The two places could not possibly be more different. The fertility clinic can feel like, as Elizabeth put it "a well of despair". It's full of frustrated, depressed people, many of whom are well-off and can afford fertility treatment...or are willing to spend their life savings. Anyone who dares to bring a child into the waiting room will be glared at by all the other patients.
The OBGYN is tiny, and has pictures of the patients' babies tacked to cork boards rather than a plasma TV like the fertility factory. The clinic provides a range of services, including resources and support for low-income women and families. There are children and new moms and women in all stages of pregnancy in the office. When Elizabeth and I were waiting in the exam room, there was a woman in the next room who was in the very early stages of labor and would probably give birth the next day. They had her on a monitor for a while, and through the thin walls we could actually hear her baby's heartbeat. It was beyond cool.
And then there was the doctor. Dr. H is my new hero. He was not at all phased to see two women in his exam room. He greeted us warmly and addressed both of us when he spoke. Unlike the doctors at the fertility factory, he stressed that he puts a great deal of focus on having excellent timing for IUIs. (The fancy fertility factory tells you to do an OPK at night and they do the insemination at the ass-crack of dawn the next day). And get this- to be sure that we get the timing right and come in when I am actually ovulating, and not just at a time that is convenient for him, he gave me HIS CELL PHONE NUMBER. He was also very understanding about our financial situation. He told us that he would do what he could to help us keep the costs down since our insurance company won't cover our infertility costs. So right now I am on a bit of a post appointment high. I hope that things continue to go this smoothly for the rest of my visits.