Baby octopi on my wedding cake / RBA Q and A

I slept. I slept! I feel new. In my restedness, I have managed to do all these things this morning: ride exercise bike, clip finger- and toe-nails, make nutritious lunch, eat nutritious breakfast, and hug DH in bed for five minutes. I also read a bit of Cake Wrecks, a book DH’s brother gave me that I read and reread to make me laugh out loud, because I hear that’s good for your brain chemicals and stuff. I’m also taking Cake Wrecks to work and hope it will inspire random lighthearted office talk about cake disasters we have known. Maybe I’ll even tell the story about how my wedding cake (I was married before; I’m not yet married to current “DH”) was made by a serious stoner who worked at a local bakery in southeast Ohio. The frosting daisies looked like scared baby octopi clinging to the edges and cliffs and corners of the shouting-bright yellow cake. She also randomly scattered wobbly-looking four-leaf clovers on the sides of the cake (not asked for). My ex-husband and I used to laugh about that cake so hard we couldn’t breath.

And now, on to more serious matters…

Last night, DH and I sent 56 pages of medical records to sweet sunny Georgia, with the hopes that Dr. Shapiro’s administrative assistant will reply with a: “Holy sh*t, you’ve had every test done under the sun—you need not do one thing more! For the love of God, woman!”

I can dream.

Here is some new information I have rustled up:

If I do the guarantee program, how many egg will I get per egg-bank cycle?

There is no set number. Perhaps the lab will thaw and fertilize 4; perhaps they will thaw and fertilize 10. It all depends on how many it takes for them to get a high quality embryo [or two??] to transfer.

The average number that they will thaw & fertilize is 6.

What if we do a double-embryo transfer? Does that count as 1 transfer or 2?

That counts as 1 transfer.

How many transfers am I guaranteed?

5 regular egg-bank cycles and 5 frozen-embryo transfers—or however many it takes to achieve a live birth. Also: Miscarriages and still-births are not live births.

I have recurrent early miscarriage, and proof that three of my embryos were chromosomally abnormal. What are the chances of my being rejected for the guarantee program?

It is very rare for someone to be turned down from the guarantee program. The clinic says it sounds like I have a clear explanation for my losses, and no structural abnormalities, so I should be good to go.

How many donors are in the bank right now?


Previous tests…

Are good from the time they were given to the date of the embryo transfer (which means I have to have my first transfer before October).

Am I required to reserve eggs, at 10K per lot of 6, for each cycle?

No, reservations are made for future cycles, and are entirely optional. Eggs for a current cycle are included in the guarantee program cost.

Is the cost the same for all donors?


What is the survival rate of frozen eggs when thawed?


What is the fertilization rate of frozen eggs?

65 – 70%

How many patients have gone through the guarantee program, had to complete all 10 transfers, and get the refund?


How many have enrolled in the guarantee program to date?


What if I have a live birth, and I want to do an FET of a frozen embryo later–what is the cost?


And the clock says 9:40, so I must be off to work. Wish me luck with RBA—I so want this to be our answer!

Leave a comment


  1. Good luck! Sounds like you have gotton lots of good info! Here is hoping for no more test!

  2. Hi there, I’ve never commented on a blog before, but I just wanted to say how much I appreciate you sharing all the research you’ve done on DE. I too am considering moving to DE, and am trying to decide between RBA and Advanced Fertility in Chicago. The fact that nobody has ever had to receive a refund from the RBA guarantee program is pretty compelling. Best of luck to you!

    • Hi! Thank you for commenting. Would you mind sharing with me what salient points you have found out about Advanced Fertility of Chicago? They were second on my list, but I stopped researching them after one weekend—because I only had so much time! Are there reasons, in your opinion, to choose Chicago over RBA? If so, I would be very interested to hear! If you end up going with RBA, I’d be eager to hear that news, too. I’m glad my research is helpful. Such slim pickings online when I started researching the clinic that I knew there was a need.

      • Unfortunately I really have nothing to share as I’m still deciding if we are going to cycle one last time with my OE or go straight to DE. I decided we’d do DE at RBA or Advanced Fertility based only on reputation and google searches! I will certainly let you know if/when we make a decision.

  3. Sat

     /  April 2, 2013

    I wish you lots of good luck!

  4. This is super helpful and answers many of the same questions I had. Thanks for posting!

  5. You sound like we’re doing a similar program – we get 6 cycles and our money back if we don’t bring home a live baby from the hospital. I didn’t think to ask how many people do all the cycles and then get their money back, but that’s a really good question.

  6. Nina

     /  April 2, 2013

    I really love your blog, you can write things that I feel but cannot express … I am in the same situation as you are but live on the other side of the Atlantic … We registered today for a donor egg but it is anonymous here in Europe without any guarantee of pregnancy … I’m 44 and have slow old eggs. I have the right husband for many years but just decided too late to have children, how stupid … !? Feels like I have dumped my life.
    I wish you the best possible and lots of very good luck!
    You will be a great mom, I can tell from all your emotional and very true writings!

    • Wow. You just gave me chills. How nice of you to say such nice things about me! Am smiling as I type. As for you saying you decided too late—no, you haven’t dumped anything, because look at you, here you are making it happen anyway, through DE. But I definitely get upset at myself, too, and often, for all the decisions I made that led me to this situation—it’s so hard to break that habit. This is the stupid-hard part—but once we become moms, we will just be moms. Not infertile; not “diminished” or “depleted”; not mistake-makers; just moms. I wish the very best right back at you. Please do keep me posted on how things go. xxoo


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