I was given series one of political drama Borgen for Christmas. As it’s a Danish production, my thoughts kept wandering to my donor, with whom I have one more try before my three straws are used up.
In the back of my mind I’m worried that if the next round doesn’t work, the clinic’s shambolic sperm ordering process will likely cost me another couple of months. That could take me up to, or even past, my 40th birthday in April. Last April was my deadline for deciding whether to go down the SMC path. With no major hiccups to speak of along the way, it’s now January and I’ve only had two IUI attempts.
Fertility treatment takes way longer than you expect, no matter how organised you are. My top advice for anyone considering this path is to get going the minute you are comfortable enough to do so. Even getting that first appointment at a clinic could take months. Apart from any money, support and lifestyle issues you need to address, the clinic won’t start your cycle until you’ve undergone blood tests and an internal exam at the correct time of your cycle, tackled any medical problems that arise, chosen and ordered sperm, and talked through donor conception with the clinic counsellor. So start as soon as you can. If, after getting all your ducks in a row, you are still not ready, you can easily put things on hold in the knowledge that you will be ready when the time is right.
Aside from Borgen, the morning radio programme I listen to is sponsored by Danske Bank, and the Danish-accented man in the jingle sounds so like my donor it’s uncanny. Although Danske Bank is not quite the type of Danish bank I’m most concerned with at the moment, it’s another reminder of upcoming round #3. And its slogan “The New Normal” seems appropriate enough for me and the other wannabe SMCs.
All of which musing might be irrelevant in the long run if this donor doesn’t work out, of course.
Looking on the sperm bank website today, stocks of IUI-ready sperm from my donor are almost gone, although there are over 50 lots of unwashed ICI units. I don’t know how the bank’s ‘production’ process works ie if stocks are replenished regularly, on request or at all, or whether that depends on the donor’s circumstances. My guy is not the youngest, so I guess he’ll be put out to pasture soon.
If #3 (which will probably take place towards the end of this month) isn’t the lucky one, I may have to consider flying over to Denmark and embarking on a DIY mission over there with ICI stock. Certainly a lot cheaper, even including flights and accommodation. The bank’s site quotes €260 for the sperm, I’m guessing for one go. Another batch of three (if it’s still available) ordered through the clinic will cost me €1,800, with one IUI round itself costing €850 on top of that. The chances are much higher with medicated IUI than with the turkey baster approach of course, but DIY with an ovulation predictor kit is an option. It’s nice to have a fallback at any rate, which might take some pressure off round three.
Watching Borgen, I was also struck by a resemblance between cast member Johan Philip Asbæk, who plays the spin doctor, and the slightly older US actor Michael Shannon from Take Shelter. Whether you agree with that or not, it’s a fab series and I highly recommend it.