How was your experience with Isela Robertshaw at Bethesda Fertility Center?
When we first met Dr. Robertshaw we were entering our 5th year of TTC, and Bethesda was our third clinic. We'd been to a huge clinic where I described most of my visits as "cattle calls", and to a smaller clinic where I still felt as though the doctor never really heard or understood me or my questions. Within minutes of meeting Dr. Robertshaw we knew that things would be different -she listened carefully and responded thoughtfully. Throughout treatment (1 cycle IVF) she let us have our way where we felt strongly about things and helped us make decisions when we were unsure. She never *ever* rushed through an appointment, and will always take the extra few minutes to answer every last question or to celebrate with good news.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Isela Robertshaw at Bethesda Fertility Center?
Sometimes (but not always, maybe 10-20% of the time) you may have to wait a bit. Because she never rushes patients through appointments, things can sometimes go over -since I've certainly been the one prolonging things, I was more than happy to wait patiently for my turn, and she never rushed through my appointments to get "back on track" like other doctors do.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Isela Robertshaw at Bethesda Fertility Center?
Dr. Robertshaw was the third doctor we saw. I showed up in her office with guns blazing, ready to skip all the niceties and get straight to the point. Right from the get-go she seemed to fully understand our experience, and she answered all of my questions thoughtfully. She didn't just treat me like a person, she treated me like an *intelligent* person with agency, never brushing off a single concern, never seeming distracted or hurried.
Describe the protocols Isela Robertshaw used in your cycles at Bethesda Fertility Center and their degree of success.
We went through one cycle of IVF. I used GonalF for ovarian stimulation and had regular ultrasounds during the cycle to check progress, then something-that-starts-with-a-C to induce ovulation. Then the egg retrieval -we got something like 20 eggs, which was expected from the estimates with the ultrasounds. 19 were mature. Because of my dude's morphology, we used ICSI to fertilize, and 16 ended up fertilizing. The clinic was clear that typically only half of fertilized eggs make it to blastocyst, and that they only freeze high quality embryos, but we ended up with 14 embryos. They all were frozen because during retrieval Dr. Robertshaw identified an issue that required surgery. Immediately after surgery I started estrogen to begin a frozen embryo transfer procedure, then injectable progesterone. My husband and I insisted on 2 embryos, even though Dr. Robertshaw was very clear about the likelihood of twins. We had a positive blood test, then another to confirm, and we had two teeny heartbeats on ultrasound a couple weeks later. We've been discharged to an ob. So in conclusion, one round of IVF, one pregnancy with twins resulting, 12 embryos remaining in storage.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Bethesda Fertility Center. (Assigned nurse: Lynzie)
Lynzie was very organized and an excellent communicator. She was a kind and warm face to interact with throughout the experience. Though everyone we interacted with was kind and professional, it was very nice to see the same face consistently.
Describe your experience with Bethesda Fertility Center.
All of the staff were incredibly knowledgeable and helpful, the facilities were clean and many of the offices and bathrooms were nicely decorated. They use an app to communicate treatment information and for "non-urgent" communication, and at first I thought it was maybe overkill, but I actually really enjoyed it -it gave me easy access to ask questions and especially when dosage instructions are changing daily, it was very handy.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Isela Robertshaw at Bethesda Fertility Center.
I've met my insurance out-of-pocket maximum, which is 5500, plus another 3000 or so in medication. This is for a round of IVF with one FET, and includes required diagnostic tests such as the SIS, as well as an MRI with contrast and an outpatient surgery.
Describe Isela Robertshaw's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Bethesda Fertility Center.
Dr. Robertshaw was very clear that a single embryo would probably be successful given my age and no history of failure to implant, and said that she'd recommend one embryo. Nevertheless, she recognized that we were a-ok with the possibility of twins (it's been 5 years... we figured we'd have 2 by now, anyway) and let us go for it.