Thursday, January 6, 2011 6

So I went to the clinic yesterday and Dr came out to reception, scrubbed and gowned up, I wondered what he was doing, collecting eggs? Embryo transfer? He wrote 3 request forms, 2 x HIV tests for us and a heart trace for me. "So these are just routine then?", I asked and he uncomfortably replied "It's er yes a serum analysis". Hmmm...another way of saying a test to look at cells in the blood but giving away nothing. Very typical here.

I went across town and managed to make the tail end of the walk in phlebotomy clinic and the miserable woman who normally stabs me was not there and a lovely lady was in her place, chatty and smiley which cheered me up. As usual, on arrival I took a paper raffle ticket from one of those old fashioned red ticket dispensers. If you approach the reception desk without this you will know you have got it wrong from the filthy looks around you but it took me a few visits to figure this out. Now I am a pro. I take a ticket, take a seat and remain unfazed by the empty reception desk. There is half a cup of coffee and a lot of stamps and papers (picture your childhood GP surgery). 10 minutes pass and the receptionist returns and calls number 501? Nothing. 502? Nothing. I am number 534 and the waiting room only has two other people in it. She continues to call out numbers at us as though we are naughty school children until she reaches 533 and an old lady in the corner waves her stick and slowly gets to her feet. (I must point out that the elderly population here are very well looked after and once over 65 are issued an unwritten pass to jump any bus or supermarket queue simply by wearing a head scarf or carrying a walking aid or anything with wheels). She ruffles in her pocket, nothing, other pockets? Nada. Handbag, must be....but no. So as she shuffles over to the ticket machine on the other side of the room to take number 535 and I jump up and announce 534 as I'm English and don't know any better.

Then I book my ECG, for Friday. I feel a bit fed up really. I'm sure I will have a negative HIV result but given my previous job, it's always possible. Maybe I will have some strange heart trace? Compatible with life but not fertility treatment. It just adds to the what ifs?

Yesterday I had another USS and the docs said it looked good but then said they hoped for about 6 eggs? 6? I wanted 6 embryos, just to give us 3 goes at this. I'm not sure I can take the pressure of just 2 embryos as our only chance, even 4 to give us 2 tries at IVF lowers the odds considerably. Can we afford to start this process from scratch again? Can I face it? It all feels hopeless and too much today. I found myself sobbing in a doorway again in one of the beautiful porches of the 'Parisian neighbourhood' trying not to make eye contact with the puzzled doorman.

I had planned to meet a friend afterwards, L. She is a lovely girl and we met only 2 months ago but we clicked and we arranged to go sketching together in the parks. I'd hoped it would distract me but I struggled and after 5 hours of general chat I found myself unable to come up with yet another excuse to wriggle out a social commitment. Because of the treatment I had to miss L's b'day and then 3 days later on mine she came along with a beautiful scarf for me and I felt bad about that. So I bit the bullet and told her in an ice cream parlour. Why I missed her b'day, why I had time off in our voluntary placement and why I have rescheduled my TEFL and why I was rude and sullen the first time we met. She was lovely and it was worth it as she lent me a nice book to read and said she will visit me for tea and cake if I make it to embryo transfer and bring DVD's and things to do. However, a sharp reminder as to why it's important not to tell too many people as she asked lots of questions and made statements I would have made 2 years ago before I knew what I know now and even told me of a friend who took 2 years to conceive in the kindest voice ever.

I told N how lonely I was when I got home and I prepared my new injection, Cetrotide to stop the eggs releasing. N was sweet but admitted he was clueless about the injections and reminded me what a good thing it was that I am a Nurse. And I think my loneliness peaked as I mixed the powder and water and thought back to the last time I prepared an injection when I was in the first heady stages of a new relationship with N and I felt like I had the world at my feet.

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