Describe your experience with Fertility Institute of New Orleans.
The clinic participated with an organization called Sarah's Laughter. SL hosts a Baby Steps fun run every year where they give away a $10k grant to one couple, and The Fertility Institute gave away a FREE IVF cycle. At Baby Steps 2015, Dr. Dunaway saw how many people had participated, so he gave away an additional half off IVF, 2 free IUIs, and a few free consultations. I signed up for Baby Steps and created a "race team". My name was chosen for the half off IVF cycle. Without Dr. Dunaway's generosity, I don't think I would be pregnant right now. At this point, I really cannot think of any weaknesses. They are all so kind, everyone on staff seems very knowledgeable, their office, exam rooms, operating facilities, lab, etc. are all state of the art fantastic. The receptionist, Ms. Audrey, she is absolutely precious. She was always very upbeat and encouraging every time I saw her. I am very impressed and grateful for the care I received.
During treatment, did you feel like you were treated like a number or a human?
The staff at the Fertility Institute-BR are SO precious! I live 4 hours away from the clinic and they are so sweet and accommodating. They know my name, ask me how I'm doing, talk about real life, etc.
Describe your experience with your nurse.
Jackie is the IVF coordinator. She is the one that I talk to the most. She is kind, caring, and gentle in her delivery of information. She does kind of talk fast, but when I ask her to repeat something she will even say, "I'm sorry I'm talking so fast..." then she will repeat or answer whatever question I have. The ultrasound girls are super sweet. They always talk to me, ask me how I'm doing, talk about the day, etc. I probably ask them the most questions while they are doing my ultrasound, "what's that? is that a good thing? why does that look like that? how do you know that the blob is a follicle and not a cyst?" they are always SO sweet and answer every single question...and they don't make me feel like I'm bothering them by asking. Another nurse that I've seen is Simone. She was there on my retrieval day & transfer day. She was really kind and caring. I don't remember the names of the other nurses who were there for my pre-op and post-op retrieval, but they were very sweet.
How was your experience with Heber Dunaway?
I really like Dr. Dunaway. His communication and personality are a very good fit for me. I prefer direct and to the point communication. I like that he kind of thinks out loud when we talk...that lets me know he's weighing different options about the protocol he's giving me and not just sticking to a cookie-cutter plan. He tells me the truth, asks me questions, asks if I am comfortable with what he's telling me to do or medicine to take. I feel like he communicates clearly and that is very important.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Heber Dunaway?
I just "graduated" from the clinic and am 10 weeks pregnant! Dr. Dunaway is an excellent doctor. He's the second RE that I've seen, and I trust him. Still ask questions if there's something you don't understand, but he explained things before I even needed to ask most of the time.
Describe the protocols Heber Dunaway used in your cycles and their degree of success.
I was on Menopur, Follistim, Lupron, and the medicine used for trigger just completely left my brain. I'm thinking it was Bravelle? I cannot remember, sorry! It was a very straightforward protocol. They provided me with a calendar so that I could fill it in with the info from each visit - this was super helpful. My egg retrieval was in June 2016 and my transfer was supposed to be in September 2016. We started FET protocol, but my body went crazy with estrogen and my transfer had to be cancelled because my lining was too thick. My lining was a 17 for my first monitoring appointment. Ideally they want it to be around 9-12 by the time you transfer, so mine was WAY too thick. Dr. Dunaway personally came to chat with me and the IVF coordinator, Jackie. He specifically said that he hated to cancel my transfer, but that I have really good embryos and he doesn't want to waste my embryos on not-ideal lining. I was disappointed, but I trusted that he was doing what was best for me and my embryos. I was instructed to stop all meds and call when my cycle started. It didn't start for 4 weeks, so I just went back for them to check me, and they gave me Provera to make my period start. Dr. Dunaway adjusted my meds from estrogen injections & patches to just an oral dose of Estrace twice a day. My lining was looking good, but a little on the thicker side, so they moved my transfer date one day sooner. We transferred 2 embryos and I stayed on PIO injections for 6 weeks, then switched to Endometrium inserts for another 3 weeks (until I was 10 weeks pregnant). I was also still taking Estrace twice a day up until 10 weeks.
Describe your experience with your monitoring appointments.
They prefer for you to be there between 7-9am. I live 4 hours away and would leave my house around 5am to get there at least by 9am. They were very understanding if I was late and were able to see me immediately. One time I completely slept through my alarms. I got on the road as fast as I could and called when they opened and told them what happened. They said it wasn't a big deal and as long as I was there by 11:30, it wouldn't be a problem. I was there at 10:50 and they called me right to the back. Even with the flooding in Baton Rouge, they didn't close and still saw patients as scheduled.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Heber Dunaway.
Since I won the half off IVF, I was charged half of the costs. My total was around $7,500 - that included freezing all embryos and 1 transfer, so I would guess the costs would be around $14-15k (plus medicine). The ultrasounds that I had after my positive pregnancy test were paid separately.