I wanted to share about my experience with the fertility specialist we visited last week. I was so nervous going into it. My previous experience with an RE (reproductive endocrinologist) wasn’t the best. It left me feeling hurt and hopeless for a long time. It made me not want to try. But that is SO not the experience I had when we visited with Dr. Reuter and her staff at Midwest Fertility Specialists in Carmel, IN.
We left bright and early on Wednesday February 15 to head to Indiana. They are on eastern time and we are on central, so we had to allow for an extra hour due to the time change. We left at about 630am for our 10am (Indiana time) appointment. It wasn’t a bad drive, one I suppose we will get used to over the next weeks and months.
When we arrived, I was impressed with how nice the facility was. It was located in a medical building with many other types of offices on each floor. The entire floor where MFS is located is dedicated to their services. They do everything in-house there, from basic testing, to semen analysis, to IUI, to IVF, and even more! Everything under one roof is pretty great. The waiting room was very peaceful and accommodating, and every single staff person we encountered was absolutely amazing and kind.
Once we were called back, a tech took me to get vitals and then led us to a consultation room where we would meet with Dr. Reuter. We sat in there for what felt like an eternity, but was actually only about 20 minutes. I felt like I was going to either barf, cry, or both, the entire time. Even though we were there, I still felt like it was going to be a waste of everyone’s time, I wasn’t totally convinced she would help us.
Eventually she came in, and it was clear that the delay was because she was reading our chart and previous test results, and considering what the best plan of action for us would be. She was very prepared–she knew about our family history that we had taken time to complete for new patient paperwork, she knew about my weight loss surgery history and lifelong weight problems, she knew that we had tried to have a baby for a very long time without ever receiving a positive pregnancy test. She was so prepared, and she was so kind and empathetic.
She discussed with us several options that she felt were the best chance for us to have a baby. She disagreed with the previous specialist that simply trying oral or injectible hormones would be a benefit to me, but she also expressed that she didn’t think that would be a high-risk thing to try if we wanted to (unlike the previous doctor who said due to my weight it was too “risky” to give me the medication I “needed” to reproduce). She believes that there is more going on with my body than just low hormone production, and that after 7.5 years of trying and never having a pregnancy that we should pursue aggressive treatment. After several options that she presented to us, the choice was made for us to pursue IVF.
There are a few hurdles we have to get over before we can begin the process though, the first of those is within my control. She is willing to do IVF, but their IVF table is rated for a certain weight, and I am about 30 pounds over that. So once I lose 30 pounds, she is willing to move forward. Other hurdles include insurance approval. Our doctor and the facility is out of network, which means we will probably have to pay as much for one round of IVF and medications as we would if we bought a brand new car. It’s not cheap. On top of that, we will have a lot of gas money to spend going back and forth to Carmel for our testing and procedures. Additionally, we will have hotel stays once the time comes for transfer because of the need to monitor things for a few days. Dr. Reuter also did her part to educate and inform Eddie and I about the potential risks of pregnancy in someone my size. She did her part to inform me though, and we believe the benefits outweigh the risks. She is only willing to transfer one embryo at a time when we do the transfer due to the fact that I would be considered a higher risk pregnancy anyway; she doesn’t want to throw multiples into the mix and make the pregnancy even higher risk. I respect that and understand it and I’m willing to compromise with her on that. But it also might mean that we go through all of this and it doesn’t end up being a successful attempt. That’s OK though, because at least she gave us something in this appointment that we hadn’t had before: HOPE.
So the next steps are to wait for pre-authorization from my insurance to move forward with some updated testing. Eddie has to have a new semen analysis since it’s been 2.5 years since his last one (all was good then!), and they will do a uterine cavity study on me to see how hospitable my lady bits are for hosting a baby. I will also be busting my tail to lose 30 pounds (9 down so far!).
Infertility is something a LOT of couples deal with, and until recently it was something that people went through silently, without much support from others, because it was something people were embarrassed about or uncomfortable talking about. I feel like the more people that share and talk about infertility, the more we will realize we are NOT alone in this, and the more we will have support from those who love us. Eddie and I appreciate all the love and support that we know our friends and family will provide in the coming weeks/months. We couldn’t do this without you!