Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Expect the unexpected

Yesterday we had our final counselling appointment for egg donation. This one was a half-hour session each for each couple (Rob and Claudia together, then Geekman and me together), followed by half an hour with all four of us.

The counsellor's Topic of the Day (aka "I couldn't think of any real issues") was "anticipate unanticipated problems".

We pointed out that, by definition, the unanticipated was not something you can anticipate, but apparently this wasn't good enough. The counsellor posed some made-up scenarios and asked us how we would react: "StyleyGeek, what if after the baby's born, you come over all possessive and want to steal it?" And we pointed out that, actually, we discussed these possibilities last session, so they are technically no longer unanticipated. (Although still highly unlikely).

Then the counsellor pressed us to come up with a "generic" plan of action for any unanticipated problems. Geekman politely refused, since he pointed out that any action would depend on the nature of the situation, and the situations she was talking about were... unanticipated.

(Afterwards, he suggested we should have offered to role-play what we would do in the event of a meteor strike.)

Then we sat in near silence for twenty minutes, with the occasional reiteration of, "Well, you sound like you have thought about this all pretty well, really. I'm not sure what else we need to discuss" [her] and "Hmm... so... yeah"* [us].

The only other topic we discussed in the group meeting was whether we were all comfortable putting our feelings on the table and diplomatically expressing our needs, rather than bottling things up. Geekman demonstrated his competence in this by putting his feeling of overheatedness on the table (the office was stuffy and he had just been running beforehand) and diplomatically expressing a need to remove his shoes. He stretched out his sweaty naked feet in the middle of the counsellor's elegant rug, and for some inexplicable reason, the session ended quite soon after that.

The counsellor promised to write a report certifying that none of us are nuts (except maybe Geekman, but I don't think that barefootedness is a "danger sign" on her list), and this means that at the next doctor's appointment on 13th October we sign a contract and hopefully can then begin the treatment.


* Translation: "Can we leave yet, or does the IVF clinic require you to state that the session was 30 minutes long"?