The alarm goes off early: 5:45. Today we’re going on a very long journey, or at least that’s how it feels to me. We’re going to Groningen and for me it’ll be the first time I’ve been there. The journey goes well, thanks to holidays there is no traffic on the roads. And yet it still takes us 3,5 hours, it’s really far! Of course, on the way my period starts. I knew it was going to happen, but of course I also had the secret hope that we were driving to Groningen for nothing. But no, no spontaneous baby this month! We have an appointment at 11:00 for a sperm analysis. Well, Denny does. 😉   At 14:15 we have an intake appointment for the IVF. I’m starting to get nervous now. For the first time since we made the decision to leave Gent and try ICSI based on my own natural cycle, I’m starting to feel afraid that something will not be right. Nothing has gone very easily so far….

The hospital is beautiful, spacious and light. The receptionist is lovely, so they have bonus points already. 😉 For the fourth time we have stickers made with our names on them (standard procedure at every hospital you register at). By now we can start a collection of punch cards and stickers! Afterwards we go the centre for reproductive health so that Denny can do his thing again. 🙂 By now I know I can leave this to him, so that’s the one thing I’m really not worried about, haha! Of course we check how the sperm has to be collected – we won’t make that mistake again! A friendly analyst explains it for us. Such lovely people! While I wait in the waiting room, where it’s pretty busy, I wonder if all those people sitting there are unable to have children. I get my answer quickly when someone walks in and calls “all those who are here for embryo transfer, we have a 15 minute delay.” Lots of faces look towards the door and nod that they’ve heard it. What a bizarre idea, that for each couple sitting here there is a baby waiting to be placed into their uterus in a little while. All these women will soon have an embryo in their womb and will leave the hospital pregnant. The question is whether the embryo will implant and grow, of course, but each of them leaves the hospital pregnant. What a crazy idea! While I’m thinking all these thoughts, Denny appears in front of me once more. 🙂 He is happy with the room he was given here, “There’s even a toilet and basin to wash your hands in.” Actually it’s pretty stupid that hand-washing facilities are not standard in a room designed for that particular purpose, but ok… I’m glad that here they do seem to understand how it should be. 🙂

Now we wait until the next appointment, so we go for lunch in Gorningen. We find a nice little place to eat and in the meantime I end up folded double due to period pain. I seldom have that, so it comes as a bit of a shock. Bizarre that it would happen today of all days. Thankfully the place we’re at has some paracetamol (acetaminophen) and until it kicks in I’m not in any condition to hold a conversation. This does not bode very well for if I ever have to give birth. 😛

At 14:00 we’re back in the hospital and everything runs so well here that our appointment even starts on time. Of course, a lovely doctor. I’m nervous now and in my head I’m just thinking, “Please let everything be ok, let us start this.” First we look at the results of the testing of Denny’s sperm and she says, “That’s good enough for ICSI and for hormonal stimulation.” Good! Finally some good news with regards to sperm. I’m already proud of those little spermies which haven’t been affected by the antibodies. 🙂 Then come all the standard questions we’ve answered a few times now and luckily I’ve brought our whole file with us! There is a brief discussion about the hospital perhaps tracking one full cycle. It’s not a problem, in theory, but if it means driving to Groningen 4 times in one month it’s not really practical. Luckily I have all the results from the follicle testing in Bergen op Zoom and that’s enough to conclude that my cycle knows that it’s doing. Phew! Another obstacle successfully navigated! I look at the doctor expectantly and she says exactly what I want to hear: “I see no reason why we can’t start ICSI, so I’ll just explain how it all works.”

She explains the entire procedure and there is even some good news! I only need to get the ultrasound done on day 8 or 9 of my cycle. I was under the impression that I would have to have it done from the first day of menstruation. This means that we only have to be in Zwolle from around to 8, until about day 16. One week, instead of two – that’s great! This news makes me really happy. We agree that I will contact them at the end of September, when I get my period again and then we’ll get started.

A few blood tests and then we head home. I’m basically skipping through the hospital and it’s Denny who reminds me that I still need to get blood taken, because I’d forgotten. For the first time ever, the summer can’t pass by quickly enough for me. 🙂 I have a spark of hope again. Finally, something is going to happen…