Phew. I'm finally sitting down after one of the busiest weeks of my life.
As I said in my previous posts, I resigned last Monday after my Little Chef meltdown en route back from Peterborough, but my governors overturned it when they realised it was because I thought I'd be too stressed.
They've been fab in terms of supporting me but at the same time letting me develop my career and I now have a new found love of that bunch of supportive mums, dads, members of the local community and the local council for getting fully behind me and helping me and Tom through this. It's been fabulous to think that I have the support of everyone now, my friends, family, colleagues and the wider school community. Shame the hospital don't feel the same way.
Yes, you've guessed it. It was bad news today, on more than one front.
I met Tom at the multi storey car park today in the tipping rain and my heart nearly melted. Although he's off work until he starts his new job a week on Monday, he was all dressed up super smart and was there with a big umbrella as he knew I wouldn't have got one as it had been dry when I left for work this morning. We walked down to the hospital and had to wait for what seemed like an eternity for our appointment. We had our passports copied at hospital reception for our HFEA identification (thank god I'd made it back from Peterborough with my new one) and settled ourselves in the waiting room.
This was a lovely lilac room all decorated to be calm and peaceful for all the fraught mums and dads to be; however, I was more preoccupied with the fact that the curtains were made of plastic. I had got a bit bored and so started feeling up the soft furnishings and had discovered during my habadashery fondlings that the window dressings were in fact plastic. I dread to think what they're used to scraping off things in a fertility unit to necessitate the use of plastic coated fabric but I can tell you I let go pretty quickly.
After what seemed like about a year, we were ushered into a room with a fertility nurse to go over all our paperwork and have our ID checks done. Just for the record, if you ever managed to hack into my ID account you will see that i look like a startled and rather disgusted village idiot as I was trying to get out of my coat and clocked the hideous gynae scanner in the corner of the room as well as realising i still had egg yolk all down my sleeve (more about that later) and hadn't noticed that the nurse was wafting a camera in my face. Tom looks all lovely and serene on his but I look like I should be wheeled off to be psychiatrically sectioned.
We had to sign a million consent forms for every possible agency and eventuality which basically equate to giving anyone with a GCSE in biology the right to come into my house and furtle around in my knickers whilst they ransack my filing cabinet, read my diary and then freeze some of our embryos alongside the birds eye burgers in my fridge. It was then that we began planning our treatment and you may have heard the air raid sirens sound for the two bombshells that were then dropped.
Apparently we can't start our treatment until we've been in a relationship for 2 years. This is despite the consultant telling us we would get our first round of IVf in before Christmas when she knows we've not been together two years and us having all sorts of tests, scans, bloods and hormone checks done already. Apparently there was no one senior there for the nurse to ask today as to why we've got this far without it being an issue but she did say that they'd continue with all the prelimiaries and see what the consultant said on our next appointment.
So, we're no further forward with that one.
Apparently they have to take into account the "welfare of the child" and that seemingly means that after a period of two years, someone comes and magically waves an enchanted wand and makes it so that you will all live happily ever after but if it is before two years, you will all be miserable, unhappy and the child will never be loved. It's bloody ridiculous, especially as I was with ST for over 2 years before he up and left! Someone tell the girls outside the maternity ward too with their cans of special brew, their fags and their unknown babyfathers about the two year rule. According to this ruling, two educated, high achieving, professional, loving adults with stable families and a wide circle of supportive friends are seemingly unsuitable to become parents until a few more pages of the calendar are flipped over. utter sh*t.
However, that's the least of our worries.
It turns out that Tom has problems too. When they did the second set of tests on him there were antibodies in his sample which mean that basically his little swimmers are fighting amongst themselves. This means that the IVf method of "chuck everything in a pot in the lab and let nature take its course" is no longer an option for us. We now have to have a process called ICIS where they have to isolate one of Tom's swimmers and inject it directly into one of my eggs in a test tube. This doesn't mean any changes to our treatment but it does mean more work for the embryologists in the lab and is another barrier to us having a tiny bif of natural selection in any future babies. Seems weird that a third person will select the exact one sperm to inject into the exact one egg to make one exact baby from the millions that are produced in any one sample. All very odd. Let's hope they pick a good one.
Speaking of eggs, I had a rather unpleasant incident with one the other day in Peterborough. we had the worst day ever in what i shall now refer to as the "arse of england" (apologies to anyone who lives in a nice part of Peterborough but the bits we saw were just plain wrong). We managed to get there in just under 3 hours and were actually a bit early so we went for a quick bit of breakfast at a cafe. However, we weren't early enough to find anywhere nice so ended up in an Ian Beale style market cafe (opposite the, "maybe gammon" butchers) eating greasy food off a greasy table with the proverbial greasy spoon. I was transfixed by the amount of fried food people could shovel down in one sitting and I swear that the table top napkin dispensers were so greasy that one trucker tried to cover one in ketchup and swallow it down on a fried slice.
I played it safe and just had a fried egg sandwich whilst the waitress masking taped two plates together to fit on Tom's three man breakfast which contained more pork than all of the three little pigs put together. Meanwhile the counter staff just huffed and puffed at me when i asked for the key to the ladies' toilets and I gave up trying to put on some lippy as I couldn't see properly due to the anti drug blue lights in there. I hurried back to my table, deftly carrying out a torville and dean style triple salko on the greasy lino flooring and got stuck back into my sandwich. Unfortunately, I had not done the, "yolk position check" which anyone who is a connoiseur of the old "sandwich d'oeuf" is familiar with and so i ended up back at the counter with the huffing waitress asking her for a cloth as I had bitten into my sandwich and sent a river of scalding egg yolk and grease right down the inside sleeve of my barbour. Not a pleasant experience.
After scooping out the ostrich sized yolk from down my sleeve (does peterborough breed giant hens?) we dashed over to the passport office. I left £130 pounds lighter (£200 if you add in the cost of the deed poll) and with the prospect of 3 hours to kill in Peterborough on a Tuesday. Joy.
Tom treated me to a walk round Wilko's to look at tins of primer (who says romance is dead), followed by a tour of Peterborough's finest second hand Wii games market stalls. I was enthralled.
I eventually managed to drag him away from attempting to speak Polish to a man selling turnips on the market and found the relative sanctuary of John Lewis. After a few moments clinging onto their gleaming rails and breathing in the heady scent of new shoes, we stopped for tea in their cafe. We discussed Tom's favourite topics at the moment which are, in order of importance.... paint, undercoat, roller trays, the cats, car finance packages and leicester city football club.
It was therefore a relief to return to the passport office after 3 hours to find that YAY! my passport was ready and i am now officially Miss T again.... altogether now WOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!
It may have cost me a small fortune but I am now free of that weasel legally in every possible way. (well, apart from the sodding IVf dates fiasco).
We drove back to Tom's and began planning my move over there. We've set the date for Easter as this will give me time to get my house ready for letting and get rid of any excess furniture etc. So, it'll be easter eggs at chez tom next year! With any luck, i'll have my own little hot cross bun in the oven by then too so it'll all be hunkydory.
Anyway, have got to dash off again now as we're off to buy some waterproofs for our foray into the lake district at the weekend. we're also off to see Franz Ferdinand on Friday (a pressie for Tom from me) so I've got to get all packed tonight. So, I'll say cheerio for now as i still have some egg yolk to pick out of my sleeve and tom's "anniversary" present to wrap.
Lots of love in the meatime.