Appointment 1 of ? …
So the day has finally arrived. The day I actually go and speak to a real life breathing professional about my next steps. I am still 115% convinced that I am going to rock up and someone is going to laugh hysterically and declare, ‘NOT YOU,’ … ‘you’ve got to be kidding me. You are too old / childish / scruffy / cake loving / single to have this procedure. You are categorically not allowed to even try this. No way Jose.’
So in preparation for this appointment I was going to get prepared. I was going to wow them with my grown upness. So I had a wax, purchased new underwear, prepared an ‘outfit’, christ I even brushed my hair three days in a row and exfoliated! What I didn’t plan on was catching the cold of doom about a week before. One of those ones that goes on forever. I kept losing and regaining my voice. Falling asleep at every possibility. I thought that by D-Day at least I would be feeling better. On the contrary, the night before the appointment, I was up for 4 hours throwing up. I am always sick when I get a tickly cough so it was not unexpected, just really unwanted. So by the time I woke up, I didn’t even have butterflies. My body was absolutely numb from coughing and being sick. I was gutted. I wanted to feel amazing … like the old ‘she’s just stepped out of a Salon, Salon Selectives,’ advert. All bright, breezy and bouncy hair. In actuality, I had bags, I had lank hair and my old biker jacket on. Maybe I already looked like a mum of a 2 week old!
Anyway I got the train up to London, trying to feel excited or anxious but actually I just fell asleep and woke up around Beaconsfield open mouthed and gross, pumped full of Vitamin C. I receive about 30 texts from people wishing me good luck, saying they want to know everything when I am out. I felt so lucky to have everyone’s support. People really cared. It was a really gorgeous day. My favourite kind, cold and sunny. I sneezed and wheezed my way through Marylebone station and hopped in a cab. I was dropped at my destination and suddenly it wall seemed very real. It is just such a grown up area. You know proper red brick building, owned by people clever enough to have bought them in the twenties, with brass plaques and marble steps. I knew the clinic had just opened, so I knew I was going to the one that had all the builders outside.
The uniformed builders ushered me inside. By pure coincidence the first person I saw was my friend DW. It was so bizarre to see someone so familiar somewhere so alien to me. He gave me a big hug and introduced me to the lady who would show my up to the waiting room. It smelt amazing in there. All new paint and wood shavings. There was a hustle of workers everywhere, like 60 Minute Makeover. It made no difference to me, it made me feel more at ease. Its the sort of place you should turn up to in cream cashmere and I was in beaten leather so any mess made me feel at ease. I was taken to the totally finished, calm waiting room. A guy asked if I needed a coffee, a girl asked if I wanted a paper. This is what private feels like. The smell of new still lingering in the air.
The Consultant came out and offered his big professional calm hand to mine. I went into full chat mode. We walked into his huge, sparse office. He apologised for the chaos and explained that this was the 10th clinic he had opened so he is used to this first bit of madness. Then he went straight to business, going through my files. Medical history, current doctor, why I was there. No hard questions. Just things I knew the answer to. Win! Then he went it full Consultant mode and explained how getting pregnant works. He explained I could freeze my eggs for a later date / start fertility drugs to boost my chances / go full IVF or just go straight IUI (donor insemination … turkey basting as it is lovingly known!) I told him I really just wanted to start IUI without fertility drugs. According to my bloods etc there is no reason to suggest that I needed any help. Obviously we don’t know that for sure, I just don’t want to use drugs if I don’t have to. Not for any gross ‘clean living’ reason, but the thought of injecting myself makes my teeth itchy! He told me it was absolutely fine to try that first. We decided to try 3 ‘straight’ IUI procedures and see what happened. He suggested I started in the new year. I laughed and told him he was lucky I wasn’t starting in November, but that would literally be in about 10 days based on my cycle. Which is too much of a rush. Anyway I felt so rubbish that the thought of making all those decisions in the next couple of days was too huge.
He ushered me in to the next room for a scan, just to check that there was nothing obvious blocking anything. We walked in and I could see all the shiny new equipment. I felt so bad that the thought of him prodding around was not ideal, even though this is the very thing I had been waiting so long for, man up! The Consultant suddenly realised there was no bed in the room! The bed hadn’t been unpacked yet. He was mortified. I was thrilled! So we went back to his huge roomy office, all glass windows looking out on to gorgeous reddened ivy on the brick buildings on the other side of the road. I got out my book of questions, he looked confused! Most of the answers to my questions ended in, ‘ you should just check with JS,’ my friend who works there. I don’t know if this is because he thought I would feel more comfortable talking to her or if it is because he hasn’t had to deal with such minutiae!
The questions continued, but essentially: start in December, try 3 times and go from there. As I walked back down the pristine building past the swarms of contractors, all I could think was WOO HOO! They didn’t say no. No-one laughed at me. I was good to go. I walked out into the crisp air, coughing and spluttering and went and had lunch with a dear friend, knowing that the next step to take was probably the biggest. Picking my donor …
Photo: Image of some fabric that looks like sperm!