TEST TUBE WHAT ????
Day 1: Where did the weekend go??? I certainly wasn’t here when it went past or was I ?? it was a blur of activities. I think my mindset about this fertility thing is putting me in good stead. I gave a short talk at work today – a talk to jumpstart the week tagged “pep talk”. I entered the meeting carrying a can of coke, “how heavy is this I asked? Not much, no one can say, 350grams, 450grams…I got all sorts of suggestions. “All of you are wrong” I answered, “its heaviness is a function of how long I carry it” I continued, “if I carry it for five seconds it’s not a problem but five hours…!!! My muscle will start aching and it would have become a terrible burden even though it may appear so small. That is how cares and concerns are if we continue to carry them, they become a really heavy load on us. Message from the pep talk this week, learn to drop the burden don’t carry it around, you don’t need them”. I got a standing ovation! I honestly can’t remember the last time I felt so good about something I did. As I said it’s all in the mind set. I have made up my mind on this conception thing, I will not allow it to run my life.
Day 2: We had an appointment at the clinic today to review our results. Met the counselor for the first time – a prim and proper woman in her early fifties wearing horn rimmed glasses. She reminded me of my principal in the secondary school- Mrs Gold. Take this from me, you have not received a lashing in your life till you received one from her. I was in for a pleasant surprise, unlike Mrs Gold who will not look up when you enter her office, this woman did and she was quite warm after all. After her discussion with us I knew something had to be seriously wrong. She said “whatever the results that will be discussed with you today, remember there is a solution so don’t lose heart”. My heart started thumping “I hope it is not HIV we are talking about here” I asked her, she smiled as she answered “am sorry but am not in a position to discuss that with you”. That even made it worse, any fool knows what that means, in street parlance, it means yes we are talking about HIV probably something worse but don’t say you heard it from me. I met another doctor today, about the same age as the dude that had been attending to us but not as dapper in his dressing. His manner was brusque as he rattled of the results of the infection screen, “no evidence of any of the infections we screened for, the reason we…” then he went into a tirade about infection screening before fertility treatment. The next thing that made sense to me was “all these means your ovarian reserve is low. When a girl is born all the eggs she will ever have are present in her…as she grows older, the number of eggs reduce and what actually happens at menopause is that the egg reserve has become exhausted. The test results suggests that your reserve is lower than what we expect for someone your age we call it ovarian aging meaning your ovaries are aging faster than your age”. Diary, have you ever carried a pack and the bottom gave way before? That was exactly how I felt. The bottom of my life just gave way. Someone started sobbing beside me, as I picked a tissue to give to Femi, I realized I was the one sobbing. Whatever was said after that did not make any more sense to me. I needed to get out of there.
Day 3 I woke up this morning with a bad headache and swollen eyes from all that crying yesterday. I cried all the way home, hating every body, hating miss horn rimmed glasses, dr brusque manner, Femi, womanhood, myself . I cried till I couldn’t cry any more then I cried some more and finally cried myself to sleep. Femi called his office that he will be coming in later in the day and made tea and toast for me in bed. “Baby this is not the end of the world for us” he said “there is always a way around these things…worst case scenario, we will go for adoption. That was Femi for you always so practical and unemotional. That talk about adoption, adoption??? I don’t even want to hear the word. It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. That talk about adoption also means that he has agreed to the doctors diagnosis that my ovaries were aging. He didn’t even give me a chance to defend myself, as much as I tried not to I hated him the more for it . Remember your resolve baby we are going to beat this thing together we cant fail but I need you to be with me on this one and trust me. I think I’m going crazy!!!!!
Day 4 I got a call from the clinic today, they wanted to invite me to the fertility support group meeting again. Someone was coming to talk to us about his journey and childlessness. Yes you heard me right – a HE!!!! I almost could not believe it a man standing up to admit he had a challenge with fertility?? I had to be there to see for myself and ask my own questions. What is in this infertility thing that makes someone feel incomplete? Why is there a stigma attached? Why is it directed at the women folk while the men pretend nothing is happening ? I remember my friend who kept going from pastor to Imam while her husband who knew he was the problem kept quiet and pretended he didn’t know what was going on. My heart weeps for women.
Day 5 Diary I could not believe my eyes at the support group meeting I attended, first was the fact that the people faced with this challenge were regular folks like Femi and I who just desire to have a baby. Forget the hand woven designer shirts and make up they are all facades, in our birthday suits we were all the same. Initially there it was a bit dry but then the guy got up identified himself and said “I am azoospermic. I have been married for twenty eight years” he continued “and have three lovely children” then he flashed his children’s pictures on the projector. “I have tried several sperm boosters…forget sperm boosters” he said, “they just waste your time and give you false hope that never materializes. Name them, I have tried all the sperm boosters you can imagine and a few you’ve never heard of. I have sought medical help in every continent of the planet except maybe the Antarctica. I have tried practically every treatment known to man but to no avail. Every doctor I met counseled for in vitro fertilization as the best thing to do but I felt it was not natural. I wanted a child the natural way…the God way. If I had heeded to that ten years ago when I first heard about IVF. It would be a different story today by the time I woke up to smell the coffee, my dear wife was in her early forties. After two attempts using her own eggs without success, I felt we should just go for donor eggs. Here we are today, first attempt a set of twins – a boy and a girl”. I can still hear his last words as he spoke at that meeting, “the only regret I have is I did not do this earlier”! Can I still thank God its Friday? it’s been a horrible week.