An introduction to IVF

Test tubes
Photograph from

This evening Jane and I headed over to Ninewells Hospital in sunny Dundee for an introductory lecture on Assisted Conception — specifically In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). Let it never be said that I don’t know how to show a girl a good time on a Tuesday evening!

We were invited to this presentation as our first cycle of IVF begins sometime this year; the exact date is still to be confirmed, we’re not quite there but it’s certainly getting closer and after this evening’s talk it feels more real.

During one part of the procedure it was revealed that I would be able to sit in an observation room with the embryologist and watch what is going on. Jane and I discussed this on the way home.

Jane: I’m quite envious that you’ll be in the observation room with the embryologist.

Gareth: Why … because she was quite good looking?

Jane: No!! Because it’d would be really interesting.

Gareth: Oh yeah … there is that.

Jane: But I’m not sure you’ll get to see much.

Gareth: Why, because she’ll be wearing a lab coat?

Jane: I mean the procedure!

A few serious points:

  • it does feel more real now
  • it was quite reassuring to see so many people there (maybe 30 or so couples) — which encouraged me that we’re not on our own
  • we had some good conversations with a few lovely couples, which was also encouraging
  • I now know what ‘homework’ I need to do to get reading up on EVERYTHING™
  • it certainly won’t be easy … but it will be worth it.

Prayers please, if it’s your discipline, for us, for the other couples who gathered in lecture theatre 1 at Ninewells Hospital this evening, and for the staff within the Assisted Conception Unit.

Let the miracles begin … sometime soon.

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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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