The world of fertility medicine often gets a bad rap. “Big business” and “poorly regulated,” are some of the descriptions used whenever fertility clinics are talked about in the news. With examples like 2009’s “Octomom” and more recently, the tragic events involving the faulty storage of eggs and embryos at clinics in Cleveland and San Francisco, it’s easy for the public to see this medical science in a negative light. What often doesn’t make the news, however, are the everyday day happenings at an average fertility clinic. What would then come into focus would be the hard work and dedication of people who have devoted their lives to helping infertile people achieve their dreams of parenthood.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who wake up everyday, with the goal of helping individuals affected by an often stigmatized disease, realize long-held dreams.
Thank you to the receptionist who always tried to accommodate my work schedule when booking appointments. Thank you for remaining calm when I called back in a panic if I had a conflict or when Mother Nature decided to have a mind of her own. Thank you for never getting frustrated if I ran a few minutes late, stuck in traffic, knowing very well it could set your whole waiting room of already anxious women behind.
Thank you to the woman who drew my blood on a regular basis. Thank you for always knowing which vein to poke so we could get the job done as quickly and painlessly as possible. Thank you for always greeting me with a warm smile at a time of day when most people haven’t even woken up yet.
Thank you to the ultrasound technician who had the awkward task of performing weekly and sometimes daily transvaginal ultrasound scans. Thank you for always asking if I was comfortable and for chatting with me about movies and current events to keep my mind occupied.
Thank you to the nurse for calling me back in a timely manner with the results of my blood work. Thank you for taking your time explaining how to administer injections and answering the many questions I had about the multitude of medications I was taking.
Thank you for your compassion when you called me to say, “I’m sorry, it’s negative.”
Thank you to the pharmacist who refilled my medications and for suggesting strategies to deal with the unwanted side effects of the hormones. Thank you for telling me that you were “rooting” for me.
Thank you to my Reproductive Endocrinologists for taking the time to explain the incredible complexities of human conception in the simplest ways possible. Thank you for telling me that even though we think we are in control, we are not and that “it’s no one’s fault .” Thank you for performing the surgeries and procedures that helped result in the birth of my two beautiful children.
A very special thank you to the embryologists who took care of my children in their earliest and most vulnerable forms, when my body could not. Thank you for keeping them safe and giving them all that they needed to grow and flourish until they were ready to come home to me.
Thank you to all of you for working in a field of medicine where the odds are not always on your side and for giving Mother Nature a helping hand.
By Lori Sebastianutti