X made me promise not to talk about this, but unfortunately, I’ve reached the end of the line and I need to get it out.
Those of you who can get pregnant the normal way should thank your lucky stars. X had a vasectomy when he was married to the beast and two years ago we decided we might like to have a baby. My ob/gyn said that all they would do is have a urologist extract sperm from X and put it into a turkey baster into me, and voila. Since the only thing standing in our way was the snip, we researched the best urologists for this, found one was in DC and met with him. We also discussed reversing the vasectomy. He said, “No problem, but just go to Shady Grove and get the tests to make sure Velvet doesn’t have any issues on her side. You don’t want to reverse a vasectomy only to find out she has a blockage or something.” Fair enough.
Here’s my Review of Shady Grove Fertility:
April, 2009. We met with some doc there and began the battery of tests. Everything came back better than normal, and we went back to Shady Grove and said, “Okay, when can we do the artificial insemination?” They said, “you won’t get enough sperm so you have to do full IVF.” I’m really cutting to the chase on this, but this was over about a month of time because these tests are all on certain days of your cycle. I felt cheated, like, why did I bother going through these tests if they were just going to send me to the last stop of IVF anyway? I felt like they were just giving us the hard-sell into their most profitable procedure and we never went back.
My ob/gyn recommended we go to Washington Fertility. I love my ob/gyn and I thought that her recommendation would be the right one.
Here’s my Review of Washington Fertility:
June, 2009: X and I instantly liked the one doctor at Washington Fertility. He seemed like a nice guy and very interested in helping us. He said, “If you only want one child, why reverse a vasectomy? Just do IVF. I had a hard time wrapping my mind around this, but finally in the Fall of 2009 we agreed we would go this route. It seemed so unbelievable that something as simple as a vasectomy was causing all this trouble. When we agreed to start the process in January, 2010, the trouble started. Despite the nurse’s orders that I needed to absolutely call on Day 1 of my period, the witches at the front desk treated me like crap and said to “call back next week,” making me miss an entire month. When they started charging X’s credit card, they double charged a bunch of things and we couldn’t even decipher what they had done. When we questioned what they charged, they got nasty and belligerent and for the rest of the weeks we went there, they wouldn’t even look at us or speak to us. We addressed this with the doctor and he assured us he would review our charges.
During the process, I got very sick. It’s not easy to take 3 hormone shots a night in the stomach and get progressively sicker each day. I gained 20 lbs and was completely miserable. Just the idea of clothes touching my body was painful. I was sick to my stomach, couldn’t eat, couldn’t drink and couldn’t go to the bathroom. Despite the fact that I developed 18 follicles – totally unheard of for a 36 year old – they kept wanting to do “one more day” of meds. I had to put my foot down and say that I couldn’t take anymore. X tried to call their emergency line and paged the doctor several times. He never called back. When they looked at X’s sperm, they said it was all dead, and we would need to arrange for another extraction. X called his doc who was totally shocked and said, “I just left there and there were 3 vials of live sperm.” For 2 hours we were on the phone between docs and labs trying to figure out the truth and whose sperm they were speaking about. We still don’t know.
They retrieved 15 eggs from me (not all follicles have an egg inside) and 13 fertilized. Again, these are insane numbers for a 36, almost 37 year old. That weekend we had a big old snowstorm and the entire metro area lost power. They claim to have generators but I’m not sure. All the eggs died except 4 very weak ones. They recommended we get all 4 implanted. Needless to say, I didn’t get pregnant. During the transfer of the 4 embryos Dr. Asmar literally kept asking the lab assistant, “Here? How about here?” If you believe the gods of google, the transfer is the most important part of the process, for one wrong move and the embryos won’t stick. And Dr. Asmar had no clue where to put them. The lab tech had to tell him.
The way Dr. Asmar and his staff treated us was a disaster, but it got worse. I put reviews online attesting to my experience and the staff put reviews right behind me saying “We know who you are and we’re going to tell your office how crazy you are so you lose all your clients.” I screen capped it all. One may wonder how I know it was them. Because the time stamp was pretty close to the time stamp on my site stats and on our company site stats and on this blog, with a big old “WASHINGTON FERTILITY” in the referrer line. When you’re a stupid receptionist at an incompetent doctor’s office, I wouldn’t expect you to understand how stats work, but you get a big FAIL for that you dumb bitch.
We were told to go to Dominion Fertility and so we requested our records from Washington Fertility. It took 4 very painful attempts to get ALL the records. They kept playing games and we ended up filing complaints on Washington Fertility for HIPAA violations and with the medical board for the doctor’s lack of care.
Then the reality sunk in. It’s not the money. It’s not the incompetence. It’s not the lack of a baby. It’s that nagging feeling about the “lost” sperm, the 15 eggs and the question of their status, and the fear that my egg or X’s sperm went into someone else’s body. When you conceive a child through sex, these are things that never cross your mind.
A year later, we continue to get bills from the for “sperm storage” despite the fact that they have said several times there was none left. We continue to send letters asking Dr. Asmar why he still charges us for sperm and he refuses to answer. This, along with withholding records, is also a HIPAA violation. We filed another complaint this week.
We decided to go to Dominion Fertility and do the Natural Cycle IVF. (No meds, they just wait on your one egg to pop, then grab it.) I’m not sure I can do a review of this facility at this point as I just had my one lone egg retrieved this morning. However, I can tell you this much. I will never do IVF again.
While retrieving the egg, they poked a hole through my bladder and blood came out where pee should be, and they had to give me a catheter for 2 hours while the urine cleared. If it didn’t clear, I would have had to wear a pee bag for 2 days. They agreed to remove the bag and I have never felt such pain in my life. The nurse ran out of the room and came back in with another nurse who said, “Didn’t you deflate the balloon in her bladder first?” It was like trying to get a golf ball out my pee hole. At this point I was in tears, and completely hysterical. I’m squeamish with medical procedures but nothing grosses me out more than the urinary tract. I had kidney stones once and it was a pretty miserable experience getting a catheter but this was 100 times worse.
I practically ran out of there in tears and it’s hard to believe that anyone in this fertility game really knows what they are doing. There’s just a fucking vasectomy standing in our way (that has since been reversed and it didn’t work) and no one can help us without putting me through physical and emotional pain I just never thought I would know in my life.
So for all of you women who can have a baby the normal way, please, thank God, Gucci, or whoever you thank, and be so happy you don’t have to endure this.
And there you have it. The reason that for the last year I’ve been basically MIA. This has occupied a lot of my time and I’ve been pretty depressed from it.