If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that tonight Keegan and I had a dinner date with one of Keegan's co-workers and his wife who just recently went through IVF. They're the first couple we know in real life who's dealt with infertility, so we wanted to pick their brains about the steps they went through in deciding on their RE since we've decided we need to break up with our OB.
The couple, P and A, were so easy to talk to and extremely helpful. We both went over our histories and Keegan and I explained what we're hoping our next steps are. They mentioned that they ultimately ended up at an RE in Birmingham, about 2ish hours away from us, who they loved. They felt like they got great care, the staff was attentive, they really had nothing negative to say (except the $13,000 they spent.)
Then they dropped the bomb. They said that before they went to their RE, they saw a OB about an hour away that does infertility treatment up to (not including) IVF for free.
Yes, you read that correctly, for free.
A said that she did several rounds of Clomid and a few IUIs with this doctor and only had to pay for the medications. Apparently this doctor and his wife suffered from infertility, and providing free infertility treatments is his way of giving back to the community. According to A, his bedside manner isn't the best, but they ultimately had good things to say about him.
You'd think it'd be a easy decision to make: either go to the free doctor, or pay out the wazoo for an RE.
I'm not finding it so easy.
There are a few things about this "free doctor" that make me wary, besides his bedside manner. Apparently during a Clomid cycle, he does do mid cycle ultrasounds, which is a step up from my current OB who refuses to do so, but he doesn't do blood work. A also said that if you're doing an IUI and need to come in on the weekend, he'll make you come in on Friday because he doesn't work weekends. He also apparently doesn't keep any sort of records. I looked up his website and there's not much to it.
One could ask, if this "free doctor" is so great, then why did P and A ultimately end up at their RE? Well, P had an SA done at the beginning of their journey which, according to their OB at the time, came out great. When P and A ended up at their RE after a year or so at the "free doctor," they repeated the SA and found out that P has severe male factor infertility, something "Free Doctor" didn't find out or even bother to check. No matter how many free IUIs they had, P and A would have never gotten pregnant without IVF with ICSI.
These things make me nervous, let alone the fact that he's giving away free infertility treatments. The saying "if it's too good to be true, it probably is" keeps running through my head.
My heart is telling me to make an appointment with the RE, someone who has statistics I can look at, who's associated with a well known university, who has rave reviews from this couple, as well as another blogger I've spoken to. But my head is yelling at me "free treatments!"
Ultimately it boils down to the fact that I'm scared, and I'm mostly scared about spending the money. Our insurance isn't going to cover anything, so we're paying out the pocked for everything. I'm really scared about paying an RE to increase my dosage of Clomid once and I get pregnant, something this "free doctor" could have done for, well, free. On the flip side, I'm scared of going to this "free doctor" for another year, not getting any closer to being pregnant, and having to go to an RE anyways. If that happens, will I regret not going to the RE in the first place?
This is a decision I never thought I'd have to make. I was honestly ready to move onto an RE, but now I'm faced with this "free doctor" that could knock me up for free, or cost us another year of our time.
What would you do?