The moving itself took place over a number of days with the laboratory being taken apart section by section to be rebuilt in the new space leaving behind all the equipment on temporary tables until the final day. Once the final embryos from the September cycle were finally transferred back into mom or frozen for storage I could start the final stages of getting the IVF laboratory ready to move as well.
I am sure that a lot of you remember the last few days when the rooms started to empty and the boxes started to appear – I started to dream about those red bins as they took over all available space and we were moving them around to get in and out of different areas. I hope that you were not too inconvenienced – I thought that the staff did a great job to keep the place running as smooth as possible while taking every spare moment to put things in boxes and hope that they wouldn’t be needed again!
The actual final move was done over a period of two days – Friday afternoon/evening and then all day on Saturday. We saw the bare minimum of patients on the Friday morning and then started to frantically get the last of everything placed into the packing boxes. You know the drill – all those bits and pieces that you need until the last minute and then all the other stuff that gets left over and you have no idea what to do with. The best part about it all was the fact that we didn’t have to lift stuff ourselves as we had a team of guys to do that for us – and some of it was pretty heavy let me tell you. There were times when I broke a sweat just watching them lift things, better them than me I can tell you.
One of the most exciting parts was actually taking over the liquid nitrogen tanks with the frozen embryos and sperm in them. They are all stand alone units that don’t need power or anything, so it was a case of wheeling them out of the old laboratory and downstairs to my SUV. It took 4 of us to get it all sorted so that they were never left alone and then we began the careful job of loading the fragile cargo into the vehicle. Once they were in there I began the job of driving the very short distance between the two spaces, but it took forever at the snails pace I drove at. I have to say that I think it was the most people that I have ever had in the car at the same time! At the other end it took the same number of people to get them all out of the car and into the building and then they were safe and sound in the new laboratory again.
At the end of the evening on Friday we were slightly delirious as you can imagine, but the space was ready to see patients the next morning and we were well on our way. Equipment, exam tables and computers were set up and charts were got ready. It didn’t feel like home yet but we knew we could make it work; we had been given a set of keys by the locksmith we had a place for most of us to sit, and we knew where everything was (for the most part!) It seemed like a good time to call it a day and get ready for the onslaught of the next morning.
The first patient day went off without any hitches, and then we were back to unpacking, organizing, labeling and generally moving stuff around to get the best flow. The majority of the non-essential items that had been packed were not moved over until Saturday so there were still a lot of trips backwards and forwards between the old and new office to finish off sorting things out, making sure every last item got packed and getting the old place said goodbye to!
So, there we were with a brand new office, a lot of boxes to unpack and a very exhausted team of people. The space was already so much better than the old one and we hadn’t even finished unpacking or getting all the new furniture and equipment. There were a few people that turned up at the wrong office for the first few weeks, but slowly and surely we were settling in a ready to start the next phase of the Overlake Reproductive Health story – bigger and better than before.