Thursday, 17 March 2011

Onwards and upwards

Thanks everyone for your lovely messages after my horrible day. It's so hard to anticipate emotional responses - they seem to be completely unpredictable from day to day. I still can't really think too much about my friend's pregnancy but I am feeling much better. Partly because...

We are now officially into our 1st IVF cycle!

Today is CD2 and I went to the clinic as instructed. I needed to:

  1. get our chromosome test results
  2. have my baseline ultrasound
  3. find out if we'll have long or short protocol
  4. have blood taken for my hormone panel
  5. 'write the file'
It was a busy day at the clinic. I try to register as a VIP patient - I've never done it before, but apparently this means I just need to pay RMB68 instead of RMB20 and I get to go to a special room and jump the queue. I would also get to see Dr J who is one of the old-hands and really knows her stuff.  Anyway, it didn't work - guy at the registration counter didn't understand 'VIP' so I was back in the normal, pleb queue. Nowhere to sit so milled about for a while until a seat came free. Used the time to people-watch...  2 other foreign couples in the clinic today - quite unusual. One lady I've seen before, but she never acknowledges me or smiles, so I've given up hope of making another fertility friend there. 

Watched the 'craziness' that is the Chinese lack of privacy.. particular examples:
  • Lady having her dildocam* scan behind the curtain (remember, door to consultation room always open). Cleaner walks into room and behind curtain to brush some tissue from between the Dr's feet as she probes. Clearly didn't occur to her to wait until the patient had put her knickers back on.
  • 4 ladies peering through consultation room window to get best view of another patient being given her update (imagine old ladies resting their elbows over a picket fence to stand and gossip with their neighbours... similar scene). Clearly not good news as she burst into tears. Observers looked sad on her behalf, but didn't move to give her any privacy.
  • Patients are called into the room to get ready for scans whilst previous patient is still in the stirrups. This is a peculiar dance which involves walking past the curtain opening where you could clearly get a 'between the legs' view if you turn your head 20 degrees to the right. So you keep your head straight ahead, take off your shoes and wait for the 1st patient to come over to put their shoes on. Then it's your turn to go behind the curtain and whip your pants off. I choose the one-leg option - only remove trousers and pants from right leg and tuck them up around left leg for faster redressing.
Called into the consultation room to see Dr N - I like her even though she was a bit rough on my last IUI. Explain why I'm there. Get sent to nurse desk to collect chromosome test results. Dr N looks at them for 2 seconds and puts them in my file - guess that means they're OK. Job 1... done! Have dildocam scan - Dr N doesn't say anything - Job 2... done!

Dr N wants us to do long protocol! She doesn't say why and I'm strangely too excited to ask. Apparently she doesn't want to wait for the hormone panel before they decide, which is what I was told. Oh well - Job 3... done!

Get sent to 'write the file' and have blood taken. Blood and injection desk is closed until 12.30.  I go home to collect our passports and marriage certificate needed for writing the file (which I'd forgotten). Unlike the pages and pages of legal documents that I hear you ladies talking about, this basically involves me signing 1 piece of paper written all in Chinese. My bloke will have to come on Saturday to sign. I imagined more of a discussion of legal rights, risks and dangers etc, but no! They didn't even want to see my passport and marriage certificate. Job 5... done!

Blood desk opens. I'm 2nd in queue so in and out quickly.
Job 4... done!

Back home :)

Feeling pretty good. Basically I just need to go back now on CD20 to check that I've ovulated before I get my downregging meds. They didn't give me the pill which I thought they might and apparently we're still allowed to have sex - that's a plus considering we'll be in Thailand next week (though bloke is working).

So that's it. We're doing IVF. So far, so good!

* I didn't come up with this name and now can't remember on whose blog I read it. But loved it so please consider my theft an homage!


  1. Yay! And sounds like a fairly calm day at the clinic as well. I'm not sure I would manage the lack of privacy thing. The Koreans are oddly private about bodies, unless its in a sauna, then you walk around without anything on, and occasionally reach out and squeeze a big foreigner boob (not me, a friend).

    My clinic's dildocam rooms are all in a row, with a curtain across each one. There is a locker room where you go and put your lower-half clothes in a locker, and put on a really basically made elastic waist skirt (same for the HSG actually) so if you see anyone in the skirt you know they're in for a probing!

    I'm impatiently waiting CD1 so we can start IUI next month, so your excitement is infectious!

  2. Oh my gosh!!! Reading about this is giving me heart palpations. I'm OBSESSED with privacy. I make the nurses leave the exam room while I disrobe below the waist, and then come back in after I have "assumed the position" and covered myself with a sheet. I would die in China! You are such a trooper. I love reading you blog and seeing the difference between the way these things work in China and in the U.S. I'm so clueless.

    I'm really happy to hear that things are moving right along in your cycle. I agree with Kat...your excitement makes me smile and feel better about my own upcoming cycle. Thank you for, once again, brightening my day.

  3. Yay! Congratulations and good luck!

    And that's just nuts re: the privacy thing... I've lost a lot of my need for privacy during all this, but that is a little extreme!

  4. Oh my, that's odd that they don't respect more privacy!

    Best of luck! seems like everything is under control so far =)

  5. I was amused and not at all shocked by the examples of Chinese privacy. How very clever of you to do the one-leg option! How exciting to finally be doing IVF. I hope this is the beginning of a long-awaited miracle!

  6. Great that you're on your way into IVF... love your stories from China :)) FX'd for you every step of the way xoxo

  7. It's interesting how similar and different it sounds from IVF in Korea. They were much more respectful of privacy in Seoul, but there was still definitely that assembly-line feeling. Well, who cares as long as it works! Good luck!

  8. Thanks for your support and good wishes everyone! It's so strange what you can get used to on this journey, isn't it? Whether it's injecting yourself every day, getting your kit off in near-public or having the equivalent of a pap smear every week!xx

  9. Love reading your stories. The old ladies with their elbows on the window sill looking in - ha! I totally know exactly what that is like. I still remember the first time I had to see a doc in China and there were 12 woman in a room and a woman getting a pap smear in FULL view of us all. To answer your questions from our blog - my Chinese is good enough (for doing what I need to do here at least). I studied full time for about 2 years. We would have definitely looked into doing IVF in China but the place where we live is tiny, and it is not possible here. Plus when we first did my hubby's SA we were in Thailand so they did the sperm retrieval surgery there... so that is where the 'boys' live now. It is so great that you can do it where you live, and they take your insurance! (I think I read that on here right). Anyway thanks for your comments. Getting very excited for you guys!

  10. Hi Nic.. unfortunately our insurance only covers fertility tests, not treatment but that's better than nothing. Your experience in China sounds like one of the public hospital fertility clinics I visited before finding my current one... it was very similar.. people just walking in and out of the room whilst trying to have a consultation - I declined the Drs offer of an ultrasound and never went back!