Right now, I am on Day 14 of my First Cycle of Attempts, which means that, for the past few days, I have been having daily (or every two days in the early stages) blood tests, to measure levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) – this is a hormone that spikes right before ovulation. They normally start these tests on Day 10, but because my periods are not clockwork-regular, they started on Day 9 for me.
This creates some logistical difficulties around timelines, especially on work days. The blood testing facility opens at 7am, and I like to be at work by 7.30am, meaning I need to get there well before it opens so that I am at the front of the queue by the door and thus get bled sooner, and thus only be maybe 10 minutes late (it is also, unfortunately, in the opposite direction from work, so I am always going to be a bit late).
The blood tests need to be done at specific facilities that do priority testing for fertility patients, meaning there are fewer places than usual that provide this service.
Unfortunately, if you need to get the test done on a weekend (as I have had to both days this weekend), there is only one facility in the whole of Auckland that provides priority fertility services – and that is in Mt Wellington. I live on the North Shore, so this is a 25-minute drive each way, early in the morning (they need the sample taken early, just in case this is Ovulation Day and thus Sperm Day). I was talking to the phlebotomist about this, and he said that some people have to drive an hour each way – just for a 5-minute blood test! This is what happens when government funding keeps getting cut, I guess. So basically every fertility patient (and some other priority patients) in the whole of Auckland have to go to this one place. The waiting room is very full (about a 20-minute waiting time), and the phlebotomists look rather stressed.
The other logistical difficulty is that the insemination can only be done at the Remuera location for Fertility Associates (FA) – meaning that on Sperm Day, I will get a phone call in the early afternoon, telling me that I need to get to Remuera in time for the procedure. Sadly, they of course only operate during office hours, so I have to allow for both the procedure time as well as the time it takes to drive there (about 20 minutes) and back. Luckily, I have a job that allows for flexible hours, as long as you make up the time, but as I don’t want to tell my employer what I am doing yet (they don’t need to know unless/until I get pregnant), I am going to have to go with “short-notice personal appointment, and I will make up the time”, which may start seeming a bit weird if this takes more than a few months. If they did inseminations at the North Shore FA, it might be possible to work through lunch and leave a little earlier, and thus not have to organise time away from the office at all. If wishes were horses…
However, all this doesn’t really matter in the long run – I am getting a baby out of it! And, really, it is probably good practice for the logistical nightmares of having kids as a single woman.
Aside: today might be Sperm Day! I find out in a few hours. It would be rather nice if it was (setting aside the whole obvious EXCITING aspect), as this would mean at least one cycle where I didn’t have to worry about what to tell work and how to make up the time.
Today is not Sperm Day – but tomorrow is. My LH levels are definitely on the rise, so I have to get another blood test done tomorrow morning, and then I am getting inseminated in the late morning. She said that the reason for the blood test tomorrow (despite getting inseminated tomorrow anyway) was just in case they need to do another insemination the day after, if the LH levels keep rising.
So fingers crossed for BABY MAKING!