prove to a doctor that I was fit enough to have a child.

Mr Goldfish declared the appointment one of the strangest he’s ever attended. Normally we have to fight to get my conditions recognised, but in this case he quickly realised we were better shutting up. The doctor was being dismissive and pedantic, and for the first time that worked in our favour. For some reason the doctor also seemed to think we wanted to be there, as if we wanted reassurance rather than just his signature on the referral.

Medically the appointment was a complete waste of time, but it should remove the final obstacle in our path. Any day now the referral letter should be arriving in the IVF clinic and when we ring them in two weeks time they should place the order for my IVF medications.

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