If you’ve been reading along, you know I’m not on this strange trip into the world of fertility alone. I have a partner, named Partner for the purposes of this blog. If you’ve been reading along with some attention, you also know that Partner is not nearly as keen as I am to make babies. Knowing how important this is to me, Partner has relented and has bravely stepped into the world of sperm donors and clinic visits with me.
Partner reads this blog (as do two other people who know us in real life). A much better writer than I am, Partner has also been recording her experiences in all of this. She’s allowing me to share what she has written here.
This is her experience of Clinic Three.
My opinion of Clinic One prior to today’s visit was already covered in Not he. To summarize: Clinic One was the clinic I knew the most about prior to these adventures in assisted reproduction. To be honest, it was pretty much the only clinic I knew anything about. Clinic One seems to be the gathering place for queer folks trying to make babies around here: every queer or trans person I know who has used a fertility clinic has used Clinic One. My sample size here is small, granted, but I assumed that Clinic One must have something going for it. Basically my reason for wanting to visit Clinic One was the same reason I tried deep fried pickles: everybody else was doing it. Then Clinic One Receptionist called and asked about my husband, and the rosy glow surrounding Clinic One faded. Clinic One is still the clinic fifteen minutes away from where I work and still the clinic where all of the queer and trans people I know have gone, but it’s also the clinic with the heterosexist receptionist. Clinic One is the final stop on this whirlwind tour of fertility clinics, and I’m anxious. If only I had my husband with me.
This clinic is far away from where we live/work/exist. It is so far away from where we live/work/exist, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in a different timezone. My fairly informed not-terrible doctor hadn’t even heard of this clinic, though was happy enough to refer us anywhere. We wouldn’t even be bothering to visit, except for two features. 1) They have an onsite sperm bank, so a wider range of potential donors. 2) They have an at-home insemination program. You give them the money, they send you some sperm, some ovulation predictor kits and a how-to kit. I’m not sure that I trust myself with this, but I like the idea of not having to leave home.
Though this is the first clinic that my partner and I have visited, I’m calling it Clinic Three. It’s Clinic Three because I already referred to another clinic as Clinic One in a previous post, and because this clinic was my least favourite (of three) going in.
This was the one clinic that my doctor referred us to of her own volition. I had never heard of it, and was surprised to learn that it’s tucked away only a block from where I work. These are its major pros going in: the recommendation of my not-terrible doctor and the three minute travel time from my desk. Its major cons? I hate its website. I hate the faux pastel drawing of a round pregnant woman with long, flowing hair that serves as the backdrop to the main page. I hate the photo of the doctors: four older male doctors in white lab coats with half-smiles on their faces. I hate the 82 million references to “your husband”. I hate that the only reference to same-sex couples is buried in the FAQ section. I judge books by their covers, and I haven’t judged this one favourably.