How was your experience with Rachel Ashby at Brigham & Women's Hospital?
We haven't gotten our baby yet but I am confident that in the course of my treatment, no stone will be left unturned. She is known for having conceived and delivered her twins through IVF. That edge is what sealed the deal for me but the case was already pretty strong. When we were looking to switch practices, we asked around and she was recommended to us by friends who have a 1 year old son. They also experienced a previous loss and an early miscarriage with Dr. Ashby and described feeling very well cared for and supported.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Rachel Ashby at Brigham & Women's Hospital?
No practice or physician is perfect - the important thing is finding a clinician whose style matches your needs. She is very in demand but if you need extra time and attention, she will accommodate you. Dr. Ashby is positive and forward moving but not one to sugar coat things. For me, that is a positive but everyone is different.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Rachel Ashby at Brigham & Women's Hospital?
She is gives difficult to swallow information in a compassionate way. In our first visit, she brought up my weight in a way that didn't blame or shame me. It motivated me and I got to work. Even if I hadn't been able to address it, she would not have withheld treatment.
I felt much better prepared and supported through treatment than I had at previous practice in terms of being grounded in the numbers for my age. After miscarrying a PGS normal embryo she was empathetic and said what I needed to hear. "If you wanted to quit, you came to the wrong doctor. I've just started to fight."
Describe the protocols Rachel Ashby used in your cycles at Brigham & Women's Hospital and their degree of success.
My 1st retrieval with another practice was antagonist. I got 5 blasts but it was absolute torture and was switched to freeze all because I was at risk for OHSS. My 1st cycle (2nd overall retrieval) with Dr. Ashby was also antagonist. It was also torture - though not as bad. The results were abyssmal - 1 full day 5 blast and two morulas were transferred.
My 2nd cycle with Dr. Ashby (3rd overall retrieval) was an agonist micro flare protocol. It produced 5 day 5 embryos and 1 day 6 embryo. We did PGS and had 1 PGS normal, 1 mosaic and 4 abnormals. We are starting stims for the next cycle later this week with the same micro flare protocol starting with slightly higher doses of gonal and menopur. Results TBD.
Describe your experience with your nurse at Brigham & Women's Hospital. (Assigned nurse: Nanci)
I have gotten to know Judy, Nanci and Lisa quite well. They are professional, kind and responsive.
Sometimes it can be confusing knowing who you talked to about what but the coordination of care is leaps and bounds ahead of the first practice I cycled with. Things are by no means perfect - because let's face it, as much of a privilege and miracle the IVF is, it also totally blows even under the best of circumstances.
Describe your experience with Brigham & Women's Hospital.
This is high volume practice with some of the most in demand clinicians in a market with no shortage of REs. It helps to know the in and outs of the process to know what questions and clarifications to ask for.
You need to be okay with not having your doctor for procedures. My friend who has another RE at the Brigham has had my doctor for more procedures than I have. That said, from retrievals to transfers to D&Es - all of the doctors that have treated me have been compassionate and professional. Sometimes it is stressful to have to make high stakes decisions without the person you know and trust in the room but I come away from each experience with the feeling I was in good hands.
Describe the costs associated with your care under Rachel Ashby at Brigham & Women's Hospital.
Other than PGS, my care has been covered by insurance.
Describe Rachel Ashby's approach to eSET (elective single embryo transfer) vs. multiple embryo transfer at Brigham & Women's Hospital.
We only had one PGS normal to work with so we went with that. We opted not to transfer the mosaic with a normal. If we had had two normals, with the prognosis for my age we probably would have been advised and opted to transfer more than one so that we could move to the next retrieval since time is of the essence. Before my last retrieval Dr. Ashby made sure to explore my feelings about multiples and explain the risks involved.
What specific things went wrong at Brigham & Women's Hospital?
- Lost appointments
- Provided conflicting information