I had emailed our clinic about a week and a half ago expressing some concern regarding the level of communication that was occurring between our donor coordinator (main contact with our clinic) and ourselves. I mentioned that we were worried about falling through the cracks as any pieces of information I have been receiving were as a result of me making contact with them first.
Our donor was at the clinic completing her donor screening on Feb 23 but we never heard back as to whether there were any concerns with her test results. No one has informed us of a timeline moving forward or what testing is left. My husband and I were worried as not only are we new to the IVF world, we will need to coordinate our IVF cycle through ourselves, our donor, our clinic and an additional satellite clinic closer to home that will monitor the majority of the cycle. I was also getting nervous as we had been led to believe that once the screening was complete, we could start moving forward; which was good as funding in Ontario is limited and we were expecting to have a funded IVF cycle within the next couple of months. Little did I realize that this was all an assumption made in my naivete – or made on what little information we had been provided.
The response that I received to my email of questions and concerns was an email addressed to myself and our donor full of questions surrounding our donor’s lab work. I texted our donor to ensure she received the email and left it for her to provide answers to the questions. Before she was able to respond, another email was sent from our coordinator with more questions; however, this email was actually just directed toward our donor but I had received it as well. At the bottom of the email was a comment stating that I was on a tentative list for a funded IVF cycle in 2017!!! I immediately replied to the email asking for more clarification regarding her comment about funding.
I was in utter shock but was surrounded by people at work and was doing my best to keep my cool. I got home a short while later and burst into tears while I informed my husband of what I had read and that I felt we were backhandedly just informed that we would not be eligible for funding this year – after nearly three years of waiting for our donor to be ready and funding having just been approved through our government in Dec 2015. Being the amazing man that he is, he hugged me but urged me not to get upset or jump to any conclusions before we had more facts. He was right, I need to calm my tits and do my best to keep it together until I heard back from the donor coordinator; however, as I turned to go make dinner, my phone flashed again with a response email…
“Funding won’t be available until 2017, correct.”
She went on to say that funding had run out for this year already and that because our donor had not completed her blood work quickly enough, we were out of luck. As previously mentioned, our donor had just been at the clinic to complete her screening less than a month before. I lost it – body shaking sobs and hot tears streaming down my face. I informed my husband of the latest email and then went straight into the shower to let out the tears and emotions; I just couldn’t believe that this was happening and that I had found out through an email to someone else that we were in this situation.
Thoughts raced through my mind to the point that I was so overwhelmed and couldn’t make sense of it all. It took a few days for me to process everything and begin to get my thoughts in order.
- Why the hell was I not informed of our short timeline? Our coordinator and I had spoken twice (Once in Jan and once on Feb 25) about our need for a funded cycle and not once did she mention that we had extreme time constraints or that we would be waiting until next year.
- Why were we finding out through an email to our donor that we weren’t eligible this year for funding and why was it being worded in such a way that makes our donor look like the reason for this?
- What does this mean for us as our donor is already 34 years old – and now we were being told we would need to wait another year? What risks might this have on egg quality? (There are no donor banks in Canada – meaning if we aren’t able to use our donor after all of this time, we would be facing nearly $45,000 to complete this process in the US)
- What are our options moving forward? Can we even afford one cycle of IVF without funding?
- Will the tests that we’ve already completed still be valid when the time came for a funded cycle? Or was that money wasted/will everything need to be completed?
Two days later, we organized all of these questions, our thoughts and feelings into an email and at 6pm had finalized all of the wording and sent it off to our coordinator, including all of our previous questions from my original email that had not been answered. I was again at work and was away from my phone/email for a while but noticed that by 8pm – only two hours after my email had been sent, our Doctor himself had called me to address our concerns. He left a voicemail stating that he would call us over the weekend (not only willing to resolve this over a weekend but EASTER weekend) to talk. It was arranged that he would call back the next day at 4pm when my husband and I would be together and have a group discussion.
…a discussion I will leave for my next post.