Fertility Treatments

Consultation Day

It’s been a long day. Long, but wonderful, and very informative. Here’s the run down:

7:00 AM – Woke up late, sat around enjoying my coffee.

9:00 AM – Realized I spent too much time on coffee and now needed someone else to make my breakfast: enter a stop at our local café for smoothies.

9:30 AM – Learned anew that Apple Maps always lies; traffic was not “moderate”.


9:45 AM – Well that was exciting. I have to go to confession now. Let’s go sit in traffic for another hour.

10:50 AM – We’re here. There’s no parking. I’m cranky.

12:15 to 1:30 PM – Appointment was at 11. We waited for, let’s say “a while”, had the consultation, drew some blood, and left. Dazed.

After that, it was a lot more driving, sitting in traffic, and having to pee. Sounds awful, right? It was actually fantastic, and there was more to it than that.

Our new fertility doctor (yay! We have one of those now!!) is lovely. When she asked how we found her, I explained that the embryo donation agency we used requires that we have our transfer done at her clinic and, bluntly, that she was the only female. I tend to say things like that. They sound funny and friendly in my head, but come out as a near-insult. She was kind enough to laugh.

We chatted for a while about our medical history and fertility journey and, to her great credit, the doctor took all our preferences for the transfer without any signs of judgment or condescension. Dang. I’d rehearsed, for weeks, all the tense arguments we’d have about the sanctity of life and the risks of having twins with double-embryo transfers. Instead, I got a totally decent person who just said, “Okay, understood. I think you have a very good chance of success and I look forward to helping you on your journey”.

The only downside to the visit, if you can call it that, was the question of PGS (Preimplantation Genetic Screening) for the embryos we’d received. Initially, Steve and I were on the same page that we did not want to do PGS tests on the embryos. These tests are used to determine whether or not an embryo is chromosomally normal, male or female, and viable for implantation in the womb. The doctor was very good about not giving us doom and gloom predictions about the “risk” of a child with Down syndrome, or even about the likelihood of having a failed transfer or miscarriage. Still, she was very matter of fact: the embryos we’ve received are the “extras” of someone else’s IVF cycle. They weren’t the best from the original batch and, without PGS testing, there’s no way of knowing which of these extras has the best chance (or any) of survival.

Oh boy. That’s going to take some very serious thought. To make matters worse, our care plan nurse explained the consequences of PGS testing: any embryos found to be lacking in chromosomes get shelved, permanently. When she found out that we had 9 of these to work with, she didn’t think this was a big deal. I do, because it means I’ll be condemning any of these little ones that don’t make the “cut”. On the other hand, I won’t be doing my body, my wallet, or the viable embryos any good by needlessly transferring embryos that won’t make it.

In the end, we didn’t make a decision on PGS then and there. I need to pray, to research a lot, and then pray some more.

On a lighter note, we did hang around in Newport Beach for a little while after the visit to have lunch and take a look at Lido Isle, a really fancy housing community for bajillionairres. We had lunch at a little place called Toast. The breakfast burrito we shared was amazing, but I was too hungry to remember to snap a photo. Here’s what the mini pie we shared looked like. It was taro and blueberry and, even though I’m not usually the sort of person to order an entire pie for myself and one other, the flavor combination was so enticing I decided it was worth it. And it was.

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