When we had our first consultation regarding IVF with our doctor in Atlanta, not only was the process intimidating, but the price can instantly make you question if this is a possibility for you. We were with a clinic that we felt okay about, but after multiple mishaps we started to have an issue ensuring our trust in them. The number one thing I wanted to feel before I would feel comfortable doing IVF was finding a clinic we truly trusted. We wanted to feel comfortable with every aspect of the office, not just the doctor and so I did a lot of research to help us make a decision.
Many of the clinics close to us in Atlanta, GA had okay reviews; not one clinic stood out above another. Some people had awesome experiences and some had terrible, but there was no common ground - which makes it seem like you have a 50/50 shot to either get the best experience or the worst. I was not gambling on that. The process to IVF is pretty much trusting someone with your kids entire future and with yours, those are big shoes to fill and I wanted what was going to be the best for my family. I am not saying these clinics are not the best for you, but they simply were not the best choice for us. There was always something missing, something that didn’t quite make me feel at ease or ready to pull the trigger on IVF in addition to considering the cost.
I have read many discussion posts of women who traveled abroad to do IVF, but never considered it. I just assumed I was putting unrealistic standards of care on a field that has high volumes of patients. What I realized though in my research is that we have choices. Choices beyond what is most convenient or seems like the best option in a limited pool of options. So, on the day of our third wedding anniversary I saw a facebook post that mentioned an “IVF Holiday.” Well, the wording intrigued me and I found myself in a rabbit hole of research and color coded notes of options, pros, cons, reviews, trying to sort through the never endless information that you can find on the internet to educate myself as much as possible. IVF holiday = IVF, vacation, paradise, affordable treatment, and restored hope!
The door finally opened for us. We had more choices!! Barbados, Czech Republic, Greece, United Kingdom…. Options and more options. The cost for treatment, plus the cost of travel was still less than what we would be spending in the states AND success rates were higher! Barbados was the first one I saw, but the last one I contacted. We had been to the Caribbean and figured, let's make this trip something completely different than we have ever done. After looking through countless options and entering information on their contact us forms, I started to move more towards the medical side and researching standards of care and American accreditation to help me feel more at ease for the procedure. Wouldn’t you know there is a Joint Commission International (JCI) which is a US health facility accreditation program that sets health care standards across the world assuring patients that they will receive world-class patient care (stated by the Barbados Fertility Centre). Now I was really able to make an educated choice and understand the best options for my care as responses from different contact us forms were making it to my inbox.
I had contacted places in Greece, Czech Republic, and Barbados after looking through Fertility Treatment Abroad and doing further research. After receiving responses back from each place, my decision was super easy on who I wanted to move forward with. A first impression is worth everything to me. I was looking for one thing in the email responses to my submitted contact us forms, a personalized response. I received just that from Barbados Fertility Centre. The email was unique to me, it was not automated, and offered a suggestion based on the information provided.
I knew then we were going to Barbados.