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We are happy going with the ABC fertility clinic, we have decided on a donor and the donor sperm has already arrived at the clinic, so we need to do just one final day in London with various appointments to get everything sorted.

Because our first appointment is at the crack of dawn, we stay overnight in a cheap hostel just by St Paul’s Cathedral. It smells musty inside our little room. The carpet is dirty. We have small metal bunk beds that squeak whenever we turn. There are no towels, so I dry myself after a quick foray into the disgusting shower with a bed sheet. It’s sort of funny. It’s terrible.

I can hear the bells of the cathedral ring all through night. After the early morning alarm we get ready in the dark, and when we step outside it is still dark and raining.

Our appointment is in a huge skyscraper in the City of London, smack-dab in the middle of the banking district. We take the lift down to the basement, and end up on an actual clinic recovery ward – it’s all little cubicles with treatment benches.

This is where I will be after my surgery. Read more

 

It comes down to two donors.

Two potential fathers for our – at this point entirely imaginary – child.

It makes me feel as if I am choosing between two possible children. One with that glint in their eye, one with the nice smile. They’ll be so very different, how are we meant to decide this?

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We struggled with Bourn Hall fertility clinic the first time we went there, and we continued to struggle with them for months after. They sent us the wrong bills. They refused to quote us a total cost for the treatment there. They didn’t respond to emails. They seemed scattered, uninformative, uninterested, and 100% out for the money.

So we agreed to do just one more. One more clinic to visit on the off chance that they were better, and then we’d have to make a final decision.

Enter ABC IVF!

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We’re in Barcelona. We have always loved this city, so it seems only logical that it would be here, on our same turquoise sofa where we first said that we loved each other… that we are sitting now, selecting sperm donors.

Oh, what changes in a few years!

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We had a cat when I was born, a fluffy Persian that I can’t remember but my mother says I absolutely loved. He was the first of a long line – I have adored cats for as long as I have been alive. Next was a black street cat, a hunter who brought home a grown rabbit once. A red tabby, who would track down rats at our farm. Princess, who I adopted from a shelter because she was the most scared one looking there and she was going to be put down that day.

I wanted to be a vet as a child. Our local vet let me watch surgeries and I was fascinated. I helped out in shelters, I fed the cats and played with them, I cleaned off their babies and washed out their infected eyes.

There were a lot of strays in the small town I grew up in as well, roaming the fields, whole gangs of them, and I eagerly attempted to befriend them all.

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