TESTS, TESTS AND MORE TESTS…
Day 1: Dear diary, I was at the clinic again today. Blood samples had been taken to determine if we had any infections that could be transmissible to our children… our children????? That sounds good to the ears, doesn’t it? Blood was also taken to know about the quantity and quality of eggs in my ovaries. We were then given a plastic container to produce Femi’s sample in. As the head nurse pointed at a door discreetly, I knew what she was trying to get at. We were to go into that room in the full glare of everybody and try to produce a sperm sample for analysis. The first time we had to do this I had to ask how, how???? The nurse then had asked me rhetorically as she walked away from us “how else do you know a man to produce a sperm sample?” She left us standing there asking “but why us?” Of course, I never went back to that clinic. I felt they were too insensitive. My friend that invited me to that clinic said “you have to tolerate them till you get what you want”. I will pay them good money, for their insensitiveness and insults??? No way! that wouldn’t fly with me! I need to have value for my money especially when there are no guarantees. Anyway, that’s in the past. You don’t want to know how the “sample” production went do you..? Suffice it to say that it was produced.
Day 2: I woke up this morning trying to remember how many hospitals I had been since this journey began. Apart from the pastors and the imams and the night vigils and the occasional baba, I can think of at least a dozen. Naturally, the places where I got the best services and the worst services came readily to my mind. There was this hospital we patronized for about ten months and throughout that entire period, the clock in the reception read 4:20am!!! And they never renewed their DSTV subscription on time. The staff just did not sit well with me for some inexplicable reason, they just rubbed me the wrong way. When I spoke to Hauwa who invited me, she felt I should just focus on what I came to do there. Why don’t we see it, these small things are telltale signs of how much premium a centre puts on attention to details. For me it was more than an abandoned clock or late payment of DSTV subscription it was a question of if these people who were so careless pay enough attention to best practices when I am under their care.
Day 3 I woke with thoughts of a procedure I was scheduled to have today…to look into my womb. It was called a something-gram. I hoped it wasn’t what I thought it was. The last time I did something close to this which I believe was called an hysterosalpingogram HSG, I grabbed a certain soft part of the technician’s anatomy in the heat of the pain. He was raving mad as he struggled to get free from my hold. Till today, I am not sure of what he said but it sounded like “madam I thought you were crazy, now I know you must be mad”. His colleagues who pretended to be sympathetic to him busted out laughing as he raced to the gents. Apparently he delights in terrorizing them and it was nice to see him in a heated frenzy. I smiled to myself despite the pains. That was a few years back. I eventually got myself to the hospital for my 9am appointment. “There is nothing wrong with my womb” I insisted when I met the doctor to do the procedure. “I also don’t think there’s something wrong, I just need to be sure” he said in his calm manner. When we’re talking of a twenty to twenty five percent chance, we need to cross the Ts and dot the Is. We need to do what we can do as humans and leave the rest to the Almighty”. Almighty???? “you believe in God?” I asked incredulously, “I thought you guys were acting God” I exclaimed. “No one in his right mind should practice fertility medicine and not believe in God” the dude said. “What else will explain the limitations we have in achieving pregnancies despite all the advances in medical technology in the last thirty five years?” “In fact the more I practice fertility medicine, the more I am convinced there is a God who reigns in the affairs of men”.
Day 4 : I was awakened today by abdominal cramping but the doctor had warned me of the possibility of that happening so it wasn’t so alarming. Why should it be women who feel most of the pain in infertility and infertility treatment, why should we bear the brunt of these things? I quite understand that ignorant people put the blame of infertility on the womenfolk but medical practice is not better is it??? Most of the inconvenience during the treatment, most of the tests, most of the proddings and injections and God knows what else! Other than the embarrassment at producing the so-called sample in a 4 by 6 bed outside a nursing bay with half a dozen buxom nurses chatting away, I don’t see any other pain the man feels. But the guys usually pay for the treatment so maybe the pinching is in their pockets but that’s a small price to pay for these things, everything considered. But dear diary, I still need to ask why we women?????
Day 5 It’s been a nice week, the discovery of this new clinic is the best thing that has happened to me in a long while. As the Chinese say “the journey of a thousand years starts with one step”, I have started this fertility journey again but with a difference. I seem to have a feeling I am travelling in the right direction this time contrary to what I felt previously. It would however be nice to know how long this journey would take and I can just coast along and wake up when my bundle of joy is about to be delivered as I do while travelling by air, I love to sleep till the last thirty minuetes and we are about to land. But I guess life is not like a flight to Dubai, or the States, it does not offer any guarantees not on fertility treatment or on anything else at that. It’s even more painful that one could desire something so much and some other persons get it without even thinking about it. Not only does life not offer any guarantees, life is also not fair. It’s a sobering thought isn’t it? I have made up my mind I will do anything I can to achieve this desire. In the event of it not happening the first time, I will do it again, and again, and again, and again, and again, till the clinic takes me as a life patron. Just kidding, but I will know I have done my best and I will have no regrets. I’m so glad it is Friday.