Our first IVF appointment.
We had booked two, this one, at an NHS hospital, where Lauren happens to work as a midwife, and also at a private clinic, in Nottingham. We did this to compare timescales and prices, having received very different estimates for both from everyone we asked.
So on Thursday morning we got up, and got ready, and as we did, it felt 'important'. A really enormous step. A building rush of anticipation, nerves, and excitement. And this was only our consultation appointment, goodness knows what we will be like further along the process!
It was an odd feeling looking around the waiting room, knowing that everyone there was there for the same reason. It was a reason, as I'm sure people who have read my previous blog posts know, that I didn't think I would ever have, but sitting in the waiting room, this process feels like the most natural, and exciting progression for us. It feels right. I want to be a mother, and I want to have a family with my wonderful wife.
We were then called through into our appointment. Another perk - as Lauren knows all of the staff, she chose a while ago who we wanted to be booked with, which I was glad about as our consultant was lovely.
After asking some basic questions about our health, our consultant ran through the process of IVF, and the costs - I can't say I remembered much of what she talked about, so I was glad to be given a pile of information afterwards! I remember Lauren asking a lot of questions, but the whole thing passed me by in a blur! Howver the cost is much lower than we had anticipated, particularly if we are able to egg share (we are using my eggs with Lauren carrying, but also 'egg sharing' so donating some of them to an anonymous couple who need donor eggs). Even if this isn't an option, we are pretty certain we will proceed with Lauren carrying a baby created from my eggs, as the cost was much lower than we imagined. It baffles us how many lesbian couples seem to think they will get nhs funding - why? The nhs is there for medical care - not plastic surgery, weight loss, ivf, or any other choices. Plus so what if ivf is expensive - so are children!
The time scales were also not as drastic as we had imagined. We were expecting a waiting list to be able to share our eggs, but in fact there isn't one. Apparently couples can wait for 2 years for donor eggs to become available, so us wanting to donate is very welcome! (Lauren also offered to donate hers as it is something she is keen to do - but the Consultant said it might complicate things just now, and to think about doing that in the future!) The only small wait is for donor sperm, but we should be able to go on the list as soon as our test results are back, and then the wait might be around 3-6 months, less than we thought. I think part way through the appointment, the interest in going to a private clinic dissipated. We later agreed that we felt comfortable being in a place we know, surrounded by staff we know and trust, not paying private fees when they made very little difference to time, and it would be easier being nearer to home/family while we were going through treatment. Plus, we like the idea of our baby being made in the city we are from!
We will write more in a later post about the timeline of the IVF process, now that we have got our heads around it ourselves. Our next steps are blood tests for both of us to check our hormone levels; they have to be taken on the 2nd to 5th day of a period (which will be interesting to plan around work!), both of us having a scan to look at our inside lady bits and make sure our wombs / ovaries / fallopian tubes etc are as they need to be, and me having a HSG scan to check the health of my fallopian tubes.
We left the appointment feeling on top of the world - we are aware IVF can be a lengthy, expensive, stressful and at times difficult process, but we are in no doubt of how much it will be worth it. Since I met her ten years ago Lauren has made all my dreams come true - and she continues to give me new dreams I never thought I would ever realise. Every day she makes them seem more of a reality.
We want to enjoy and savour every moment of this process - from every new experience of the journey to become parents, to the last experiences we will share just the two of us.
I'm sure this will be a journey of roller coaster proportions, but I can't think of anyone else in the world I'd feel safer with, or want to share it with.
Looks like we are going to make a baby!
Looks like we are going to make a baby!