Wednesday 11th August 2010
One year ago.
The other day, I was banging on about the ‘Guide to Getting Started Handbook, Version 3.1’, and the ‘Treatment Cycle Handbook, Version 1.’
But there was one more booklet that I just couldn’t swallow at the time.
I read it tonight.
And it goes a little something like this:
1. GENERAL INFORMATION CONSENT FORM – ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY (ART) PROCEDURES
Within this legal document the following definitions are used:
- They/Them = The IVF dudes
- You/Us/We = You and your wife, dumb ass
- Fleischer = Your IVF guru
- Eggs = Things your wife makes
- Sperm = Things you make
- Embryos = The fertilised bits
In signing this form, we hereby agree to the following:
There’s shit that they need to tell us about. This document is where they tell us all the really heavy shit. We are welcome to ask questions. At the end, we’ll need to sign to say that we’ve read the shit.
As well as this one, there’ll be more forms every single time Fleischer comes near Suse with a needle.
So get ready to sign for that shit too.
A. Treatment Information
1. There are a number of things they might do:
- Prepare you with drugs (your wife, not you),
- Before they collect the eggs,
- And mix them in a cup of your sperm. (If you don’t have fresh ones stock, they might use some out the freezer)
- Then they’ll put them back in,
- Under anaesthetic,
- And keep the leftovers for an omelette,
- Or freeze them for a rainy day.
- And, remember, it rains a lot in IVF.
2. We hereby let them do aforementioned shit.
3. They’ll check if we have HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C. Because that would really suck, and might change things a bit. You know, given the whole police check thing, they might even send you to jail.
4. Training doctors are allowed to practice on my wife. But only if they smile nicely.
5. We trust that Fleischer will make a shit-hot concoction to get my wife fertile as, bro.
6. And, like I said before, every time she comes near Suse with a big fat needle, we’ll sign a form that says ‘go for it’.
B. Possible risks and or complications
7. We understand that heaps of stuff can go wrong. There are a lot of complications, including miscarriage, ectopic pregnancies, and failure to get pregnant. Like that hasn’t happened to us already. The doctor might fuck up in untold numbers of ways – some that haven’t yet been invented. If this happens, we promise not to get too angry.
8. Remember, there’s a 10% chance of having twins after IVF, because they can split with all the handling. So only one embryo goes in at a time, okay?
9. All right, If you’re a lunatic, she’ll put in two. But she’ll shake her head while she does.
If you want three, you’ll have to go to India.
If you want eight, you’ll have to go on Oprah.
10. And remember, Fleischer might fuck up. And, like we said before, we promise not to get too angry.
11. If one of the guys in the lab stabs themselves with our sperm, then that makes him a tool. But he’ll want to check himself for rabies. And we are cool with that.
12. This bit is so crazily important, that I’m going to quote it verbatim:
‘I/We understand that human controlled manual movement of microscopic material between laboratory dishes involves a risk of error that cannot be entirely eliminated…I/We are prepared to accept this risk.’
Interpret as follows: We might get Brian’s kid. We might get a Monday baby that fell off the conveyor belt. We might end up with a black baby. Whoops. Sorry. Shit happens.
All the same, we’re just going to have to trust them.
Cause we’ve got no choice.
But if they do fuck up, please don’t get too angry.
They didn’t mean it.
They just had a big weekend.
Oh, and the world might explode one day.
* * * * *
13. Pay attention to this one too:
‘I/We understand that it is possible that in the future there could be ranges of possible adverse effects from the treatment, which as yet are unknown and could occur to the female partner or to any offspring conceived as a result of the treatment, and that no long-term information is currently available.’
This means: They only discovered HIV in 1983. They have to discover new shit at some time, or else it’s not new shit. Let’s just hope they don’t find it in your wife and kids.
This is the shit they have to tell us that really is shit.
14. If we were psychologically unstable before, just wait till we start IVF.
C. Possible treatment outcomes
15. We’ve read the book, and we know the odds, as bad as they are. But for IVF standards, they’re pretty bloody good, actually.
16. At the end of all this, we might not get pregnant. Bummer, eh?
17. And we might not be the one pulling the plug.
D. Creation of Embryos
18. By law, embryos can only be made to put in my wife. We can’t make them to create a master race, or to send them to Mars. The Government won’t let us. They want to get the credit for the first Mars-babies.
But we can freeze the leftovers for the rainy day.
Future rainy days are known as FETs (Frozen embryo transfers).
They’ll thaw them before putting them back in.
E. Embryo, Egg and Sperm Storage
19. We are allowed to keep our embryos in the deep freezer for five years. For $99.95 we can extend that time by another five years, and we might get a new set of steak knives. If we ask nicely.
If we skip the country without leaving a phone number or forwarding address:
a) We are dickheads.
b) They take the steak knives back.
b) We can’t get angry if they throw our bits in the bin. Because we signed a form to says that we are dickheads.
20. Our sperm and eggs, on the other hand, are frozen for ten years.
21. We can’t take our embryos, or our sperm or eggs home with us. No matter what brand of freezer we have.
Unless, that is, they are still inside our bodies.
In which case, we can keep them on loan for the moment.
* * * * *
To be continued…