Our first visit to Tygerberg Fertility Clinic

The staff at Tygerberg Hospital are all very friendly. I’m not sure why this came as a big surprise to me, but it did. Yesterday was our first appointment with the team at Tygerberg to see how we can have a child. Fertility treatment is super expensive, so we are hoping to use the programme at Tygerberg, as it’s a more affordable solution. (For more info about why we are on this path, read this page.)

We were only there for roughly 3 hours, but it felt long. Here’s a snapshot of how our day went:

6am Left home.

7:15am Arrive for our 7:30am appointment. Wander around the parking lot desperately looking for the main entrance –  panic a bit, because we don’t want to be late. Eventually, I ask a student nurse walking across the parking lot for directions.

7:20am Find main entrance – Finally!

Me: “I thought that was the entrance to underground parking?”
KB: “Jeez, it’s bleak.”

And that’s an understatement. My instruction from Mrs Parker (when I spoke to her in January to get today’s appointment) was to go register on the 3rd floor, so that’s where we head. (But I must have misunderstood…)

7:30am We make it to the 3rd floor, right on time! But we’re told we must first go and register me as a patient on the ground floor and then come back up to the 3rd floor.

We hurry along corridors looking for the elusive registrations office. The hospital is huge. And creepy AF. I expect a horde of zombies to come down a passage at any given moment. The passages all have massive metal gates on either end. Most of the rooms down one particular passage have a small window in the door, with a heavy safety gate barring entry (or is it exit?) There is no sign of movement through the observation windows running the length of these rooms, but I’m too chicken freaked out to peer in. In a horror movie that would be the equivalent of going down into the dark basement because there’s a wierd noise coming from down there.

7:40am Find the registrations room. Sit in the queue to get my name ticked off the list of appointments for the day.

7:55am Get issued a scrap of paper with “Gine” written on it.  I’m told to hand it in at the admin counter. Go and sit in the admin counter queue.

I phone Mrs Parker’s office to let her know that we were in the building and apologised for being late. Her colleague answered the phone and assured me that it was fine, as their system is first-come-first-served.

8:15am Amin clerk opens a file for me; she’s friendly and helpful. (To open a file they need your ID document and a proof of residential address.)

Head back into the maze of corridors and down past the creepy psych rooms(?) to get back to the 3rd floor.

8:30am On the 3rd floor I hand my file to the clerk at the counter and find a seat to wait for my name to be called.

9am A chap comes around offering everyone a plastic dish of sandwiches. He is accompanied by an older woman offering a tray of Oros to everyone. I politely declined both, but many, particularly those with small children, gladly accept.

9:40am My name is called. They completely mispronounce my surname, but I’m so grateful they’ve called me that I just go with it. They confirm my details, as captured by the admin clark, and request proof of income. I didn’t know to bring one, but it’s OK, I can bring it next time. They fill in the income figure I give them.

9:55am I must take my file and hand it to Mrs Parker in Room 29.

10am In exchange for my file, I am handed a cup with a screw-on lid in which to give a urine sample. I am also given a wad of toilet paper, as there is none in the toilet cubicle.

Side note: They gave me the smallest “sample container” created by man. The inevitable happened… I peed on my hand. *Sigh*

10:03am Hand sample to the nurse. Am told politely to wait outside in the passage until my name is called.

10:20am Dr Geyer calls KB and I. We chat to him in an examination room and explain our situation to him. Dr Geyer is only at Tygerberg for one week every month as he is in the process of qualifying in a sub specialised field, and has his own practise in Rustenberg. He is such a nice man and very helpful and positive about our option for KB to have a testes biopsy before I have an ICSI procedure. He wrote more blood tests for me to have done. Once we have the tests back, I must email it and other specified info to the team at the hospital. Dr Thabo Matsaseng will go through our file and confirm an appointment for KB’s procedure and will likely request hormone tests for me (to test my ovary reserves, as I am over 35).

10:35am We are done for today and head home. As we walk out the door a security woman stops me and asks to check my bag – Presumably to make sure I hadn’t stolen a baby.

It was a long morning, but less of a runaround than I had expected. All in all, not a bad day. Now to get (more) blood tests done… Goes and puts on another pair of big-girl panties…

Some of my first impressions/thoughts of Tygerberg Hospital:

  • It is massive. There are so many buildings!
  • It’s really old and really needs a lot of TLC, but it is clean
  • The staff are friendly and helpful
  • The building signage outside is really bad/vague
  • The passages are super creepy – I don’t envy the night-shift staff
  • There seems to be some form of security; I was stopped for a bag check on the way out and KB was stopped at the security boom where you exit so they could check our car’s boot

Nicky

6 Comments

  1. Hi,

    Did you have success at Tygerberg? I went for a round of ICSI there is Sept which was unsuccessful, just wanted to know how it went for you?

    • Hi Hailey! I am sorry to hear that your first attempt at the ICSI procedure was unsuccessful 🙁 I haven’t been for the procedure yet and plan on going ahead this year. It must have been very disappointing and is one of my biggest fears, but I guess it’s a risk we take through this whole process – wish in you every success if you try again x

  2. Hi Nicky
    Do you perhaps know where the best place to park would be and where the main entrance / admin office is? We were told to open a file there first before heading to 3rd floor reception.

    Once again, a fantastic article.

    • Hi Rafieka – I think there might be other parking areas and entrances, but we always used the same one. We always parked in the big General parking lot that is as you go through the main entrance gate/boom, past the residency buildings on the left. Then we walked across the road and used the entrance that is under the area that looks like underground parking. It’s a concrete structure that’s quite dark underneath. When you go through the doors there you can ask the security people to direct you to the Administration desk to Register. I can’t explain it but if you’re in the foyer using the entrance we did then you would walk down past the lifts and turn right down a long (creepy) corridor. All the way to the bottom then turn right if I recall. When you get to the admin are a there will be a security-type desk. Get into this queue first. They will cross your name off a list that they have and hand you a scrap of paper (this is how we did it when we opened files a year ago, but it may have changed since then?). Then you will sit in the queue to actually open a file at the counter.

      Remember to take an ID and a proof of residential address as well as your pay slip (we were told Tygerberg bill according to your income level and we were required to supply this).

      On your way out the build in you may be asked to open your and bag and they also might flag you to open your car boot at the security boom outside when you leave.

      Tip: Go early as there are loads of people and the queue is long

    • And also when you go back up to the end floor, politely go to the counter with the bar’s and tell them you’re not sure what to do next. They’ll ask for your file and tell you to wait until the call your name (here is where they’ll ask for pay slip). We waited quite a while here. Once you get called and confirm your details they’ll hand you your file and tell you to go to room29 where you hand it to the ladies there. I think you’ll then wait again to be called. It’s a long process, but maybe things have changed since we first opened our files?

      All the best lovely, wishing you all the positive thoughts and that things work out for you! And let me know how it goes x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *