I’ve been taking a break from this trying to conceive business. Too many things going on over the last few weeks – my head would have exploded if I’d added ttc to the mix.
I’ve been working on getting new clients for my business, viewing houses to buy within my (very, very limited) budget and, on a lighter side, looking at venues for my joint 40th in April. While planning the party, I’ve been thinking all the while, of course, that when I made the decision in April 2012 to go down the SMC route I really expected to have a bump, if not a baby, by 40.
You have to focus on what you have, and I’m very lucky to have lovely people who are happy to share the occasion with me – and someone close to co-host with. We’ve been on the same page on how we want things to go, so all is looking good. It’ll be a low-key do but I have some friends flying over to be there, which warms my heart. Although we’re two months away, I’ve been thinking about playlists; listening to Neneh Cherry’s “Buffalo Stance,” Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” and Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” has had me dancing around the room with anticipation. And literally as I typed that last sentence, House of Pain’s “Jump Around” has started on the radio and has me jigging in my office chair (“So get out your seats and jump around!”) – another one for the list.
We SMCs-to-be may not have had hen parties, weddings, christenings and the rest but it’s important now and then to take stock and acknowledge how lucky we are in other ways. And sometimes you just have to have a party. You shouldn’t need to marry yourself à la Carrie Bradshaw to have a reason to celebrate life and what you have.
Some ttc progress
I have had a small bit of movement on the ttc front. My consultation with the Danish clinic was last Thursday morning. It lasted about 45 minutes and went smoothly.
I had been wondering if there would be a problem with the age of my blood test results. I rang my home clinic on 12 February to request my records and was told they would take about two weeks (!) to send them. So, the results I forwarded to the Danish clinic before the call were about 14 months old – ones I had had done in the public hospital before my initial consultation with the home clinic in July. As it happened, my home clinic sent me my current records the day before my phone consultation with Denmark, but the Danes were happy enough with the older results, so I’m ready to go.
As well as going through my medical and fertility history, the Danish nurse talked me through open identity donation; as with the counsellor in my home clinic, she seemed relieved that an anonymous donor was out of the question for me. The way it works with the sperm ordering is a little different: when you ring to tell them you have had a positive ovulation result and to book the IUI, you have a look at the list of 10 or 12 available donors for that week on the website and give them your top three. There are no extended profile details available – just donor ID, height, weight, hair and eye colour, blood group and occupation.
I’m actually fine with this lack of information and have done a 180 degree turn on the extended profile front. When choosing a donor the first time, I did agonise over whether by opting for non-anonymous, extended profile donors I was excluding some just as excellent non-anonymous, basic profile donors merely for want of some baby photos and info on hobbies. What’s more, the last time I looked at the non-anonymous, extended profile donors available to my home clinic, the number had fallen from 21 to 14. That’s 14 donors being used by who knows how many women in Europe and beyond. The Danish nurse mentioned that the number of offspring legally allowed for each Danish sperm donor was reduced recently from 25 to 12, which partly explains the fall in stocks (though the man who prompted this change in law had somehow fathered 43 children).
There are currently 43 non-anonymous donors with basic profiles in my home clinic’s sperm bank, which is still a small number but a slight improvement. And the Danish clinic uses another sperm bank, in addition to that one.
On money, there are no hidden extras surprisingly. So, a round of IUI in the Danish clinic will cost 6,195 Danish Krone, which is about €830 – just over half the price of a medicated round in my home clinic. Albeit for non-extended profile sperm, which is cheaper, and of course the flights and accommodation will be extra – but worth a few goes, surely…
Having had my head in the sand regarding the IUI v IVF conversation for the last three weeks, I finally also rang my home clinic today to arrange a phone chat with my consultant after the three failed IUIs. Dr O is clearly a busy man and doesn’t have a window to call me until 14 March (at an unspecified time between his appointments…). I was aware he might take a while to track down and this is fine. If I had been in a rush, I would have rung for an appointment immediately after my negative result on 5 February. Having a backup plan has made me much more relaxed about it all.
I remember a piece of advice given on the SMC board I contribute to occasionally – “Don’t put your life on hold when trying to conceive”. I have been very guilty of putting things on hold over the last couple of months. Now I feel it’s time to relax a bit and concentrate on other things.
As a wise, purple little man once sang: “If u don’t like the world you’re living in, Take a look around u, At least u got friends… Are we gonna let the elevator bring us down? Oh no, let’s go!”