Thursday, March 22, 2012

A cruel, unexpected setback

This morning at 9:10, I called the clinic to ask to go in for an ultrasound tomorrow morning, day 14, and they booked me in for 8:30. I got very excited, as I always do when we're so close, called Devon and put the appointment in my work calendar and went on my merry way. I left the office to get water, came back and there was a message on my phone.

It was the program director of the clinic calling. I've never met her. She left a message with no details and just asked me to call her. I did, immediately.

She told me she had bad news. I went to worst-case scenario and thought she was going to tell me that there had been an accident and somehow, our sperm sample had been ruined or lost or spilled or something. But no, she told me that the clinic is shutting down immediately for renovations, and that the lab will be closed until the end of April. "Sorry".

What I got from the conversation: The renovations "just happened". I work in the same fucking hospital, and things like that don't "just happen"... there is a process, which is usually delayed because it's Canadian healthcare and nothing happens fast. They booked me in for the ultrasound yesterday on the hopes that they'd figure something out, but it became clear almost immediately that it just wasn't going to happen. I guess my whole post about loving the fact that the clinic wasn't a state-of-the-art for-profit institution kind of bit me in the ass, eh? 

I was in a state of shock and didn't really ask the right questions, so none of this really made sense. I asked if there was any way possible they could ship my sample to another clinic and she said there is no time and that this month is completely out. All I could say was:

Me: "So I just took a Clomid for a full cycle for no reason?"
Her: "I'm so sorry. I don't have your chart in front of me, but we do still encourage you to have intercourse with your partner."
Me: "That's great, but although we keep trying, we can't get pregnant. Because I HAVE A FEMALE PARTNER".

She was mortified, and very apologetic after that. She was actually a very, very nice lady and with the exception of that comment, was very personable. I was so upset and didn't really have it in me to ask  more questions, but it was confirmed that I would be out at least a cycle, probably two.


I called Devon and started to cry and she was absolutely livid. Which, I have to say, was exactly what I needed. She asked for this woman's number - and all the numbers - to the clinic and said that she would get some answers, and that this was unacceptable. I've always been the one to deal with the clinic and she's never had to do anything there, so I was pleasantly surprised when she took this upon herself. Gotta love the features in your partner that you lack in yourself!

Three hours later, when she finally got through to a real live person, she had talked to this program director and to our RE, who heads the clinic. Basically, there is construction going on in a building adjacent to the clinic and there is an air quality issue in the lab to the point where they were worried about what might happen to the things IN the lab. They made the decision 24 hours ago to shut it all down to deal with the issue and, obviously, the IVF patients were top priority and anything frozen took the back seat. They do not have the man power to do all the paperwork to get the sample to another clinic in time.

Devon did push a bit, but basically the RE told her that the "safest" thing to do is to sit this one out. If they rushed it somehow, or let the specimen thaw in this lab and we either didn't get pregnant or got pregnant and there was something wrong with the fetus, they were worried about law suits, which I get. Again, it's Canadian healthcare.

I get that it is nobody's fault and I get that they have to prioritize the IVF patients and I get that shit happens. It just broke my heart today. 

If the clinic is still closed in April, we are able to ship the sample to another clinic in the city - at no cost to us. I imagine we would still pay the same amount for an IUI that we do at our own clinic and not the $150 extra that the new clinic charges, but we didn't get that sorted out yet. Our RE was a complete gentleman to Devon and kept talking in a way that made us sound like a team of three, which was nice for Devon to hear. And me to hear later.

It just kills me because we'd put so much thought into choosing to go ahead this month, despite our concerns about a December baby. We were empowered by the decision and were really excited at the possibility, and now, there is no possible way we will have a (full-term) baby by the end of 2012.

Oh, and at the same hospital, my best friend in the whole world gave birth to her baby boy today. I'm honestly so thrilled for her and can't wait to meet him tomorrow, but the news came moments after I found out about all of this, and it made my heart very heavy.

I know this will just be a blip on the road to this baby, but today, it feels like a mountain.


  1. I am sorry this is happening but this is ridiculous and there is no excuse worth their decision. Sorry. Move to a room where air quality is better. It is a fucking hospital from what I have understood. They should give you the next one free for sure as this is bullshit. Go the owner of the clinic and ask for a free cycle. Again so sorry but maybe someone or something is telling you to maybe consider another facility. Sorry again that this is happening Lex. It breaks my heart for you.

  2. What a serious disappointment. There is nothing worse than being completely unable to control this. I'm so sorry you're enduring this. I do agree that it doesn't seem too much to ask for a complimentary cycle or some sort of complimentary something. This isn't a small deal. That said, I hope the month off will be the last you have to endure any of this waiting.

  3. what!? what?!?! i can't believe this. i really cant. im so sorry.

  4. I am so, so sorry you are going through so much stress after being so excited. Sending you big hugs, lady :)

  5. Wow. That really sucks. I'm with the others who say you should get some type of complimentary service or compensation of some kind. I'm so sorry.

  6. Unbelievable! I think this is a sign that you were not meant to have a December baby after all - that you were meant for a JANUARY baby! An Aquarius is so much better than a Capricorn anyway (personal bias talking here :)

  7. i really feel like people who do "this" everyday, creating people's families and such, need to understand that even though their day to day becomes routine, its the patient's lives and futures they're screwing with. this sort of thing (not quite as last minute and tragic) happened to me recently and this is why i had to skip my april cycle. they really need to remind themselves on a daily how important it is to keep all of their patients informed of potential scheduling issues. so sorry lady. maybe fate has us all scheduled to get pregnant at the same time?

  8. Major FAIL on their part. Wow. And to say that to their patients on the phone? WTF.

  9. Ugh. So sorry. The whole thing seems poorly planned--why not just let you know a week ago and do the right thing to sort it all out? :(

  10. I'm super pissed for you. I hope this doesn't kill you spirit :(

  11. oh wow. this is AWFUL!! I'm so so sorry.