How was your experience with William Schoolcraft at CCRM Colorado?
Hearing and reading about Dr. Schoolcraft I knew what to expect when meeting with him. He is pretty stone faced and his demeanor is intimidating in that sense because for me personally, I am always seeking compassion and tenderness from my doctors especially in this particular field of work. He is a man of few words and his answers are brief, but he does radiate this confidence that really made me believe that HE will be the one to make my & my husband's parenthood dreams a reality.
I must say that Dr. Schoolcraft did surprise me a bit at our first transfer when was very lighthearted and made a joke before the transfer. It really did calm the room, gave us all a laugh and put me more at ease.
What was even more surprising was that at our second transfer to our surrogate (which my husband and I did not attend) he made another comment to her that was silly and out of character and put her at ease. I loved hearing that from our surrogate and that she definitely never saw the cut/dry personality he could possess.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of William Schoolcraft at CCRM Colorado?
Always be prepared with questions and follow up questions. He likely will not initiate the conversations with you.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with William Schoolcraft at CCRM Colorado?
Living out of state, each time my husband and I had a regroup call with Dr. Schoolcraft we often felt that he was not looking at our file or paperwork. There were times where we did not think that he was focused on us at all. This is QUITE the contrary from a majority of the nurses we've encountered - both in the IVF and third party (surrogacy) departments. Conversations with the doctor were generally very frustrating because I always expected more of a personal component or compassion - and that he is not. However, the clinic and lab are extraordinary so once I had first hand experience of how the phone conversations would go with the doctor, I learned to ask most of my questions to my nurses.
Describe the protocols William Schoolcraft used in your cycles at CCRM Colorado and their degree of success.
As this relates to my courses of treatment, I'll start this by informing the reader that I do not get a period and I do not have a uterus. My first cycle was very similar to the cycle outlined below with the exception that I started taking Follistim 300mg for about 3 days prior to having my doses lowered.
For this first cycle another doctor did my retrieval because Schoolcraft was out of town. Some of my eggs had to be removed abdominally which in my other two previous cycles at another clinic was never necessary.
For my second cycle (which I am about to start priming for next week) he lowered my doses of Follistim at the onset from 300 to 150 units because of how active my eggs became initially in our previous cycle. This cycle is extended estrogen priming - antagonist using Estrace 2mg and Prometrium 200mg. Then moving on to 2 vials of menopur in the morning, 150 units Follistim + Clomid 100mg + Dexamethasone in the evening.
Describe your experience with your nurse at CCRM Colorado. (Assigned nurse: Shawna, Katie (GC nurses) and Ellie (IVF nurse))
I cannot communicate enough good things about Dr. Schoolcraft's nursing staff. Each and every nurse my husband and I encountered is incredibly responsive, thoughtful in their communication, thorough in explaining things and COMPASSIONATE.
My IVF nurse prefers to correspond through the clinic's portal and though her answers are generally short and to the point - I never feel like I am needing more from her.
The third party nurses are on another level of excellence. They will always get on the phone to talk, always send emails directly to my email address and I NEVER feel like I am out of line or bothering them or annoying. They are the ABSOLUTE BEST. And when I get frustrated with Dr. Schoolcraft because he doesn't give any of that, the girls compensate wholeheartedly in their jobs.
You MUST request to work with Shawna or Katie if you need a third party nurse at CCRM.
Earlier this year we lost our first pregnancy at 13 weeks. Our surrogate was carrying our first little baby and was incredibly sick throughout the pregnancy. Our care was discontinued with CCRM after 10 weeks of pregnancy, you actually get a congratulations email and "graduate" and even though that was the case that we were no longer under their care, they still helped me tirelessly answering questions, navigating next steps, and supporting me and my husband. I have so much love for Shawna and Katie.
Our surrogate is pregnant again and while we are still very early in the process (past the 11 week mark now) Shawna and Katie have been overly compassionate, logical, and true heroes this time around. Everything that I have asked for (repeating tests, sending orders for extra tests, asking personal opinions), they have been PATIENT and kind and just very open and warm to me and my husband.
There is no way that we could navigate this process, mentally or emotionally without them on our team.
Describe your experience with CCRM Colorado.
CCRM operates like a well oiled machine. When my husband and I first stepped foot into the clinic for our one day workup we were beyond impressed. The level of organization and efficiency is incredible. Schedules are organized and all you have to do is show up and go where you are told at the time you are instructed. Each individual at the front desks is prepared and organized and answers questions or directs you to the appropriate place. This is true over the phone as well. I always speak with a knowledgeable staff member and never get frustrated or wish I was dealing with one particular person. The clinic is consistent in this way, and really hires top notch people for the front office and of course their nursing staff in stellar.
When you call, always state your name and birthdate! This helps the staff and also allows you to get to the right person quicker.
Describe the costs associated with your care under William Schoolcraft at CCRM Colorado.
Since my husband and I traveled to Denver from out of state we incurred additional expenses related to airfare, car rentals, accommodations, etc.
When you visit for your 1 day workup at CCRM, you provide a $1K deposit.
We paid out of pocket for all of our blood work and ultrasounds during that one day workup totaling about $3K. Genetic testing screenings provided by the clinic were $350/person.
Cycle payment including anesthesia $6,286
Lab fees including genetic testing $12,831
Abdominal retrieval (additional charge) $623
Shipping kit for blood workups for out of state was $110 each time.
Describe William Schoolcraft's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at CCRM Colorado.
Dr. Schoolcraft strongly believed in implanting ONE embryo. Our surrogate also preferred that in her contract. And, at the time we transferred my embryos were created when I was 35 and my husband 33.
What specific things went wrong at CCRM Colorado?
- Provided conflicting information
Describe the specific things that went wrong at CCRM Colorado.
At one point Shawna (our third party nurse) was out on maternity leave and the office must have been very busy and overwhelmed initially. One of the other nurses who may be an assistant or someone I never deal with sent an email to me referencing the wrong surrogate and indicating that she started her period - which was out of left field especially considering the stage we were in. I of course got alarmed when I read the message. And immediately checked in with our carrier to make sure this wasn't true. It was just carelessness which I understand happens but in sensitive situations that fertility clinics encounter 24/7 you need to pay extra attention when communicating to patients. My husband and I ended up having a discussion with the Business Manager who listened to our concerns and was very open about the need to correct them.