Yesterday was my follow-up appointment with Mr No Nonsense after failed IVF #2. I went on my own, because DH finds it hard to get time off work.
I called the clinic up in the morning to make sure the appointment was still going ahead, as the minor roads around here have not been gritted and we had another inch or so of snow overnight. Nurse First Time answered the phone, and she recognised my voice and confirmed my appointment time before I even said who I was. She then remembered which direction I was coming from and recommended the best route to take in order to avoid the roads which are really bad. That's the sort of personal touch I'll miss if we move to a big London clinic.
I had a bit of trouble getting the car out of our road and almost gave up and cancelled the appointment. Then I got stuck in a traffic jam on the way there and arrived just in time, having allowed bags of time.
Mr No Nonsense was the friendliest and chattiest that I've ever seen him - surprising, since the meeting was essentially our parting of ways. He said his recommendation was that we should not try again, as our chances of success were vanishingly small.
I said we were thinking of having one last try in another clinic which seems to have had good results with older women. I named the one I had decided on (we'll carry on calling it XXXX) and the Lister, which TBD recommended. He said he doubted if XXXX would treat me. As he put it, "They'll both be happy to take your money for an initial consult, but there's a reason why XXXX has such good statistics - if someone doesn't look too hopeful, he just won't take them on for treatment." I'd heard that suggested somewhere else, so it wasn't a huge shock to me - and to be honest, if he thinks he can't help me, I'd rather he didn't take my money and give me false hope.
He said we could try the Lister and they probably would take us on, but that he still didn't hold out much hope.
We briefly discussed donor eggs - he wasn't sure how much of a donor programme the Lister has, but at the current clinic they don't have one at all because of the shortage of donors. They do have link-ups with clinics in Spain and the US for people who want to go the donor route.
I asked whether he would recommend using donor eggs with DH's sperm (something that we almost certainly wouldn't do anyway), and at first he said he would, since there are some normal sperm in DH's sample. Then he flicked through to have another look at DH's SA results and muttered, "Hmmmm, I'd forgotten how bad these results were." So I guess that makes it a no, which makes things simpler in a way.
He mentioned embryo adoption as a possibility, but again couldn't help with sourcing the embryos, as his clinic is too small to have a regular supply of embryos from people who have finished their treatment and are willing to donate, and there's no national register.
I held it all together pretty well and managed to give a reasonable impression of a mature and responsible adult until the end, but then my dappy old tear ducts let me down and started leaking salt water all over his consulting room, revealing me as the overemotional female that I apparently still am. He wasn't enormously comfortable with that and immediately offered to go and get me a tissue, coming back with a box of tissues and Nurse First Time.
After we finished, Nurse First Time invited me to go into another room with her, but I said I just wanted to get home. It was only as I was going out to the car park that it occurred to me there might have been something more to discuss rather than her just giving me the chance to compose myself before I left, but I think it's over anyway - I've said goodbye to that clinic and all there is left to do is to get a copy of our file from them to take along to whatever appointment we have next. Or maybe just to file away at home somewhere to prove that we did all we could.
As I was waiting to leave my parking space, someone else was driving in and got stuck on the snow and ice. I leapt out of my car clutching a plastic seaside spade and dug her wheels free. As a distraction technique, it worked to clear my leaky eyes until I got safely home.
And then I got on the internet and found that there's another whole post on that blog I was responding to at the weekend. And it's basically attacking a lot of what I said, which the author has a right to do if she wants to, because it is after all her blog. But to find that people who have IVF are being universally condemned as people who are willing to "kill their children in order to give birth" - that was hard. As well as being totally untrue.
But never mind that it made me feel even worse on one of the saddest days of my life. It was probably meant to, in order to make me recognise my sin and repent.