Okay, so I was a little anxious this morning. Check that, I was a lot anxious. Courtney can attest to my minor freak out while I was still at work. (Admittedly, Dr Z’s pointing out that there was construction on 131 was helpful in the long term. In the short term, however, not so much.) Bless you, Courtney, for concluding our conversation (via email as usual since she <sob> abandoned me <sob> for her full-time position downstairs) by reminding me the best exit to reach Plainwell Ice Cream when traveling south. I did not end up making that stop, but more on that later.
I did wind up going with Fertility Clinic A because I have yet to hear back from Fertility Clinic B about how they feel about single mothers by choice. And I was really nervous. New doc, new clinic, part of town I’m not really familiar with, policies I’m not really comfortable with. Yeah, there was no way I was touching either the yogurt I’d packed for breakfast or the savory spring onion cheesecake I’d packed for lunch. (I didn’t bother packing a piece of fruit because when I left my house this morning, I was pretty sure that nothing I ate was going to stay in my stomach for long.) And I wound up leaving with a bit an excessive amount of extra time. I stopped in downtown Kalamazoo for gas. ($3.79! Woohoo! I hear it’s now about 20 cents higher!) I drove from there to my apartment so that I could change from a work-appropriate tank top to one that didn’t run the risk of touching my neck. (I’m really sensitive about that. This was one of those days when my skin was touching my neck, which is really annoying because I can’t take it off.) And then I drove to Grand Rapids. Yes, there was construction. (Thank you, Dr Z, I was expecting it.) But other than slowing to 45 where the workers were present, it didn’t really affect the traffic that much. And I drove right to the clinic. And I got there forty minutes early. That’s right. Four- zero. Yeah…
Anyway, the Women’s Health Center is a lovely building, and I could totally see making it my practice of choice if I lived in Grand Rapids. It’s very welcoming, lots of natural light, plenty of parking (from what I could tell). I’m still looking forward to just popping the 1.3 miles from my house to Bronson once I’m pregnant, but for women in GR…
I didn’t really keep track of the time after I found the appropriate clinic on the third floor. Obviously, there was the standard new patient paperwork to complete. Yes, I know about HIPAA. Yes, I know that this is not going to be cheap. Yes, I have an emergency contact. No, I won’t give you my mother’s social security number. Then I pulled out my book and read as slowly as possible. I did this because I only had about 20 pages left, and I didn’t know if I’d get in early, on time, or late. I’m thinking it was early because it can’t have taken me that long to complete the paperwork and I didn’t run out of reading.
If joe schmitt were a fertility specialist, he would be Dr Daly. Except, I suppose, that medical personnel are required to wear closed-toe shoes. And they probably wear socks inside those closed-toe shoes. He put me at ease pretty quickly. The fact that he asked if I knew what the OB/GYN faculty at the new WMU School of Medicine was shaping up to be probably didn’t hurt. I told him that I didn’t really know but that I’d look into, and considering one of our current OB/GYN faculty members has the office right next to mine, it might not be that difficult for me. And from there it was the usual history. There wasn’t much of a physical exam other than doing an ultrasound to see how my ovaries look. I’m always amazed at how much it hurts when doctors poke my ovaries. Our ovaries are so nice and safe inside our pelvic cavities. It makes me appreciate the pain a man must feel when he’s hit in the crotch. He said that everything looks good and that I’ll probably be ovulating this weekend. (Hmmm… Full moon, anyone?)
From there, I went to the nurse who gave me details on picking out a sperm donor as well as all of the related paperwork. She also rewrote Dr Daly’s orders so that they were legible. She said they just recommend Meijer brand ovulation kits. (Go generic!)
Oh, and about that paternity paperwork that so irked me when I read about it on their website? Well, let me begin by saying that there’s this manual for priests from the middle ages. One of the things it says is (yes, I’m paraphrasing) “When performing a baptism, don’t use beer. Use water.” To which all of us in the modern age reply, “Duh.” But it’s just like the reason your fast food coffee cup says “Caution: Contents may be hot”. Some idiot was going around baptizing babies with beer. The laws regarding donor sperm and paternity in the state of Michigan are very vague. It’s more of a CYA measure. He’s happy to inseminate single women as long as no one will then turn around and say that he’s financially responsible for the offspring. The law doesn’t clearly state what happens regarding paternity, and since he’s the one getting me pregnant…
And that’s why I didn’t stop at Plainwell Ice Cream after all. I drove a couple exits farther south and stopped at my parents’ on my way home instead so that I could drop off the form they’d agreed to sign for me. They’ve already run to Parchment, had their signatures notarized, and stopped by the post office to mail it. Turns out the notary has a friend who’s looking to become a single mother by choice. In some roundabout way, I did a good deed today because that friend won’t be as floored as I was if she’s asked who is going to claim paternity for her child.
By then I was starving, by the way.