Luckily, one of the best parts of the year was ahead and I managed to connect with a few other women in my position through the internet... also expats, also living in my city, also looking for friends to share experiences, highs and lows. Through them I found out about a clinic just round the corner from my house with a good reputation and experience with foreigners :) Following my new friend's detailed directions, I managed to register and get to see a Doctor. Here all the Drs speak English and, although the nurses and admin staff mostly didn't, they were all (and still are) patient with my looks of confusion and queue-jumping when I needed to ask a question. :)
So next step... IUI! Although no-one could decide whether my tubes were clear, we decided to go ahead with artificial insemination during my summer vacation from work, just to see whether I could cope with the process and the clinic. Although this clinic was 100% better than the 1st one, it was still a world away from being in the UK...
- The waiting times - there are no appointments so you just turn up and wait. My record, a 5 hour wait for a 10 minute scan and consultation!
- The lack of privacy - the doors to the consulting rooms are always open and it's common for people to wander in and ask questions in the middle of your consultation. The difference at this clinic is that the Dr will usually shoo them away. But, when in the midst of having a vaginal ultrasound behind a thin curtain, hearing a male voice on the other side still makes me close my knees (as if that would cover anything if he decided to poke his head around!)
- The lack of information provided unless you ask all the right questions..
- The staring from all the local patients... foreigners from the West are perceived as being so blessed that I think it surprises them to see that we have the same problems, hopes and desires as they do.
Part 3 on it's way :)