Friday, April 17, 2009

The Out-of-Towner

Today marks exactly five weeks since my retrieval -- 4w5d from when the biopsies would have reached the lab -- and still no word on my CGH results. I know the official wait time is six weeks, and I was thoroughly informed of this interval by the geneticist, but other people seemed to have heard within the four-to-five week range so I had hoped I would too. I've found that the two-hour time difference between CCRM (MT) and me (EDT) just adds further frustration because even though my day might start around 7 am, the relevant people in Lone Tree, CO are all still sound asleep in their beds. Now that I'm down to the finish line, I watch the clock every morning, impatiently awaiting 11 am which is the earliest I can realistically expect a call. At least I started Estrogen Priming today – a consolation of sorts since it means the ball is once again in motion.

Next come the travel arrangements. Because CCRM requires that your Day 6 ultrasound be done in their offices, I usually fly to Denver on Day 5. Hotel and rental car booking can be arranged now and based on estimated dates, but airfare will wait until I know positively what day Day 5 actually is. If things play out as expected, I will fly out on April 27 and my husband will follow five days later. Since switching to CCRM, I’ve been cycling back-to-back which means I get my post-retrieval period and then I start right up again. Each time I pull out my suitcase, I feel as if I've only just unpacked from my previous cycle -- largely because I have. Still, it’s a feeling that I’m used to and with routine (this one included) comes an odd comfort. Interestingly, as much as it’s inconvenient to be out of town for a week and half every month, I've noticed that it’s actually very healing to be away from home during my cycle. The physical separation provides a buffer that allows me to segregate IVF, if even a little, from the rest of my life.

When I first started looking into IVF in late 2007, I narrowed my search to three clinics: one local, one very local and CCRM. Even back then I viewed CCRM as the mother of all clinics, an opinion based not only on their SART stats but on a significant amount of anecdotal data -- the experiences of women who had cycled there. At the time, it was the distance that scared me off. As an IVF novice, I just couldn’t envision flying across the country to do a cycle. It seemed so extreme, so excessive...especially since I lived just outside of New York City, home to a number of well-regarded clinics. What’s more, cycling locally seemed difficult enough with the daily ultrasounds and bloodwork; how exactly would cycling 1,500 miles away work? Could it really be worth the effort? The fact that so many women were doing it should have been a big clue, but I wound up initially choosing the shorter commute over the cross-country jaunt. The great irony, of course, is that my local clinic turned out to involve a treacherous one-hour drive whereas my hotel in Colorado is a relaxing 10-minute ride from CCRM. I still kick myself for not heading to Colorado straight away, but I suppose everything’s a process, even good decision-making.


DAVs said...

I've never had the anxiety of the genetic testing wait...the 2 WWs were enough to nearly send me over the edge.
It's exciting that you're already in plans to head out again, to make even more embryos! I'm getting that know the one...where I feel like I want to cycle again...

djhope07 said...

You can't kick yourself for not going to CCRM sooner. When I met you during our first clomid cycles (man that seems to long ago), who knew anything about karyotypes? We were so naive then. You followed the protocol for doing what you had to do and now you are with the best. The past got you to this point. And, you've come a long way. You have certainly gained a lot of knowledge along the way and look how you are educating others. You are a very strong and brave woman! I am glad you are sharing your story for others to read. I'll always be here cheering you on!!!

kayjay said...

I think you have to do the closer to home option first to convince yourself that yes, the trek cross country is worth it. I tried 3 clinics up here before even contemplating going to the US for treatment (I'm in Canada) and with the foreign exchange rates, it was quite the financial pill to swallow. I hope you get your results soon - my wait was relatively short compared to yours but agonizing all the same. I also found it more relaxing to cycle at CCRM since you were there for the sole purpose of cycling and there were no distractions like there are at home. You'll be back in Denver before you know it!

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