In vitro fertilization- IVF- a different way to get pregnant!
How many times have I been here? It must be thousands of times. I can picture this waiting room in my sleep. The insipid colour on the walls, the light green curtains, the old and fingered magazines, the smell of hospital, and the uncomfortable chairs. Why must the chairs always be uncomfortable in a waiting room? It also seems like the people who come here is the same every time we are here, we all have the same expressions in our faces, tense and a little bit embarrassed. The waiting room is full, and we have to sit down in the corridor. My husband sighs when he sits down. We can now look forward to hours of waiting. We read for a while, trying to peer at the other couples whiteout being noticed. And the other couples do the same, but no one speaks to anybody, except to their partner, quietly.
We watch the staff rush to and fro, seemingly irrational. Every time a member of the staff passes everybody in the waiting room look in that direction, although we all know they will not address any of us, it is just from pure boredom we stare at them. We know perfectly well from which door we can expect to be called. My husband sigh again, he hates waiting.
From where we sit in the corridor we can see signs at a distance. On one sign it says; "Psychologist", down the hall. How do one end up there? And when? In what stadium? Are you supposed to break down here? In this neutral place! Inside the examination room with the doctor there isn't time for breakdowns and the waiting room is certainly not the place for tears or any kind of breakdowns!
A door in the corridor is full of photos of newborn babies, and lovely babies of all ages from thankful parents. There is hardly room for more pictures.
Is it really possible to become pregnant here?? In this sterile and unromantic environment. It’s sure doesn't feel that way. Every couple have a small yellow ticket with their queue number on it. Is this small yellow ticket the ticket to pregnancy? And which of us, sitting here, holding the blank? Statistically, only 25- 30% gets pregnant with IVF, so.. which of us in the waiting room are the lucky ones? This ticket system is just like the system that is used for shopping at the charcuterie counter; "number 15", the clerk shouts, and you can order; smoked ham, 2 hg or cheese! But here you cant order, and the thing you want is so precious that you are afraid to even think about it, and you are actually glad to even have a ticket!
Couple after couple enters the examination room. My husband sighs and tries to sit in a different way on the hard chair. The women that is in turn next, goes to the toilet, as if everybody was given the same script the moment they entered the clinic. Two hours have passed, and all the time, new couple enters, takes a pink ticket from the ticket machine, and take a seat. Now I can even feel some pity for them that are latest in queue, they have a long time ahead. We are at least a good way ahead in the system! Soon it is my turn and it is time for me to go to the toilet. Now, my number is up!
We greet the doctor and nurse in the examination room. They scroll and find mine medical journal. Behind a curtain I undress, and then I enter the examination chair. My follicles are measured, and the results are fed into the computer. Getting ours follicle measured is what we all are waiting for, day after day, hoping that they will be ready for retrieval. The examination is finished and I can dress. When I am dressed, the doctor has decided what to do next. (This is an extremely efficient clinic). And at last, this time is my follicles ready and all looks good, so we are welcome back the day after tomorrow for egg aspiration. YES!
The Big-day. We enter the clinic and this time we advance further down the corridor, past the waiting room and the examination room. But not as far as the sign that says Psychologist. It is a major step after weeks in the front half of the corridor. I am assigned to a bed, and clothes. My husband gets a few magazines that are supposed to help him leaving his contribution, in the toilette. No pressure there! He can’t fail, and i can’t help him either, I am lightly sedated and are about to be rolled to the operating room. We wish each other good luck, and off we go in different direction. Once again I ask myself, can anyone be pregnant in this way?
Seventeen amazing eggs where retrieved. My husband and I are reunited outside the operating room afterwards. And our eggs and sperms were united in test tubes in side the operation room. (I hope they don´t confuse ours with other couples).
In the corridor there were two more couples that have undergone the same treatment, and I could hear the male talking to each other; how many eggs did you get?? Such odd conversation! Is there a competion going on?!
A few days later we are back at the clinic again and two "fine" embryos are placed in to my uterus. And now, we just wait again!
This is my experience of IVF. And I am very grateful, because we where among the lucky ones. I presume that IVF-fertilization in these days involves more caring and help people psychologically through the treatment.
But I do know that the feelings these couples have, is sadly still the same.