IF and the City

I used to feel sad when I watched the episodes with Charlotte failing over and over again while trying to get pregnant. Little did I know that my own attempts would lead me on the same sad journey. We've now passed 4 years in the trenches. 6 failed IVF/ICSI cycles = nothing. Time for something new - donor eggs. Success at last. Now for round 2.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Our picture should be on the wall

If there’s one thing all fertility doctors have in common – gynaecologists, RE’s, TCM's and all the other practitioners I’ve seen, that is the recurring BABY WALL.

The Wall is there to reassure all the new patients the success this doctor has ‘see all the happy patients and their babies’.

This used to work for me until … ahem … the various treatments weren't working.
I mean the The Wall still worked in but in a different way, I started looking at the photo's and imagining ‘how bad were all your problems when you started coming here, could you have had as many problems as me … or do I just have bad luck?’.

Occasionally I used to point to the photo’s and ask about them:

‘Oh that couple, they tried IVF 12 times before they come to CFG, she got them pregnant in 3 months’.

‘Them, they live overseas, they visit CFG when in town and take all the herbs back with them’.

That sustained me for a while too. Couples that overcame obstacles far greater than ours and yet the treatment worked. YIPPEE, hope!

The world kept turning, but sometimes mine stopped.

When another IVF treatment didn’t work, even though the cycle went well and I had lots of eggs that fertilised. And even though I’d had acu and taken all the revolting herbs during the cycle, paid out ALL that money. Well it just must have been bad luck?

Or [shiver] maybe my eggs really are the pits?

But then it happened again. I followed all the instructions, did everything right and had the WORST IVF cycle ever. Even so, I still went and had the acu and took the herbs and spent ALL that money again.

Doubts were creeping in, isn’t acu supposed to aid implantation and it was a GRADE 1 embryo, and this IS the best TCM.

So why didn’t it work this time?

So now I have to face up to the fact that none of this stuff will work with my eggs. No matter how many cycles, how many [poisonous] potions to regenerate my eggs, it’s just not gonna work. Somehow I have the feeling not going make that Baby Wall.

By now I’m talking specifically about CFG. Maybe that's because of all the hours I sat waiting to see her, I saw the inside of that little clinic more than any other, that Wall is the most prominent in my mind.

Mr. S was the first to say it of course.

‘You know what, the Baby Wall is a crock, the true story behind these doctors is the wall with all the failures’.

These doctors are only as good as their failures, and that's what we don't see.

That being the case, our picture should be sitting front and centre on FIVE WALLS. Couples new to treatment should be able to point to our picture and say ‘what happened, were they just so untreatable that even your genius couldn’t work for them’?

That’s when I would love to be a fly on the wall.

When we started on this odyssey we were the easy couple, we still had age on our side and presented with very few problems:

‘Almost all of the patients I have referred to this doctor have gotten pregnant’
‘IVF is the most positive thing you could do right now’
‘I get you pregnant in two months’

The alternative practitioners I see now don’t have the Wall and neither does our new RE. I mean our RE did show us some photo’s, but they came out of a folder, and that was only after we decided we were joining the program.


At February 16, 2006 9:08 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I so agree! I have always hated the baby wall. The best doctor I saw had photos in a photo album so you could choose to look at them or not - I usually chose not.


At February 17, 2006 12:11 am , Blogger EJW said...

In science, we call that the "positive publishing bias." No one ever submits article to JAMA entitled "My experiment didn't work at all." It definitely skews the results.

I don't understand the baby wall. If it's universally accepted that seeing pregnant women in the waiting room sucks, why is a giant wall of fat thighs and pudgey cheeks OK?

At February 17, 2006 2:38 am , Anonymous thalia said...

I have sort of given up on acupuncture for these kind of reasons. Didn't feel any different and it didn't work.

At February 17, 2006 1:13 pm , Anonymous Lori said...

No baby walls at my RE's office or at the acupuncturist's office I used to visit. Thank g'd. Who needs that kind of torture?

At February 18, 2006 7:07 am , Anonymous Manuela said...

That does it... you know what... thanks to this post I've made a decision.

The next time I'm sitting in front of smug arrogant Dr. Spanish... staring at that NIGHTMARE of a wall right behind her head... I SWEAR this is what I'm going to say... I SWEAR...

"Dr. Spanish... do you know what I wonder every time I look at that wall?"

"No dear... what do you wonder?"

"I wonder how big the wall would have to be if it included the faces of all the sad women for whom treatment DIDN'T work."

I swear it... on the lives of all my pets... I WILL say it!!!

At February 18, 2006 3:59 pm , Blogger Mony said...

What a great post. I love Manuela's comment! Oh..please do it! It's perfect! The baby wall is not inspiring, it's not cute, it's not a glimpse of things to come. The baby wall is a thorn in our infertile sides. A glaring reminder of our failure, of our broken hearts. What are Clinic's thinking with that Baby Wall? Compassion please! I am sure that every single photograph shows a much moved, much yearned for, much deserved baby.......praise Infertility treatment..but Doctor's remember that for every success, there is a failure & the last thing we need is the embodiment of that failure printed and displayed in full, glossy colour.


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