I am talking about “The One”. I am talking about finding the doctor that you know in your gut is the one who will bring you that baby. Since you can’t make said baby the old fashioned way, that doctor is the next best thing. You need to search for the perfect match the same way you searched for your partner.
You might be thinking I’m a little crazy, but stay with me here. I met with over 10 Reproductive Endocrinologists/Reproductive specialists throughout my 8 year journey. I also worked with countless nurses along the way too. The reason I know without a shadow of a doubt how important this relationship is, is in the results that I achieved.
You can and SHOULD interview each and every doctor for not only ability but for compatibility and if possible compassion.
I am what some would call a Type A personality. If I could have controlled every aspect of my infertility journey I would have.
We started out our infertility treatments at one very well known NYC clinic and then moved to an even larger one. This is where our first child was created. It was quick and exactly what I needed after the time we had spent trying on our own.
When it was time to try for baby #2 we naturally went back to the same clinic. We did fresh and frozen cycles there and had our first miscarriage. This doctor did send us for additional testing, but I knew that he was not willing to really think outside the box and it was for that reason that we moved on.
We found an even larger clinic and a doctor who was credited for getting a very well known singer pregnant. I felt even more like a number there. You were given a key card to check in for appointments, and no matter what time you arrived the waiting room was packed. We did several fresh and frozen cycles there and I had another miscarriage with this doctor. I was extremely disappointed to figure out that one of the reasons he was so late circling back with me about my loss was because said famous singer was getting pregnant at the same time. He was a nice man but I knew that I needed more personal treatment.
By now, I knew my “unexplained infertility” needed more personal attention. I found a smaller doctor who travelled in from the west coast to NYC. He used some less accepted, out of the box thinking and medications. We had the best quality embryos and he was actually concerned that us choosing to put in 3 would result in triplets. Like he was really concerned about it! Those beauties only resulted in miscarriage number 3.
Before I found “the one”, I had met with other reproductive experts and had tried some treatments that are still a bit controversial in the infertility community. Hello miscarriage number 4.
It wasn’t until I found a smaller clinic in southern NJ that I knew that I would have success. Not only did the doctors listen to my concerns about my Endometriosis, they were open to trying so many different things. The first time I met my dream doctor was not what you would call ideal though.
I was having a retrieval for my first fresh cycle at this clinic and we clashed like crazy. Like so bad that we were both stressed. What I didn’t know at the time was that she had just gone through IVF and was pregnant with twins. She had just been through so much emotionally and physically and my type type A already in the journey for over 3 years met her newly pregnant nerves.
While that cycle did result in a pregnancy, unfortunately it was ectopic . I required a shot of methotrexate and later removal of my tube. She was the one who had to give me the shot and I admit it was hard to see her. In the end, I am glad it was her because she was beyond caring that day. It was my 5th micarriage after almost 4 years of trying and she understood.
I needed more surgery before my next cycle and little by little Dr. C and I started talking a lot. I found in her not only a doctor who didn’t find my ideas and fears crazy but a woman who had walked in my shoes, she got it. She would spend time on the phone with me and actually listened. It was so refreshing.
I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that this clinic is the one that got me pregnant after years of failed cycles and miscarriages. Ironically there were 3 doctor C’s who all played a very important part in that pregnancy. It was one Dr. C though that I felt I had a connection with and truly understood how much my twins meant to me. I knew she was so happy when it finally happened for me because she understood on a deeper level having been through it herself.
Dr. C and I had even laughed about the first time we had met and clashed. We had really moved on to a place of mutual respect and understanding. When my pregnancy went south and I was admitted to the hospital, Dr. C. was the first one I emailed. It was late when I emailed her and I got a reply back immediately full of love and support and heartbreak for me. I appreciated her more than she could have ever known.
After our last cycle, we had 3 frozen embryos. Our twin pregnancy was traumatic to say the least and I knew even thinking about a transfer was out of the question. I was having trouble with my thyroid and no one would listen to my concerns so I made an appointment with Dr. C. I knew that she would be the one to help me once again. During that meeting we discussed some symptoms I was having and she recommended I get a HSG to ensure I didn’t have fibroids.
I was all for it – let’s do it now! Oh no she said. You know my rule, I always like to wait until you get your period just in case. Was she nuts? I told her that ship had sailed but she sent me home with a script for Synthroid and told me to call her to schedule the test once my period came.
Weeks went by and it dawned on me that my period never came. I reached out to Dr. C knowing what the protocol was, a blood test. I didn’t give it any weight though for obvious reasons. I remember the moment she called me and where I was like it was yesterday. I was in the Nordstrom bathroom changing my little miracle when she called. She asked me what I was doing later on that day and I replied “nothing”. “You’re coming in for a fetal ultrasound” she quickly replied. I laughed and said really? That is for pregnant people. She said “I know”! What? Are you sure? Let me see the blood work I said. Already emailed it to you she said. I quickly opened my email and there it was, my name was circled next to a pretty high beta result. I was pregnant – I had gotten pregnant naturally!
I went in that day and weekly after that despite not getting pregnant through IVF. Why? Because I found not only the best doctor but the best person. A compassionate doctor – the best of both worlds. She knew after all I had been through that I needed her and her support. I needed to know that after what had just happened with my twins that this pregnancy was going to be different. I was a mess, beyond a mess actually when I should have been rejoicing. When I talked to her about my fears she listened and didn’t think I was cray cray when I told her that I checked constantly to make sure I was not spotting. And when I did spot, she was the one to calm my fears and talk me down a mountain and explain that I had a hematoma. She was the one who got me over the hump of the first 13 weeks. I am still in touch with her from time to time but I am not sure she could possibly know how much her support has meant to me over the years. I am grateful to all the doctors and nurses for the excellent care they gave me during both my pregnancies there.
I work with all kinds of women walking through various stages of infertility. I often hear stories of how cold and impersonal their doctors are and I want to cringe. Infertility is at an all time high, 1 in 8 couples, but that still does not excuse anyone treating you like a number. With most couples not having insurance that covers ART that means on average they can be spending $2,000 (IUI) to $15,000 (IVF) out of pocket. In my opinion, dropping that kind of money for something you did not truly choose should automatically come with an understanding that you deserve to have human contact. I see what these doctors and clinics are doing and they are training these women to accept and get used to being put in a box and referred to by number. What has become of the whole process when an email is sent with your pregnancy results? Results that are uploaded to the portal hours to days before you even get that email. Regardless of what your result is, positive or negative you have millions of questions and you deserve to have a human ear to ask them.
I’m sharing this story which I realize may be a bit convoluted, in hopes that you understand what you deserve and should expect from a good doctor. If you continue to allow these clinics to treat their patients as they are, nothing will change and I believe things need to change. When you know better you do better. Stand up for yourself and say “NO MORE”. My wish for you is that you can find a gem like Dr. C. in your life too.
Good luck and I am sending you so much baby dust for your journey!