Yeah, well, that’s pretty much all I have to say about “the best fertility doctor in Sydney”. Another friend of mine went to see him as well and she said she sat in his office weeping.
My next move was to do nothing. Surely I’d meet someone and my fairytale would begin… Anyway, since there was no sperm due to lack of donors in Australia, and since I didn’t have a permanent job (I thought maternity leave, and a job to go back to, would be a sensible plan), I didn’t see what else I could do.
But of course, I am a product of my nature and I think it’s a powerful, primal urge to want to reproduce. I just wanted to have a baby. I also felt I was missing out on a really incredible, essentially female experience – being pregnant, giving birth. And loving unconditionally and being loved unconditionally in return (until the kid’s teenage years anyway). So I kept thinking and crying occasionally wondering how I got it all so wrong.
Then I did what I should have done in the first place, and called the clinic where my friend had her donor success 6 years before. Just to tie up all the loose ends. So I could tell myself, well, I looked down every avenue, investigated every option.
Do I need a referral from my doctor, I asked. Yes, if you want to claim it back on Medicare. Too right I do! So, how much? She told me the cost of IUI first (intrauterine insemination – basically the turkey baster method, but a skilled doctor wields the turkey baster). And that includes sperm, she said. Sperm? You have sperm? Of course we’ve got sperm. Oh right. Made an appointment then and there, with the doctor and the counsellor, which was compulsory.
My first appointment was with the counsellor. I was feeling all cool, but positive and excited, so raced home from work, jumped in the car, and … nothing. Battery flat. Couldn’t get there. Cool positivity turned to weeping mess on the phone as I called the NRMA (the guys with the jumper leads for those of you outside New South Wales) and the clinic, who I could barely speak to, my voice had pitched into territory that only dogs can hear (ie, very high).
I called my friend, saying, what is the universe trying to tell me?? Sob. Bless her, she said, Nothing, you just left your lights on, batteries go flat. And she was right. I leave the lights on all the time because my car is 20 years old and doesn’t tell me when I’ve left my lights on. I need a new car if anyone from a car dealership/manufacturer is reading. Do me a deal.
Just incidentally, I told another friend about the car debacle and she said, ooh, I wonder what it means?! And I said, through gritted teeth, Nothing, it means the battery was flat.
When I finally got to see the doctor, she was so positive. Such a marked contrast from the aforementioned best fertility doctor in Sydney. Her first words to me were, So, if you’re asking me can you do this? Yes you can, you absolutely can.
Yay! And you know, I’ve done the reading (I’ve seen the doctor!), I know the odds, I know all the statistics, all the negativity. I wanted, needed, deserved someone on my side. And here she was.
So, for all those girls out there over 40 who want to have a baby, here is what she said, the abridged version, because I couldn’t take notes fast enough:
Can you do this? Yes you can!
Don’t bother with IUI, IVF is 3-4 times more successful. (oh well, in for a penny, in for… $8,000 a pop)
I’m sick of reading all this negativity about a woman’s age. It takes two to make a baby and the man’s age matters too. And since you (me) are going the donor route, you have the option of choosing a younger man. (Yay! I’ve always liked younger men!)
I’ve yet to see an accurate reading from the Anti-Mullerian Hormone test (the egg timer test). It tells you what will happen into the future, not what’s happening right now. And you want to act now. (Yes I do)
I had the blood tests – low in Vitamin D (I live in Australia, for God’s sake, how is that possible?). A bit low in Vit B, low in iodine. All easily fixed. Take Blackmores Conceive Well Gold. Have a pelvic exam. I’ve had more fun with my legs in the air, that’s for sure. Polyps show up. Ew, I hate icky medical stuff. No problem, they are quite common and not sinister. Book me in for day surgery to have them removed. Make my uterus more accommodating, you see.
And now, tomorrow, I go back to the clinic for more blood tests to make sure I’ve ovulated and to give the hormones to inject into myself. ahhhhh.
It’s exciting, and scary, and freaky, and I can’t wait.