Maybe baby – part 1 (The reluctant patient)

Many women started a blog to write about their pregnancy or baby quest experience. I didn’t, because I never thought of starting a blog until early this year. Maybe if I had done so, it would have been better for me. Anyway this post is different from my usual ones, but what the heck, who cares.

I went through IVF treatment in the quest for a baby starting in November 2009. Truth is, I wasn’t the one who wanted it. My husband brought up the idea as I was already in my late 30’s and he was over 40, and since nature wasn’t giving us a helping hand, we should resort to science. But I wasn’t keen on the idea; I had read experience from women, seen on movies, the emotional toll because of the hormonal injections. One woman even ended up with a divorce because of the emotional upheavals and lack of understanding from the husband. I thought we should continue to let nature takes its course.

Anyway I went to see this gynae, Dr Madeleine Tan, from WC Cheng Clinic at Thomson Hospital for a check up. She was recommended to me by my friend, Conny; and in fact the clinic is also recommended by a few other friends. I like Dr Tan immediately, she is a very motherly and caring doctor. I felt I would get lots of TLC from her if she was my gynae. But my husband doesn’t like Thomson Hospital, said the place is a fire hazard because there are lots of display and merchandise lining the corridors. Besides the government doesn’t provide subsidies for IVF patients in private hospitals, though the subsidies get lesser with each cycle. (Payment from out of own pocket gets more and more substantial each time.) So I thought we should leave it at that, while we continued our dates with nature.

A couple of months later, my husband suddenly told me to check out KK Hospital and that I should make an appointment to see this Dr SF Loh. I was like, “who is this guy?? KKH??? That’s a second class hospital!” Yeah, at that time, I viewed all government restructured hospitals as second class and so were the doctors working there. But my husband had apparently did some research online and found out from some forum that SF Loh, Head of the IVF center and Fertility Medicine at KKH, has “magic fingers”. My husband doesn’t have low opinion of KKH; in fact he thinks that it is the hospital to be for childbirth particularly complicated cases. So he has totally opposite view from me, that the doctors are competent and possibly some of the best in their fields.

I wasn’t convinced by my husband’s argument since my biases against KKH ran rather deep. Besides I was born in Thomson Hospital. Unfortunately my husband is the financier, and so I had no choice but to make an appointment to see Loh. You can imagine my reluctance when my husband had to drag me to Clinic D at KKH. It’s not a comfortable place to wait for your consultation, and worst the queue is usually pretty long, regardless of having an appointment. (Makes you wonder why the hell they have the appointment system.) Anyway we waited and waited and finally we got to see him. I was actually a little surprised, I had expected an older guy and he was younger than I thought. But the first question he asked really stumped me, “do you know of any biology tuition teacher? I’m looking for one for my daughter’s A level exam”. I was like “huh?? 平时不烧香,临时抱佛脚! (No preparation/training and trying to cope at the last minute.) What kind of parent are you?” Yep, first impression went from skeptical to downright negative. Totally no faith in him. But my husband forced me to continue with the consultation.

I found out that KKH has a private suite which provides a more comfortable consultation experience at a premium. So I went straight for that. Unfortunately the nurse screwed up my request and I returned to Clinic D for my follow-up consultation. I was already displeased by then, but the worst was yet to come. We had to wait 2 hours for our turn, and I was getting more and more pissed by the minute. My husband was trying damn hard to calm me down. By the time we went into the consultation room, I was literally boiling with anger and boy, did I vent on Loh. He asked me if I wanted to follow the catholic procedure of storing the embryos and I replied very coldly, “whatever, I don’t care!” Then he talked about the IVF procedure, and I told him straight to his face, “after I’m pregnant, I want to transfer to Thomson Hospital.” Immediately his face turned black, and he said testily, “if there’s any complication, you bear full responsibility!” I got even more pissed, and both of us looked as if we were about to kick each other in the ass. Luckily, the consultation ended quickly before we got into a screaming match. Needless to say, after we left the clinic, I received a fierce tongue lashing from my husband. He was mad at me for pissing Loh off; he was afraid Loh might blacklist me. I think, subconsciously, that might be my intention, so that my husband had no choice but to accede to my demand to return to WC Cheng Clinic.

So you see, unlike other women I didn’t go on this quest willingly, and I didn’t pick my gynae. All along, I had wanted a female gynae, but I was forced to see a male gynae. I was also mad with my husband for siding with Loh, which made me disliked the latter even more.

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