I haven't updated my blog in a while because, well, I haven't really had any new news on the IVF front but today, I can say, we may finally be moving forward. We stopped IUI's in May and have been saving and fund raising ever since we found out IVF was our only option. We've continued to live our lives to the fullest, are happy and healthy and celebrate every wonderful day we get to spend with one another. Not surprisingly, however, my infertility and only treatment option are never far from my mind as I continue to support my friends in their journey's.
In the fall, a friend told me about a clinical trial for a new IVF medication but study participants have to be between the ages of 35 and 42. I was still 34 so I couldn't qualify for the study and I pushed it from my mind. Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I was drinking some coffee and starting my day when a question popped into my head, "I will be 35 in a few weeks, I wonder if that study is still running?" I looked up the study online and discovered that it is still going on and that a clinic in Reno is participating. I immediately called the clinic, explained my situation and was put on hold. When the receptionist came back she asked me a few more questions and scheduled me for a consult! The deadline for participant enrollment is at the end of March and they wanted to fit me in for an appointment as soon as they had one available.
I was elated. Not only could this be our chance to do IVF, but the study is for a new medication that would be more affordable than the current medications used during a typical IVF cycle. Even if it doesn't work for me, I could be given the opportunity to provide valuable information to the medical community as they develop new and better medications to use in the IVF process. In addition, the study covers the cost of the most expensive medication used in IVF and offers a discount for the procedure.
On our appointment day, Steve and I drove the two hours to Reno to meet with our (potential) new doctor and staff. Unfortunately, suffering from infertility and going through multiple failed rounds of treatments has left me overly prepared for disappointment. While I had hope, I am a realist. The criteria for disqualifying study candidates is long and the closer we got the clinic, the more certain I was that I would not meet the criterion for becoming a participant.
At our appointment, we met the nurse and doctor with whom I would be working. They were both very nice and put us both at ease. We sat down with the doctor and after an hour of talking, discussing my diagnoses, the vitamins and supplements I take, response to medication, failed treatment cycles and options for moving forward (he is in agreement with my former doctor in recommending IVF with ICSI), he explained the details of the study and said that I am a potential match as a study candidate. After a brief TV ultrasound, he said that everything looks good for moving forward and he gave us all the study paperwork and instructions for when to return.
At the end of March, I will go back for another ultrasound and blood work. If everything still looks good, I will begin prep for IVF. It is not yet guaranteed that I will be a study participant but so far, so good. It's progress.
The entire IVF process is not a mad dash, it is more like a slow crawl towards an ever moving finish line. Patients are constantly evaluated, with ultrasounds and blood tests, to determine if the medications are working and how quickly (or sometimes slowly) follicles are developing. Dosages are changed as are expected egg retrieval dates. All-in-all, we expect to travel to and from Reno no fewer than 12 times and the study length is 42 days. We're closer than we've ever been to have a chance to reach our dream of becoming parents and we welcome all the prayers and positive vibes you can spare. It has not been and will not be an easy path but it is one that we are excited to embark upon.
So, that's my update! We are thrilled at the prospect of finally being able to move forward and are dazzled by the idea that within a year, we could have our own tiny human. We know that we have had many of you praying for us and sending us good thoughts along the way and are grateful for all the love and support everyone has shown us. We cannot express how much it means to know that you all care. Thank you for your continued love and encouragement as you follow our journey, it's what gets us through.
I will post more blog updates as we go through the final study approval process and then (hopefully) IVF. As always, my main goal with this blog is to inform and educate. I hope you continue to join us on our Quest for Baby Lane.
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