I tried to go into this appointment with no expectations, with an idea that they probably will just want to do more tests. This turned out to be true.
Sat in the waiting room of essentially an office building (the Wiltshire Fertility Clinic is a satellite office of the Oxford Fertility and is therefore in an office not at the hospital), you find yourself appreciating the bright green they painted the walls to try and brighten the shit day you are probably all going to have sat in that office!
A lovely nurse called us through and basically reiterated our details and asked questions like did we smoke, drink etc. We did have to give an exact date we started trying which put us on the spot a bit. Toms results weren't in but he just needed to call the next day and she could give them over the phone. She talked through my results from the GP in more detail so was able to advise that although my prolactin level was high it was only 600, she wasn't too concerned as although that's higher than expected, prolactin is a stress hormone and it wasn't 6000. (whatever that means). My height and weight was also measured so my BMI was calculated to 31.5 (again no surprise, I have not eased off the cake yet). What was enlightening though was that she told me I only needed to get my BMI to under 30 to qualify for IVF if we get that far, that was very welcome news beause that is totally doable!
My scan was definitely all clear, there looked to be the right number of follicles and no problems in my uterus at this stage. My testosterone is high but again not through the roof and could signal PCOS but we need to do some more tests to clarify this as I did definitely ovulate in first blood test. She was very impressed my GP had ordered these tests already and explained she just wanted to do some more blood work, to see if I just ovulated at that one test or if I regularly ovulate. She was testing me for a couple of other things like prolactin, testosterone and also if I have ever had Chlamydia! The latter better come back negative, otherwise Tom has some explaining to do, as he is the only person I have had unprotected sex with!
Next appointment is to be in 3 months because they like to leave time between appointments so we have as much possibility of conceiving naturally. I cannot describe how warming and reassuring she was, she was mainly saying what everyone else had told us previously, to stay positive but it just sounded different coming from her. Like you believed it.
So today was THE appointment. (caps locks feels important because that’s how I referred to it in my head). To say I found today a disappointment would be an understatement. I thought today would be the day it started, we would get things moving, get closer to our goal. Tom fought to get the time off work to join me and we met at the clinic, I’d felt sick all day with apprehension (not even adding this in for dramatic effect, I genuinely don’t know the last time I felt so jittery). I just wanted the result and then a plan.
Instead it bought us more questions. It would appear there was a problem with my last blood test, we missed my ovulation, I ended up having a long cycle that month so when they took the blood I hadn’t ovulated. The nurse kindly explained its important to know if I am ovulating, because if they put me on the fertility drug Clomofine then it can cause my ovaries to overwork and lots of other complications. Thus meaning if I ovulate regularly they won’t put me on that drug. If I don’ ovulate regularly they may still consider it, as it will regulate my cycle. She did say however that Clomofine has a 40% success rate of pregnancy within 6 months of taking it. So now I need to do 2 more blood tests, in different months, to see if we can catch my ovulation day. This makes me so mad, I want to scream and shout because how will I know if it’s the right day?! We can estimate but what if we miss both times and in 3 months I go to my next appointment and we are no further forward? Or what if I ovulate on both tests, that means I can’t go on Clomofine, so what then?
The good news is I got the all clear for Chlamydia, so no awkward questioning for Tom!
The other thing my blood test showed is that I am not protected against German Measles, most likely meaning I didn’t have the MMR vaccination/booster when I was 11. This was news to both me and my parents as we all thought I had every jab going but maybe it wasn’t offered. I have to get the vaccination, so I am protected, because if I was to contract German Measles whilst pregnant this would be the worst thing for the baby as it has a number of proven side effects like blindness. So off to the GP I go to get the jab, but the catch is Tom and I MUST not conceive for 1 month after I have had the jab, because the virus will be in my system etc. Now it seems odd that we must try not to conceive when that’s been the battle for so long, particularly as we approach the 2-year mark.
I think the nurse could see my disappointment and did try to reassure me that we are taking the right steps and need to get more results and this jab. She did kindly point out lots of people get pregnant naturally along the way all the time, she see it all the time. I could have punched her smiley reassuring face. I don’t give a fuck about anyone else, what about me, if I’m ovulating as she was heavily implying then why the fuck am I not pregnant! Once again, I have more questions than answers.
I could’ve balled my eyes out in the middle of that office, and it took lots of finger twiddling and writing down notes to hold it together. We had barely got out of the building and Tom caught me as I let it all out. He assured me we are in the system and it is another small step along the way, he was brilliant, but I still cried all my drive home. All the big plans I had for the evening went out the window, instead I cried my eyes out, then cooked pasta and pizza and waffles and binge watched the Gilmore Girls. Probably just undid all my hard work of being good and healthy eating but I didn’t care. Some people exercise, or clean or bottle it up. I cook. And eat. A lot. Nothing stops those tears like a good fresh carbonara or a waffle mountain of sugary treats.
Ultimately, I’ll grow a pair, realise this is just another stepping stone in this long and painful journey and after a good night’s sleep feel much better. Today was just a rough day, they are going to keep coming. Perhaps what I am guilty of today is getting my hopes up, going in with high expectations and comparing my journey to others. I think I need to remember this is my journey and will be different, its not one size fits all. I am going to have to learn patience, something I have yet to master.