Report from the fork

Well, what a very interesting few days. I could write an enormous blog about it, but for now, I’ll try and keep it short, here are the soundbites:

– very nice setup with very friendly and helpful staff. Turning up as a newbie you stand out. We could see that quite clearly after a few hrs when some other shell shocked “deer in the headlight” couple turned up looking completely lost and not knowing whether to start at the nurses reception desk on the left or dr reception desk on the right (give away sign of newbies).

– The place isn’t crowded and you don’t feel like you are part of a herd . Its 3 floors in a dedicated building in the middle of nowhere (well apart from a stonking, gleaming new hospital next door). Top floor is the dedicated world of retrievals and transfers and probably other “in cycle” steps. The ground floor is where we met all the nurses, business staff (aka accountants) , doctors, form signers etc. Basement is the where the boys go to crash the yogurt truck. You’d expect nothing less. Leave the lads to their handy work in the basement.

– Geez – enough on the frikkin building… how’s the treatment? In 3 words, thorough and informative. You really get the feeling they look at things very closely and you just sense that by doing so they may have a few new tricks up their sleeve. Quick run down of the day:

– Met Dr Schoolcraft. Nice guy, straight up, happy to chat and doesn’t seem to be in a rush and answers questions very well and generally quoting studies etc to confirm why he and his team do what they do. You learn things speaking to him and they resonate in your head that they seem reasonable as you speak to him. Its nice to get that feeling even if you know all of this may come to nothing at the end of the day.

– The Business mgnt staff. Talk money up front and spell it out pretty clearly. Bloody expensive, but is what it is. Will dig up the numbers if anyone wants to know.

– Baseline work. One word. Wow. Very thorough and incredibly informative. We asked questions and step by step we knew exactly what was going on without prompting the nurse . We also learnt a few things as the nurse light sabered around my wife’s innards with that ultrasound :

(1) Doppler – this measures blood pumping around the ute. You want it under 3 and nice peaks and troughs. The Mango Princess was hitting 5’s and dropping right back to zero between peaks. Appears acupuncture can help that.

(2) Follice count. Not sure we have had this before but they counted the number of follies Mango has. She scored 15 each side which was great…. we believe (further googling revealed that only 11% of women get this high). This count wasn’t easy, so the nurse did it twice (quality effort or what?)

(3) Spotting a spot. The nurse also spotted a spot about 1cm in size that could be a cyst or endometriosis on one of the ovaries. We  dont know what it is yet, time will tell, but bloody well spotted. Mr IVF , an bit of an avid scan watcher these days, was impressed given he thought he had seen it all when it come to (empty 😦 ) ute scans.

(4) 3D ute shot – no idea what this does for the process but it would make a cool game for the playstation

We also met our nurse, a genetics counselor, did some blood work, took the yogurt truck down to the basement for a spin, signed some papers and generally came out very well informed. We had lots of questions, learnt  a lot and feel as good as we could.

Still, the overwhelming feeling was this for me: this seem seems very well run and they are all 100% focused on trying to get you a healthy child, but behind the nice waterfall and pristine environment there are very blunt clinical facts being shared and hard decisions being made sometimes. If your eggs aren’t good, or your yogurt is crap these guys will hit you right between the eyes with it, (not splattered yogurt – just tough verdicts). There is zero BS in this facility. This is not a complaint, its just part of the ride. Its realistic and the goal is to give you a healthy child through, at the end of the day, a sperm / egg combination that works. Don’t take this that they push donor solutions down your throat, they don’t, but going donor does have an 80% success rate and their goal is to get you pregnant. So no false hopes, lots of great support and thorough analysis, and that’s just great, but for people less hardened by the IVF lifestyle, you could see how people could get expectations up.

This place I think is truly the fork in the IVF road. If we get bad eggs or bad yogurt here, they don’t sugar coat it, and I dont think there is any better place to go and we’d need to make a call – bash on, go donor or give up. Part of that is exciting, as we might finally try a few new tricks that can get us over the hurdle, but also, one way or the other, this place will be our IVF finale and it may end well, or it may be the wildest rollercoaster we have yet to see, and that, my blog world friends, is truly shit scary. Knowing that the IVF world of mirrors will probably end here is daunting, we will leave the maze and I have no one to predict how, when or in what shape.

Oh – next steps? Mango needs to get her HSG (again) next month so we prob wont stim for another 45 days, but that’s ok. We want to get going again, but only once all the test results are back, the dr’s have a plan and we are all on the same page.

One other thing. Denver and surrounding areas are a great place to spend the weekend, although if you are having your ute played with (like for a hysteroscopy) you can rule out white water rafting for a week as your cervix and other chick bits need to bend back into shape. The Princess was not happy about this as the rafting was top of the do list for the weekend, (so much so that she asked the nurse if we can come out a few days early and raft before the stims get too full on. “Ah” came the response “maybe if you sit in the middle of the boat and do nothing?”)

So rafting is off for now (with a lifetime promise in place that we’ll tick that off the list some day), but the rest of Denver looks a go.

Let me know if you have any specific questions, otherwise I’ll prob come back and fill in the gaps in coming weeks.


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