When they called me a couple of weeks ago with the bad news, the news bearer had the audacity to say, “We would like to offer you a no-cost consultation with the doctor”.
Luckily, I was still processing the fact that we were not pregnant, because, once I had a chance to replay the conversation in my mind, I reacted in a very different manner. Where, on the phone, I was polite and demure, a few hours later, my response was much more “snarky”. Anything that comes to your mind is probably what I wanted to tell them. Just think of phrases such as, “I paid over $10K for a failed cycle, the least you can do….” and “Really? No cost? Let’s actually talk about cost”.
I am convinced this clinic needs a major overhaul on their customer service and administrative staff, not to mention a complete system redesign on their patient and information flow.
So, due to the shock induced politeness, Noah and I attended our no-cost, complimentary doctor’s visit. I’m not sure what the doctor could have told us that we didn’t already know. I knew he couldn’t give us a definitive answer on why our little embryo didn’t latch on, and I pretty much knew what our options were. As soon as I knew we weren’t pregnant, I did what I usually do and ran to Google. I had already contacted a frozen egg bank in the Dallas area before we got the official word, and they have been on standby to provide me information. I asked the doctor about fresh donor eggs, as well as donor embryos, and what their success rate was.
Of course, we had to wait over an hour past our appointment time in order to be told what we already knew. It took almost 45 minutes to be taken back to an exam room. Not that I was getting an exam. Nope, it was a holding area for us to wait another half hour before being taken to the doctor’s office. I thought he would follow us right in, but, again, we were just left there for about another 15 minutes. Meanwhile, I had to take 3 hours of vacation time for less than an hour of consultation.
Sigh. I thought for sure I was going to go in there blazing and giving him a piece of mind. On the contrary. I listened, I asked, I took in the information, and we are still sure that we are going to try another cycle. The only questions now are:
1. Donor eggs (fresh or frozen, shared cycle, etc.) or
2. Donor embryos or
3. Take a chance with my eggs again
Of course, we need to know the cost before we make up our mind. The doctor couldn’t tell us, so now we have to (once again) wait to be contacted by a person we hadn’t heard about until today.
This isn’t the first day I have had the thought, after all the stress and headaches this clinic has given us, we could have just stayed in Virginia. Of course, then I remember the awesome job that I have, and the great people Noah and I have met through our homebrewing adventures. Without the opportunity I was given with the job I have, and the lower cost of living here in Arkansas, not to mention the generosity of family and friends, we would have never even dreamed that IVF was a reality.
So, that, my loyal readers, is why we keep going. Because, for now, our dream is still a possibility. Even if we have to deal with subpar clinic staff.
Now, on to my search for the perfect egg/embryo. If anyone has any insight, please feel free to share. Just like IVF was a year ago, the donor aspect is a new road for us. For instance, is a home study really necessary if we get a donated embryo? Apparently, according to one website, it is.
Funny, when you are 24 and looking in your groom’s eyes, thinking of the future, you never think of these things. You never think your body will not do what it was built to do. You never think you’d be discussing sperm motility and estradiol levels over dinner. So, when, eleven plus years later, your shortcomings are thrown in your face, you either let it beat you, or, if you’re anything like me, you research the bejeezus out of something until it’s no longer scary, and you can look across the doctor’s desk and discuss options on his level.