First impressions

Seeing as I’m new to this, meeting bloggers for the first time and trying to make a good first impression on the Interwebs, I figured an appropriate topic of discussion might be that first visit you make to a fertility clinic and the impression it leaves.

I’m going to write a separate post about our specialist and his personal office, because that’s a whole other chestnut involving sperm-shaped stress balls, so for now I’m talking strictly about the clinic itself. I don’t know about you kids, but I’ve become fascinated by fertility clinic decor, at least in the private system. (Despite all the awesomeness of Canadian healthcare, fertility treatments are only covered in certain provinces — Quebec? Bingo! Ontario? Not so much). To cut to the chase, we’re at a private clinic in downtown Toronto, which means the following:

Pastel colour scheme. Halogen lighting. Sleek birch furniture maybe one step up from IKEA. Subscriptions to fashion and cooking magazines. The occasional framed piece of art — usually a boring photo of Venice or Tuscany, definitely no babies. A penthouse suite (well, the top floor of an office building). And a huge plasma TV in the waiting room.

When hubby and I first walked in, we looked at the TV screen and saw what appeared to be a fairly significant semen sample in a stainless steel dish. We both thought, “Oh, maybe they’re showing what this spermwashing process involves…” Then suddenly a whisk came into the picture, and we were all, “Isn’t this supposed to be a more advanced procedure?” And then it panned up to Jamie Oliver and we realized this was the Food Network and those were egg whites in a mixing bowl. Phew!

Aside from the decor, we were both impressed with the demographics of the waiting room. There were women of all kinds: thin, fat, tall, short, black, white, older, younger, etc. Clearly, infertility doesn’t just happen because you ate too much junk food as a teenager or grew to be five-foot-eleven and stretched your reproductive organs too much (I was seriously starting to think such things).

Overall, our first impressions were pretty solid and we’ve been mostly happy with the treatment we’ve received. The only shocker? That I haven’t yet bumped into someone I know. In this city, women in their early 30s living and/or working downtown are usually only one or two degrees of separation from each other, so I’m waiting for that day when I finally recognize a name on the ultrasound sign-in list.

What about you? Good or bad feeling walking into your clinic for the first time?

(You can SORT OF understand, right?)