You may recall that last time I had IVF I had (through experience) expected to be able to get a counselling appointment soon after the negative result, but I wasn’t able to get one for two weeks. And for me, having the counselling sessions with an infertility expert was a big coping mechanism and not being able to have this safety net at the most difficult time was tough for me and made me feel anxious.

So I decided that when I had IVF again I’d make sure I had a date in the diary for a counselling appointment within a few days after the pregnancy test. In case it was negative. Because that would make me feel better – both at the time and also in advance – to know I would be able to talk that through with a specialist professional if I needed to. My counsellor agreed that planning for this was a good idea. She said I should make an appointment and come whatever the result as it would likely be helpful for me to share my feelings either way.

As you know IVF is unpredictable and they only gave me the date for my pregnancy test yesterday. Yesterday felt like the earliest I would have the info to hand to make this appointment, but spotting the ‘two weeks in advance’ pattern for appointments I had thought that’d be about right for making an appointment.

Well the IVF clinic didn’t have access to the counselling diary yesterday but they phoned me back this afternoon to make an appointment. I asked for one on 24th July (the day after the test) or soon after, and the next one I could get with my counsellor was 7th August. Almost a month from today and more than two weeks after the pregnancy test.

Nothing to be done about it, my counsellor is away on annual leave.

They were able to give me an appointment that week with their other counsellor. Which I took. An appointment with some random counsellor I’ve never met is possibly better than nothing. But I’m not best pleased with that.

If the result is negative this will be my most vulnerable time, and I would have liked to be able to see the counsellor that I had built up a relationship with and trust in over the past ten months or so. Actually, in some ways, much of the value in building up the trust and relationship is to help me out on that day. If I had to pick a single point in the IVF process to have an appointment, that would be it. This being my second time through IVF (and let’s be honest, potentially the second of many) I know what I need, and I need this.

This is seriously disappointing (especially as my last monthly appointment was cancelled the day before and they couldn’t give me another one for two weeks). And it annoys me that I planned this so well and it still didn’t work out. I told the husband and he was even more annoyed than me. He said that I work so hard to take responsibility for my wellbeing and work within the system, and it isn’t fair that I can’t have the little I ask for. He thinks I am often penalised for not having a nervous breakdown (in which case you’d hope they’d sort something out), but that I am not having a nervous breakdown because I am taking preventative measures and putting little safety nets in place to keep me going. The husband is keen to feed back to the IVF clinic on this. He thinks they are not looking after my wellbeing very well.

Well hopefully I’ll be pregnant and not need the counselling appointment in the end anyway…