PLEASE NOTE: If you are struggling with infertility or are currently trying to conceive and you DON'T want to read about my pregnancy (which I totally understand), I recommend starting at the beginning of the blog (March 2010) and reading from there. I find out I'm pregnant in June 2011 so there is a lot of trying to conceive posts in between that you might find funny, helpful or relatable. Wishing you all the luck in the world!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

InVitro 2 - Electric Boogaloo

One of the many lessons I didn’t want to learn about having fertility issues is special moments are rarely like you imagine them to be. I pictured how we would conceive (wine, flowers, Sade music playing in the background and no cellulite whatsoever). I imagined telling my husband in a clever, adorable, surprising way that we were expecting and he’d be shocked as we were hardly trying. I envisioned talking to my parents about the impending birth of my child but instead, in reality, I’ve spent the last two years explaining to my mom that frozen embryos don’t need mittens. Nothing has turned out as I’ve expected it… especially not the cellulite part.

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...

31 comments:

amiracle4us said...

That is fabulous!!!

Adam and Julia said...

how exciting!!! I am so hoping that that this will be THE cycle. Sending baby dust your way.

Jen said...

Congratulations on getting accepted into the trial! I've been reading your blog for the last month since I found this community and wanted to let you know that I gave you an award. Stop by and check it out. And good luck with the trial!

kkasun said...

Wow congrats on being accepted!
A free ivf is pretty amazing!!!
I hope that it ends with a Pregnancy!!!

Slackie O. said...

So crazy excited for you - OH how I hope this is your turn!

My So-Called (TTC) Life said...

Holla! This is AWESOME news, Jay! I am so fricken STOKED for you!! Seriously, this is awesome!! I can't wait to hear your updates and follow you through this. Always wishing you the very best ... let's get this shit done! xo

Lu said...

Woohoo! Hoping this is it, and you have a great book to read while you're sitting in the waiting room of all of your appointments.

Can't wait to see where this goes.

Secret Sloper said...

Options make things SO much more manageable. I'm really, really, really glad this option has opened up for you.

sienna said...

i have everything crossed for you and this ivf cycle. i lovelove love free stuff and what better than free ivf! having options must make this all the more bearable. hang tough and goodluck! xoxo.

Anonymous said...

I wish you the best of luck. I did the exact same study in Ohio in October, and although it did not work for me, they did have a lot of success with it. What costs do you have to cover, because we did not have any costs at all with it? Just wondering. Hopefully they will let you go to the clinic at the same time every day, and our place was good about getting the trial patients in & out very quickly.

arohanui said...

Fantastic news! Sounds like one of the few double-blind randomised control trials where it's win:win!! No matter which group you are in, you end up with (hopefully) a baby :) GOOD LUCK!

Rambler said...

Options are good. Options someone else pays for are awesome!! Good luck with the trial. Looking forward to reading your wit and humor!! :)

Marissa said...

Oh, yay! Free IVF! I'm very happy you were accepted. I hope you get a free baby out of it. ;)

lowfatlady said...

I am so excited for you! What are the side effects of the other hormone? I hope this cycle goes great!

SLESE1014 said...

Congrats on the acceptance. I'm currently trying to lower my BMI just to be treated, let alone enter a clinical trial. I can't imagine only having 1 cookie at Christmas...I look forward to all of your posts...and any jokes you may have repeats or not!

Nicole said...

I just started following your blog and I am wishing the very best for you with this trial. I am blessed to consider myself an IVF success story, but I know where you are and what you're going through and I pray that you have success in your journey to become a mother.

Dead Cow Girl said...

Congrats!! I love regular free, but would totally marry free fertility treatments! Good Luck!

Jay said...

Wow you guys! Thank you for all the upbeat comments & support! I'm just so grateful & focused right now... and of course, I'm hoping for the best otherwise giving up cookies would have been for nothing!

@anonymous -- We are financially responsible for all our antibiotics, if we do a FET later (they pay for the storage but we would pay for the transfer) & if something should go wrong (ectopic, emergency, etc.), we're responsible for that. I think there's a few more little things but those are the main points. Otherwise, they pay for most everything. Again, I'm humbled and grateful for it.

Kakunaa said...

It;s like mystery meat! And mmmm, sugar water. Too bad you can't drink the injections. Either way, this is some exciting stuff! I really, really hope that this is for you guys! And I look forward to hearing your cycle updates as you make nice with the dildo cam. Good Luck!

Do I Have to Be a D.I.N.K.? said...

FREE!!! That is great news! Not sure how you only ate one cookie over Christmas! I am so proud!

Will they tell you after the cycle which test group you were in???

Jess said...

There's enough rejection in this whole IVF, trying-to- have-a-baby-process that being accepted has to feel good. And that it's free is just amazing. Any chance they are looking for lab rats in Portland, oregon too? If so, I raise my hand.:)

Lulu said...

We won't get sick of you!

AL said...

FREE IVF is AWESOME!! Best of luck and will be cheering you on along the way!

Aramelle said...

I'm so happy for you that you're "in!" Free is awesome when it comes to pretty much anything. But free IVF? That's incredible!!!

Best of luck. I am crossing all my crossables for you that this will be the magical one.

Heidi said...

so awesome!!!!!!!!! way to go on losing weight, too! and super excited about more posts more often :)

Kitty said...

Awesome news, congrats and good luck! I look forward to reading your updates as always!

Brittany said...

awesome, awesome news!! Sending lots of good vibes your way, and I hope it works!!

Jen said...

If I had a bike, I would ride it past your apartment with a gigantic flag that reads "GOOD LUCK!!!"

heartincharge said...

So cool. I hope this is it. free IVF! You deserve it!

Kelly said...

I'm so happy you got into the trial. That's awesome! Good luck with everything.

Alex said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome! This is so very exciting! So happy for you!!!

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