Thursday, November 18, 2010

Going the Distance

Driving back to the office, the city ahead.
23W to 202N to 76E to 676E to 95N to 73E. That is my route to the fertility practice. Through a national park, into Philadelphia and then out, and then over the Betsy Ross Bridge to New Jersey. The ride is a solid hour on the weekends with no traffic and up to an hour and 45 minutes amidst the morning rush. And each month, in tandem with my treatments, I accelerate and break, accelerate and break until I am there.

I drive for a good doctor and above all, a good price. I am priced out of a fertility practice around the corner in Philadelphia’s tony Main Line area. Matt and I have been preparing for this: all our money – our meager nest egg, scrutinized by me again and again – will go toward IVF. And for this I know we are fortunate.

The practice I frequent is always busy, always moving new women and more women, but all with the same problem. At first I was overwhelmed because there is a protocol for everything: a blood line and times to meet the blood run. Ultrasound sheets. IVF and Non-IVF call-back sheets. Call-backs listing Estradol, Progesterone, LH and FSH. The endocrinologist, the techs, the billing department. All the injectables: HCG, Lupron, Braville and it goes on and on. The nurses’ names: Carol and Karen, Jackie and Jacelyn, Diane and Deandra. And then there is me: “Kathryn H.?” They call my name.

I spent the last six months getting to know the practice. I’ve had two months of monitoring, four IUI’s, and if my count is correct, I’ve made at least 30 blood runs. And in the fertility game, I’m a neophyte. A newbie. Six months is nothing and I haven’t been even had IVF. So many woman have moved from one practice to another, with disappointment after disappointment in tow, wants and yearnings that never cease. That is not for me. Fertility treatments become your morning, noon, and night – and I have a little, quaint life – a husband, a dog - I want to get back to.

And that’s what I told our doctor during our IVF consult yesterday. I want to be aggressive because I don’t know if I want to be here six months from now. We will be going all-in, and with my age, she hopes to harvest 15-20 eggs, and if we’re very lucky, maybe 12 of those will fertilize. Every IVF cycle requires four mature, fertilized eggs and they pick the best two to place in my uterus. And then the others are frozen and we wait. That is a good scenario. They may harvest only two, or perhaps no eggs will be viable, but it’s time to try.

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to sharing the journey.


  1. All the best Kathryn! Have everything crossed for you.

  2. Kathryn, I pray this works. I eagerly await news and feel your pain and anticipation. Love and Hugs!!!

  3. Thank you girls! Should be interesting!!! ;-)

  4. Many warm thoughts, Kathryn. For you, and Matt and Penny, all.

  5. what a great blog! here is so many inspirations!

    have a nice time,