A Husbands Point of View

Why We Chose the Barbados Fertility Centre

  1. Financially smart
  2. Safe and qualified clinic
  3. Safe Country
  4. The clinic takes as much time with you as you need

My beautiful wife, like the majority of women, enjoys talking. I am more to the point. I like facts. There were many reasons I was happy to use the Barbados Fertility Clinic. First, financially it made sense. The average charge for IVF is £3500/$5,750. Compare this to the average cost of treatment in the UK (£5,500) or the U.S.A. ($12,000 USD), and you can see why combined with our success rates, Barbados Fertility Centre is a popular option. The following is included in the cost of your IVF cycle*:

  1. All medical consultations
  2. Private hospital fees
  3. Anesthetic fees
  4. Operating room fees
  5. IVF laboratory fees
  6. Embryo freezing
  7. Scans
  8. Blood tests

The cost is lower and includes more. We all know that there are no guarantees when it comes to fertility treatment. It ‘s like going to Vegas and placing all your hard earned money on red and praying it goes your way. But there is more value going to Barbados If we had gone to a local fertility clinic and the cycle failed then we would be out a lot of money. If we received mediocre treatment it would have felt even more like a waste. By going to the Barbados Fertility Centre I am out less money, was treated extremely well and at least got away on a nice vacation with my wife. No regrets there. I had checked the statistics and the Barbados Fertility Centre is as good and/or better than the clinics in the United States. That was a bonus.

I wanted to make sure my wife would be in good, qualified hands. I wanted to be sure the clinic would look out for her best interest. As stated before, the clinic is accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI). This means an American company has inspected their clinic and the clinic passed rigorous requirements and deemed it as safe and/or safer than clinics in the United States. As a nurse practitioner who works in a medical practice – I can say that it speaks volumes. Not all clinics abroad have this accreditation.

Barbados Fertility Centre (BFC) has AGAIN been awarded the Gold Seal of approval from the Joint Commission International, after continuing to excel in the highest standards of patient care. This is the third time that BFC has achieved this prestigious award! Joint Commission International (JCI) is the US health facility accreditation and BFC is now listed under the very elite group of clinics worldwide because they have such high standards of patient care. The Barbados Fertility Clinic was awarded again this year with another gold seal of approval by The Canadian Best Practice Quality Audit. “This added to our JCI gold seal of approval means that you as our patients can rest assured of the quality procedures we have in place at Barbados Fertility Centre. We ensure you receive the best level of care to an international standard! All of these procedures help increase our success rates and when we succeed – you conceive!” – BFC

BFC has also recently been awarded the WhatClinic.com 2014 Customer Service Award! You cant get better than that. With 84 degree weather all year around, the country of Barbados is very safe. It has the lowest crime rate in the region. Barbados knows that tourism is their main source of economic income. Because of this they are very careful to ensure that the tourists stay safe. We found that we could walk around without worry. Yes, as in all places there were some questionable characters at times but as soon as you told them “no” they would quickly leave you alone. Of course, no place on the planet is 100% safe, so use your common sense when it comes to safety. Don ‘t wander the beaches at night, always be aware of your surroundings, etc. The overall experience we had at the Barbados Fertility Clinic was incredible. Every time we called the clinic with a question they were always accessible and gave us all the time we needed to make sure our questions were answered to our full satisfaction. This level of care continued when we arrived at the clinic. The staff were very friendly, professional and prompt. All our scheduled appointments were on time and we were never rushed. They gave us as much time as we needed to ensure we were comfortable. The same level of care continued once we arrived home. Always checking in to make sure we were doing okay was common practice. All of these factors make the recommendation of the Barbados Fertility Clinic an easy one. FINANCIAL AND EMOTIONAL STRESS Some folks can do one IVF cycle and become pregnant. Some folks have insurance that helps cover fertility treatments allowing them to do a couple of cycles. Our insurance did not cover any type of fertility treatments. And in our case, we traveled to Barbados several times to do IVF cycles. Looking back, had we done that many cycles in the states we would have paid out of pocket roughly around $120,000. I can honestly say we paid half that amount or less. Lets face it. Fertility treatments are extremely expensive. It is not easy for most people to have to suddenly come up with $7,000, $9,000, $11,000 or $20,000. Because IVF did not work for us the first, second or even third time, the question I had posed was, “Where do we draw the line? When is enough actually enough?”

It doesn’t even matter if a couple is only paying $3,000 for an IVF cycle. It may still be living outside ones means, something easy to do when undergoing fertility treatments. With a baby on the brain 24/7 money can appear to be no object. This is why it was important for us to ask ourselves about the consequences of gambling. How much money does one put down over and over with no success before deciding to either call it quits or come up with a new plan of action. I often told Karen I did not marry her just to have children. I married her because she is beautiful, enjoyable, funny and brought a bright light into my life. She is my best friend and having children with her was a bonus. If we couldn ‘t have children it was certainly not a deal breaker. I never wanted her to feel pressured. My part was always easy. Watching her go through the medication protocol including painful shots, having nasty bruises or other side effects along with the emotional stress was difficult to watch. It was also emotionally difficult for me to become excited about the possibility of becoming a dad only to later become devastated. If it had been up to me, we would have stopped doing IVF after the third attempt. I could no longer watch my wife fill with anxiety and depression after each failed cycle. It hurt to watch her walk across the room only to suddenly crumble to the floor sobbing. All I could do was hold her, cry along with her while wishing for a way to fix this. I could no longer keep up with the emotional roller coaster that left me feeling sad, disappointed and drained. It ‘s a stressful process no matter how you look at it.

