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.

Friday, March 03, 2006

It happened again

For the second time our records were mixed up at our clinic.

Even though we had our last IVF cycle in December, I still needed to chase up the clinic for the paperwork so I could make our medical claim. Yet another example of the totally mundane stuff that make IVF a drag.

Somehow the clinic had managed to totally stuff up our claim, they managed to get their money, but not supply me with the necessary receipt, so I could claim mine.

After being reassured that it would be in the mail, I ended up having to ring them again a week later, and I’m on the phone to the Customer Service Guy:

CCG: Can I have your surname please?
S: Sure, it’s Sparkle
Pause [this is when I realise they’ve found two of these unusual surnames]
CCG: Can I have your first name please?
S: Sure, it’s Daisy
CCG: Okay, Maisy … tap, tap, tap
S: [Thinking to myself … did he say Maisy? That means he’s gonna search by Ma …]
CCG: Okay, do you live at 1a Rich Persons Street, Poshville?
S: No, that’s not my address, did you type in Maisy?
CCG: Aaah, what? [panic] … tap, tap, tap … let me just search …
S: My name is Daisy, did you type in Maisy?
CCG: Tap, tap, tap …
S: Listen, have you got the records up for Marnie Sparkle?
CCG: [Gulp] Yes …
S: Well my name is Daisy, you have the wrong records.
CCG: Ooh, sorry, tap, tap, tap … is this your address …?
S: Yes

This confusing exchange meant that yet again, they mixed up my records with my sisters.

My sister whom I no longer speak to.

We became estranged after I had my miscarriage. I am still not really sure what happened, but at the time she was also pregnant and I had to tell her I needed to take a step back from her to deal with my miscarriage.

Long story, but let’s just say she’s not what you’d call the most welcome port in a storm. At the time, she couldn’t seem to grasp that it wasn’t fun for me to sit and hear her talk about her pregnancy for 2-3 hours at a time. While I was getting my sh*t together, I would try and ring her as a way of staying in touch and found her more and more hostile, and more and more determined to talk about her pregnancy at any cost.

Her view was that I should have been there to support her right throughout her pregnancy, and be available at any time. I supposedly completely let her down.

This came to a head when the baby was born, and Mr S and I were not told of the birth … or the hospital … and when we did find out and send flowers … they were sent away and never acknowledged … our phone messages of congrats were never returned …

Guess what? I stopped caring. I started realising this relationship had become toxic – and that had started happening a long time before my miscarriage and IF.

But imagine my surprise when records were mixed up the first time.

Imagine now to have that happen again, and have her address read out to me?

This is significant because my sister was in a long-term relationship that ended badly and there were never any children.

She then moved and started a new relationship, got married and then got pregnant.

The address the CCG read out to me was her newest address.

The significance is because the first time it happened, I just wondered if maybe she’d been thru IF treatment with her former partner. Having the new address makes it even more confusing.

She bought the house and moved in, six months later met her now husband.

When my sister got back from her honeymoon and announced her pregnancy, she breathlessly told me how they got pregnant before they’d decided to start trying …
They were going wait to try in six months and voila SURPRISE!

S: Really? Well how come you started taking the Ele*vit prenatal tablets 3 months before you got married?
M: Ooh, well … you know, I just decided that I wanted to take a good multi vitamin … didn’t you find your hair and nails were amazing when you took Ele*vit?
S: No, my hair and nails are fine … I wouldn’t take preggy vitamins for my nails …

[Just an example of the ridiculous exchanges we were having ..]

So I find myself in an unusual position.

We have reached a stage of sending brief emails to each other. I am not at a point where I am prepared to bring her back into my life, and believe it or not cannot yet contemplate meeting up face to face. I have only ever seen 1 photo of my niece.

I have kept this secret from the rest of my family.

I’m really not sure when and how I’ll raise it with her, it’s just something I’m keeping to myself until the time is right.

It's such a bizarre experience, I often wonder if anyone else has accidentally found out about other peoples fertility treatment - people that pretend they have no fertility issues?


At March 03, 2006 12:37 pm , Anonymous Lori said...

That is bizarre. And her behavior is just so odd in light of having sought fertility treatment herself. What a tricky piece of information to have.
As for the paperwork issue - I hope it gets resolved quickly. As if you need anymore hassles!

At March 04, 2006 1:42 am , Blogger fisher queen said...

Wow that is really strange. I can't help but be mad at your sister for refusing to acknowledge your pain when she must have known all too well what it felt like...But then, some people can't ever see past their own noses. Is she like that, or am I not getting it? How terrible to have been through that with her.

