Yeah... we thought moving cross-country and starting up a new business on my freelance salary wasn't enough. We're moving forward with the biggest, most emotionally harrowing gamble of our lives to date: IVF.
Well, technically, it's not IVF -- it's ZIFT, Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer. The idea is to fertilize the egg externally, then rather than continuing to grow it in the lab for 3-5 days and transferring it into the uterus, we return it to the fallopian tube where it grows naturally as the body carries it down into the uterus itself.
Ironically, this more "natural" process is much more invasive to the female (in this case, my) body: it involves laparoscopic surgery under full anesthesia, the day right after getting more anesthesia for the egg retrieval. But our doctor -- director of the Santa Monica Fertility Specialists, who we really like -- has had tremendous success with ZIFT, and considering our history, we decided to go for it.
I meant to start writing this about this a LONG while ago, but ya know, we've been busy. So here's the deal:
I began taking the Pill (yes, more irony) about a month ago (this is to take control over my hormones), along with pre-natal vitamins and baby aspirin:
Then, based on good (i.e. on-track) blood test results, starting on Thanksgiving Day, we began a hormone injection called Lupron -- twice a day with an insulin syringe. Two days later, we added another hormonal drug called Menopur (acquired from the UK to save at least a little $$). This was kind of a mess at first because it's extremely complicated to prepare, and the scheduled time to administer it happened to coincide with our first tasting. Mark and I were fumbling around in the bathroom like first-time heroin users.
Thankfully, it's all become somewhat routine now, and the side effects haven't been bad -- I threw up once on Thanksgiving Day and my abdomen's bruised up and sore, but no excessive weight gain or anything like that (which can happen). Emotional highs and lows for sure, but god knows that might be from the store opening too!
If all goes well, the egg aspiration (retrieval) should be next Monday -- already! -- and the transfer the next day (assuming some are usable, and some grow after fertiliziation). BUT... that's if all goes well. At our appointment yesterday, the ultrasound showed a few follicles growing, but not a great many, and not all that big yet either. Our doctor gave us a 50-50 shot at proceeding next week. If the follicles haven't grown enough, it won't be worth it -- so we would most likely abort (ha ha) the process and possibly start all over again after at least a two-month break to physically, emotionally and financially regroup. But, he did say that he's seen follicles "simmer" and then "soar," so... rah, rah, follicles! Rah, rah! Grow eggs grow!
Just goes to show: you can't plan anything. Dammit.
Another ultrasound and blood test tomorrow morning. Could set the course. Fingers crossed that we can make it happen... happy thoughts. Peaceful thoughts...