- An IVF Journey
New Life has literally given us a new lease on life. After almost 8 years spent battling with infertility, we are finally- and with huge excitement- expecting our first child, due on Christmas Day 2017: the perfect gift! Our baby-to-be, is the result of our first IVF treatment cycle at New Life IVF Greece, although it was our fourth round of overseas treatment, over-all.
This testimonial is long-promised and long-overdue to Chrysa, Dr. Dovas and co, but waiting until our third trimester to finally write down our thanks and appreciation to all those at the New Life, just felt more comfortable to us- a little illogical superstition existed in trimesters 1 and 2 that prevented us committing our praise to paper!
Despite the distance and (relative) expense of travelling from our island home to Europe for IVF, I have been wholeheartedly recommending the clinic to other ladies who struggle with infertility, both here, and overseas. At first glance, the US and Canada appear to be the more obvious geographical choices of treatment location from Bermuda, with much shorter travel times and with some local OBGYNs willing to begin treatment here, reducing time spent over-seas further, and potentially reducing loss of earnings; however, the cost of IVF treatment and medication in the U.S versus that of Europe is considerable, and from our perspective made Europe our top choice as from what we could tell whilst there was a considerable difference in cost, there was no difference in the quality of care.
Ease of travel within European cities is also a factor in their favour: no need for car hire with safe and efficient public transport- taxis too are reasonable. We are pleased, even with the additional travel costs and lengthier stays needed, that we chose Europe, most especially New Life IVF Greece. All clinics are not created equal and New Life certainly surpassed our expectations. Even though we had done lots of research, choosing a clinic is still a trial and error process and it was only when we experienced the standard of care at New Life that we fully appreciated how lacking our previous clinic had been.
Financially the competitive costs of treatment and medication gave us far more opportunities to undergo treatment, should we have needed them, than would have been the case in the US, crucially without compromising on the quality of treatment and medical care. Moreover, we felt safe and free to explore both countries in which we underwent IVF, with so many interesting museums, historical sites and places of natural beauty to visit. Doing so made each trip incredibly special for us. It allowed us to turn something that can be stressful, into a sort of holiday-once we finally arrived- and we have some very special memories from our trip to Thessaloniki and its surrounds, as a result.
The clinic and its staff make such a difference to a couple’s experience of the IVF process and we cannot emphasize highly enough how professional, courteous, and genuinely kind the entire team at New Life has been, prior to, during and, most importantly, AFTER our procedure. At 28 weeks, I received an email from Anta, checking-in about my pregnancy. She and Chrysa have maintained contact with us since we left Greece. This level of care and concern was not something we experienced at our previous clinic: it matters, hugely.
We were incredibly impressed by how responsive Dr. Dovas, Chrysa and Anta were to all of our queries from the time of the initial Skype consultation in August 2016, to our arrival in Greece in March 2017. Chrysa, in particular, was patient, kind, warm and friendly. She received a multitude of emails from me, prior to our travel to Greece, and always responded with precise and detailed information, on the day, or within 24 hours of receiving my email, despite the 5, or 6, hour time difference between Greece and Bermuda.
I know, looking back, that we were both incredibly anxious prior to this treatment cycle. We felt, as a couple, that time was running out for us, in addition to which, career-wise it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to travel for IVF. Having spent so long trying to conceive our first child, it is fair to say that considerable anxiety had built-up by the time we decided to work with the staff at New Life and they really were incredibly supportive, kind, patient and caring in all of their interactions with us. I had also gained a considerable amount of weight due to our years of disappointment and the clinic worked to advise me on weight-loss, encouraging me as I shed the pounds prior to treatment. This too, made a huge difference to my belief in my body’s abilities to heal and to regenerate, prior to the IVF cycle.
From our experiences, it is obvious to us that the service New Life IVF Greece provides is far more than a business to Dr. Dovas, Chrysa and the team. In fact, my husband often refers to Chrysa as an angel, such was the degree of care and attention she gave us, me in particular, during our time in Greece. I couldn’t agree more. My appreciation for the kindness she showed me cannot be overstated. Dr. Dovas too, made a huge and incredibly positive impression on both of us. He is honest, warm, encourages questions and genuinely puts the couple’s well-being first, in his approach to the treatment given. My husband was so appreciative of how “included,” and “central,” he felt to the process, as a result. As a bi-racial couple travelling to Thessaloniki for the first time, experiencing such warmth and friendliness from all whom we encountered at- and associated with- the clinic made such a difference to our response to the treatment cycle.
The clinic is spotless, efficient and incredibly accommodating. The recovery rooms are private, made for individual couples, and most comfortable. The staff arranged, at my request, for an acupuncturist to see me before and after embryo transfer, and I continued to see him in the week following transfer, as my husband and I had decided that I would not travel during potential implantation time. From advice on the location of the apartment we chose to rent for the duration of our stay, to taxis and local places of interest worth visiting, the clinic struck the right balance between being wholly supportive and allowing us autonomy as individuals.
I appreciate that it is easy to be positive when everything has worked out as we dreamed it would; however, it is clear to us, had our treatment cycle not been successful, first time, that we would have received excellent follow-up, care and support from Chrysa, Dr. Dovas and their team. We are incredibly grateful to them for making an 8-year dream become a reality, and we look forward to sharing photos of our baby with them once he or she has arrived!
A final word of praise must go to Apostolos who cheerfully did airport runs, clinic trips and took us on some fabulous sight-seeing in Pella, Meteora and other places of interest during our stay.