Wednesday, 1 December 2004

nothing to see here ...

A couple of years ago we decided that we'd quite like to have a family. So we stopped using contraception, continued doing the wild thing at every available opportunity and waited to see what would happen.

Nothing has, apart from some fantastic hormone-related mood swings, which I can recommend to anyone as a relationship strengthener in the early years of a marriage.

So. We have some choices to make:

  1. We could keep trundling along as we are and see what happens, and face the possibility that nothing might, ever.
  2. We could have some tests to see what, if anything, is wrong, and see if anything can be done to fix it.
  3. We could adopt.
We have decided that although we would like to have a child/children of our own, we are not irrevocably tied in to the idea. Also, I am not in favour of IVF, because I feel that there are enough unwanted children around without the health service spending £3,000 a pop on trying to conceive more. No one has a right to have children at the expense of the rest of society. I don't like the idea of medical intervention as a general rule and we want a FAMILY rather than a baby. We are therefore kicking around the idea of adopting a group of siblings.

Before we do that though, we have decided that we need to get some tests done to see whether there is any chance at all of us conceiving ourselves, and make an informed decision in light of that. We've been putting it off though, partly because of pressure of work and partly because of reluctance to face facts.

We finally went to see our lovely GP on Monday, who has referred us for the first round of tests. These are very straightforward and mostly blood tests. However ... B has to provide a 'sample' to see how enthusiastic his, er, contribution to the process is.

I was expecting a whole 'seedy room with some well-thumbed magazines' scenario at the lab, but apparently one produces the sample at home and then rushes it in for analysis. The sample has to be at the lab at most an hour after it is produced.

The lab is at the local hospital about six miles away. I phoned them to clarify the details and ask for directions and all the receptionist was able to tell me was that it was 'on the right side of the hospital down an access road with no name'. We did consider parking up outside and producing a really fresh specimen for them, however, the possiblity of getting arrested stopped us ... but no wonder the GP's receptionist gave us two bottles:

Me: Er, do we need a container for THIS PARTICULAR TEST (waves sheet filled in by GP to request test at her).

Receptionist: Let me have a look ... oh, yes, you will, won't you. (Rummages under desk in drawers for about five minutes. Queue behind us becomes increasingly restive, whilst B and I stifle giggles.)

Receptionist: (Triumphally waving small jar) Here you are! I knew I had some! (Produces another jar ... and another). Here! Have another one!

Me: What, in case he misses the first one?

B: (Mutters, offended) ... I might make enough to fill two ...

Receptionist: Make sure you keep it warm!

B and I: (In unison, leaving) Thank you very much!

Receptionist: Good luck!
I felt that the entire waiting room was poised to give us a round of applause.

B is characteristically sanguine about the whole thing. I am quite stressed. I have to take my temperature every morning and plot it on a chart to see whether I'm ovulating or not - when the temperature goes up by at least half a degree centigrade and STAYS up, I know I've ovulated.

If these tests find nothing wrong, we get referred on to the fertility clinic and things start to get a bit more invasive if we want to proceed. I don't. I am certain I don't.

We have written away for more information about adopting from the BAAF and subscribed to Be My Parent to get more of a feel for what is going on.

And we have told R that we will be in to work late tomorrow, and why ... we think timing the 'lab dash' just after rush hour will give us as much time as possible to find the lab before the clock counts us out. We should have done a trial run today, but things got in the way ... and B is off on tour again tomorrow night.

Better get an early night I suppose ....

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