It’s Saturday morning and it’s back to the clinic for another scan. I am now down to three possible eggs. Dr C would like there to have been more. He sits opposite me across his vast desk and suggests that we don’t proceed with In Vitro Fertilisation. His recommendation is to freeze the eggs taken from this cycle and to continue to extract eggs until I have a suitable supply for fertilisation. (Ten is apparently a good number.)
This is in part because my eggs are numbered but also, as I get older their quality reduces. The more I extract now means a greater chance of successful future rounds of IVF. The good news is that he won’t give me as much medication going forward seeing as my ovaries are not going to produce extra oocytes regardless how many hormones are thrown at them. In the long run this is also the more cost effective solution. It is of course up to me.
I ask what a reasonable number would have been. He smiles and says four. Although some people go ahead with only one egg. The choice is mine.
I don’t know many (any) people who only have one round of IVF. I decide I will go with multiple rounds of fertility treatment and only begin the IVF once I have several eggs on ice.
That means more drugs. I inject my Menopur in the nurse’s office. Dr C sticks his head in to make sure I am doing it right. It’s all about timing now. My final shot is due at 20:30 tonight to induce ovulation so that he can do the extraction at 07:30 Monday morning. He stresses the time sensitivity with highlighters and capital letters and several reminders. I put an alarm in my phone. I tell my dinner date to do the same.
That night I drive to pick up my friend at his folks place in La Lucia. I am taking him to a small organic restaurant in Umhlanga that has recently opened and which is already my new favourite. A few hundred meters from arrival I realise I have left my medication at home. Some colourful language accompanies a demon dash along the dark and winding unmarked M4 to Umdloti and back again. Macadish is loving the ride. He can’t drive as the tumour he has had removed from his brain has left him with depleted vision in one eye and I gather his carers are cautious on the road. When death is staring you in the face you want to live on the edge a little.
Macadish and I go back 20 years when we both used to wait tables at the Langoustine’s. We have done just about everything we shouldn’t over the years we misspent our youth. I poke fun at us now, two pescetarian teetotallers eating organic vegetables and talking about juicing. He has lost approx 25 kgs since he got sick in December and now weighs slightly more than me. I tell him I can’t imagine what we did in our previous lives.
At 20:15 my reminder goes off. He doesn’t even ask what its for as I discreetly inject into my midriff at the table, and we order more tapas. His alarm goes off at 20:30 and he grins. Team work.
There is no way in ten million chances either of us would have predicted our lives would lead us to this scenario back in 1994.