IVF clinic appointment

Test tubes
Photograph from iStockphoto.com.

The long awaited update on the fertility category very nearly didn’t happen as both Jane and I thought that our 3pm appointment today was at 3:30pm.

About an hour previous I had opened my filing cabinet, pulled out the “Fertility” folder and checked that the appointment card was there. It was. And it said 3:00 pm.

Remarkably, without breaking any speed restrictions or violating Her Majesty’s Highway Code we arrived at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at 3:05pm, having driven about 11 miles through the centre of Edinburgh and picked Jane up en route. Our guardian angels were obviously working overtime to clear the traffic ahead!

I had thought that today’s appointment was a follow up from the last Fertility clinic appointment in October, but we’ve now progressed to the IVF clinic. Same department, different team, different specialisation.

I think there had been some misundertanding as the doctor we saw thought that we were going to pay for the first cycle. No, no, no, no, no! NHS for the first three cycles, if you don’t mind. Anyway, he took more details, ticked some boxes and asked us questions like: Do you smoke? Do you take any illicit drugs? Have you ever fathered another child? (The answers were ‘no’ to each of these, by the way.)

That being the case it wasn’t too long before he ticked the “Eligible” box and signed the form to say that Lothian NHS would kindly finance our attempts to have a baby.

After a couple of samples of blood, to test us for HIV and Hepatitis, we were on our way again, assured that we’d hear from them again sometime within the next eighteen months, or so. We could be looking at around March 2007 to begin the process.

We’ve taken away with us sample forms that we’ll have to fill in nearer the time about what we’d like to do with any ‘left over’ sperm, eggs or embryos. I’d never considered that before. It is one of those important details that we’ll have to decide carefully. Assuming that all goes well for us, they could be the chance for another couple to have children too, but with our biological material — and I have a kidney disease that has a 50% chance of being passed on, so I’m sure that will be a consideration too. Important things to consider.

The BBC has a good article about what IVF is, for those who are interested. Or who just like following hyperlinks!

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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