The doctor I had at the Fertility Center Cancun seemed so sweet and I immediately felt like his heart was in the right place. I had a less than stellar experience with my reproductive clinic in the Bay Area, which felt more like a factory with a preset protocol, than a place that actually cared about me.
I filled out a short form and sent in my medical records so that I could start viewing egg donor profiles.
I also discovered another clinic in Cancun, called IREGA. They were responsive and wonderful to deal with as well. To cross check my gut reaction, I scoured chat rooms for information and experiences with both clinics. As far as I could tell, everyone who had gone to these clinics had a wonderful experience. No one had anything negative to say. IREGA had slightly better pricing options, but I found a fabulous donor at FCC, so I went with them.
I had to sync my cycle to the egg donor’s, which was pretty easily done, and I booked my flight for two months later. I could have arrived in Mexico for the transfer within about a month of choosing the egg donor, but I built in some extra time to let my donor’s body recover from her last donation and in order to navigate getting my sperm samples into Mexico.
I arrived in Cancun on a Monday for my first appointment, during which they did an ultrasound and checked my uterine lining. At my request, they also did a mock transfer because I had some previous problems with a very tightly closed cervix. (They didn’t charge me extra for the mock transfer even though it was not included in the fees I had paid. I noticed throughout the process that they did not add on a bunch of extra fees. They accepted my sperm samples and are continuing to store them for me at no charge. They incurred several administration fees from customs and the health department for which they did not charge me either.)
On a Wednesday they retrieved my donor’s eggs (one day later than originally planned). And, then I waited five days for the embryos to mature into blastocysts. By the following Monday, I took a private taxi back to the clinic in Cancun to have the embryo transfer. And three days later I flew home.
I only stayed one night in Cancun before my first appointment, and then made my way to Tulum 90 minutes south. But had I stayed in Cancun, the liaison would have arranged all my transportation. She communicated with the clinic about my appointment times and a cab magically appeared before and after every appointment to transfer me where I needed to be. They even offered me a cell phone to communicate with them and the clinic if I needed it.
An Experience in Trust
I loved the experience wholeheartedly. I actually think that being on vacation in Mexico helped me conceive. Not only was I relaxed, but the hot weather and salt water helped open my body. But there were definitely things I had to let go of in order to feel comfortable in Mexico. I found it was an exercise in trust. I had to keep returning to the fact that my gut had told me this clinic was trustworthy.
“The Contract” with my egg donor was a one-page document sent to me by the clinic liaison. Being a lawyer, the “Contract” was laughable. And I was shocked to learn that I needed to pay a deposit of $1300 to the liaison, but I paid nothing to the Clinic until I arrived. When I got to the clinic, they couldn’t find my “Contract” so I had to give her my copy.
I never saw anything in which the egg donor released her rights to her genetic material to me. When I asked the clinic for it, they assured me they had an agreement with her, but did not offer to let me see it.
The Clinic was much less willing to give me updates and hold my hand through the process. I was expecting updates from the Clinic about how my donor was doing — how many follicles she was producing, what her timing was like, etc. But the clinic gave me no information until I arrived on Monday for my first appointment. When I asked about her progress, the doctor responded, “She’s doing well.”
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“She has more than 15 follicles,” the Doctor assured me, but would not give me specifics. I had friends who had been through IVF, in which the doctors gave them a detailed blow by blow of the process, the number of eggs, how big, which ovary etc. So, I was expecting more information, but in the end, all I really needed to know was that she had a bunch of follicles.
And note that Sarah is starting a Choice Mom coaching business, related to her own fertility struggles and the search for an egg donor. You can learn more here.