Sunday, August 3, 2008

Australia's longest running IVF recipient

Did I tell you about this? I don't think I did. I can't BELIEVE I forgot.

When I had my hair done a few weeks back, it was by a new hairdresser. A girl who was very vocal about her friend, someone who was still waiting to have a baby. It was the kind of conversation that made me instantly regret explaining in more detail (when she pressed for it) my situation with regard to children. You know, the whole "So how many kids do you have?" line of questions.

So. Here she was, telling me about her friend, whom I of course felt for, doing countless IVF procedures to, as yet, no avail. She even moved to Tasmania to work with the best IVF doctor in the country.

Hang on. This piqued my interest. Let me get this straight...

"The top IVF doctor is in Tasmania, is he?" I asked innocently.
"Yeah, and she moved there just to be treated by him," was the reply. Right. So here we have the (allegedly) longest-running IVF patient, moving off the mainland, to pursue treatment with someone who ... quite frankly speaking ... if he's the best in Australia, certainly hasn't helped her yet.

I was itching to ask how long she had been doing assisted conception for, but felt it far too private a question to ask. It was none of my business. However, I didn't have to wait long until the information was offered voluntarily. I thought I had misheard, actually, and had to ask her to repeat - "How long??"

Three years, was the reply. Well, well. Australia's longest-running IVF patient has been doing it for three years. I had to admit, this was news to me. I'm sure I've met women who have been doing it for a decade. Perhaps I am mistaken. And maybe, for all I know, the best IVF doctor is in Tasmania.

From what I know of my own journey, hell yeah, three years can feel like an eternity. Heaven knows it feels like your entire lifetime has been spent trying to bear a child, sometimes that often happens after the first year. Adding year after year on top of that.... well, the desperation and frustration just mounts and mounts. So I can well imagine the poor girl could have perhaps quipped at one point to her best friend that she'd been doing this for so long that she must surely be the longest IVF recipient in the country. Such a shame that her best friend has apparently taken her literally and retold it, to who knows how many customers now. I can see how that original statement can just sound laughable in another person's hands.

Just another blaringly obvious example of the danger of such information in the hands of someone who either has not been listening to her friend, has a friend with a strong sense of exaggeration or does not have her finger on the pulse of the groundswell of infertility stories out there. Or all of the above.

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