IVF by the riverside

Not starting LIT until June wasn’t how we had thought how this year would progress on seeing Dr 4th Opinion in January. We had, perhaps naïvely, thought if we start treatment in March then we would try ‘naturally’ for three months before embarking on the IVF journey. In light of the June curveball this has had to be reassessed. Plan B is going straight to IVF, so my mission was to sort out which clinic and how it needs to fit in timing-wise. Back to phoning and emailing ditsy secretary…

I finally got to speak to Dr 4th opinion the week before last (he had been on holiday the previous week) about IVF clinic recommendations, i.e which ones he’s worked with previously and could cope with LIT parallel running. Armed with his recommendation I braced myself for a new cohort of administrators to play telephone tag with. To my surprise initial enquiries were dealt with promptly and pretty efficiently. Their open evenings for April were fully booked, however I was offered an informal tour by a patient liaison representative last week.

May, unfortunately, was what we are now delightfully describing as NSFW, so I had to go it alone and take notes. The clinic is in a hospital picturesquely set alongside the river. Much to May’s amusement I was referred to as Mr May (as it were) rather than my own surname. The tour was fairly brief with lots of facts and figures about how many thousands of transfers they do a year, how many waiting rooms, scanners, treatment rooms and facilities they had, and how all their consultants are considered equal (50:50 male/female ratio too) – but we must feel free to ask for any of them specifically for whatever (ungiven) reason if we desire. It was clean and clinical, but not unfriendly. I encountered a nurse and a consultant on my tour, as I was shown different types of room, who both smiled and seemed genuinely friendly.

I was told that as soon as we’ve had our initial consultation there is a free counselling service that we can use as much as we need (only mandatory if we’re donating or receiving donated gametes). If (their emphasis) IVF is the right treatment for us then we will be given everything we need including sharps box alcohol wipes and a free session with a nurse to go through the whole pack to explain the whole treatment cycle schedule.

The only thing which is not done in the clinic itself is egg collection, because of the sedation and recovery facilities required. This is done in theatre downstairs and with wards upstairs for recovery.

The best piece if information was that there isn’t a waiting list. As soon as one their consultants gives the go ahead, treatment can start. There are a number of blood tests that will be required though. May asked me to check whether they would accept previous test results. I was reassured that they are, in principal, against unnecessary testing, but reading the paperwork it seems quite a few tests need to be within the last 3 months – so it looks like there will be a battery of needles, probes and deposits.

On departure I was given a price list (yikes – but we have savings and offers of help) and a full contact sheet with names, phone numbers and email addresses of all the staff in the clinic – another sign that they are genuinely wanting to be approachable.

Onwards and onwards…


15 responses to “IVF by the riverside

  • Mina

    Well, it is mighty nice to hear from you, H. And while the near future sounds a bit overwhelming, I hope everything turns out the way you want and expect it. Thinking of you both.

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    Mr May has a certain ring to it!

    I am impressed about the contactability. The biggest admin-stressor about the whole business of IVF, for me, was the fact that they have a policy of never answering the phone: they respond to voicemails. But their ansamessage doesn’t state that; it merely says that are busy at the moment. Cue: rage.

    Signed consents last a year, and yes, tests need to be recent. J will need to sit through another session of Granny Sucking Eggs and provide another sample, as well as having another HIV,etc, test if we want another pop. I am dubious about whether he will, as I know he would much rather go mining in the London sewers for fat balls.

    Lovely to hear from you, sweetheart.

    • Hairy Farmer Family

      Perhaps I need to clairify: Granny Sucking Eggs is the nurse information session! There’s a little video & everything. For the last two, we sat at the back and got phones out to play….

  • Betttina

    Such a relief to be doing something proactive! I am crossing my fingers and toes for you both, Mr and Mrs May. IVF can be a great thing – my two year old is IVF due to my endometriosis.

  • a

    Progress! The clinic sounds delightful – if only for the fact that they seem interested in communication.

    (Chuckling at the NSFW description…)

  • Anonymous

    I’ll admit, I didn’t check to see who did the writing until the NSFW bit, so my just-out-of-bed brain went, “Buh?!” *laughs* I figured it out eventually…

    Forward is a good direction 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Hugs to you and May.

    K x

  • Chickenpig

    Hoping that you and Mrs May have a mini May after all is said and done 🙂 When you described the clinic by the river I got this image in my mind of a beautiful, spa like clinic where patients were walking the sun-lit halls in fluffy bathrobes and slippers. Wouldn’t it be nice that we could get pedicures and seaweed wraps along with an egg retrieval and embryo transfer?

  • Anonymous

    So having been through this before you (the LIT bit, not the completely fuc.ked insides bit), you probably know that LIT is time sensitive. So the best chance, assuming the LIT treatment cures whatever is wrong, is immediately after the treatment. I had to have two sets of injections six weeks apart. Then I could ‘try’ to get pg. so, as much as the natural way is preferential, the best chance you have is probably to do LIT and then immediately go for IVF. Three months after treatment, efficacy start to decrease, and then my clinic recommends another round of LIT after six months if not already pg. let hope, like me, you don’t need that.

  • kylie

    Yay, progress. I will say, our IVF clinic was always very responsive to us in terms of contact and follow up and being available (I kind of assumed they mostly would, due to the whole private enterprise need to make profits element that means they WANT happy patients).

    I highly recomend counseling attached to clinics etc, not only because it is useful but also because they are accustomed to dealing with infertility. I had taken this for granted with the therapist we saw, until I saw someone else, in a different context. I am sure that telling people to “take control” and not to give up hope are both valid and useful strategies in therapy, but for infertility they are somewhat rage inducing. At least part of the therapy that helped me after the failed IVF cycles was advice that related specifically to ivf and the process- eg still in a vein of don’t give up hope, but set reasonable limits on how much you do.

    Good luck

  • waterbelle44

    Moving forward! This place sounds about as delightful as is possible in this crappy circumstances. Sending so many good hopes your way.

  • wombattwo

    Sounds like a good clinic. I do wonder what would happen if they provided spa treatments alongside IVF… Hoping you’re OK, H.

  • Betty M

    They may well do acupuncture I suppose – almost a spa treatment what with the burning smelly stuff and all. River clinic gets my leading fertility doc outside London nod as one of the 2 places he’d recommend in the big city so hopefully it is all it is cracked up to be. It’s 7 years since I did this malarkey but they should hopefully have learnt comms skills by now although however open they are to your calls/texts etc if they are seeing people and their bits in the flesh they can’t talk to you well they can but its a bit bloody rude to the gal in the stirrups….Anyway plans are good so yey to plans.

  • Emily Erin

    Glad to hear about forward progress– hopefully with the lack of waiting list, you can do the bloodwork needed this month and then go forward after LIT next cycle… Hoping for beautiful things, and glad that you are thinking about IVF as a way to get things moving more quickly. Hoping, praying and crossing all crossables that this time next year has you two changing dirty nappies!

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