How was your experience with Valerie Baker at Stanford University?
I appreciated how thoughtful and caring she was. If Dr. Baker isn't in on a day when you need to see her, you see her partner Dr. Lahti who is also really amazing. Dr. Baker gives you realistic expectations, but also brings a lot of hope and optimism. You get as much time as you need to understand things and get your questions answered.
What's one piece of advice would you give a prospective patient of Valerie Baker at Stanford University?
Have a consultation visit to discuss your situation and your options. They do that first for all patients and it really helps everyone get off on the right foot and feel comfortable going forward.
During treatment, were you treated like a number or a human with Valerie Baker at Stanford University?
She was so caring every step of the way. I had 2 miscarriages during the IUI phase of treatment and lost one IVF baby at 23 weeks. She was so sensitive to my tears of sadness and frustration. She was very positive with my treatment options, but also very realistic. She was all about helping me and my husband have a baby versus just trying to rack up bills. I am so grateful for my beautiful son, and she deserves so much credit for helping bring him into this world.
Describe the protocols Valerie Baker used in your cycles at Stanford University and their degree of success.
For the first 4 IUIs I did Clomid. The second 4 used an injection protocol without additional estrogen. That same protocol was used for my 3 IVFs with my own eggs, but we did a month of estrogen priming before each IVF cycle. For my donor egg cycle, I was on priming of both estrogen pills and patches and then progesterone shots daily through the implantation and then for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. While the IVF shots were mostly sub-cue, the progesterone shots were intramuscular and my husband gave them to me. They do a really good injectables training so you know how to mix the drugs, use both syringes and injection pens, etc. For all of my IUI cycles, I usually produced between 4-10 follicles. For my IVF cycles, I produced 8 eggs each time. We were fairly aggressive with drug levels given my age (not as much risk for hyper ovarian issues). For drugs, I used Menopur, Estrace pills, Vivelle patches, progesterone in oil, Ganirelix, and Follistim.
Describe your experience with the nursing staff.
Everyone was really knowledgable and helpful. The surgical nurses were so great in getting me ready for procedures and dealing with my IV-phobia. Everyone was very caring, especially when there was bad news.
Describe your experience with Stanford University.
The space is well-maintained, very polished and comfortable. They remember who you are so that checking in is very easy. Compared to my OB's office, it's like a spa!
Describe the costs associated with your care under Valerie Baker at Stanford University.
Our insurance covered the first $20k and most of the visits were considered office visits for billing, so the $20k mostly went to the major procedures. That said, I think we probably spent $50k out of pocket (including all the donor fees) to get our son. My insurance was actually really good an the drugs were obtained through the mail-order pharmacy for the reduced plan rate. Stanford takes pretty much all insurance plans and they do have brochures for infertility plans that other companies sell to help you pay for IVF cycles.