My second chance at making sure that this works has become an interesting story in itself. To start in the first week of May we put our house in Georgia up for sale. Our house was busy. I was trying to sell all of our furniture on Letgo, and Offer up, as well as a couple of Facebook yard sale sites. We figured the only furniture we would take with us would be our beds. My husband accepted a job with his sister, at the company she had just started, and I was trying to find a job as a traveling surgical technologist. Once the school season was over, my mom took my son to Utah to spend the summer there with his cousins, so we could pack and get rid of things. By June 18, 2017, we were in the Uhaul with our three dogs piled in the front, on our way cross country to live in Arizona. Our house had not sold yet, but there was a potential buyer.
We made it to Arizona on June 22, 2017. We moved in to a 8×10 room at my sister-in-laws house and we found a small corner in her living room for Joseph’s toys. On the ride here I read the book, “It Starts with an Egg,” by Rebecca Fett. (Here is a link for the book if you are interested, just click the button) It Starts with the Egg: How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriage, and Improve Your Odds in IVF
Once arriving in Arizona I had ordered the supplements suggested in her book on Amazon while we were driving and they were already at the house by the time we arrived. I started to take the supplements and prepare myself in a healthier mindset to do IVF, with the hopes that I would have a lot healthier eggs, a healthier body, and a happier healthier me. I also put my husband on supplements from Fairhaven health to help boost his count as well as make healthier sperm.
I had already been a member of the Facebook group, “IVF with Dr. Garza,” for some time now, but I started to read and take note of what women were saying as they went to the office. I read the pinned post by the administrators and I still found myself confused and not quite sure where to start. So in September I decided it was time to start scheduling things so we could start this IVF process. I had now been on the supplements for close to three months, which is what is suggested. For the supplements to take full effect on the remaining eggs you have.
So I started by second chance at IVF by calling the office. The number I tried for those of you interested out there was 956.465.0680. I tried calling this number for two weeks, trying to get someone to answer the office number. I tried calling at 7 a.m., 8 a.m., and at 9 a.m. No one would answer. So I went to the message boards and asked for help. So many women suggested I text him. They gave me his personal cell number which is 956.495.7879. I found this suggestion to be weird. Here I am, a total nobody to him he doesn’t know me at all and I am going to text him my story and see what he thinks?? I was pretty lost, so my husband looked up the international office number and called it one day while I was at work. He got someone who spoke very little English, but was able to tell enough information that we kind of had a baseline of what to expect.
The office person that answered the phone told us that we needed to arrive at the office on period day two (for those that are not familiar with the jargon of IVF talk it is also referred to as Cd2, cycle day 2). We were told that the total cost with meds would be around $5000. I had already read this from the group, but may have paid a lot less. They just tell everyone $5000 as a worst case scenario. That really was all the information my husband got on the phone. They told him that they were going to email me some information and that the email would give more information. So I waited for three days after my husbands call and nothing came. I just felt I needed a little bit more information to feel comfortable myself. So I decided I was going to text Dr. Garza. What was it going to hurt? All he could do was just ignore my text right?
So I text Dr. Garza. I am going to include my conversation that I had with him over text messages. I hope this information will help those of you to know what to expect when texting him.
Katie: Good Morning Dr. Garza. My name is Katie J. and I am 40 years old. I would like to come and see you in either October or November for IVF with ICSI. I had tried to do IVF in February/March and we got 6 eggs, 5 made it to day 5, but all were abnormal with PGS testing. I have since lost weight, quit my job, decreased stress and started supplements for improving my egg quality. I just wanted to see if I came to you on cd2 if you thought we could still go through with IVF in October or if you may suggest a month on birth control or something else become we came out there. I am currently located in Phoenix, Arizona. Thank you for your time, Katie
Dr. Garza: I suggest growth hormone in previous cycle. Can be in September and do IVF in October.
Katie: Ok that sounds great! Do you prescribe that and I fill it here?
Dr. Garza: yes
Katie: Okay. That works for me, how do I proceed with getting the prescription and do I need to schedule a phone call with you or anything else?
Dr. Garza: You need to be here asap this September to start prescription. Only send a text to me when you are ready
Katie: Ok does it matter that my period is just now finishing? I cant get there till Monday next week?
Dr. Garza: Perfect
So I went to my husband and explained to him that we needed to go to Mexico and meet with Dr. Garza before my next period so that I could start HCG shots before we do IVF. So we figured out we would leave that Saturday afternoon, it currently was a Monday that I was texting him. We arranged for my husbands family to watch over Joseph our 5 year old son, while we went to meet with Dr. Garza. Our second chance was about to begin!! We were so exited!
We left around 3:00 p.m. on Saturday September 23, 2017. According to GPS driving to Matamoros, Mexico was going to take us 17 hours to get there. We made it to El Paso, Texas at about 10:30 p.m. we found a hotel and stayed the night and continued our drive the next day. We drove and drove and drove. This was the longest most boring drive we both had ever been on. We arrived in Brownsville around 9:30 p.m.. We decided that we were going to stay the night in Matamoros, so we crossed the border. Crossing the border cost us $3.50, so be sure you have cash to cross the boarder. They didn’t check our passports or anything just charged us to cross into Mexico. We stayed at the Hotel Alameda Express it was $34, and was literally 5 minutes from Dr. Garza’s office.
