On Thursday, while working from home, I got an instant message from one of my coworkers: “did you know a hurricane’s coming?!?! It’s supposed to hit Corpus Cristi then head in our direction…THIS WEEKEND! WTF!” I just sat there staring at the screen for a few minutes.
After the news sank in, I sprang into action. I started typing frantically, weather.com, national weather service, CNN, then all the local stations KHOU, KPRC, Fox26… and there it was: a tropical storm named Harvey was headed straight for us, and it was expected to make landfall on Friday night, it was also gaining strength and expected to turn into a hurricane by the weekend.
My retrieval was scheduled for Saturday. I was to arrive at 10am.
From the moment I learned about Harvey, that’s all I heard about. I sprang into prep mode. Getting cash, filling up the gas tank, fortunately I already had my pantry stocked, flashlights were all working, cases of water were still home after we bought them at the start of hurricane season.
My fertility clinic put out a note that they still planned to see patients who had scheduled appointments and procedures over the weekend. The news reports advised people to stay off the road and prepare.
Then I got a glimmer of hope…they said, Saturday morning is your last chance to go out and get supplies. By Saturday afternoon, you need to be hunkered down. Rain was expected that evening.
So on Saturday we said a prayer, took a deep breath and drove the 45 minutes to the clinic. The doctor told me that the staff all stayed in a hotel next to the clinic the night before so they’d be able to get to their patients.
To my relief, we did the retrieval, and when I woke up they asked: “how do you feel?”
“Like I’m ready to go home” I said.
One thing about this fertility process that I appreciate most is how truly incredibly supportive the staff of doctors, nurses and administrators can be. As one of the largest storms on record barreled towards us, they made it a priority to get to the clinic and be there for us. IVF is a journey like no other, and while every woman’s experience is different, we all share the emotional roller-coaster of hope and fear, being overwhelmed and anxious, feelings of disappointment and celebration. Knowing that the team of people tasked to help me fulfill my dream of conceiving a child are all in makes me feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude that I can’t fully explain.
We drove home just as the rain started pouring down. But we made it. I never felt so relieved. One chapter of my IVF journey had concluded…now it was time to face the reality of what was happening around us…one of the absolute worst storms in our country’s history was headed straight for Houston.