When I first realized that keeping a pregnancy wasn’t going to be easy for me I felt defeated. I didn’t know where to go or what I needed to do. All I knew was that my current OBGYN wasn’t getting the job done. Yes, she was a good OBGYN and I really enjoyed her, but she wasn’t understanding that three miscarriages is not the norm. Her words after my third miscarriage were “I’ve seen women have 3 and go on to have a perfectly healthy baby.” When this sentence came out of her mouth I knew that it was time to seek a second opinion.
I didn’t know anyone who had been through IVF or who had explored the world of infertility and so I started out the journey with a blank canvas. It was very paralyzing to say the least, trying to figure out where to turn and where I could get legit advice. I finally was given a recommendation for an RE from….my moms-best friends-sons-wife….does that sentence even make sense? She is a nurse in my area and had a friend go through IVF with my current RE, and so that is where I started.
I ended up meeting my RE on my own accord as my OBGYN didn’t give me a referral. (Remember, she was all don’t worry, it will happen when it’s supposed to happen) At this point in time my insurance provider was Kaiser Permanente and without a referral everything was out of pocket. My first glimpse into the cost of fertility treatments.
The first consult was with the RE I ended up using and it was overwhelming to say the least. The word IVF was thrown out and I didn’t like hearing it. I didn’t think I was a candidate for IVF…..yet. I naively thought that IVF was for women who couldn’t get pregnant and I could get pregnant, but they just wouldn’t last. Dr. B ordered the RPL panel (repeat pregnancy loss), karaeoptyping, and counsyl. I waited for the results impatinentley as it had already been over a year since I got off birth control; I felt that I couldn’t wait any longer….(oh, how little did I know that I would still be waiting two years later).
After what felt like an eternity I was able to sit down with Dr.B for our follow up appointment. From the get go he started talking about IVF and how even though I fell into the unexplained category I was a candidate for IVF with CCS. That even though the karyotyping came back normal there is a possibility that a mix could occur when our little boys & girls merge together and CCS testing could help determine if that is the case. I felt defeated and part angry, because a few weeks before the appointment a nurse told me I most likely wouldn’t need IVF. She mentioned that our karyotyping came back within the normal limits and that pointed me down the path of no IVF….WRONG. I left the appointment confused, sad, and angry. I felt that I was just being thrown into the IVF pack because they couldn’t find anything else wrong with me and that was all they could think of.
So…I went on my marry way and met with two more RE’s.
The second clinic I visited was smaller than the first and had only one doctor one staff with a few nurses. I thought that a more one on one vibe could be nice when going forward with treatment. My hubby and I went and talked to RE#2 and while we sat chatting with him in his office all I could focus on was the clutter behind his desk. Papers and folders laying about with no organization what-so-ever. Now, I am not a type A person, but I do love some organization and there was none here. My mind instantly flashed forward to months in the future and I envisioned him apologizing that he transferred the wrong embryo into me and from now on he would start labeling the embryos with a better system. Insane I know, but my mind instantly jumped from folders everywhere to ahhh….get out now.
Once I was done envisioning the horrid fate of my embryos I started to pay attention to what he was saying and I wasn’t that impressed with his decision for where I should go from here. RE#2 didn’t think I should start right off the bat with IVF (score) however, he thought I should try to get pregnant on my own and we should just add progesterone to the mix. That possibly my progesterone is low and this could be the cause of reccurent miscarriages. I wasn’t that impressed with his diagnosis as I had discussed progesterone with my OBGYN and RE#1 and they both didn’t think it would make the difference. I wasn’t convinced this route would work for me.
Onto the next RE.
The last RE I met with was at a very large and well known hospital in my area. The doctor was very easy to talk to, his office was impeccable, and his staff was very welcoming. RE#3 ran a few tests of his own and in the end determined that IVF would be my best bet as well. There were no new revelations about my fertility issues and he thought I should follow the path of IVF with PGD.
After meeting with RE#3 my hubby and I sat down and decided where we should go. Clinic #1 and the last stop were both very reputable places and I did enjoy the RE at the last place. However, clinic #1 had done more rounds of IVF and had very high rates on SART. And, by this time a few months had already gone by and I was tired of meeting with doctors. I was ready to make a decision just so I could start moving forward.
So, we chose ORM and went with Dr. B. Looking back I do wish I would have met with other RE’s at my clinic, as I knew from the get go that I didn’t have a great repore with Dr.B, but I buried that feeling deep inside and went forward.
That won’t happen again.
Going forward I know what exactly what I want from a doctor. It has been a long three years and in those years I have had 3 OBGYN’s, met with 4 Fertility clinics, and have worked with 3 different RE’s. So, I now know what I want and don’t want in a doctor.
Everyone is different when it comes to selecting a doctor that is best for them and all that matters is that we all find out what is best for us. When it comes to looking for a new RE I now know what is important to me and I won’t settle for anything less.
I want a doctor who can be empathetic to my situation.
When I call and ask for another ultrasound at 7 weeks it’s not because I am crazy, it is because I know that I can’t go off the ultrasound from 6 weeks. That there is high possibility that something has gone wrong, because it has so many times in the past. So please don’t give me the go-around…..just schedule the appointment and let me put my mind to rest.
I want a doctor who can use simple terms with me.
I am a smart woman, but I don’t have a medical degree and was pretty bad in science class. So, there are some things I just don’t understand. When we are discussing my uterus or my embryos or anything of that nature just give me a short and simple answer. Understand that I am confused as to why this keeps happening and help me understand what I should do.
I want a doctor that has a supportive nursing team.
After going through this for three years I have learned that I am rarely going to see or talk to the doctor, the nurses handle everything. I am ok with this as long as they are understanding and patient. Don’t treat me like I am just another crazy infertile nut job that you have to deal with, but be supportive. As long as I know from the beginning who will be my main point of contact I am fine. But, if you don’t know an answer please don’t make it up….tell me you don’t know and ask the doctor.
I want a doctor who is open to my thoughts and concerns.
I have unexplained infertility and therefore there are no real courses of treatment for me, everything is a shot in the dark. So, when I bring you new ideas or thoughts I want you to be open and responsive. I don’t want to feel that you are closed off to any suggestions and that I am just a sucker falling for new treatment ideas. A few years ago most doctors didn’t see the benefits of acupuncture while doing IVF, but now acupuncturists are welcomed into clinics. In 5 years time all doctors may believe that immunology and infertility are related and not hocus pocus…so, if I bring you these ideas please be open to them.
I want a doctor who understands my situation.
Yes, IVF can get me pregnant, but that is not why I turned to it or to you….I need something to help me stay pregnant, so please understand this. My last doctor seemed to loose sight of this and now I am off to a new clinic and doctor. I need someone who is going to fight for me to stay pregnant. Not someone who thinks they have done their job just because I received two pink lines.
So, if you are just starting out with this journey or are already knee deep in the crap of infertility remember that you want a doctor who is going to be your advocate. You want a doctor that checks off every box on your list and a doctor that you can believe will help you get to your ultimate goal.