Friday, November 4, 2011

Signing my life away...well at least my embryos

This week has been filled with all the fun preparation needed for our IVF cycle. Like anything bureaucratic, there are lots of hoops to jump through, both medical-wise and paperwork-wise. Don't get me wrong, I am counting my blessings. My insurance covers us for up to 6 IVF cycles over my lifetime. That is much, much more than most women have.

Anyway, because we are nearing our year anniversary with the RE (will she buy us dinner and bring roses?), we needed to update all of our testing, before we start IVF. This is not only for the insurance companies, but also to make sure there is nothing in the way of a successful procedure.

For hubby, that is just a dimly lit date with a specimen cup and a blood draw. For me, it was the mother of all blood draws (6 vials!), ANOTHER ultrasound, a hysteroscopy, uterine measurements, a pap smear, and STD testing. All very fun stuff. The hysteroscopy sucked, but all my girl parts looked healthy and perfect.

However, more than seeing my uterine walls on a TV screen, the most interesting part of the process has been the steep stack of consent forms we filled out. These cover every microscopic detail of the procedure, along with every possible risk. I really should have avoiding reading all of it. We are definitely talking about the stuff of nightmares.

For some reason though, I found it hilarious when we had to sign off on the "what ifs" part, regarding our potential frozen embryos. We had to make contingency plans for possible divorce, death, and the Apocalypse (complete with the undead roaming the earth). Well, almost. For each, we had to decide:
1. Would I be in charge of the little snowballs?
2. Would hubby be in charge of the little snowballs?
3. Would the snowballs be donated to research studies if we didn't use them?
4. Would the snowballs be discarded with last night's leftovers, after 5 years?

I know a lot of people have serious ethical/moral/religious issues with this stuff, and I don't want anyone to feel like I am being insensitive. But for me, at least while it is hypothetical, it just seems so bizarre. I can almost picture zombies invading the cryo-lab and stealing my future sons or daughters! The ensuing conversation between hubbs and I was so surreal, that you had to giggle.

But, you know what isn't funny? The fact that there are now THREE pregnant women at work. Two have announced, one has not yet. It also isn't funny that a friend who had initially gotten pregnant with her second IVF cycle, lost her baby last week. It also astounds me that I am one of three women at work (and maybe a suspected fourth) who are all undergoing IVF treatment at the same time.

I really am trying to stay positive and hopeful about our first IVF. We have a lot of good factors on our side. But, it seems that there are always little reminders that even all this amazing technology has limitations.


  1. Ready for the next step!! I hope you enjoy egg retrieval and free slipper socks as much as I did.

  2. I'm so impressed and jealous that your insurance covers 6 IVFs. All of the testing you're going through is such a pain! The consent forms sound crazy. I'm glad you're at least able to get through these hoops well in advance of when your cycle will start and that you aren't rushed.


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