At March 04, 2006 1:51 am , Blogger Thalia said...

I'm so sorry about this toxic relationship. However bad it got it must be really hard not to have her in your life. Can't understand the mix up at the fertility centre - they should pay more attention!

At March 04, 2006 6:10 am , Anonymous Manuela said...

Weird indeed.

I have to question though... why on EARTH would you even WANT to bring such a narcissistic source of toxins back into your life??? I'm just feeling protective of you, I guess... and I know what's it like to have a family member JUST like that...

At March 04, 2006 6:42 am , Blogger Beth said...

That is really uncanny - and I can only imagine how much it caught you by surprise. My husband was suprised when we ran into a colleague of his picking up her stims recently, but that is nothing compared to your sister. I agree with Manuela that I would be hesitant to bring too much of that back into your life right now.

At March 04, 2006 8:05 am , Anonymous Erin said...

How odd that she wouldn't fess up when you were going through the same sorts of issues. Families can be so wierd!

At March 04, 2006 11:28 am , Blogger Sparkle said...

Hi FQ, Yeah she is like that and worse. Always been extremely competitive with her sisters and selfish.
Manuela - You're right, I really don't think I want her in my life. The problem is - this has caused all kinds of issues with the rest of my family. My mother grudgingly acknowledges she is a problem but is in so much fear of her becoming isolated from everyone that she makes excuses for her all the time. I have two other sisters, one I am extremely close to - and both have difficult relationships with her as well. Mine was the catalyst I think.
It's so hard and I feel guilty for admitting it - but it was a relief not to have to deal with her for a long time. I felt happier.

At March 04, 2006 4:14 pm , Blogger Millie said...

Wow, how very strange. I'm so sorry you've had to deal with all this.

My sister-in-law is somewhat similiar. She's sooooo narcisstic and 'just doesn't get it' although it took her 6 iuis and 2 ivfs to get pregnant. She actually thinks she's uber-fertile. Seriously. She said 'this infertility thing really isn't so hard' and worst part of it is she's a therapist. Who's starting to treat infertility patients. I feel for them. She even wonders why we don't talk any more.

At March 04, 2006 5:17 pm , Blogger MC said...

I'm sorry about your sister. I have two sisters also and get along much better with my younger sister. My other sister is super competitive and I used to live with her. It was a nightmare she was so jealous of me she almost destroyed me. Even to the point of banning me from talking to her friends or accepting invites from them. The more I came out of my shell and began to do things in life the more she would tear me down. We have a polite but fairly distant relationship now. Although she has been asking me to go to a day spa with her. At first I used feel like vomiting even at the thought of spending time with her, lately I can see myself doing some stuff like that.

I actually found it repaired our relationship by cutting her out of my life for a period of time.

Thanks for the comment on my blog, when I'm not so lazy I'll google the double nuclei thingo.

At March 06, 2006 6:25 am , Blogger Lut C. said...

Very unprofessional of the clinic though, to mess up records like that and inadvertantly give out sensitive information.

It's truely incomprehensible that your sister is such an uncompassionate fellow IF. If she is so competitive, perhaps she just can't admit to anyone she is any less than an ordinary fertile, especially to you, who has been someone with whom she competed since childhood. Even if there is an explanation for her behavior, such cruelty is almost unforgivable.

Don't be too hard on yourself. Why would you expect to mend this relationship all on your own, if she doesn't make at least some amends.

At March 06, 2006 2:41 pm , Blogger the waiting line said...

Wow. . . . tell the clinic that they have a duty NOT to mix up your records with another patient's records. Mutter something about "confidentiality of patient records." That should get someone's attention, quickly.

Then again, you won't win any friends with that approach. But, it's worked for me. ;-)

At March 07, 2006 6:57 am , Blogger Pamplemousse said...

Ooh, what a mess. I would make a complaint to the clinic but only you can decide whether you want your sister back in your life.

She seems to have done a good job of cutting you out of her life. But life is short. I hope you can work things out in the future. Sometimes with family, we put up with things that we would never entertain from outsiders.

At March 07, 2006 10:15 am , Blogger chris said...

That's fantastically freaky. I don't know if I'd say something or not. Probably not. It sounds like she doesn't want anyone to know.

My goodness.

At March 08, 2006 8:39 pm , Anonymous seepi said...

Useless family planning centre once gave my whole file to my sister years ago.... We have an unusual surname, but I was still annoyed.
Coincidentally i'm not in contact with my sister either - but it is a drug issue. I've been much calmer since I stopped trying to deal with her though.
Don't give too much to your sister unless you start to get something back. good luck.


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