When I was researching IVF abroad, there wasn't much information out there. So I though I'd make a little timeline for whomever may be considering it :).
Firstly, I'd like to say that the main reason we chose to do IVF/ICSI in Colombia because 21 years ago, my mother in law had a successful IVF cycle with a wonderful doctor in Medellin, Colombia. When we were ready to pull the trigger (See what I did there), we were ecstatic to find that the same doctor was at the same clinic! And knew right away who we were going to do our cycle with.
Secondly, I hate to admit but price was definitely a factor. My husband will even argue that this is actually the first reason why we chose to do IVF abroad. We are regular good' ol' working class citizens. Im 26, my husband is 27....Spending 15-20k on IVF/ICSI in the U.S was just not an option (But more on that in another post).
SO HERE WE GO!!!
Thursday, September 29th
The Initial consultation and ultrasound (What IVF'ers call the Baseline) is usually scheduled for the second day of AF (CD2). My AF is usually very regular, so it was relatively easy to know when I had to book my flight. I started freaking out when AF decided to arrive one day early but the doctor said it was ok to start on CD3 and that it was no big deal :). So I arrived in Colombia on the 28th, and on the following day we had the first appointment with the Doctor.
The clinic was so white and clean and modern and I was absolutely so pleased! The staff was extremely nice and the Doctor charmed my pants off!! He was so nice!! There was a slight language barrier, but we figured it out and He was so accommodating! We did the ultrasound (He told me I had a beautiful uterus, yay!) and we went through what the next couple of weeks would look like.
Since our infertility is Male factor, he told me we would be doing a short protocol with minimal stimulation. The goal was not to make a ton of eggs, but to make less eggs at a higher quality. I was on board and so excited!
Still on this day, We got our little cooler bag of Puregon and the nurse taught us how to do the injections. That was our first day of Stims and I could not have been happier to get the ball rolling so fast!
Monday, October 3rd
First ultrasound to measure the follicles! At that time I was on Puregon 100 units daily. We were pleased to see how well I was responding on such a low dose and I was already at 10mm, so we lowered the dose even further to 75 units daily.
Tuesday, October 4th
The doctor had me come back the very next day and this time follicles were already measuring at 11-12mm! I was given new meds to prevent pre-mature ovulation (Orgalutran) because Lucas had was schedule to arrive in a few days.
Friday, October 6th
Lucas arrived in Colombia and we are measuring at 16-18mm! We do a bit of sight seeing and ate the typical Colombian dishes... Bandeja Paisa and Casula with guanabana juice, Yum!!!
Saturday, October 7th
It's Trigger day!! (Ovidrel) Our Trigger time was at 9:00pm... we were so excited!
Sunday, October 9th
Almost to the second.. 36 hours later I was prepped for the retrieval. This was a very emotional time for me because being in that gown and in the operating room brought back so many bad memories of when I lost my son. But the nurses were so nice and compassionate. After being injected with the anestethia, I broke out into tears and then passed out. Minutes later I was up and the doctor explained I had a physiological reaction to the procedure and not to worry because everything went well and we had retrieved 12 eggs!! We were so pleased!!
Monday, October 10th
We receive the Fertilization report: From the 12 Eggs retrieved, 7 matured and 6 Fertilized! We had 6 embabies growing in the lab! Lucas flew home on this day because he had to go back to work, lame.
Wednesday, October 12th
Contrary to my research, The doctor explained that three day transfers are preferable over 5 and although I was skeptical... He is the one with the baby wall full of picture, not me! So we went in for the three day transfer and transferred two good quality embryos. The procedure was quick, slightly uncomfortable, but nevertheless painless. The doctor said a prayer for us before transferring our babies and my heart was full of love for these babies (I even wore my lucky rainbow socks)!
The video shows the exact moment the nurse walked in with our precious embryos and the moment the doctor said a prayer while he injected the twins safely inside and almost instantly I became PUPO! (Pregnant until proven otherwise)
Friday, October 14th
I took it easy for a couple days and few back home on this day. I could not have asked for a better team to have given my husband and I such a precious gift. The doctors understanding of the loss of my son touched me so deeply and they knew that we wanted very much to give Solomon siblings.
Overall, I spent 2 weeks and two days abroad and although Colombia is absolutely gorgeous!! I was happy to be on my way home to wait out the dreadful two week wait!
If you are searching for an Ivf Clinic abroad, needless to say, I would absolutely 100% recommend INSER Fertilidad in Medellin, Colombia. Dr. Fidel Cano has become a lifelong friend to our family and we are forever grateful for his compassion and God given talent as an amazing doctor and just an awesome, decent and kind human being.
Thank you INSER!!
If you have any questions about IVF, IVF Abroad or INSER... Don't hesitate to send me an email!!
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