Once those words are spoken I exhale and wonder why my doctor always says "the findings". Am I his lab rat? It's just so, umm, experimental, I suppose. I brood over it as I hop down onto the lino flooring. Leaning forward I separate the jumble of clothes left dumped on the metal chair, promising myself that next time I'll fold. The phrase flips over and over in my mind; I decide that I am okay with it. At least, I muse, it sounds as though he is taking this baby making extremely seriously. Pulling my jeans over my cold knees I try to imagine what I am going to hear. My mind flips back to a few minutes earlier, I think of the click-click-clicking of the button as Mr T flipped through the dark spaces that represent my follicles. Just moments earlier, I was staring hard at black follicular spots on the screen, my neck ached from the strain as I tried to count them all. But, as always, the doctor was too fast for me to memorise the numbers that flashed past or to note all the little white lines that marked the spots. Click, click, click, click, click and we were done.
I close the examination room door behind me, attempt a confident smile and place myself on the seat opposite the doctor. Clattering from his keyboard fills the tiny room as he inputs the findings from my ovaries into an electronic file. I breathe slowly, notice the expensive watch skimmed by an expensive shirt and use the spare seconds to silently speculate about what car he might drive. I am just deciding on Mercedes when my train of thought is broken by his eyes flicking from the screen and directly toward me; my mind whispers "stay calm, look confident, relax". I wonder why I so desperately feel the need to maintain my composure in front of this man. He starts to speak and I nod mechanically.
"Your current cycle is quite different from your last."
I continue nodding, "Oh."
"Your last cycle was very good, you had plenty of follicles and we retrieved 16 eggs."
I'm still nodding and force a smile, "Oh."
I wonder if I am nodding too much, shift my position in the chair and brace myself for bad news.
"This time you have 7, maybe 9, follicles and we would expect to get approximately 7 eggs."
I am not nodding anymore, "Oh."
I blink through his explanation that every cycle is unique, that it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with me and that if we did another cycle it may all be wonderful again.
My mind screams: Another cycle, doctor?
Mr T continues to rattle off the plan from here on in: one more day of stimulating my ovaries, two more days of suppressing the egg release and then, finally, the trigger. Yup, we are at the big one. The trigger shot will help the few eggs to mature and get ready for collection on Friday. Yes, on Friday!
As my ovaries no longer seem to be enjoying the IVF game, the considerable meds I bought from the
I thank every one in the clinic, including the receptionist and the doorman from the apartments opposite, at least ten times each and head back to the underground station in the rain, hoping for a miracle on Friday.