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?)

7 thoughts on “First impressions

  1. We have been seen at two NHS clinics. The first failed BIG TIME, it was part of the general maternity clinic so all of the posters were pregnancy related and there were pregnant ladies and ladies with prams and toddlers EVERYWHERE. It was one of the most distressing and horrible experiences I have had in a hospital and that includes a stomach operation. The second was much better, it was in a general clinic area so there were old people, people on crutches, and yes, a few pregnant ladies, but they were diluted. The notice boards were for all sorts of things and I felt much better. I have also been in a private clinic waiting room. This was the best by a long way, comfortable seats, tissues, a water cooler and the notice boards were fully IF related and relevant. It did not take much, just some thought and empathy towards the patient.

  2. Bravo for your clinic not having BABY magazines! Our waiting room is similar, there are some innocuous architecture & design magazines, but then there’s also tons of parenting and Kid’s Readers and ack! I’d love to watch Jamie Oliver whisk spermy-looking egg whites while reading a fashion magazine filled with tiny skinny women that I could never be, but at least they’re flat: flat chested, flat bellied…definitely NOT pregnant! ;) That would be better than the mommy and me books and the piped in a-little-too-obviously-soothing-native-flute music that just screams “please don’t kill me hormonally deranged ladies in the waiting room. Here, listen to this nice music!”

  3. Yaaaaaaay blog!!!!!

    Egg whites looking like sperm? Pervert. ;)

    They really have to knock it off with the whole pastel theme to RE’s offices. I’d have more respect for them if they just cloaked it in all black. More appropriate, anyways.

  4. My clinic changed their location inside the hospital. First time I went to it, well let’s just say I wasn’t impressed. New clinic still not that impressive. Small flat screen tv mounted on wall. Chairs crowd the waiting room. Present ID, no sign in sheet, which means more anonymity but then again less at times when the clinic folks know you so well they just scream to see you and hug you. Yes, I’m that well liked or maybe it’s just the cookies I bake that are well liked?

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day!

    The decor of our dr’s office has a lot of artwork with the theme “Today you…Tomorrow a family”…sometimes it’s nice to see and recently not as much. They do have sperm artwork which makes it fun!! A friend (and a patient there) told us that a lot of the women in the waiting room are “famous” people who have come up from Mexico…apparently singers and novella actresses.

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