Kim Farrell had an important appointment to keep Thursday morning.
The date and time had been set for her fertility doctor in Woodbury to extract the eggs that she hopes will give her and her wife Dee their second child this year.
Nature, however, had its own designs.
A storm was brewing, snow was coming and it would be arriving, well, at about the same time as the two-hour window in which the doctor had determined it was best to have the procedure. The Ronkonkoma couple had to craft a plan.
They booked a hotel room in Plainview, closer to the clinic. They packed up their stuff and checked in Wednesday, thinking the four-mile drive would make it all easier. All was set, but that didn’t keep Kim Farrell from having the kind of anxiety dream that wakes people at 3 in the morning.
“I was very nervous,” said Farrell, 37, a bookkeeper. “I had dreams about it, in which we kept getting stuck in the snow.”
The drive, and the procedure, went without a hitch, she said, but her worries were not unfounded.
That’s because when it comes to having a baby through in vitro fertilization timing is everything.
The Farrells, another four women due for procedures at Gold Coast IVF in Woodbury, and their doctor and his support staff were determined to get around the storm.
The doctor’s office and the patients kept checking in with each other. The office was fully staffed with eight people, including the doctor, embryologist, medical assistants and front-desk clerks. They also hired a crew to clear the parking spaces and entrance outside.
The embryologist, who lives in Connecticut, stayed overnight in the area to make sure he was ready, said Dr. Steven Palter, a Nassau County resident who is the fertility doctor leading the practice.
Everyone showed up. All the eggs were obtained, Palter said, and the embryos were prepared for insemination and further care.
For the prospective parents, the snowstorm became a new way to prove their determination, Palter said.
“It’s a partnership we have with these patients and they are putting their faith and hope in us that we can help them achieve a miracle,” he said. “Some of them have been trying for years and years. ... If this is their one chance, how could we not make everything possible to make it happen?”
The storm had largely tapered off, as patients returned to their homes on Long Island and New York City.
Kim and Dee Farrell were driving on a mostly clear Long Island Expressway before dusk, full of emotion and anticipation.
“It’s hard to understand the emotional roller coaster that one goes through to try to get pregnant,” said Kim Farrell, who said a health condition makes it harder for her. They had their son, James, through IVF treatment five years ago, and were ready to welcome a new member to their family, boy or girl.
“It’s nice that we had that little place to go to... everybody working to make it happen,” she said.
The patients won’t know if the procedures achieved the desired result until several weeks. Then would follow months of closely-monitored pregnancies.
But the Farrells are hoping the snowstorm they had to dodge will someday become a quaint story to share with their child.