"Edited to Add"....

This started as a pregnancy blog when I fell pregnant in May 2009 after four years of finding a donor, doing all the counselling / paperwork / tests and trying.

And now, thanks to a 4WD which skidded onto our side of the road, killing our baby daughter at 34w and injuring me, my partner and two of my stepdaughters on 27 December 2009, it has turned into something else. We didn't want this something else, but apparently it is all we've got to go on with.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Trying to make a baby by doing paperwork and having blood tests, part the three hundred and forty-one-th

Did I mention we're leaping onto that great roundabout again? Woo (excitedly restrained and slightly worried) hoo! We're discovering that the Victorian roundabout is a much more expensive and paperwork-bound one than the NSW one we left behind.

Oh how we long for the simple times of a 7am visit to our friends the vampire bees (aka fertility unit nurses at RPA - they take my blood and pollinate such blossoms as me who need help in the pollination department, you see). The NSW process did take an awfully long time, and wasn't terribly effective in the end (Halloumi was the result of our lovely donor collaborating in a sneaky home insemination, with El Prima doing the honours, after 8 months of unsuccessful frozen insems). But it didn't cost the multiple arms and legs that the Melbourne clinic seeks to relieve us of, and didn't require:
- a police check;
- a child welfare record check;
- an application for approval to a qango (if that is indeed what VARTA is);
- blood tests for El Prima (slightly odd, given that she's not undergoing fertility treatment); and
- enough forms to make a forest weep.

In addition, despite having been through a counselling process with our lovely donor back in Syd, we had to do it again, and have him come and give his consent *in person*, because Victorian ART law doesn't recognise NSW donor consents... The counselors and medical staff we've come across are all very apologetic, but there is no get-out-of-paperwork-free card just because we've already been through the process in NSW and lost our first baby.

But we do get a fancy booklet* explaining how my reproductive system works - so that makes it all worthwhile. I was wondering what that uterus was for... Cross fingers we get to put it to good use soon.

** PS
Dear Organon Generic Fertility Drug Company,

How kind of you to make us a little booklet about IUI (intrauterine insemination)! With diagrams! I was so excited to receive it, I didn't even care that all the pictures on the front, and back are of hetero couples looking hopeful and sly at the same time.

How helpful of you to tell us "which couples benefit" - listing the main indications for IUI as unexplained infertility, anti-sperm antibodies and mild endometriosis.
But I think you are missing a key indication for IUI here - how about: partner has no sperm-shooting penis, because she is a WOMAN? Certainly, most of the people I know using IUI would fit into this category.

You don't have to make the whole booklet about us, but I'm sure we give you decent market share - how abouts we get a tiny mention in your booklet? You do have a section entitled "whose semen?" after all - it could go in there - just before you do the suggestive up-sell about how donor insemination is an "emotionally difficult procedure" and this is why it is better to go for ICSI and IVF instead.

Ta very much,

H el R


  1. Wow. Congrats on getting back on the bandwagon. I hope for a very speedy process for you! That is an insane amount of paperwork and hoops to jump through! Your letter to the IUI people made me laugh. :)

  2. Thanks E! I love my hometown, but this state does have a real thing for over-regulation. Specially when you want to do a crazy way-out thing like have a baby. But we're dutifully jumping all the hoops, so thanks for the good wishes, xxxh

  3. Wow. And I thought my city had a love for paperwork. Crazy. Rooting silently over here for you guys. (But in the American sense. Not the Aussie sense, as I've learned, though apparently that term is quite amusing when used that way. XD)

  4. N: err yes - just be careful how you say that! (makes me think of that hilariously bad pick-up line: "Have you ever tripped over a log? How about a root?") Thanks for the good thoughts anyway xxxh

  5. I didn't know it was so bureaucratic in Victoria. I was already surprised by the story of a friend who had to go through psychiatric screening to be a donor for his partner.

    And wouldn't it be so nice to pick up one of those brochures and see something other than a smug, slick hetero couple? C'mon PR departments and graphic designers!

    All the best for you and El Prima. xx

  6. wow great news indeed hanen, using donor sperm on my own in tassie seems a breeze compared to vic! none of the legal checks or psych evaluations or very much paperwork either. have you checked out tas ivf at all? i guess you're probably well underway by now anyway. i never see anything in brochures about single mums by choice either, basically if you're a woman who doesn't have/need/want a man your just money, but not actually worth mentioning as a category. oh well i seem to make it all up as i go anyway. best of luck fro this new journey for you both, i will be right here alongside xxx anne