“Neither blizzard nor frosty rain, nor lack of heat nor Covid stays these gallant people from getting pregnant.”

The above is a version of the US postal system’s creed and how resilient their postal workers are in getting the mail to its intended destination. So I thought it more than appropriate to adapt it not only in relation to the following tale of persistence but also to everyone out there who are looking to fulfill their dreams of starting a family.

I am a father who was lucky enough to be able to have a child without the aid of medical intervention. It was also a pregnancy that whilst not unplanned, came as a surprise due to planned work hopes, with a potential offer of running an IVF clinic in Riyadh. Well, you can imagine my relief when I found out that alcohol still had a place in my life and the move was forgotten.

Four years after our daughter was born we moved to Spain, and six years after that we moved to Greece where we still reside.

That move was a big decision for us and it has had its ups and downs. If you choose to try your IVF journey by going abroad for treatment, we know that it might feel scary and daunting, and things might not go the way that we all hope. The determination is there in spades, but then we have to consider other obstacles. Stuff that we have no control over, and there are plenty of those in planning any cycle of treatment, the majority of which are solvable. The difficult ones are erupting volcanoes causing massive ash clouds that ground or divert flights (we solved some of these), and most recently, a pandemic.

So as much as we plan and investigate, we can usually expect something to scupper the best-laid plans.

In this particular case, we had a patient who had a previously successful treatment, resulting in a little boy. Wanting to extend the family, a further cycle was planned. Planning started in October 2021, including making sure that the patient was fully vaccinated. Job done.

Hiccup one. Just prior to starting progesterone, the patient tests positive for Covid. Rather than cancel everything, Ruth decided to get the patient to re-test after two days. This time the test was negative, so everything is back on track.

Hiccup two. Flight to London is all OK. Flight to Athens – canceled due to a blizzard grounding all flights. I know we occasionally get some snow, but this was a lot! Discussions with the patient and the clinic were had, and the decision to delay the embryo transfer by a day was made, due to the different timezones and when the patient actually started the progesterone working in our favor.

You will be happy to know that the patient is pregnant and that a fetal heartbeat has been seen. In her own words;
“Ultrasound went great! One baby, perfect size, perfect heartbeat. Due date Oct 14. Thanks for all of your help in making this happen, especially when I got Covid and we had to switch things up and then again when you had that snowstorm. Couldn’t have done it without you!”

​Can you imagine the stress this patient must have been feeling? Not only was she traveling from Canada, but then she gets a positive Covid test and then a canceled flight, never mind all the other stuff that patients usually go through with juggling life and everything else.

​This is the beauty of having someone like Ruth coordinating and planning your treatment. She is more accessible and is able to make medical decisions without having to refer to the clinic all the time.

Your persistence and resilience will make sure that the male and female will get through!

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