After our dinner together, I smiled and let Jen know that, guess what?? I already booked her an appointment to go to the clinic for literally the next week.
As it was her first appointment at the clinic, I wanted to go with her. That meant she had to do a lot more planning than most for simple appointments.
Next came the forms… The clinic had handed me a form for Jen to fill out and bring with her to her first appointment. I didn’t really look at much initially as we had to first sit down with each other to discuss all the logistics. After the dinner, I actually had a look at the forms. Ummm… Maybe I should have given her this thing right then and there. It pretty much asked anything and everything.
I called her and warned her about the form. Then I start reading the questions. It started out innocent enough asking about her cycles- When did they start? How many days do they last? How is the flow? For how long? Any pain? What type of PMS symptoms, if any?
Then it moved on from there. Us, being us, decided to fill it mostly out over the phone. I’d BBM her the questions, she’d send back the answer. The questions got more invasive the further through the form you got. How many sexual partners in the last year? Did any of them have an STI? Did any of them have a blood transfusion? Did any of them do illicit drugs during this period?
How about you? Do you use illicit drugs? Do you, or have you been paid to have sexual relations with someone? Do you, or have you exchanged goods for any sexual relations? Do you smoke? Smoke what? How often? Ever? Where do you live? Who with? What type of water is your home one- city, cistern, or well?
The questions continued… Most of which we just laughed at. Seriously, if Jen was a closet prostitute or drug addict, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be asking her to carry our child. But still, the fact that they ask all of the above means that someone, somewhere during this process answered yes to some of these questions… sketchy!
Back to Jen- Her pregnancies: How long did it take for her to conceive? Was she on any medications during the pregnancy? How long did each pregnancy last? Any miscarriages? How long was the labour? Vaginal or via C-Section? With medications of without? You get the picture.
Some of my favourite questions included, “Do you suffer from any nipple discharge?” (Is that actually a thing?) “Did the intended parents offer you any money or other goods in exchange for your services?” (If I did, I don’t think she’d check yes… duh. But no, fertility clinic, we are following the rules.)
The hardest part of the form was the section with basically a chart. It had every medical condition or symptom you have EVER heard of and then had a chart to check off if you, your siblings, your parents, or grandparents had ever suffered from the following. Well, the self, siblings and parents parts are easy… but add in a zillion questions involving 4 grandparents that you really weren’t intending on telling this whole story to until it was for sure, life gets a tad more complicated.
The chart was finally finished and we walked to the clinic the following week. We sat in the first waiting room chatting. No one chats in the fertility clinic waiting room. That is basically forbidden. Screw it- we’d be through enough and I was breaking all of the unwritten rules. We were just two best friends catching up on life.
We get called in and I stand up to go into the room with Jen. The nurse kindly tells me that this was personal, and to wait in the waiting room. Jen laughs and says, that I filled out most the form, so I can come. Onwards we go into the little room waiting to be grilled.
The doc got there and asked a couple questions about who we were to each other, and how we got here. He then said that we’d be going over a very detailed family, menstrual, sexual, health, and personal health history and asked me to leave. Jen, again, said that I was more than welcome to stay. I believe her comment was something to the effect of “If her baby is going to grow in me, then she needs to know what in this form too!”. His eyebrow raised slightly, then said ok and we went over the entire form verbally. Jen barely squirmed once under direct examination about her sexual and health history since the day she was born. She deserved a medal.
Next he says is the pelvic exam- umm… Jen asked me what would be involved, I said just questions… she’s gunna kill me. I winked and said that we’re close enough so I didn’t think I needed to see the inside of her uterus. We agreed. I waited back in the waiting room.
After a couple of minutes, and with everyone’s clothes back on, I got called back into the room. They said that based on the information given today, they had a small concern about a family history item and that they wanted to refer her to specialist. The theory here was that they wanted no additional risk put on Jen. Fair enough, but we laughed that she had made it through 2 great pregnancies of her own… Regardless, off to the specialist she was to go.
From there, the RE explained the process. She was to do a whole pile of tests including a sonohystogram, a full panel of blood work, and day three blood work and ultrasounds to check on her hormone levels. After all the above tests come back, along with the ok from the specialist, we could come back and review. Then if she passed the test, we’d be on to step 2: the Pysch appointments.
I cannot believe this is actually happening!