IVF in Barbados: My Team and My Cycle Outcome

My Team

The Clinic Director Anna Hosford and Medical Director Dr. Juliet Skinner became like family during the 14 days that we were visiting Barbados. They greeted me with hugs and warmth and the biggest smiles! They made Hubman and I feel so comfortable and were kind, patient, and honest with us both. They took such wonderful care of me throughout our entire process, from the MONTHS before meeting them, to even weeks after our 1st round was complete.

The entire clinic was truly amazing. Not once did we feel like a number, or just a process. We felt respected, honored, heard, and welcomed from the very first encounter we had with our clinic. Each and every person in that building was warm, kind, welcoming, loving, and patient.

Results of our first cycle

Unfortunately, our dream of a “Barbados Baby” didn’t happen this time.

When Anna called me to discuss the result, I swear to you that I could feel her warm hug 2000 miles away. She was so comforting and sensitive and knowing that she truly cares about her patients was the most heartwarming part of this entire journey.

I’m so appreciative that our first experience was with such amazing people, in such an amazing place. ZERO REGRETS.

What’s next?

For now, we’ll snuggle our 2 precious kitties into the holiday season while we mourn, grieve, and make a roadmap for our next steps on this journey.

I hope we are able to return back to the clinic someday, even if it’s just to swing by some breakfast while we are on vacation. I couldn’t recommend Barbados Fertility Centre any more than I already have. Many of you have reached out to me with questions and I’m more than happy to help anyone on this journey that I can.

Infertility is hard. Know that you are not alone.
I love you all. Always.

IVF in Barbados: Two Week Wait

After our transfer, Hubman and I went out to explore the beautiful island of Barbados a bit more before we had to come home. It was the weekend, so with no pressure to be at our computers for a few days, we hopped in the car and took off. (Buckle up! This one is a long one!)

Bathsheba Park/Beach

The first place we visited was called Bathsheba Park. We enjoyed the scenery and watched the waves crash for what seemed like hours, though it wasn’t that long at all. It was unreal. Bathsheba is a rugged and scenic beach with beautiful and dramatic rock formations. We loved watching the surfers ride the waves again and again. It was mesmerizing and relaxing, and I swear, I felt so close to God at that moment.

Beautiful Bathsheba Park
Stunning Rock Formations
We’re as close to God as we could be!

Cherry Tree Hill

Cherry Tree Hill was a beautiful scenic area that we enjoyed exploring for a while. We were approximately 850 feet above sea level in this location. It is believed that the name “Cherry Tree Hill” originated from the large number of cherry trees which once existed at this location. Today the road is lined with mahogany trees, which were introduced into Barbados after the Treaty of Paris in 1763. As you descend the hill the mahogany trees give way to swaying sugar cane.

Cherry Tree Hill is part of the St. Nicholas Abbey plantation. St. Nicholas Abbey Rum is produced at the on-site rum distillery.

Watching the Sugar Cane sway in the wind was mesmerizing.

Morgan Lewis Windmill

Morgan Lewis Windmill is located in the northern part of the island overlooking the eastern coastline. Morgan Lewis is one of the only two intact and restored sugar mills in the Caribbean.

This thing looks teeny, but I assure you, IT IS HUGE!

Cove Cave

Another beautiful place we visited was Cove Cave. Otherwise known as “Cove Bay,” it’s one of Barbados’ hidden gems. With a gorgeous view of the Atlantic Ocean, it’s the perfect private little getaway spot for picnics, meditation, or general sightseeing. This part of the island is peaceful and serene. You have the cliff to remind you just how small you are in this universe and constant breeze in your hair, the sound of the waves crashing below you, and horses and cows behind you grazing, it truly is breathtaking!

Animal Flower Cave

Next, we went to Animal Flower Cave. Named for its sea anemones, Animal Flower Cave is the island’s only accessible sea cave. It’s located at the northernmost point of the island. We had the opportunity to swim in the cave’s rock pools, so if you visit this spot, be sure to bring your swimsuit and a towel.

Ask the tour guides to let you touch the sea anemones. It’s SO much fun. (Spoiler alert, there’s a video of what happens when you poke them on my TikTok!)

Standing on top of the cave, you can see the water below crashing below.
This is the northernmost tip of the island, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean from inside the cave pools.
A small hike down into the cave pools was worth every second.

