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Archive for the ‘blizzard tips’ tag

IVF in a Snow Storm: 10 Survival Tips

By Tracey Minella

January 25th, 2016 at 6:16 pm

 

credit: T. Minella

 

So what do you do when….on top of the regular stress of an IVF cycle… there’s a blizzard of record-breaking proportions on the day of your retrieval or transfer? Or on the day of your IUI?

 

Suddenly, there are two feet down and no sign of it stopping.  It’ll take forever to dig out the car. Hey, where is the car?

 

“Are you kidding? Seriously?”

 

If you were lucky enough not to have had your treatment impacted by the weekend’s blizzard, here are some tips to keep in mind as you face the remainder of the snow season. The 11th tip: Breathe.

 

Here are 10 Tips for surviving your retrieval/transfer/IUI in a blizzard:

 

  1. Touch base with the RE’s office, during regular hours if possible. Otherwise, do not hesitate to call the nurse on call or service. Be sure you understand your instructions, follow the instructions, and know what number you should call in an emergency or if there is a delay in getting to your procedure.

 

  1. Be that person who actually has their general storm preparedness kit together so all you need to focus on is your treatment preparedness plan. Water, food, batteries, cash, gas, charge your cell phone, etc. Have a casserole-type meal in the freezer, too, for when you come home from your procedure.

 

  1. Pack a bag. (It’ll be good practice for when you are pregnant and ready to deliver.) Have copies of any important paperwork, insurance form, phone numbers for family and the doctor’s office, your cell phone, eyeglasses, and the comfy clothes you plan to wear to and from the procedure. If you’re able to bring a camera or camcorder, get that stuff ready and charged in advance.

 

  1. Know where you are going and know at least one alternate route to get there in case roads are closed. Have the address ready to input in a GPS. Better yet, use an app like Google Maps or Mapquest to print out at least two different routes to your destination. And put them in your packed bag. Then, gas up the car.

 

  1. Have emergency phone numbers ready in case you are stranded at home or on the road so you can call your local police department or fire department for help…especially if you’ve taken a timed hCG injection for IVF. Though there is a small window of flexibility, your retrieval timing is critical so that the eggs are retrieved before they are ovulated. Explain the situation and your need to get to the hospital or clinic immediately. (When I ran this scenario by my local precinct, they said they’d likely dispatch an ambulance.) After all, they are here to protect and serve.

 

  1. Line up help in advance…reliable neighbors or a service…for plowing or shoveling the driveway and have them arrive well before you need to leave for the hospital or clinic.

 

  1. Call your local village or town offices to explain your medical situation and beg them to have your road plowed early and often on the day in question.

 

  1. Borrow an SUV from a friend, or, if you just aren’t a confident bad weather driver, ask them to drive you to the hospital or clinic.

 

  1. Consider staying in a hotel very near the hospital or clinic if you live far away.

 

  1. If you have young children at home already, have a babysitting plan (with a back-up) ready in the event of an unexpected illness or weather-related school closing on your big day.

 

 

So what do you do if you didn’t plan in advance of the blizzard?

 

First, stay calm and call the doctor’s office. Follow their instructions. Then plan how to get there safely and quickly. Remember, a woman with swollen ovaries full of follicles on the verge of ovulation should not be shoveling snow nor doing anything super strenuous or potentially dangerous. If others can’t get your car out, call a friend, neighbor, reliable taxi, or emergency services to get you to the hospital or clinic.

 

When it all works out fine and you can take a sigh of relief, be sure to commit this story to memory. Hopefully, the tale of the blizzard you faced in order to have your child can be held over his or her head for years to come…especially during those teenage years!

 

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Did you ever have a blizzard or other “natural disaster” that threatened your treatment? Do you have any tips to add or advice or a story to share

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5 IVF Retrieval Blizzard Preparedness Tips

By Tracey Minella

January 26th, 2015 at 3:58 pm

credit: PeterGriffin/public domain photos.net

So, you went through all the blood work, sonograms, and injections for your IVF cycle and you wake up on the morning of your retrieval…if you even got any sleep the night before… ready for the big day.

 

Only problem is that blinding white glare streaming into the room.

 

“What the #@*%!” A snow storm hit overnight. Three feet down already and still falling fast. It’s gonna take all morning to dig out the car. Hey, where is the car?

 

Then your blood runs cold as you remember the biggest rule of all: “Don’t be late for your retrieval!”

 

Timing of the HcG shot and the subsequent retrieval is critical, so that the eggs are retrieved before they are ovulated. Then the next worry hits: “Even if I get there, will my doctors make it in?”

 

Fortunately, today’s meteorologists generally predict major storms enough in advance for patients and doctors to put contingency plans into place. Retrieval and transfer patients may be given special instructions and suggestions when a blizzard is expected.

 

If you anticipate a winter retrieval, in addition to allowing lots of extra time and filling the gas tank up, consider these 5 IVF Retrieval Blizzard Preparedness Tips:

 

  1. If there’s talk of snow, line up driveway plowing or shoveling extra early, or park the car down near the end of the driveway (but not in the street) so there’ll be less to shovel to get out. (Note: Ladies with swollen ovaries full of follicles should not shovel.)

 

  1. Call your town offices the day before, explain your medical situation, and beg them to have your road plowed early and often, if possible.

 

  1. If you don’t have one, line up borrowing an SUV or have a friend with an SUV drive you to the retrieval.

 

  1. Know the names of hotels near your clinic or hospital and consider staying in a hotel the night before retrieval if you live far away.

 

  1. Last resort: Call your local police department or fire department for help. Explain the situation and your need to get to the hospital or clinic immediately.

 

 

If despite the best planning, you’re running late on retrieval day, call your doctor’s office or service and tell them what’s going on and follow whatever instructions they give you.

There’s usually a small time window built into the schedule to accommodate for such an emergency, so don’t panic until you talk to them.

 

Because a retrieval can’t be postponed once the HcG shot has been given…even for a blizzard of potentially historic proportions… arrangements are made for Long Island IVF’s team of doctors, nurses and embryologists to stay local and to have reliable transportation so you can rest assured they will be there for your big day.

 

Remain positive and calm. And when it’s all over, you’ll have an interesting story to tell or excerpt to write in your fertility journal.

 

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Did you ever have a retrieval or transfer in a blizzard? How did it go and do you have any other tips to add?

 

Credit: Peter Griffin/http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=4893&picture=snowed-in&large=1

 

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