“No matter the issue, no matter it’s proportions, these guys were so smart, they finished the consultation in 15 minutes. It did not matter what delay tactics you used, and that was 20 Thousand Naira gone, and he was telling me he would see me in another two weeks times for another 15 minutes/N20k consultation, and I was like “No guy, we won’t be seeing.”
That was part of a testimony shared by the male half of a couple, over the weekend, who waited 12 years before having their baby, last year. Having married quite young, they had expected to have the babies soon, but it was a no show, and for years, they waited, prayed, and going from one doctor to another, and visited men of God, who gave bizzare reasons for their infertility; like the fact that it was a curse and then, that they might never have a baby. They spent the whole of their late 20s and 30s seeking a baby, until it happened for them last year, when they were both in their early 40s.
From the doctors, that charged N20k per consultation, they moved to the one that charged less, but gave them unattainable milestones. At that consultation, he told the doctor, “If we had achieved these things, we won’t be here o.” From there, they moved to another doctor and finally to the last one, where they were able to achieve a pregnancy, naturally.
What was the problem? It was all about his wife’s thyroid. So, for twelve years, they couldn’t have a child, because her thyroid gland was not functioning optimally. That just shows the power of that gland in the body. And to think all the doctors before the last one, kept saying they couldn’t help them, when all the treatment she got were some supplements to correct the thyroid problem.
At least their story has a happy ending. Modele is still TTC, and she is on her third doctor, in three years. With each doctor, she goes through certain stages; from the awkward, polite, where services are delivered efficiently, to the stage where, things begin to drag and finally, to downright over-familiarity, where her doctor is no longer listening to her, but just going along with his treatment plan, regardless of changes in her condition.
There was even one time Modele thought she heard the nurses talking about her case, and how hopeless, it was. She couldn’t confirm if they were indeed talking about her or not, but from that day, she started her search for another clinic and doctor, and that is where she is right now, even though, she is starting to feel uncomfortable again. For her sake, and other TTC moms, who have shuffled and are still doing the fertility doctor shuffle, here are four things you need to know, before you move again.
- Fertility doctors don’t always have the answers.
In fact, they rarely seem to know, and in the case of the woman in the first story, they couldn’t even guess. Her period was like clockwork, and it showed its face every 28 days. But she had a thyroid issue, that was corrected in a matter of weeks, when the last doctor found it.
Male factor infertility was not even an issue, all the other tests came back normal, too. What gives? The fact was, none of the other docs they saw had any clue. And that was so frustrating.
However, the point is, discovering why you can’t get pregnant isn’t the issue; getting pregnant is.
2. They want to go straight to IVF
Modele is just 33 years old, but all the doctors she had seen, including her current doctor, had pitched the procedure to her. They seem not to want to waste time trying Clomid, or even IUI. They want to go straight to IVF, and when she drags her feet concerning this, things change.
These were doctors who were competent, professional and well-regarded, yet they dismissed the other cheaper options so quickly, but the reality is that some docs, seeking to boost their all-important statistics, want to ensure the numbers are in their favour by going for IVF as soon as possible, with patients who are likely to have better results.
Besides, any fertility clinic has a financial motivation to go straight to IVF over other cheaper interventions. At the end of the day though, IVF looks like the cure-all for any infertility challenge. Some women would probably be happy he was so aggressive. But, if you are not ready for IVF, financially or emotionally, then you need to take a walk.
3. Your doctors see sad stuff every day, so they are not being insensitive
The reality for most women trying to conceive is that miscarriage, and sad news in general, is part of the journey. And guess who has to deal with all of these issues on a daily basis, your doctor and his team. In order to do an effective job, they need to be able to detach from the heartbreak —no matter how chilling that may make them seem to you. The same goes for the nurses and embryologists, even the security guards. How many sobbing women do you think they see on a daily basis? How many must they see, before it gets to them? While in your grief, their outlook might seem wicked and insensitive, but if you want to see them tomorrow, then, they have to be professional about it.
4. Your doctor wants what you want
You want a baby right? So, does your doctor, it’s another feather to his cap. When you do get your BFP and have reached the stage where they have to hand you over to a regular Ob/Gyn, you can bet your doctor would be so happy at having achieved this feat; the nurses will likely congratulate you enthusiastically and maybe ask you to come back when the bump has gained pre-eminence.
That’s when you will realise that it isn’t just you and your husband on this lonely journey, trying for a baby, and wondering if you will get it. You are on a team with doctors, nurses, and a whole lot of other people who are praying that you achieve a successful pregnancy. I know of a clinic which hold a short praise session whenever, any of their patients has a baby. It is that important to them, that it has become a culture among the staff; there is a new birth, then, it time to praise.
So, sometimes, it’s not the doctors, it is the perception in our minds, even before we go to the doctor.
I will leave you with the words of one of our community members, “It doesn’t matter the clinic or the doctor, all that matters is that God uses them to bring about our miracles.”
Amen and baby dust to you all.
Join the conversation with any of our TTC and Pregnancy Groups here