July 2008…I think
Anything medical specifically for a woman involves a complete lack of dignity. They might hand you a “modesty sheet” but really, who are we kidding. Once you put your feet in the stirrups you may as well swing your bra over your head like a lassoo and yell “giddy-up”.
After a quick chat to my GP, I was armed with a list of IVF specialists and started making calls to get an appointment. My plan was to ring them all, get the next available appointment booked in, then start the cull. I decided to start with my wish list. First on the list of criteria was that I wanted a female doctor. Now, I have always had male GP’s, so it’s not that I’m shy or a prude. And sometimes male doctors are far more sympathetic to a woman’s needs and concerns than a female. I have no real reason to offer. I just wanted a female doctor. Second on the list, and I’m sorry if this comes across as racist, but I wanted someone who didn’t have an accent. I figured that I was going to be bombarded with lots of new information, technical terms, and big words with lots of syllables that I would have trouble spelling. I was just trying to make things as simple as possible. My third requirement was easy parking and the fourth was an actual appointment within 6 weeks. Was that asking too much? Things were going to get a lot more complicated and I knew many things would probably be out of my control. The least I could do was control these 4 things!
My lovely female IVF specialist with the Australian accent and convenient (but expensive) parking was able to see me in 3 weeks. See? I did it!!! From this point on, I have absolutely no control over anything that happens.
My husband (the one with the 3 children) and I were sent off with a thick pile of orders for tests. My tests (plural) involved needles, swabs, probes, scans, gel, very early mornings, and resulted in bruised arms and no desire to ever have sex again. My husband’s test (singular) involved a speciman jar, tissues, a magazine, and resulted in a big smile on his face.
The first scan was done at a “women only” clinic. Pastel decor with comfy chairs, floral wallpaper, and staff who all looked like they wanted to give you a big hug. Interestingly, not all my scanning experiences would be this comforting. After getting into my gown (examination, not evening) and climbing into the stirrup chair, they pulled out the probe (dildo) and covered it in a condom and gel. I nervously joked that they should at least buy me dinner and take me dancing first. They laughed like they had never heard that one before. Bless!
All the tests came back “normal”…whatever that means. The only blip was a 3cm fibroid that I had discovered about 3 years before. Dr Baby-Maker decided we should do a laproscopy (one of those big, multi-syllable words I had to look up) and check it out.
And so starts the journey of extensive prodding, poking, stabbing and, most painful of all, paying.