My pregnancy diary – Monday 10th April 2017
8:30pm in Saronìtha and I am apparently 40 reference points pregnant. I am still unbelieving and shy about it. Still nervous to tell anyone but mum and Marina, and very much thrilled to give Kingsley a sibling…but it’s still a quiet achievement for me. My imagination goes often these past hours to how I’d like for Erroll to know. And his mum and Annamiek. For the ladies, Phuket in five weeks would be ideal: over our first breakfast, by the pool, in the lagoon, my fattened stomach the evidence all would need to confirm our family grows. For Erroll definitely face to face; at his Athens hotel during a layover (please Emirates Scheduling Department give Erroll an Athens flight or two in early May).
I wasn’t expecting anything like a blood test for HcG levels this morning at Dr Nikos’ Embryoland Clinic. All I was there to do was hand over the remaining €1000 I owed for the IVF (cash only) and gain in return some hope and confidence that the procedure that morning on Friday 31st March would ‘work’. Oh, and learn some patience for the HcG test scheduled for the 14th – in 4 days time. My visit at his clinic was as usual very warm, inviting, homely. Safely depositing Kingsley on the little yellow school bus at 8:30am I set off for Athens remarkably calm and having traveled down this road four times already, I wasn’t allowing my mind to wander dangerously into a delighted state of hope with visions of big bellies and jolly husbands proudly declaring to all and sundry on board his flights that ‘my wife is pregnant again!’ No. I allow no imagination to sprout colorfully around sensible thoughts these days. Not even those odd twangs in the lower abdomen I’d been sensing recently; heck -been there, done that: they were most definitely the result of progesterone therapy. Sticking three pessaries up the clacker did it to me last time…and last time the results were negative.
I’d taken both iPad and cell to Embryoland – even visited Vodaphone that morning, purchasing myself a Greek cell number – so was busy calling mum, writing to friends, sending photos, head hunched over two devises while scores of patients hunched their own heads over their own devises and unconsciously patted swollen bellies when Dr Nikos appears. Again he is swarmed by assistants, patients and nurses. His two cell phones ring non stop (usual) and he greets every person – husbands and wives – with a personal chat, handshake/kiss on cheek and introduction of who has traveled from where, who speaks what language and how many babies he is responsible for. To me he smiles broadly, kisses me twice and asks if my boobs are swelling. I’m for once speechless. I actually don’t know. I’ve not let my mind actually study any bodily responses over the past ten days.
Today a lot of pregnancy was on show. I surprised myself – even heard my own voice praising me – at how cool and unaffected I seemed! – so Dr Nikos’ chirpy suggestion ‘we take a little blood today; why not! Who knows what we find? Plus I don’t want you traveling all the way here again in four days from Saronìtha’, threw my balance. I was now listening to my nervous/excited/anxious/doomsday/questioning voice in response: ‘isn’t it too early to ‘see’ anything?’ Followed by ‘what happens if its negative?’ Then a blur. Dr Nikos takes control, calls his nurse, orders her to take my blood ‘just enough for HcG’ then pats me on the shoulder whispering hopefully ‘we’ll see! Now go with my nurse and wait for half an hour. Results then.’
And with that I was whisked off to the nurses’ station. Dutifully presenting my left arm (right arm vein rolls and uncooperative I’d learned long ago) I squeeze my fist, blood is drawn (now there’s a nice vein for blood taking, she compliments me strangely) and I hop off the seat. Back to the waiting room, it’s pregnant couples, hopeful ladies streaming in, Greek magazine (knocked one off for mum) and back onto my devises.