So it should have been no surprise that after many weeks of filling out paperwork, getting tests done, attending seminars, talking it over with my husband and therapist, meeting the incredibly specific requirements and keeping to a strict diet to meet the necessary BMI (I had ONE cookie on Christmas people! One!), I found out that I was finally accepted into an IVF Clinical Trial when a nurse happened to speed walk by me. She didn’t even stop. It was like a hit and run acceptance.
I was sitting in the waiting room reading an article on how to get rid of cellulite (I think there’s one in every issue of women’s magazines) when a saw the head nurse like a blur practically run past me. “Looks like you’re in. I need to randomize you and I’ll be back…” And she was gone.
Mind you - I’m not really complaining about this. As long as she was telling me I was accepted, she could have driven past me on a bike and just threw a note that said, “Free IVF. Meet me in lab room!” Still, I couldn’t help but laugh at how anticlimactic it was.
If I haven’t explained it before, and I don’t think I have, the clinical trial entails trying out a different kind of hormone shot similar to Gonal-F and Follistim. The difference is that this new stim wouldn’t be given every day. It would only be given every few days in the hopes that it would help you produce as many eggs as you would if you did the shot on a daily basis. Neither the patients nor the nurses involved in the trial know if you’re getting either the new drug or the old drug so, in effect, it’s like playing a form of Russian roulette… but with hormone shots.
The good news is that no matter which group you’re in, the test group or the boring old drug group, you still produce eggs so it won’t be a wasted cycle. The annoying news is no matter which group you’re in, you still have to do the shot every day. However, those in the test group will be unaware that they are actually shooting themselves with sugar water every other day. It’s a bit odd but what can you do. Even the nurse said to me yesterday, “This is very weird for me as I don’t know what I’m handing you but I’m telling you to inject yourself with it.”
My way of looking at it is like that board game, MYSTERY DATE, from the 1960’s: “Open the door to your mystery drug!” (See actual vintage commercial here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfcBl_Eps_c) Fun, right?
So, this is what the nurse meant when she said she had to "randomize" me. She had to put me in one of the two fun filled exciting groups. I texted my husband the news and in his typically silly style, he texted back, “You’re getting randomized? You’re a fish! No, you’re a dog! Now, you’re a balloon! No, wait! You’re a river!” And this is the man who I’m trusting to give me shots (or sugar water) on a daily basis. Oy.
As crazy as this all may sound, the trial means that you get a free IVF. Maybe you don’t know this about me but I like free. Someone could ask me if I wanted a free prostate exam and I’d say yes. In this case, a free IVF is particularly a HUGE gift. Our insurance company has broken up with us (at least where fertility is concerned) and after two years, three inseminations and one IVF, we’re still not pregnant. So Mr. Clinical Trial -- shoot me with whatever you want… as long as you throw in assisted hatching, an embryo transfer and a quality sperm cleaning with all the trimmings! Heck, I’ll also take some free alcohol wipes and one of those fashionable hospital gowns!
Despite my free giddiness, I know it’s going to be tough. For the next couple of weeks, my body will not be my own. I can’t take anything without talking to them. Not my migraine medication, not vitamin D, nothing. Zip. I also have to get my blood taken and have a sonogram done pretty much every day. I’m not going to be visiting the clinic. I’m going to be dating them.
All in all though, I’m ready. I don’t feel super-duper over the top optimistic nor do I feel even the slightest bit pessimistic. This is an amazing opportunity for a couple who sincerely needs some fertility and financial assistance. I’m looking at it like if it works, it’ll be an incredible, wonderful blessing. If it doesn’t work, but we have some embryos we can freeze, that still is a great outcome and if it totally doesn’t work in any shape or form, at least we tried and it didn’t hurt us too much financially (we have to cover some of the costs but the majority of the expenses will be covered by the trial). Any which way, we’re continuing to put money aside in a savings account just in case we have to do this again. The main thing is we have options and options make all this less scary.
So get ready gang because I’m sure I’m going to be blogging more frequently. I hope no one gets sick of me! I also hope I haven’t used up all my fertility jokes on the other entries... as if that's even possible! Two eggs walk into a bar...