With plans to begin our first IVF cycle at the start of this month, we were eager, excited, and anxious. For the month and a half leading up to IVF, I began my preparations by taking birth control and wearing estrogen patches. These were just a couple of the things to get my body ready and in sync with the strict timeline and schedule for stimulating my ovaries prior to my egg retrieval. My injections class, baseline ultrasound and blood work were scheduled for the first full week in September. I have never been so ready to give myself so many shots! However, the unfortunate occurrence of Hurricane Irma sweeping through Florida the week I was scheduled to begin medication, was anything, but good news. September didn't necessarily turn out the way we hoped.
The weekend prior to the Irma and our IVF start, we knew a storm was coming and because Zach is very on top of things like that, we intelligently began preparations. Zach and I had plans to stay in Miami Beach through the hurricane, unless we were given a mandatory evacuation order. Best case scenario, if the storm wasn't too bad, we wanted to be home so that afterwards it would be easier to get back to the Doctor's office for the necessary monitoring, blood work and ultrasounds that I was scheduled for over the next two weeks. Zach's parents even mailed us an additional YETI cooler from Jersey, just so that we would have enough coolers in case we lost power and would need additional space for my medications. We did not want anything getting in the way of our IVF cycle. As we monitored the news and government official updates, we knew that we were eventually going to be evacuated. So, with the projected understanding that within 24 hours we would be ordered to leave, we decided to get out right after our IVF appointments that very day. Originally, we were only scheduled for our injection class that day, but with the hurricane coming, our other appointments for that week were pushed up and consolidated into this one long visit. If only on that day, had we known that over a week later and our Doctor's office would still be without power, I would have never started with treatment this month, but hey, who knew? After two hours at the clinic learning how to administer my shots, getting an ultrasound, blood work, and signing paper after paper about things like who should be gifted our embryos should one or both of us die, we headed home to finish packing up our birth certificates, marriage license and some other important paperwork should our apartment flood, etc. The things you think about when evaluating for a cat 5 hurricane - crazy! In the final last moments of double checking we had everything that was necessary, I packed up the coolers with my fertility meds only to realize I did not have a very important injection pen that administers one of my medications - eek! Back and forth through email and phone, my IVF nurse and I were frantically trying to get in contact with my fertility pharmacy. Everything in Miami was a frantic mess as people began evacuating. Offices were closing and people became very difficult to get in touch with. Finally, they confirmed my injection pen would be overnighted to the hotel I was headed towards. What a stress, but a total relief!
We left the Beach before many others, avoiding some mayhem, but let me tell you, I have never experienced anything like it. We drove 18 hours, including one hour sleeping in a gas station parking lot. Miami Beach to Atlanta usually takes about nine hours. I wished we could have stayed closer to home. The return would have been easier and more likely to resume treatment, but there were no hotels left in most of Florida. With the storms strength and size, it wasn't necessarily safe evacuating to any coastal town. A couple days later, in Atlanta, I began taking my medications. But, I only got as far as one morning round, before we made the call to quit. As we sat in our hotel room watching the Weather Channel religiously, as Irma inched its way towards South Florida, we knew at best, we would not be returning home until mid week when I would have already been past due for medication adjustments, and monitoring. So, we had no choice, but to cancel. Not to mention, these meds are SUPER expensive and I did not want to waste them on a cycle I knew was likely going to be canceled. We came this far with our journey, and we decided we wanted to do IVF in the best circumstances. This, was definitely not the "best circumstances". Though, very frustrating, I tried to keep it in perspective. Yes, I cried. Yes, I was in a really bad mood that Saturday, but then I tried to get out of my funk and stop being such a B to Zach. We found a cute outdoor spot, had a glass of wine and then took a drive out to the Atlanta burbs to visit family we had not seen since our wedding! The sun was shining that Saturday and the afternoon turned out beautifully, despite my tearful morning. The Hurricane may have postponed our IVF treatment by another month, but Z and I are grateful to have a roof over our heads, a loving family that supports us, food on our dinner table, clean drinking water, and of course, one another. We begin again on October 6th, our five year wedding anniversary. Maybe that's a lucky sign? I sure hope so! Positive vibes. xo RCN