It took me a minute to return to discussing our experience with the first fertility clinic we visited, Poma Fertility in Kirkland. It was awful and traumatic, and subsequently delayed our progress because Pete and I were just too disgusted to even consider trying another clinic for over two years.
Our naturopath had worked with this doctor previously. He was with one of the major fertility clinics, then left and opened his own clinic. It was supposed to be more personal, less intimidating, and our naturopath thought we would be less likely to be pressured into anything. We were going there to discuss next steps and to have some test conducted that could only be done at a fertility clinic. I spent at least 2 hours filling out paperwork online prior to our appointment, sent in medical records, etc. My impression was that our initial appointment would cover every aspect of our medical history, and that we would have an long and detailed discussion with the doctor. All my other providers up to this point had said not to even consider IVF. We were merely looking into other options. Pete had sperm (albeit slow moving ones) and despite all the rigorous testing I had up to that point, it didn’t seem like we would be heading in that direction.
Our doctor was 30 minutes late, and when he came out to get us there was no apology or acknowledgement of being late. Ok, I thought….no biggie. He is a big important fertility doctor in high demand…shake it off.
In his office, he asked how he could help us. We stated we were referred by our naturopath, and had hoped to look into further fertility testing, but were not considering IVF.
“Oh, you’re not?” he said.
“Hmmm, well I really don’t think you have another option.”
“Peter’s sperm analysis indicates that likely they will never be able to to properly fertilize your eggs. Speaking of which, you are 36 yrs old. So your ovarian reserve, AMH, etc are all rapidly decreasing.”
“We could try IUI, but it is likely to fail. I would recommend IVF, and that we get going on this immediately.”
Pete and I sat there in shock. Our eyes welling up with tears.
“Can’t these number stay where they are at? Or improve?” I said.
“No.” He said.
“And because Peter has a vasectomy reversal, IVF is necessary. I have never seen some get pregnant naturally after a reversal.”
Well I had.
“I recommend we do another sperm analysis and that you come in at the beginning of your cycle so we can do an egg count and see where you are at. Any other questions?”
Pete and I shook our heads no. I wanted to go hide in a corner and just sob.
This appointment took all of 20 minutes, with him quickly flipping through the mountain of paperwork. No empathy at the shock of us hearing this news, no kindness, just matter-of-fact “here you go, and let’s move on this quickly.”
I suppose some women would appreciate this approach, and be impressed with the urgency. But to Pete and I, it felt very suspicious.
We were then led into the finance office. Think of when you buy a car…yep. It was exactly like that. Pete and I could barely concentrate on the info. Thousands of dollars, all up front, package deals. It felt gross.
Then, a nurse came in and said she needed to schedule our tests. She said “You know, we don’t sugar coat anything here..and let me just say that with your reversal, IVF is your only option.”
Gee, thanks nurse we had never even met previously.
It felt set up, impersonal and soooo fake.
I knew we were in the wrong place. I knew this doctor had drank the kool-aid, and was simply fast tracking women to IVF because hey, it is a HUGE money maker and women DO see results more quickly. But at the time, we were not in a financial position to go there. I felt trapped.
Pete and I left and cried in the car together. It was not the experience we hoped for, and to receive that crushing news in the manner it was delivered was terrible. I immediately called our naturopath, and she was crying…absolutely devastated that we had that experience. Ironically, a few other patients of hers had reported similar experiences. As a result, she quit referring people there.
I also want to point out that he did redo my bloodwork….and what do ya know, but all my numbers regarding my ovarian reserve and hormone levels had either INCREASED or stayed the same as the previously bloodwork from over a year prior. That was enough for me to not trust him, and know that while he was a doctor, he was not being truthful or giving me correct info at all.
In the end, this doctor was correct. IVF was what we needed and what was successful. BUT, the way his office conducted business was so horrendous. It took Pete and I two+ years to reconsider going to a clinic again. We figured, if a smaller fertility clinic like Poma was this awful, how bad were the bigwig fertility clinics going to be???
Turns out we were so wrong on that point. But our fear of that had us holding onto hope for another few years that somehow we would conceive naturally. Another few years of that awful monthly rollercoaster.
Believe me, there are more details I could add to this, but quite frankly it is STILL to icky to discuss and recall.
If you are going thru infertility and are looking at clinics, do your research. If it doesn’t feel right at the very first appointment, LOOK AT OTHER OPTIONS. Trust your gut.