While I was going through my IVF cycles, there was never a day that went by that I didn’t have a far-fetched, neurotic thought that would creep into my mind. (Yes – I wrote “cycles” as I had a few rounds of IVF before the birth of my older son but more to come on that awesome drama another time.) Some were harmless, such as whether the hormones were going to make me breakout like my 16-year old self. Others were more serious and would keep me awake at night. Primarily, what if they mixed the wrong egg and sperm? What if they transferred the wrong embryo? Not to sound shallow, but I was paying a large amount of money for a baby to be genetically linked to my husband and me. At the bare minimum, that’s what I should get.
Being the research nerd that I am, I searched online to determine whether there was any real validity to my concerns; unfortunately, there are numerous documented instances in which IVF clinics made some unfortunate mistakes and mixed up patients’ egg and sperm or transferred someone else’s embryo. And in many of these scenarios, there wasn’t a happy outcome. To validate my neurosis, the chat rooms were filled with people thinking their kid would come out a different race than themselves. [As a side-note/confession, I have to admit that I never participated in the chat rooms – rather I would just stalk. Is that wrong? Still, through these voyeuristic tendencies, I learned that it’s always comforting to know that you are not the craziest one in the room.]
In learning about these unfortunate mix-ups, it would only be natural that anytime I was in the doctor’s waiting room, I would turn into a superficial judge for the Miss Universe contest and evaluate the talent. First, for those who are unfamiliar with the waiting room in an IVF clinic, allow me to set the stage. You should know that while you go through the process you tend to get on a similar schedule with other women. For instance, you may see the same woman several times a week, as you are both due for regularly scheduled blood work, ultrasound exams, etc. After enough times of exchanging morning pleasantries while you compete to be first in line to see the nurse, you soon realize that you are both scheduled for egg retrieval and embryo transfer on the same days.
The first time I did IVF, I was the only patient having a retrieval procedure that day and, therefore, the only patient scheduled for a transfer three days later. Meaning there was a pretty low risk that they could mix up our stuff. But during another cycle I wasn’t so sure if it was a closed-competition, although I have to admit that I wasn’t nervous. Well, it seems the day of my retrieval there was a very good-looking couple in the waiting room with my husband and me. I had previously seen the woman in the mornings, but never met the husband. They were tall, beautiful and looked like they would have great, smart genes to pass on (I can tell how smart a person is by their face – just kidding). Oh and they were African American.
Did I mention that my husband and I are not? Makes no difference to us, a good-looking couple is a good-looking couple – – just can’t deny good genes. The judge in me had to admit that from a superficial point of view, we couldn’t lose! Still, if there was an issue in the lab and we were lucky that the IVF worked, we wouldn’t really know the truth until nine months later. That is a long, VERY LONG, time of waiting. Well, that cycle in November ’09, we were blessed and nine months later I had my son. He’s 100% ours. He has my hair color and my husband’s eyes. Although, come to think of it, he has been consistently off the charts for height J.
*Please note that the issues here are serious and my intentions are not to be disrespectful. I’m simply making light of the situation with humor in the way I know how to do & the purpose of this blog.