Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Letting off steam

Forgive me if I have a(nother) little rant today.

When I arrived at the clinic early yesterday morning and told them I was on CD 3, the person I spoke to gave me the form for my blood test and told me to stick around in London, as I might be required to have a scan in the afternoon. I had foolishly decided to work from home, and had been planning to get home around 9:30 and put in a full day's work. I didn't have any of my work with me.

I very clearly told her that it would take me over an hour to get home and that I would have to hang around and kill time while waiting for them to get back to me. She said they would have the results by 11:30 and would contact me as early as possible.

At noon I went back to the clinic and told them that I would hang around in the waiting-room in order to ensure that everything could be dealt with as soon as possible.

At 1:30, I finally tracked down Aussie Nurse, who gave me my results and told me to go back this morning. All that time waiting around had been wasted - she seemed surprised that I had been told to wait, and the information she gave me could equally well have been given over the phone.

But that's not what made me cross - though I was a little agitated at the thought of the work waiting for me back home and the apparent endlessness of the waiting (in previous months, the call with the results has sometimes come through as late as 6 pm, and I was concerned that they might not get to me until then, since the promise to call me as early as possible obviously wasn't materialising).

No, what made me cross was the woman who was coming back for an initial consultation for her third IVF. The results of her first two successful attempts came in with her, as did her husband. Her husband didn't go up to the appointment with her, so it struck me that he and the children didn't really need to be there. As it was, she came in with a three-year-old and a baby. The baby was so chubby she was almost spherical, and this woman kept desperately trying to make her take a bottle, as the baby wriggled, squirmed, clamped her lips shut, turned her head away and demonstrated in every way she possibly could that she really didn't need a bottle right now.

For the 20 minutes or so that they were there, they took over the waiting room. The woman kept up a constant, high decibel stream of baby talk. She referred to herself as Mummles, and kept saying in a piercing voice to the older child, "Tell Mummles if you want a pee pee. Do you want a wee wee? Mummles needs to know if you want a pee pee." The child ran around creating havoc, and kept yelling at her father to try to get his attention. He had created a barrier in front of himself with a copy of The Sun and was completely ignoring all three of them, until the child's incessant and increasingly long and loud yells of "Daddy!!!!!" made me want to pick her up and force her head first right through his newspaper.

Eventually Mummles was called for her appointment and instructed Daddy to take the children to the park - why he couldn't have done that in the first place, I have no idea.

Meanwhile, a pregnant woman sat down next to me and lovingly caressed her bump. A nurse came in to admire the fat baby and chatted to another woman who turned out to be there for her six week scan. And I sat there trying to read my book and ignore all this, while wondering in the back of my mind whether I would ever get the chance even to start a cycle.

The waste of time didn't matter to me too much - I had a good book to read (had I only been able to concentrate on it), and the work will get done at some stage in the next three weeks. But a good half hour of the hour and a half I spent in that waiting room was the most exquisite torture that I have been subjected to for a long time.

And that's why I came home grumpy yesterday.


  1. Okay "Mummles" can bite me. No, seriously, this entire entry had my fuming for you. What is this woman's problem? And REALLY "Mummles"?? Wow.

    I just don't get the whole making pregnant women sit side by side with IFers thing. It's totally inappropriate, there should be a separate waiting area.

    And someone who went through IVF should KNOW better than to bring her kids in there.


    I'm so sorry you had to deal with that. As if you needed any of that on top of your frustrations with your bloodwork. Not acceptable. =(

  2. Mummles?? really?? Wowzer. I don't know how she could have been so brazen in an infertility clinic. I mean, what did she think everyone else was thinking?

    I've had children in the waiting room at my clinic before, but they have always been attached to really respectful parents who look like they feel guilty as hell for bringing them along (somehow that makes it ok in my eyes). I have a friend who is trying for #2 (first child concieved with ivf) and she said she feels terrible when she has to take her toddler into the clinic. But then she also pointed out that maybe some patients like seeing a 'success story' right in front of them. I told her that I never ever wanted to see children when I was in the waiting room and someone elses success story is actually sometimes the worst kind.

    We all just want OUR OWN success story don't we?