Picking Ourselves Up (Kinda)

Fair warning, the title of this post is deceiving because I’m not sure if we have picked ourselves up yet.

You’re up to date – my OBGYN, Dr. B, broke up with me and it was all sinking in. A few days after the breakup, we told Jeremy’s parents and my sister and I talked to my HR office at work about my coverage and next steps. Oh and Twitter, I took my bitter self to Twitter and just let my feelings go. And away they went! No one in my life knew what I was going through but much to my surprise, Twitter did! There is a large infertile community on Twitter that I never knew existed. Then we opened up to my dad and stepmom, and J’s dad and brother. Then eventually, I started to open up to my closest friends but I was careful with who I told because J wasn’t quite ready to open up to his friends.

It was a long couple of weeks, I would spend every free moment researching infertility, ways to cure it, procedures, success rates, diets, acupuncture, anything you could think of except adoption, fostering and surrogacy. These are the first words that come out of someone’s mouth when you tell them you’re infertile and honestly, I want to scream every time one of these words is said to us. That sounds harsh but these are not ways we see parenthood for us. Never say never, I know, but we are willing to try everything before going down any of those routes.

I was finally at the point where I had exhausted every keyword imaginable except for clinics. Luckily, Dr. B gave us three recommendations so I ranked them in order based on what she had told me and listed the pros and cons. There was one problem though, we live in a touristy area, so we would have to travel to any of the recommendations. The two biggest metro areas near us are Jacksonville and Orlando, each about an hour away.

During my research, I saw that Clinic 1 on our list was hosting a seminar in Orlando that weekend. We figured we had nothing to lose so we dropped all of our plans and went. If nothing else, it would be an information session without paying the $250 consultation fee (and free lunch), we just knew we were in for a good experience. However, this was the first time we would publicly be labeled as “infertile” which was a very scary feeling but we reminded ourselves that everyone in the room was infertile too. The seminar was not at all what we expected, although it lined up right to their website – they are an in-vitro fertilization heavy clinic and they made it very clear that IVF is their preferred method of treatment. Being the youngest couple in the room, we knew within the first 20 minutes that this wasn’t the right fit for us. Keep in mind, I still hadn’t actually made contact with a clinic, I was just in the research phase. So, we moved onto our second choice, the Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine (FIRM) based out of Jacksonville. It took me another few weeks to contact the FIRM but I finally did! Side note: J had some experience with this clinic as they have a satellite office in Daytona Beach, close to us, where he did both of his semen analysis.

This is where I’ll leave you for now! Keep reading below for my condensed list of pros and cons that I feel anyone going through infertility should take into consideration. You can keep reading about the beginning of our infertility story in my next post: FIRM Jax – no pun intended!

Clinic 1

Cons: main office is two hours away; six satellite offices each an hour or more away; not the best testimonials; the website goes doesn’t offer many options other than IVF
Pros: main doctor does satellite visits to Dr. B’s office once a month, this would allow us to do our consultation here, no actual procedures; number one recommendation from Dr. B for the previous reason

Clinic 2

Cons: Dr. B’s second choice (due to Clinic 1’s consultation convenience); main office is an hour and a half away
Pros: satellite office is close to our home; the website goes into full detail of each treatment available with prices; J was familiar with the satellite office; website is easy to navigate

Clinic 3

Cons: main office is two hours away; three satellite offices each an hour or more away; prices are not available online
Pros: truthfully, I didn’t get to the pro list because I was immediately discouraged by the lack of available pricing