4 IVF Cycles
105 Shots
$65,000
2.5 years
Zero babies

X and I spent all night debating all the finer points of IVF and everything we’ve learned. While I love Shady Grove, and will continue to recommend them to anyone who asks, I have found their downside. It’s not just theirs, but that of many other clinics, and why all this really is just a big business. No matter what a doctor says about how he/she wants to help you “get your baby,” they won’t do so at a cost. I’ll get to that in a minute.

X had the foresight to pay for a multi-cycle discount which gave us the 2nd IVF at half price. His theory was that if we paid for the 2nd one, they had more incentive to make the first one work. He said it was sort of like insurance. (Remember, X gets hot down there for insurance products.) The first IVF didn’t work. No surprise there, I just expect the bad news now. When we started up the next round it was almost surreal. I literally could not believe I was getting the shots again.

Shady Grove changed the meds because I didn’t respond well the prior time. This time, as I went in for daily blood tests and sonograms, it sounded like we were hitting home runs all over the place.  But, this is the lottery where you win, then they start taking money away from you and leave you with nothing.

1st IVF: 15 eggs retrieved, 13 fertilized, 7 started dividing and only 4 were barely alive at day 3.
2nd IVF: Natural, no meds. 1 egg retrieved. Reached 5 day blastocyst, i.e. “the best it gets.”
3rd IVF: 7 eggs retrieved, 2 fertilized and started dividing and were put back in at day 3.
4th IVF: 10 eggs retrieved, 6 fertilized and started dividing and all 6 continued through to day 4. By day 5, 2 died and we were down to 4 eggs, a few of which were slowing in growth.

See how those numbers sound so good at first, but then every day after the egg retrieval, you keep losing?

They choose the strongest 2 embryos to put back in, and will freeze what is left as long it is a blastocyst. This means that if you have 6 embryos that are growing and 2 become blastocysts, they will put those two in. And guess what happens to the other 4? They aren’t good enough for their Kenmore’s apparently, so they throw them out.

This is exactly what happened to us. We asked if I could have just one of those other embryos put in with the two good quality ones, and they said no - two is their max. Their position is if it is not a blastocyst at day 5, then it would “most likely” not survive a freeze/thaw. Well, how does that explain my friend who has a 6 year old right now who was one of these “bad quality undesirable” embryos? How does it explain all the other women on message boards who had frozen, low quality, highly fragmented embryos put back in that resulted in a child?

You may be asking, why won’t the clinics just let you have your embryos and give them a chance? Because every failed embryo transfer, whether fresh or frozen, goes against a clinic’s stats. So they rely on statistics while we leverage our assets preparing for the next step and wonder if our child just got flushed into the Potomac.

So all this bodes the question that we’ve been debating all night. Most women get few, if any blastocysts. Is it worth it to spend all this money and go through the financial, physical and emotional drain to get the 2 embryos they’ll allow you on transfer day, knowing that the other ones will be thrown away?

I never expected this reaction but I cried as I told X tonight, I feel like someone actually took a baby away from us.

No more IVF for me. It’s one thing if the embryos are put inside you and don’t result in a pregnancy, but it’s a whole other ballgame if they never even allow them the chance to try.