It’s official – our embryos are moving from Lexington to Cincinnati on August 20th. Well, actually they leave Lexington on the 20th and arrive in Cincinnati on the 21st. True to form, I have agonized over how to move my embryos for weeks now. Some days I get so worked up over it that my stomach starts to hurt. I went through a whole lot of hell and expense to make these. What if the shippers treat them like Fed Ex treated my last order from Zappos? That box showed up so damaged that I was surprised any shoes were left in it.
I considered four ways to ship our embryos:
- Borrow a tank from my clinic and transfer the embryos myself. Cost: FREE. It is only an hour and a half to my new clinic, so this seemed a logical choice for most women. However, I have the worst driving record of anyone I know. Not only am I not a great driver, I have incredibly bad luck and have been hit multiple times by other people when I am at a complete standstill. I also seem to get hit by others at the worst possible times: right before moving from Florida to Alabama, again right before moving from Alabama to Kentucky and again the morning that my new insurance policy kicked in. Then there are the accidents that are clearly my fault – like the motorcyclist I hit at the tender at of 16. And the air conditioner unit I plowed into in college. And the sports car I rear ended under an overpass during rush hour. I could go on, but you all get my point. Not only am I a bad driver, other bad drivers seek me out.
- Work with Xytex Cryo’s reproductive tissue transfer program. Cost: $490. For $490 plus a refundable $850 tank deposit, Xytex will send a tank to the Lexington clinic, arrange a shipping company to collect it and move it up to Ohio. Initially the Professor and I felt best about this. Xytex’s business is in tissue storage/transfer. They know what they are doing and the added cost would be worth it. I was all set to use this company and called for additional information. The sales rep, Angela, was incredibly rude and did not answer my questions. Instead she rushed me off the phone saying she would send the rental agreement to me and I just return it with my credit card number. When I called back to ask more questions she was incredibly vague and did not leave me feeling like my precious maybe-babies would be cared for. There is no insurance available with Xytex.
- Work with ReproTech, another service similar to Xytex Cryo. Cost: $650. Reprotech would be more expensive and would require that both the Professor and I have additional blood testing done. This is also a three-way transfer, meaning my embryos go from Kentucky, to their facility, get repackaged and then go to Ohio. This seems ridiculous considering that my new clinic is only 90 minutes away. The three-way transfer also adds another opportunity for disaster – Tank 1 might do great, but Tank 2 could be a dud. There is no insurance available with ReproTech.
- Allow my Lexington clinic to manage the transfer via UPS. Cost: $115. My clinic owns their own tank. This tank has foam inside so when the liquid nitrogen (or whatever is used to keep the embryos frozen – forgive me I am not a scientist) is poured in it surrounds them all and there is no coolant sloshing. The tank has a light that stays green as long as ideal temperatures are maintained the entire time. If the temperature dips below a certain level then the light turns red – so we will know if something happened. Basically, this is the same tank as would be used by Xytex or ReproTech. She would prepare the embryos and then UPS would ship them via overnight mail to Ohio. The embryologist at my current clinic explained that she ships embryos all the time and, knock on everything wooden within arms reach, she has never had a problem. There is no insurance available with UPS.
Y’all, this is a HARD decision! None of these are standout options. You know what I want? I want a skilled embryologist with a fantastic driving record to pick them up on Sunday and drive them him or herself VERY SLOWLY to Ohio. I want him or her to talk to them along the way. I want him or her to avoid speed bumps and stupid people. I want him or her to feel that these embryos are the most important things on EARTH and care for them as if they his own children. But that is not an option.
Ultimately we went with Option No. 4. Why? The embryologist gave me lots of good information and was patient with my onslaught of questions. She has done this before and feels confident in it. There is no insurance available no matter how we go. I would rather be out $115 dollars and have no embryos then be out $650.
So today it was decided. I gave her my credit card number and now just have to sit back and wait till next Monday and Tuesday, when I will begin obsessively refreshing my UPS tracking information.
Now – While I appreciate all your suggestions and input on things, I can’t handle any negative “let’s scare the bejesus out of Belle” stories. So, if you don’t have something nice and positive to say, please keep it to yourself until August 22. 🙂 Also, I hope none of you ever have to transfer embryos to another clinic. It’s miserably stressful!