The beautiful island of BARBADOS!
The reactions we’ve received when telling people the news that we are traveling to to Barbados for IVF have been all over the map. If someone had suggested it to me in the beginning, this would have been my response:
Denver is home to some of the nation’s (if not the world’s) top fertility centers. Conceptions Reproductive Center (where we had a consult) and Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine are very highly successful clinics that people travel across the globe to visit. I’ve read countless blogs and forum posts from women who have spent a fortune on plane tickets, hotels, and other travel costs just to be a patient at one of these centers.
Which originally made me feel crazy for wanting to explore other options, when I had famous doctors in my backyard.
The facts were that while these fertility clinics were insanely successful, they were also (in my opinion) ridiculously expensive. Like $30,000 plus. They also seemed to lack some serious bedside manner. I understand- they’re in it for results, and to them, you’re a number on a form. But I felt that there had to be something more.
So, the research began. The months and months of reading, e-mailing, calling, comparing, and investigating all of our options.
Originally we considered Europe. There are a ton of very reputable fertility centers in places like Spain, Greece, and the top contender, Czech Republic. The best part? Their IVF procedure costs were more in the $3000-5000 range. We could stomach that. I corresponded with a few clinics, but I just wasn’t getting the “vibe”.
It probably sounds nuts, but I wanted the “feeling”. Like when you find your wedding dress, or the perfect house, I wanted my gut to help me make the decision.
One day, doing my usual browsing, the stars aligned and I found Barbados Fertility Center (BFC). Their success rates were great. Their prices were amazing. They’ve won tons of awards for their high standards of patient care. Plus, we are only required to be in Barbados for 2 weeks (as opposed to the 3 weeks required by most European clinics).
I e-mailed them, and the next day was greeted by one of the nurse coordinators. She sent me a ton of information, to include a mock timeline of what my IVF schedule would look like. I answered a list of questions for her, and sent her our medical history. Very soon after that, she had me scheduled for a telephone consult with Dr. Juliet Skinner (BFC’s medical director).
A couple weeks later, we had our phone consult. To say Dr. Skinner impressed me is an understatement. She is so knowledgeable, to the point, and actually taught me a few things (even though I pretty much have a doctorate in Google Infertility research). On top of that, she is nice. She was compassionate and understanding of what we’ve been through, and I felt (for the first time) that the doctor I was speaking to actually cares about us. She spent over 45 minutes speaking with us, answering questions, and left us more excited and optimistic than ever.
That night, after a short discussion, we sent the e-mail to BFC saying “We’re in!!!”
The next day, I was sent a couple different schedules to choose from, a list of tests we needed before we go, and my prescription list. I was able to order my prescriptions from a pharmacy in the UK (Howard at International Pharmacy is amazing!) at a fraction of the cost. My medications alone were around $3000. (In the U.S., we were looking at at least $6000-7000.)
We booked an amazing travel package (and free upgrade to an ocean front suite) for much less than we expected. Barbados starts their slow season in May, so they are doing a program called Island Inclusive where tourists are provided with $200 each in spending money. Another sign that we chose the right place!
We get to spend two weeks on a beautiful Caribbean island, where our only concern will staying on schedule with my medications and getting to the clinic on time. No work, dogs, housework, traffic, or other stressors that come from the daily grind. An escape to focus on what’s most important.
29 days to go!
Check out a few of these links for more information: