I had wondered whether there was any point in going to the Fertility Show yesterday. Most of the seminars I was interested in were sold out, and I wasn't sure how much I would learn that was new, given how long we've already been on the IF train. Then on Thursday, my 4-year-old niece phoned and said she was going to be in a play at playgroup on Friday morning, and asked if I would go. Being incapable of saying no to a 4-year-old, of course I agreed.
So yesterday morning I did a bit of work on an article I'm writing which is due in on Monday, checked the material I'd been sent for another assignment which has just come in (yes, for the first time since August, I'm actually going to earn some money this month, and I'm quite relieved about it!), went and had coffee with a friend (a long-standing arrangement that I wanted to fit in, even though it had to be cut short because of the play), then rushed over to watch my niece's play. I did a bit of useful networking afterwards and picked up a couple of potential customers for the other bit of my new business (the bit I'm more excited about).
Finally, at about 1:30, I was ready to set off. The article wasn't finished, and we're busy all weekend, so I wondered if I should just go home and work.
But I remembered what my coach had said about priorities - if I want this IVF to work, it must be my number one priority, and I mustn't let other stuff get in the way. The Fertility Show is once a year, and you never know what useful titbits you might pick up at something like that. And I'll be able to make time over the weekend to finish my article.
I arrived at the show at about 2:45, and started by doing a quick tour of the hall to see what was there. I then had to go back out to the ticket office, having realised that there was way too much change in my pocket and they must have undercharged me. I think the woman was a bit surprised when I complained about having been given too much change and insisted on giving £10 back to her, but it felt good to do the right thing, and I like to think it made up for what happened with the seminars...
There were a few interesting stands about. Most of them had big bowls of various sorts of free chocolate and sweets in front of them, and I was very good and avoided taking any, despite the exorbitant prices in the cafe (£1.80 for half a litre of water, and I didn't even dare ask what the food cost).
One of the things I appreciated was the chance to browse through some books - our local bookshop isn't very big on infertility, IVF, etc, and with such a bewildering array of books out there, I didn't want to order from Amazon without getting a chance to flick through them first. I ended up buying the Foresight recipe book, which also contains a lot of advice and information about nutrition and menu planning, and Zita West's latest book.
A lot of clinics, both in the UK and overseas, were represented, including the other two that I considered when we were looking at switching clinics at the beginning of this year. One, which is known for its success with people with high FSH, didn't impress me much when I went to its stand towards the end of the day and all the representatives who had come from there stood chatting to each other and completely ignored me, but I took one of their brochures anyway.
The other is the place where a good friend of mine conceived her twins on her second IVF cycle. I had read that they did donor embryo treatment, and I got a chance to sit down and talk to their donation co-ordinator. She said they have three lots of embryos available for donation at the moment, but are not able to predict from month to month whether they will have any available. These three will be there until they are taken, which could be a couple of weeks or a few months. This is definitely something I'd like to explore with DH if IVF #4 doesn't work, and he showed some interest when I told him last night about the conversation.
I also met and chatted to the woman from Foresight, a couple of other nutritional experts and someone from Infertility Network UK.
I probably shouldn't have been, but I was surprised at the number of men who were there, especially as it was a normal working day and most would have had to take the day off work for it. I commented on this to DH, and he said, "Well, yes - we're involved too."
I explained that my surprise stemmed from the fact that the people I've met IRL and online who do all the research and are active in finding out how to improve their chances of success tend to be women, and he said, "That's just the natural way of things."
"It seems to be the natural way for us," I responded. And maybe he did finally realise that it doesn't have to be that way. I've left the Zita West book out on the coffee table and mentioned a couple of chapters that he might be interested in reading - you never know...