Hunte’s Garden

Hunte’s Garden was definitely a must-see, in my book. “A place of serenity where you can feel peace of mind and the tranquility of your soul whilst being surrounded by nature in some of the wonderous varieties it has to offer. Take a leisurely stroll through the tall palm trees of what once was a regular gully; which has now become a majestic transformation by Anthony Hunte into an ornately designed garden located in Barbados, known by many around the world, simply as: Hunte’s Gardens.”

Hunte’s Gardens is located in the Saint Joseph Parish, along with Bathsheba Park and Beach. Here, you’ll see some of the most magical tropical plants, beautiful wildlife (yes, even wild green monkeys playing in the trees!), and hear the sounds of beautiful classical music playing softly in the back with the birds happily singing along.

The gardens used to be part of the Castle Grant sugar plantation. In 1990, The owner, Anthony bought ten acres of this plantation and transformed the area in and around a collapsed cave into, not only his home but the most beautiful of gardens. The Garden was opened to the public in 2007

Royal Palms
Snails. Lizards. Birds. Monkeys. It’s beautiful.
My beautiful friend and TCC sister, Kiana.

Our last few days

We had to work the last half week we were on the island, so unfortunately our true fun time had come to a halt. I forced myself to get up early and get some beach time in before work each day. After work each day we would walk down the boardwalk and have dinner and watch the sunset. We sat on the piers and watched the waves crash and stared at Venus and the moon shining perfectly over the sea. It was bittersweet to know that we’d be leaving soon, but we tried to be in the moment and soak up every magical moment that Barbados could give us. Just being together in such a beautiful place was enough to fill my heart with love and joy. We met some of the most amazing people that I can truly never forget; from the locals of the island, to my EPIC fertility team, to other amazing women that are on their own fertility journey, these humans will forever have a place in my heart. We fell in love with Barbados and knowing we were there to grow our family made it even more special to us. We can say with 100% certainty that we will be back again soon.

I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts!
If you know, you know. #hope
The locals are the sweetest people. I’ve never once been to a place where the locals will sit down and talk to you about life. Never.
Farewell, Beautiful Barbados.

When we got back home

After spending the last few days on the island with each other, it was time to return home with our little embryo and finish the wait from there. We flew home on Thanksgiving Day and arrived back at our home around 2am the Friday after. We were glad to come home to our 2 beautiful kitties, but we found it much harder to distract our minds from “little em,” which was the name we lovingly were calling our embaby. I tried to keep busy and enjoyed visiting with many friends and family that came to see us and our new home. I decorated for the holiday, and tried to remind myself as much as I could, that, “Science is awesome! What will be, will be.”

Stay tuned to see the results of our first IVF round. We truly appreciate you following us on our journey. It’s hard, but most things worth something aren’t easy. #MakingBabyKnight

Until next time, shine bright my lovies.

IVF in Barbados – Our 1st appointment with the clinic

We arrived on the beautiful island of Barbados on Wednesday, November. 10th. We arrived at our hotel just in time to watch one of the most beautiful sunsets we’ve ever seen. We unpacked and immediately went in search for food. After traveling all day and having nothing but some cookies, cheesecake crackers, and gummy bears, we were ready for full bellies and a good night’s sleep.

~ Barbados from the plane ~

We walked down to a place called BACKYAAD and had dinner on the ocean. So far, everywhere we’ve been has done temperature checks and login information to track for COVID. Hand sanitizer is about as common and easily found as the rum punch, and trust me, that shit is EVERY WHERE! It was dark, as it gets dark around 5pm, but you could still see the beautiful waves crashing on the shore. We relaxed and waited for our dinner, but this island TRULY is on “island time.” No body here is in a hurry for anything, and while I respect and understand that, I do have fertility injections that have to be done at a very specific time.

Unfortunately I had to leave Hubman to wait for the food after an hour and a half, walk back to the hotel and give myself my injections. He requested the food be packaged for to go, and brought it up to me so we could eat in the room. I’m fairly certain within an hour after eating, we both passed out for roughly 10 hours, as we were completely exhausted due to the previous few days of preparation, anxiety, and traveling.

