Our Black Cloud

The Next Family

By: Kerrie Olejarz

The excitement was brewing for our upcoming trip. Our shipment was organized but my legs were a mess. During the IVF cycle and after the retrieval, both of my legs were “alive”. It was hard for me to explain, but from the knee down to my foot I was experiencing weird sensations. Crawling, burning, stabbing and aching pain. It did not come and go –it was constant. My lower legs were constantly in a state of busy! I emailed the doctor at TCART and he asked me to call right away. Our discussion led to an emergency room visit with an immense fear of blood clots. DVT –deep vein thrombosis. If this were discovered, there would be no flying for me for a while. As I sat in the emergency waiting area, I feared that our trip would be cancelled.

Fortunately after a few hours the d-dimer test showed no risk of clots and I left the hospital inconclusive. To this day, I still do not have answers, and every cycle results in weird calf pain. While all this hospital business was going on, our embryos, packed in a tightly-sealed vapor shipper, were leaving Canada. We were anxious to hear that they had arrived in Mumbai. The vapor shipper charge will last about three weeks, so if they were to get lost or delayed, we had some time to sort it out. One couple from New York sent their embryos to Mumbai and they ended up detoured and detained! Fortunately for this couple, all ended well and they have a beautiful baby girl now.

It was July 12th, 2009 and mid-day I checked my email to see if there were any updates on our shipment. The good news was that the shipment had arrived. The news that made me throw up in my mouth was that the caps had come off the vials inside the shipper. We had sent four vials containing 12 embryos –three vials were open and the fourth didn’t look so good. Both Greg and Dr Sudhir were on it –emails, communication, and panic. Our biggest fear was that our shipment would get lost, and no one ever expected something like this to happen! The dry shipper had not been tampered with and all security seals were in place upon arrival in India. What the hell has happened??? The consensus was that they more than likely popped open due to airplane pressure and we would have to wait and see what happens. There was absolutely no way of knowing the status of our embryos until the lab thawed them. We had flights booked to leave in thirteen days, what were we supposed to do? We had huge hope that the fourth vial, still in tact, would be our baby-making gold. We kept the faith, tried not to panic, prayed that vial number four was still ok, and embraced any positives that we could find –like a needle in the haystack! We decided that despite this devastation, we would still travel to Mumbai and take it as a trip of a lifetime. We had everything arranged and there was no turning back now. It was just our luck, our black cloud. Somehow, the universe has decided to test us beyond the norm. We packed for our trip and continued to have faith in that fourth vial of embryos.

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[Photo Credit: Flickr Member: Joseph B]

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