After deciding to go ahead with an Embryo Transfer in the Czech Republic, I had set up an appointment with my doctor to go over the medical requirements the clinic had sent me via email.
My appointment with my doctor rolled around, and I was feeling a little nervous about it.
When I’d first considered Artificial Insemination (AI) as a real option late last year, a dear friend who is more like a sister to me suggested I go to the doctor and have myself checked out before commencing. She suggested STD checks, pap smear, having my uterus checked, and so on.
To be honest, I hadn’t had a pap smear for over 12 years, and I’d never had an STD check, let alone any of the other tests!
At the time I had decided to attempt the AI without going to go to a doctor prior to trying.
My main concern was not that I’m unhealthy, because I was certain I am healthy, my concern was that I’m not strong enough psychologically to hear a doctor tell me that my age makes conception near impossible.
I couldn’t hear that from a “trusted medical professional” or I feared I would give up before I started.
I know me well enough that in order for a successful AI outcome I needed a lot of faith, positivity, and internal rest.
When I had that very late period just after turning 40 and asked for a pregnancy blood test, the attitude that it was “highly unlikely” was painful. When the test results were negative, the young locum doctor that I saw – immediately and without thought jumped to the word “Menopause” to explain the lateness of my period….it just about killed me. I’d never cried so hard or been so heartbroken to find out I was a) not pregnant and b) possibly menopausal ruling out any future pregnancies.
And I understand, they can’t help themselves, they’ve been trained for many years – a woman over 35 has declining fertility and a woman over 40 is almost infertile. They think it’s their duty to warn me, to ‘enlighten’ me. I don’t blame them for their “professional” opinions, but I did not need to hear them either… there was enough of that I was fighting in my own mind.
So, not surprisingly, I was reluctant to rush to the doctor when I decided to try to have a baby now four years after the last incident.
If I was in a relationship, I wouldn’t bother testing first, I’d just start trying. And so that was the way I was approaching AI.
If I got pregnant then all the doctors with their tests could have at ‘er. If I didn’t get pregnant, then at least I tried.
If a doctor told me that there was no point in trying, or that there was something wrong with me, then I didn’t even get to try. You see?
For me, I’m not a give me the truth even if it hurts me…kind of person, I’m much more of a “lie to me so that I can still believe” kind of person. I would rather not know that I was unable to conceive and still get to try. Then I would be able to believe it just “wasn’t meant to be”.
It had been a spiritual decision to try AI – an “I Love me enough to try” – and I wanted it to be a spiritual journey until there was a gift of life, or I felt complete for trying.
My feeling was that medical intervention with their attitudes and opinions would not only loosen my hold on the faith and enjoyment of the possibility of a successful AI, but their focus may capture my focus removing the spiritual journey from the playing field. Leaving me with no hope and no chance.
Basically, I was outright SCARED and did not feel safe enough or strong enough to hear medical opinons…
Then came the Embryo Transfer option, and the forms I had in front of me asked me a multitude of medical questions, including – as my friend had suggested – what the results of my last STD check was, my last pap smear, the results of a uterus scan, etc…
Though still nervous about a medical “opinon” of my age, I found that I wasn’t as scared to approach my doctor for these tests because now we were not talking about the strength of my own eggs. I had read about women were doing Embryo Transfer’s with the overseas clinics AFTER menopause, and up to 55 years of age. So I had this “in the bag” in my mind.
Still I was worried that he would have an opinion about my age and trying for a baby. In fact, I expected EVERYONE to have an opinion about this, and no one had yet uttered a single word of concern.
I took along the paperwork from the clinic to show him so he could read through and work out what needed to be done.
I have to say… I Love my doctor! He is SO awesome.
He saw the words IVF Clinic written at the top of the forms I brought in and he was super knowledgeable and wrote me referrals for all of the tests listed, which meant they would be covered through my regular health benefits at zero cost to me. I later discovered that I would have had to pay exorbitantly to do these tests through an actual IVF clinic, which would have ruled me out completely. I am so grateful.
When I’d first considered AI, the only thing I did want to know was my blood type. And when I called his office they told me I’d have to pay $80 for that test if I wasn’t pregnant. But he wrote me the referral for that same test, making it also free to me.
(I am “O Positive”)
Then he also told me that when I get the prescription from the Czech Republic, to bring it in and he will rewrite it for me no problem. Canada does not recognise international prescriptions and I would either need to get the script filled in CR and wait until the drugs arrived in the mail, or find a doctor that will rewrite it – and apparently not all of them do.
He explained to me that he and his wife (also a doctor) had been through IVF years ago and had a healthy happy 9 year old daughter as a result. So he’d been there, he was sympathetic to the cause, and was super knowledgeable about the procedure.
Not once did he mention my age. I could have hugged him for that fact alone.
We didn’t do the pap smear that day because it was day one of my period, so I had to rebook for mid cycle.
That was a relief because I had not trimmed “down there” for a while and I wasn’t sure of the protocol. Do I trim for the pap?!!
I mean, sure, it’s just my doctor, but still… does he want to find his way through months and months of regrowth, or am I supposed to make it tidy? It’s the most awkward awful thing and I don’t want to be worrying about too much hair as well!
(I did end up trimming for the pap…)
So far the results… no STD’s (as expected), and all indications so far (bloods) show that I am healthy, fertile, and NOT menopausal! That is truly a huge relief, the words of that young doctor all those years ago were haunting me and I’m grateful to know she was wrong. In fact, the results so far are indicating that AI is still a very plausible option. Now awaiting the results of the pap, and the first uterus ultrasound (why do they make you have a full bladder?! How has technology not advance passed this?!)…
I’m so glad that I went to see my doctor with these forms. I left feeling like this is really possible for me! And felt lots of Love for both he and his wife and their IVF process. His assistance is going to help me make Embryo Transfer as affordable as possible!
Warm smiles, GRATITUDE, and Love,