This morning, I found myself back at the Great Big Infertility Clinic.
Mr H is away on work, and so I walked the long lonely walk down the corridors of the hospital by myself. I passed the NICU and the delivery suite before pushing open the double doors to the clinic. I sat down in the waiting room and read the December 2006 edition of Marie Claire magazine. Eventually they called my name and I went in to see Dr Abrupt.
Dr Abrupt and I appear to have reached a rapprochement. I wrote to him and explained that I was unhappy that he chose to communicate information about my treatment to my GP and not direct to me; he wrote back and apologised. We have agreed that, if the FET is not successful, we will arrange a longer appointment to discuss where we might go from here.
The baseline ultrasound revealed that I had ovulated from my right ovary this month, and that my lining was good at 14mm. Dr A reassured me that everything looked entirely normal, and that he is happy to attempt a natural FET on my next cycle.
But I cannot escape the feeling that we have been here before. I always manage to pick up the December 2006 edition of Marie Claire in the waiting room; my baseline ultrasounds always look 'entirely normal'... and then something always seems to go horribly wrong: either my ovaries don't respond to stimulation and the cycle has to be cancelled, or else a polyp suddenly shows up in my uterus.
And so it is difficult for me to believe that everything may go according to plan this time round. Our one embryo was frozen at pronucleate stage (Dr A explained that this is the clinic's usual policy if they know for sure that they will not be proceeding to transfer, the thinking being that embryos are more robust at this earlier stage and so are more likely to survive the freezing process). It not only has to survive the thaw, but also to go on to cleave. I find it hard to allow myself to believe that it may actually make it out of the freezer unscathed, yet alone develop into a viable embryo that is able to be transferred.
Sometimes people tell me about the power of positive thinking. But it's hard to remain positive when experience has taught you otherwise. Somewhere along the lines, I've lost my IVF innocence. Of course, I still hope that this may work, but I no longer believe unconditionally in happy endings. And if all it really took was a bit of positive visualisation, then surely we'd all be pregnant by now?