September 25, 2017. According to a lot of posts I had read from the Facebook group site, the office is first come, first serve. The doors to the office open at 7:00 a.m. and a lot of the women recommend getting there early to stand in line so you can get seen at a reasonable time. So we left the hotel around 6:45 a.m.. We got there and there was no one in line yet, so we decided to sit in the car. There is an older gentleman that sits outside the office doors and holds parking spots across the street for the Doctor and staff. Within 5 minutes of arriving to the office, two other couples arrived and stood outside the doors. We decided then to get out of the car and join them.
At 7:00 a.m. the office doors opened and the old man opened the doors for us to go to the lobby of the office. In the lobby there are 2 couches and 6 chairs for patients and their loved ones to sit in. The secretary doesn’t get there until about a 7:40 a.m.. At 7:45 the secretary starts to get the names of everyone waiting to see Dr. Garza. Everyone is very cool and honest about when everyone arrived and who is first in line and so forth. Even though we were not out of the car standing in line, the two couples that were at the doors before us, had us put our names down as being there first. The secretary has you fill out a single piece of paper when you tell her its your first time there, she also asks you what day of your cycle you are there on or if you are there for a consultation. Her English is very little and you may need the help of some of the others in the waiting room that speech Spanish to help you out. I did and it doesn’t hurt to ask for help. We are all there with the same purpose in mind, we should be there as sisters helping each other out.
It was a very busy day in the office, as more and more couples arrived the seating became very scarce and many of them began to sit on the steps to the office as the lobby is up a flight of stairs. My husband and I waited five hours before we were finally called back to Dr. Garza’s office. Once in the office he came in right away. He had remembered our texting conversation and he explained how the HCG shots worked. He then wanted to have me do an ultrasound, even though I was 13 days past the beginning of my period. I was then escorted to a bathroom to change from the waist down into a gown. The nurse then lead me to a room with a table and an ultrasound machine. Once on the table, they place a blanket over you and you wait for Dr. Garza to come into the room. He did a very quick vaginal ultrasound and asked again how many eggs were retrieved in February/March, during our previous attempt. I told him that they had retrieved 6 eggs total and 5 eggs had made it to a 5 day freeze. he then finished the ultrasound and I was walked to the restroom where I had changed, and told to change and go back to the office where my husband was waiting.
Dr. Garza also gave us some information about pricing. He then priced our IVF at $2700 for retrieval and transfer, plus an additional $200 for the Anesthesiologist. For the meds he estimated about $1000, but this could go up depending on how I responded to the stimulation medications. He then proceeded to tell us that if our first round fails, he will charge $1350 for retrieval and transfer including medications. The third round will be no charge for the procedure, we will just have to pay for the medications and the Anesthesiologist. He told us that we could expect the first trip to last us close to 14 days give or take. He also informed us that he has a driver that will pick us up if we wanted at the motel 6 in Brownsville. He drivers name is Mario and he has a “fast pass” to get across the border. If we want to use Mario all we needed to do was text him and he would make sure Mario picked us up. He usually arrives at the Brownsville, Motel 6 around 8:30 a.m.
Dr. Garza then wrote on a script pad for us to get the HCG shots. He explained that he wanted me to start the shots in October, 5-7 days after my period starts. I would then do the shots for about 20 days and then I was to be at his office on cd2 in November. We then went to the check out desk where we handed them the script and they got us the medication. We paid $60 for the consult and $200 for the HCG shots. Once we got the shots we were taken to a room in the back where the nurse and a translator explained that I was to draw up 0.5cc of HCG and I was to insert it 2 finger lengths below my belly button, and that I was to alternate sides.
That was it. The appointment took a whole 45 minutes after a five hour wait. We left Matamoros at 12:30 and we crossed the border. If you decided to meet with him I suggest bringing your previous medical records with you, as well as write down any questions you may have for him. You never know how your excitement over the situation may leave you with questions unanswered. Dr. Garza is a sweet man and he is very down to earth to talk to. His English is great and we had no problems understanding him. Although we still wish we knew a little bit more Spanish, it is nice to know that the office will do its best to help you even though there is a language barrier.
When you cross the border to the United States, you do show them your passports and you have to pay an additional $1.55. So I highly suggest having some cash when you go just to cross the border, and to tip the old man that watches the cars outside the office. Crossing back into the states, we were questioned about what we had to declare that we purchased in Mexico. We told them we just had medication from a doctors appointment. The Border control guard then asked us where are license plate was from, asked us why were here from South Dakota? We didn’t know either, because were here from Arizona. The guard then told us his sister saw Dr. Garza and she ended up having triplets. Yay!! I will take all that I can get, lol. He then sent us on our way. So I highly recommend having cash when you cross the border, you will end up paying a total of $5.05 as of November 2017. As the dollar fluctuates this will change.
My husband and I were both really hungry, so we found something quick and decided we would try to make it to El Paso, Texas. We drove for what felt like forever, and we finally made it to El Paso close to midnight. We made it home to Phoenix around 3:00 the next day.
I will continue our story in the next post. I hope the information I have included helps you out.