***Warning*** This blog has sexual content…..readers are warned that they may be disappointed!!
“If the baby looks like the doctor then I want a refund”
There I was, alone in a room, 1500 miles from home, while my wife and her sister, knowing what I was about to have to do, waited. I wondered how long was a decent enough time to keep them waiting. I had to get myself mentally prepared and decided that the only chair was not an option as I didn’t want to think who or what was done on there previously. The dvd’s I didn’t even consider as remembering the doctor pointing out that they had something for everyone and being in a secular country I really didn’t want to pick the wrong one and see a fully burqa’ed woman showing a bit of bare ankle or revealing a possibly unsexy looking nose.
The other problem I had was due to the accident I mentioned previously, the result of which meant my left hand, which is my dominant hand, was full of metal and screws and I couldn’t grip properly anymore. Now in some pursuits I am ambidextrous and luckily this came in useful in this situation. I’m not going to go into the in’s and out’s of what happened next but I can honestly say that, hopefully, I had a hand in getting my wife pregnant.
Anti climax I’ll admit it was but that was what was expected of me and I left my, unfortunately not large, deposit to be collected by the orderly and went to re-join my wife, after firstly nipping outside for the customary cigarette.
We men have it so lucky really, even in a normal pregnancy the poor woman suffers but that is nothing compared to the anguish and pain and what the woman has to do to try to make ivf a success, I didn’t realise at that time what the next few months would bring for my poor lady.
My wife and her sister were waiting in the coffee shop area of the clinic for my return. While I was doing my “business” my wife had been examined by the doctor and would have to return in a few days after pumping herself full of hormones to fool her body to produce more eggs. We were called back to the doctors office again and I noticed something slightly strange about the mural of baby photographs, a lot of them seemed to bear a remarkable resemblance to the doctor, maybe it was the moustache and particularly hairy babies, but I said to my wife that if we were lucky enough to have a child, if the baby was born looking like the doctor then I’d want a refund!
Now that is really the end of my input in the ivf process but my support and hopes were just beginning as it should be with all the partners of women going through this, everyday is a challenge and worry, these days were to come for us but that was the end of my first and last appointment at the clinic in Istanbul. I flew back to the UK a couple of days later but the ordeal for my wife was just beginning.
After about a week of a hormone supplemented diet my wife returned to the clinic for a sort of Easter Egg Hunt but on a smaller scale and the person looking for the eggs knew where they were to be found. It wasn’t brilliant news. Only 5 eggs were found and a couple of days later they were retrieved. Then after another couple of days when she returned for the “insertion” (there is a technical name for all these procedures, in fact a whole new language, but I’m a Dad and really didn’t need to know them), it turned out 3 of the eggs had successfully been fertilised and were transferred to my wife but afterwards the doctor said that two of the eggs they were not hopeful about but one was strong and hopefully would grow.
This wasn’t great news, we were told before that our chances of success were less than 10% now with the fact that only one egg seemed to be viable made the odds drop to below 2%.
Hormone patches and daily injections were now required, self administered, with the injections into the tummy and patches also in same area which slowly release the required dose to boost the chances of the embryo growing.
My wife returned to the UK a week after the transfer, with a suitcase full of a months supply of the hormone cocktails she was required to take. I was slightly concerned that she may have been stopped by customs and asked why she had 30 needles and syringes in her luggage but thankfully this never happened.
The next step was to have a blood test about 10 days after the transfer, which proved more difficult than it sounds as we had to find a private test centre as we were outside the NHS on this and one that could give the required results the same day. Then we sent the results back to the clinic in Istanbul and waited…..
Now for your viewing pleasure a picture of 3 motor cycle cops eyeing a suspicious looking steam powered organ