Today was the second appointment in the series of two this week, hence the title of this post. Mr. August and I met with the program psychologist on Tuesday. Today, Sattva and her husband met with him.
Our appointment was hard to get to for me. There was craziness at work, and I just had to put my foot down and leave. I had already told people I wasn't available on Tuesday afternoon. But of course, I felt pretty anxious about it. I haven't given up trying to be all things to all people yet, she says ironically.
Anyway, we got there and it took a while, but the psychologist finally came to get us. While he walked us to his office, he stopped and said he had to ask if it was ok to have his resident join us. ahem...no. Not ok. I am friendly with the psychology resident at work, and these folks are a small and tight group. Also, she will likely come to my work site for didactic lectures and I will inevitably run into her. No. I said it and even if I felt bad to deprive her of her learning experience (because remember, I was a psychology resident in that system 2 years ago), I stood my ground. This is my private life.
The meeting went for over 2 hours and I was completely knackered at the end of it. Ok, I hadn't slept well the night before and work was crazy for the hours that I was there, but the appointment was also demanding. It reminded me to think about how exhausting it is for my patients. It started with a recap of the IUI failures and what followed: the depression and the problems it caused in our relationship. He wanted to know if we had been told what the final diagnosis was. No, we hadn't been told. We know that my ovaries didn't and won't produce eggs. But he called it Primary Ovarian Failure. The words fell a bit heavy in the room. It bugged me that he asked whether I was getting symptoms of menopause. Later, Mr. August noted that there really isn't anybody in that clinic that understands my condition except our RE. My ovaries didn't stop working: they never did work. How can I go through menopause without ever having gone through puberty?
The rest of the appointment was spent talking about all the implications of egg donation. And let me tell you friends, there are many, especially with a known donor. Questions of what kind of relationship do we want with Sattva, her husband and kids after a baby is born. What role do we want her to have in the child's life. What if we both die: do we want her and her husband to be the legal guardian. When do we want to introduce to the child the concept that he or she was created through egg donation, and that aunty Sattva was the one with a basket full of eggs who shared with mommy and daddy?
We also talked about the reaction of our friends and family. "So, Augusta, how did your dad, your mom and your stepdad react to the news that you were planning on starting a family through egg donation?" Hum....I guess I would need to tell them to find out. It became clear to me that I had really only told safe people and had not yet challenged myself to tell people who probably should know, but whose reactions I could not really predict. I think that until it was more real and imminent, I didn't want to risk it. I guess now it's real. Or maybe when we sign the consent to treatments. Or maybe when Sattva starts her meds. Or maybe when she goes for the egg retrieval. Or maybe when we know that some embryos have fertilized. I could also wait until I'm 12 weeks pregnant. When is it going to be real, I wonder?
Today was the appointment for Sattva and her husband. Because they have children, it usually is just Sattva who comes for appointments and her DH stays with the kids. But they brought the little one today; a two year old beauty that I will call Ginger. I was called on to be the babysitter. I got the waiting room and said a warm hello to the receptionist who I really like. I asked if Sattva was here and she looked at me in consternation: "I can't tell you either way". Right, right, the whole confidentiality thing. Ok, gotcha. It turns out poor Sattva had gone to the wrong hospital and was quite late in getting there. I kicked myself for not having sent her a map and clarified which hospital it was. She had been there twice with us, but was never the one driving.
So there was this beautiful Ginger among the infertiles in the infertility clinic waiting room. I would like to publicly apologize for that sin on this blog. That was sacrilegious of us to bring her there and believe me, once mommy and daddy went to their appointment, I whisked her away to the cafeteria, out of the sight of these poor souls. I am really sorry.
My time with Ginger was pretty fantastic. I got her some chocolate pudding with whipped cream (half of it remained on her face until she finally let me wash it off). I brought pink paper and Dora stickers and she loved to create a little collage. By the end of it, she didn't want to leave the hospital. When I was at the machines for parking payment, little Ginger looked at me and said "uppy", meaning that she wanted me to pick her up. Parents were pretty surprised by that, as she usually prefers to be picked up only by mom and dad.
They said their appointment went well. I couldn't get a full read on Sattva's husband, but I don't know him well. Sattva said it went well, although she regretted having said yes to having the resident. Small world we work in, and she is probably right to think their paths may cross again. We decided to meet on the weekend, Sattva and I, so we could regroup and talk about the the appointments. I am really looking forward to spending time with her. I used to see her a few times per week when I was at school finishing my dis, but now not so much.
Next step, aside from some chats with Sattva, is to call a lawyer and arrange for consultations. Our big orientation appointment is on February 2. I believe that this is the day that treatments will start. Maybe it will be a bit more real then.