It took me forever to write this post. I've had a draft of it going for at least 2 weeks. I think the idea of convincing you all that I made the right decision was a little overwhelming. The truth is that I'm normally the girl who is willing to spend a little more for a higher quality product and so the decision I've made to use a cheaper doctor is totally out of character for me. Maybe I'm still trying to convince myself I made the right decision. I still visit the SIRM web page daily...
After a long debate Blue and I decided to use an IVF provider in Alaska. This may seem like an easy choice since we live in Alaska, but it wasn’t. Just like they do for good shopping, most Alaskans fly to Seattle for fertility treatments.
There is only one Doctor in the state who does IVF; we’ll call him Dr. BFP. He doesn’t advertise or even have a website; he lives in a town with a population of 4,087. His everyday job is a family practice medicine (I can’t imagine a doctor can specialize in anything in a town that small.)
Alaska is a small place so I’ve found quite a few people who know Dr. BFP or know people he has gotten pregnant (not biologically!) I’ve asked around a lot to try and figure out why this family practice MD is doing IVF. From what I’ve patched together, about 20 years ago he was a military doc and felt terrible for all the women he saw who didn't have the oportunity to start a family with out adoption. Once he got out of the military he went to study with the best of the best, Steptoe and Edwards (just for reference this is who Dr. Sher at SIRM studied with as well) and since then he has been researching and providing IVF for Alaskans.
Now for the controversial side… He isn’t a board certified reproductive endocrinologist. This is a drawback, but in some ways it is also a benefit. He provides IVF to help create families and with that goal he makes a point of keeping it affordable. His fee is only $1,800. It’s been the same for at least the last 5 years, maybe longer.
The $1800 fee doesn’t include the meds or ultrasounds, but the average cycle with Dr. BFP ends up costing around $5,000. The average cycle with a fertility clinic down south ends up costing $15,000. That means if we flew to Seattle we would pay $15K plus the cost for the flight, hotel, rental car and 2 weeks off of work, my rough calculations put this at $19K. So with Dr. BFP we can have 4 cycles for the cost of 1, and we don’t have to go through the stress of flying out of state.
My first appointment with him is tomorrow… we’re (my mom and I) leaving here at 7 AM to drive the 3 hours it takes to get to the tiny town where he practices. I’m really nervous, I’m not sure why. I have everything ready, it’s all in my purse so I can’t forget it and yet I feel like I’m forgetting something important. Maybe it’s Blue?? He is going to try and call from Afghanistan tomorrow during the appointment but I’m not getting my heart set on it in case it falls through.
Wish me luck!!