Monday, August 28, 2006

The secret-agent hotline

At my clinic, and maybe your clinics, one of the most (and only) amusing accoutrements to the whole IVF process has been what I think of as the secret-agent hotline. You call this number after 3pm on any day you've had bloodwork done, and you punch in a couple of codes. These codes get you to a recording from a nurse, who tells you your estradiol level and what your instructions are for the next phase of your cycle. She generally will also provide some brief commentary on your results (very good, good, fine, etc.). So, for example, you might hear: "Your estradiol level is 774, which is very good. Tonight, you will do 150 of Foll*istim, 5 of L*upron, and 1 unit of Re*pronex. You will come back to the clinic at 9am on Friday."

You also call this number to get your fertilization report the day after transfer, and again to find out your transfer day and time. For me, every time I've called the secret-agent hotline, I've had good news - about my estradiol, my fertilization rate, and the fact that on both cycles I had at least one major event (retrieval or transfer) occur on a weekend, which meant I didn't have to lie twice in one week about why I was going to be out of the office, something that might tax my already-feeble powers of prevarication. Moreover, that record of good news, combined with the suspense inherent in this arrangement, has made the hotline seem a bit thrilling to me. Which is profoundly sad, but that is not the point.

The point is that today I have to call the secret-agent hotline to receive my "thaw report." And given my record of embryo development, I am nervous. In addition, even if I get a good report today (which is like day 3), that doesn't mean the embryos will be good at day 5. I just hope my one good blastocyst thaws out well at day 5 if it is called upon to serve.

In other news, real tragedy has struck our household: our TiVo had a nervous breakdown and began rebooting itself every few minutes. Fortunately, a replacement is on the way. I just hope it will arrive by the drug-induced haze I've got scheduled for Wednesday!

(I'll report back on the secret-agent hotline results later.)

Update: Well, that was a bit anticlimactic. My secret-agent instructions said that I have to be there at 10:15 on Wednesday morning, and that all five of my embryos survived the thaw. Well, great, but how do they look? There was no information on that. I hope that this means my frozen blast will be hardy enough to survive the thaw. We'll see.

11 comments:

Hopeful Mother said...

That hotline sounds pretty sweet. I wish I had one - I would probably call it over and over to keep listening to the recordings!

I hope to read good news when I come back later...

twirl said...

ooohhhh a special code?

Our hotline has everyone's info on it by first name, last initial and you just have to listen carefully to hear yours.

Also, you get instructions only (no commentary, no test results) and if you want to know anything else you have to call them and leave a message and wait for them to call you back.

Perhaps there's a bit of the clandestine after all.

twirl said...

oh, and good luck!

bihari said...

Will be waiting to hear what they say!

Emmie said...

I'm so glad to hear all five made it through the thaw! Though I agree with you, I'd be dying for more details than that.

Word of caution about your TiVo replacement...we had the same thing happen, and when they brought us a new box, it also seemed broken. Turns out there was a problem with their service to our house through the phone connection, not a problem with the box. Wasted lots of mind-numbing TV time...

Hopeful Mother said...

I'm glad that all 5 survived... now just hoping that they are dividing properly.

We would DIE without our Tivo - we just got a second one for our bedroom!

Mary Ellen and Steve said...

So jealous of the hotline. I always have to wait for a nurse to call me, which is very annoying.

I hope that you have some excellent embies for transfer. It certainly sound good so far. Good Luck!

Meg said...

Ooh, how mysterious and fun. Is it a live voice recording or an automated one?

PS I am glad they all survived. That's great. x

Hope548 said...

Neither of the clinics I frequented had the secret-agent hotline. I'm jealous - fell like I've missed out! I always had to wait for a call to my cell phone that often came at an inconvenient time. Congrats on the good thaw! I hope they're all doing well!

Motel Manager said...

Thanks, ladies!

Meg, the recording is from one of the nurses, so it is a real voice instead of an automated one.

HM, I would also have listened to the messages over and over, but the downside is that you can't delete the messages, so if, say, you're in the later stages of an IVF, you'd have to listen to all of them to get to the most recent one again. They then delete them automatically a couple of weeks later.

Obviously, given the comments here, all clinics should implement this system to amuse their patients.

spark said...

LOL! Definitely sounds amusing! Congrats on the successful thaw and hope they all grow up to be nice blasts!!