If you thought that all the preliminaries for IVF number three were sorted back in June when my doctor and I sat down and discussed it, then you were wrong.
As, to be fair, was I.
The protocol was decided.
The biopsy was clear.
I rang up the private clinic, where fully I expect to spend the majority of my 2011 earnings, to book in IVF and was told I had to have a preliminary appointment.
Despite this being the clinic where I have previously had two NHS funded rounds I am treated as a brand new “customer”. Right down to being given directions as to how to get there.
I also needed a new customer appointment and to bring along my passport. I had the appointment this morning with a new (to me) Doctor, and she was reassuringly thorough.
The plan hasn’t changed much. I am still going to try the Intralipid treatment. I discuss it here, but in summary, it might, possibly, help combat miscarriage bought on by one's body having an over-active immune system and seeing any embryo as a foreign body that needs to be destroyed rather than nurtured. In one sense therefore, I’m not an ideal candidate. I’ve never been pregnant, let alone miscarried. But there is a feeling (not proven by science) that it might help implantation.
We decided that it is highly unlikely to do any harm. It might even help. So on that basis we will give it a shot.
The next thing to agree on was timing. I had this sorted. As soon as I finish my next pill packet, mid-October. The Doctor, however, thought I might need a break from the pill for a cycle as I’ve been on it so long.
For a moment I was attracted to the thought of a month off contraception. This might be my chance to get that fairytale “pregnancy whilst waiting for IVF” and save myself a few thousand pounds at the same time.
But then we realised a cycle for me could be three months not your normal 28 days. So we shelved that idea.
Moving on, and using the Intralipid logic of "it won't do you any harm so give it a shot", she is going to get me to have another biopsy in two weeks. But it'll differ from my normal biopsy. (When did I become the sort of woman who has a normal type of biopsy?) They aren't interested in the cells, they just want to rough up my womb lining a bit, as it might (or might not) give an embryo just a little bit more to grab onto. I imagine it is kind of like when you use sandpaper on a bit of wood or metal before applying adhesive.
Having agreed all that there then lay just one hurdle between me and and October IVF.
Cysts on my ovaries.
The Doctor glanced at her watch. “If you don’t have a cyst now, and remain on the pill, you are unlikely to get a cyst before your next IVF.”
She considered me again.
And she whisked me into a scan room, unceremoniously impaled me – I hadn’t even shaved my legs this morning it was that unexpected – and declared me cyst free.
I’m good to go.