My first time at the Fertility Clinic was 25th February 2016. I took my mum with me for moral support, but asked her to wait in the reception rather then actually coming into the appointments with me. This was something I wanted to do on my own. I was really nervous and had no clue what to expect.
When I got there I was super happy that I picked to go to a clinic in Manchester (I went to Manchester Fertility Clinic) as everyone was so friendly with a lovely northern charm that made me feel as relaxed as possible in this situation.
So what was the process at the clinic?
First of all I had an internal ultrasound to check how many follicles I had. This is a bit like a smear test. My mind was massively put at rest when the nurse explained that everything looked good, I was over average for my age (yippee) and there were no specific issues she could see. If I am totally honest at this stage I had no clue what she was looking for, but I was happy to hear all was good non the less!
I was still waiting for the results of some blood tests I had done earlier, but the nurse said that based on the ultrasound she felt that all would be good. This was very good to hear!
Next I went in for a session with the counsellor. This is mandatory when you are having IVF with donor sperm. She explained all about the donor process to me and explained how choosing a donor would work. She asked me to complete information about what I was looking for in a donor so they could match me with someone.
She explained how stringent the donor process is and how few people are actually able to donate their sperm due to all the tests that they have to go through.
She seemed satisfied that I had thought it all through fully. She showed me books that helped to explain to the child who their dad was and asked me if I had any concerns, which I didn’t.
I asked if there was a community of people I could contact but she explained there was nothing specific associated with the clinic, just some stuff that you could access online. A gap in the market I thought immediately and of course started to think about what I could create!
Lastly I went in to see the doctor. She explained to me the different options available to me and the costs of those options.
As I had decided on IVF, she talked me through the process in detail. We talked through dates and she explained that I would need to come back to collect the drugs needed and to have a lesson on how to inject them. Eek! We agreed to aim for the 18th April to start the treatment. This was actually happening!
I was amazed at how quickly it was all happening. I’m not sure why, but I thought it would take longer. I was actually pleasantly surprised by it all, but I almost couldn’t quite believe this was actually happening so soon.
As soon as I made that first phone call, I got the appointment a few weeks later and before I knew it I was starting treatment!
Lack of a community
I was really shocked by the fact that although the clinic treat many girls in my exact situation there was no community set up where we could all get together to support each other. Hopefully the Stork and I can fill that gap!
I won’t lie, the process was pretty complicated the first time you hear about it. I did go away feeling a bit confused with it all. One of the things I found about being on my own is that there is no one to share that confusion with. It’s just you. That’s why being part of a community is great, there are other people who are going though the same things and you can ask your questions to them.
There is loads of info on line that you can use to clarify any questions you have, but the majority of people are going through IVF with a partner and everything refers to DH (Dear Husband) which might not be what you want to hear about!
Anyway, everything seemed to be on track and this was starting to happen!