We last heard from Sammi a fortnight ago as she was enduring the waiting game, those lengthy days that seem to drag along before an important appointment. She’s back today to explain what happened at her fertility appointment, the joys of an examination (warning – the blogfamous dildo cam makes another appearance!) and what the next steps are. She touches upon mixing NHS services with private and even Clomid gets a mention.
Things are all moving apace for Sammi, and I know I’m not the only one wishing her luck
The enormity of the journey we were about to embark on hit me during the week before our fertility appointment. I had several meltdowns that week; one involved bursting into tears after I overcooked steak, and another involved crying into my cornflakes. They weren’t all sad tears, a few of them were sad because a tiny part of me wished we didn’t need this appointment, the rest were worried, hopeful and thankful tears all at once. I’m thankful to A, who instead of laughing at me, wrapped into a bear hug each and every time.
On the day itself, we met at lunchtime and drove to the clinic. Our local hospital doesn’t have a sub-fertility clinic; the nearest one is over 40 miles away, so we chose to visit the outreach clinic held at a local GP’s surgery on Fridays. It turned out that this particular Surgery is in a not-so-desirable part of town and as soon as we were ushered through to waiting room number two, we were greeted with the sight of a woman using every swear word under the sun trying to get more weeks’ worth of medicine on her prescription because she had to send it off to the Job Centre (or something along those lines). We only caught part of the story, but I am pretty certain we looked like startled rabbits, clinging to each other in the far corner, whilst trying to read a leaflet so not to get asked “What the F*%k are you looking at?”. After a few minutes, she was ushered out of the waiting room, and into a side room to continue the conversation. We could still hear her, but I relaxed my white-knuckle grip on A’s arm. Luckily, everyone else at the surgery seemed perfectly pleasant.
It soon became apparent the clinic was running behind time, after 40 minutes of waiting a nurse breezed into the waiting room announcing the doctor is ready to see us. Our consultant had a very strong Indian accent and I had to squint to understand him, not that squinting helps you to hear more clearly, but I was aware of myself doing it! We went through our fertility health questionnaires we had filled out ahead of time; everything got a big fat tick which I assumed was a good thing. I was then asked to go behind the curtain and undress from the waist down for an examination. Whilst researching what happens at a fertility consultation, I had read that an examination was likely. I had dressed for the occasion in a jumper dress to cover my bits and pieces when getting on and off the bed, woolly tights and boots, not forgetting nice knickers and painted toes (like they looked at my toes!).
I told A to stay his side of the curtain as these events are far from glamorous! The Dr was very efficient and quick with all his poking and prodding, speculum in, speculum out and then it was time for an internal scan. For this, a device which has become affectionately known as ‘dildo-cam’ was used. It is a long rod which is covered with a condom-like sheath and some lubricating jelly before being inserted high into the vagina to give a clear ultrasound picture of my uterus and ovaries which were all present and correct. Although it sounds horrendous, it is completely pain free.
After I was dressed and back on the consulting side of the curtain, we discussed the plan of action. I was given some forms for more blood tests and A was given forms for a repeat semen analysis. Providing these tests all come back no worse than before, we should be starting the ovulation-inducing drug Clomid at our next appointment in a couple of months’ time. Unfortunately, in my primary care trust, they do not check a woman’s tubes are clear before starting ovulation induction. The consultant explained they think positively and assume everything is ok until proven otherwise. However, for our own peace of mind, before I start pumping myself full of hormone-influencing drugs, we are going to have my tubes checked privately. As the private system is so much faster than the NHS, my next post may well be able to tell you how my fallopian tubes are looking!