With that said, I couldn’t personally make that decision for the both of us. I may have felt emotionally spent, but I could not rob my wife the possibility of having children. I couldn’t put my foot down and say, “No More!” I knew if I did put a stop to the roller coaster madness then the resentment of NOT doing just one more could last forever. It also would be completely unfair to Karen. I may have been emotionally done, but she wasn’t there yet. Pursuing IVF was still important to her, therefore it was still important to me. Besides, Karen is extremely thoughtful of others around her. She always puts me first, always asking what I ‘m thinking and feeling. She doesn’t make it about her. She makes it about us; something I always appreciate about her. And she also has an amazing way of getting through those turbulent moments. She quickly bounces back and suddenly becomes a positive cheerleader. Her optimism is contagious and it doesn’t take much for me to join in on her enthusiasm. But it was time to set some limits and boundaries on this venture. A plan we could both live with. We would have to compromise and this is why communication is key. Because of this journey, communication is something Karen and I have both become quite good at. We had to be both realistic and financially responsible. We had to sit down and discuss openly and honestly what we had to give up in order to pursue further treatments. Remodeling the kitchen is out. Are we okay with that? Doing a backyard makeover is out. Are we okay with that? Going out to eat, out to the movies and all those other fun activities we enjoy doing would have to be limited. Are we okay with that?

Visiting my family in Nebraska at Christmas time was out. Karen, originally from New York used to visit her friends back there 2x a year. This was no longer an option. We each had to be willing to sacrifice things we loved to do in order to achieve parenthood; something we both were willing to do. We also needed to set a limit. How many more times do we try IVF before pursuing another avenue? If we continue down this path with no success, we may not be financially able to pursue another. These are the types of questions and thoughts we had to seriously think about. We had to use good judgment based on realistic expectations, not emotional ones. We had to plan ahead in order to stabilize our finances. We both agreed to do a donor cycle. If it failed then we agreed to move on to other alternatives which also included looking into foster care, adoption and even surrogacy. When the fourth cycle failed it was time to stop for awhile and think about what to do next. And this is where once again the Barbados Fertility Centre was wonderful. Anna was an excellent listener when we hit this crossroad.

Between the emails I sent to Anna along with numerous phone calls, she was great at listening to my concerns. She was great at offering suggestions. She completely understood where we were at and whatever we decided to do she would support. I, personally always felt better after speaking with her. After a year had past, we looked into the idea of surrogacy. I will admit, the price tag on such a process was horrifying. If we thought we took a gamble before, this one was beyond frightening. We entertained the idea of refinancing our house as well as cashing in on retirement and our investments. I lost sleep at night over this huge decision. Should we risk all our money on this? What if once again it doesn’t work? Can we really afford losing every penny in pursuit of a baby?

And yet we felt as though our chances would improve if we went this route. This decision took a long time to make and when we were finally ready, we set tentative dates for another donor IVF cycle with plans to use a surrogate. Thankfully Karen unexpectedly became pregnant after the final transfer with our last 2 embryos in Barbados. Surrogacy was obviously off the table. I may have been overwhelmed with excitement but I also filled with relief. The huge dollar signs disappeared out of my mind. For once I could finally sit back and enjoy the moment. This is what I took away from our fertility journey and our experience at the Barbados Fertility Centre:

1) Fertility issues can either destroy your relationship or bring you closer. In our case we are closer than ever.

2) Trust your instincts. If a fertility clinic doesn’t feel right to you, quickly move on. You may desperately want to have a baby but some clinics feed on desperation. Do your own research, ask questions and empower yourselves through knowledge.

3) Support each other as much as possible. Infertility is incredibly stressful to both of you. There is no shame or blame. You each need to support and comfort each other as much as possible and not shut down communication. You are a team in this.

4) Continuously discuss your own expectations so you both are on the same page and become united.

5) Be careful who you tell your infertility struggles to. Some people look at the information as an open invitation to ask questions and/or offer unsolicited advice.

6) Not everyone understands what it is like to struggle with infertility. Some people may even say tacky things. Just know its not meant intentionally. Its hard to relate to what they haven’t experienced.

7) Friends and family who announce their pregnancies are simply excited. They want to talk about their wonderful news. Its painful to hear but you can’t blame them for being so happy. We were the same exact way when it finally happened to us.

8) Make sure to have a close circle of friends you honestly trust and respect. People who can extend themselves to you by offering support can make a huge difference. By the same token, sometimes you have to give yourself and them a break. Allowing others to discuss their own issues can be a great distraction.

9) There is a place, the Barbados Fertility Clinic, that will support you and care for you in the manner which you deserve.

10) There is always a possibility so never give up hope.

– Ryan, MSN, FNP