~ The moon over the ocean at 6pm ~

When we woke up on Thursday, I had to jump right into work. I’m very lucky to be able to work while I’m here on our fertility journey. So I stayed in the room until it was time for dinner. We went downstairs to the fish fry, where I had a wonderful chicken cordon bleu dish, but again, dinner was over 3 hours. Literally nobody is in a hurry here. It’s nice, but for the second time in a row I had to leave dinner to go give myself my injections.

Lesson learned, if we have to do this again, choose an early morning time or a very late evening time. 8pm isn’t late enough…

~ The last stab before we find out how I’m responding to these fertility drugs! Hoping my body isn’t hating me too much right now! ~

We came back to the room and settled down for the night since our first appointment was at 8:00 on Friday morning. Renting a car on the island is a bit pricey, so we are walking everywhere for the time being. We do plan to rent a car later and travel around to see more of the island when we have time.

~ The beach is right across the street from the Fertility Center! ~

Friday morning I hopped out of bed, super excited to finally go meet my team that is responsible for our journey this far. It’s a very short walk, maybe 10 minutes from where we are staying to the Barbados Fertility Centre. Once we arrived, we had our temperatures checked and we were signed in. We finally met Dr. Skinner who is simply lovely. She explained what the visit was for and what we were looking for. She’s so welcoming and warm and it was so hard not to hug her sweet neck. I really hate COVID.

~ I felt like I was the only patient there, though I know I wasn’t, as I met so many beautiful women that made this trip with us while we were at the clinic! ~

We proceeded with the ultrasound and they only found 4 follicles. Due to stage 4 endometriosis and a low AMH, I was expecting exactly what happened to happen. They only found 2 follicles on each ovary. 4 total.

This means we aren’t out of the game yet, we are just playing on a much harder difficulty level.

~ It’s not the best news, but it’s exactly what I was expecting. ~

The rest of Friday was spent having breakfast at ArtSplash, which has some phenomenal smoothies and breakfast/lunch options. Then we came back to the hotel and I worked until way too late while snacking on some awesome pizza that Hubman brought back so I wouldn’t have to leave my computer for the night.

~ Pancake Breakfast at ArtSplash ~

For now, It’s Saturday and we plan on having the most amazing week end enjoying this beautiful island. As I type this post, I’m currently sitting under a tree on the beach waiting for a rum punch refill and some lunch. Sunday is Hubman’s birthday, so we have an eventful day planned full of fun adventures.

~ Vitamin Sea and Relaxation. Doctor’s Order! ~
~ Naps on the beach are the best naps. ~

I’ll keep you posted on our adventures around the island this weekend and our results from our next scan on Monday.

Until then, enjoy yourself and remember not to take life so seriously!

IVF in Barbados

It seems like the past few months have flown by and as I write this on the plane ride to Barbados, all I can think about is all the things I’ve been though to get to this point in our journey.

~ Whatever happens, happens. It’s all going to be fine. ~

Countless labs, never ending exams, DNA and genetic testing, more vitamins and supplements than ever in my life, failed treatments, procedures, prescriptions, diagnoses, a surgery, 3 months of cycle suppression, and now FINALLY our fertility injections and other IVF medications. All this in just 11 months? It’s certainly been mad chaos.

~ Leaving San Antonio for Miami. ~

Today, November 10th, 2021, is the 6th day of our 1st IVF cycle. It’s also travel day. We woke up in San Antonio at 3am. We made it to the airport for our first flight by 4:30am. After a layover in Miami, we are currently somewhere over the Bahamas quickly approaching Barbados.

~ We are not awake, but we made it on the plane! ~

A question I get often is, “Where is Barbados?” Barbados is located in the Caribbean Region of the North Atlantic Ocean. As an island in the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is a country in the West Indies.

~ Barbados is north of South America near the equator. ~

The island country is in the southeastern Caribbean Sea, and shares the east side of the coast with the Atlantic Ocean. Roughly triangular in shape, the island measures some 20 miles from northwest to southeast and about 15 miles from east to west at its widest point.

Ooooo – American Airlines is serving Biscoff cookies and cranberry cocktails. YES PLEASE!

~ Mile High Writer’s Club ~

Thank you all for the love and support you have shown us thus far. The calls, messages, prayers, gifts, donations, and constant positive reminders to stay positive are so appreciated.

I’m going to try to post updates here throughout our trip. I’m also going to be sharing photos to my Instagram and vlogs to TikTok. Stay tuned to see how our first round goes!

Hugs & love & stuff,