What It's Like to Participate in a Clinical Trial + Maybe Baby IVF GIVEAWAY

I am SO excited about today's post! Over the last few months we have had quite a few questions come in about participating in an IVF Clinical Trial and today I am spilling all of the beans about what that was like! (The Clinical Trial portion of our IVF Cycle is over! But no results to share yet -- still waiting… welcome to the world of infertility where you just wait and wait and wait) I'm going to answer a few of the questions we got repeatedly in a Q&A form and then also talk a little bit about my experience and overall feelings about the Clinical Trial. And then I have exciting news about an IVF Treatment Giveaway with Reproductive Care Center (located in Sandy, Utah) at the end that you will NOT want to miss!


Q: How did you find out about the Clinical Trial?

A: So I have two parts to this answer that I think are important. A) I actually researched a LOT of clinical trials earlier but we didn't qualify for any of them, but I tried to look them up every couple of weeks/months to stay on top of any that were opening that we might qualify for. B) THAT SAID, we also told our clinic that we were interested in participating in any clinical trials or studies they might have and they reached out to us when we looked like we might be a good fit and qualify for! 

Q: Was your Clinical Trial free?

A: No, it was not. The Clinical Trial Sponsor covered MOST of the costs (the medications and the procedures we would need) but we had to pay up front for doctor fees. So it was very, very discounted but we still had to pay for it.

Q: What was different about your Clinical Trial and regular IVF?

A: I had more appointments, ultrasounds and blood draws than a typical IVF cycle. We also had a few clinical trial protocols we had to follow, like we weren't able to know how many follicles (if any) were growing. They did part regular IVF and part ICSI for fertilization. If we had under 20 eggs retrieved we would do a Fresh Embryo Transfer; but if we had over 20 eggs retrieved, we would HAVE to do a Frozen Embryo Transfer (We have to do a Frozen Embryo Transfer). We were only allowed to transfer one embryo. We were NOT allowed to do any genetic testing on our embryo.

With a typical IVF cycle, a lot of these protocols we had to follow are decisions that are made between you, your partner with recommendations from your doctor.


Q: What would you have done if you didn't get accepted into the Clinical Trial?

A: We feel SO LUCKY and blessed to have been able to participate in the Clinical Trial. However, if we didn't qualify (which we almost didn't because I had to redo one of the tests because my blood work came back and it was not in the qualifying range), we would have had to wait to do IVF because we simply could not afford it at full-price at the beginning of the year. But we were already saving for IVF and had a little put away and then we were able to fundraise the rest of the amount we needed.

RELATED: How to Pay for IVF



I actually had a really positive experience with the Clinical Trial. There were moments where I felt like I lived at the clinic, but the staff of our fertility clinic is incredible and made that week (I had a full week of hour-long appointments) so much more bearable! Some people have asked me how I felt about not knowing how many follicles we had growing. I surprisingly really liked that. I didn't think about it as much because I couldn't know, so I just focused my energy elsewhere. I was actually surprisingly calm through that unknown, which was very helpful because usually treatments stress me out to the MAX. I also liked the fact that quite a few decisions were made for me-- the transfer of a single embryo, no genetic testing, fresh transfer vs. frozen transfer. It just made the process so much less stressful because I didn't have to make a billion decisions. That said, in the future, we are excited for the opportunity to make those decisions ourselves.


Now, onto the REALLY exciting stuff!! The Maybe Baby IVF Treatment Giveaway! Reproductive Care Center is teaming up with Frankie and Jess from 97.1 ZHT to give away an IVF Treatment at RCC!

It is free to enter the contest, all you have to do is submit a 4 minute or less video sharing your story and why you should win the IVF Treatment and fill out their form! You can submit your video HERE.

Submissions close on AUGUST 9th! So be sure to get your submission in before then.

IVF can be so expensive and Clinical Trials and Giveaways are an awesome way to offset those costs. What do you have to lose by entering?

wednesday letters: new house + $100 target gift card giveaway!

hiiiii friends!!

i've been pretty absent here on my blog because of a few exciting changes. you already know that we moved into a new town home a little over a week ago. things are still arriving, but i've got our home tour post scheduled for NEXT WEDNESDAY, so stay tuuuuuned. we've been unpacking & getting settled this last week & we have been loving our new place! it's been nothing short of amazing! 

i've been absent here because i got a promotion at work, which required me to really focus on learning new procedures and we were a little bit back-logged (still are a little bit, but i'm catching up!) and so i've been unable to do very much that isn't work related. but again, i'm catching up, so there's a little bit more wiggle room to work on some other things while working on my boost work. i was pretty stressed about the new job for a few days, but i'm feeling much better & things are moving along, so that's super good!

at the beginning of august, mozzie started puppy classes. each tuesday, we go to puppy class to help mozzie learn different commands and also to help us learn how puppies learn, so we can help moz be successful in his life with us. we've learned SO much & it has been SO fun to see mozzie learn new commands and really just become a better puppy. it's also been nice to be able to ask questions and get solid answers as to how to deal with all things puppy. he's been learning a few different commands like sit, lie down, stand, by my side, and come. we've also been working on potty training (which is going MUCH better now that we have a routine) and also biting. (one thing to note, if you're not a dog person: puppies bite a lot because they're teething. just like how babies gnaw on EVERYTHING when they're teething, that's how puppies are, they just have little demon teeth to begin with. so they're gnawing and biting on everything because their adult teeth are coming in. they don't bite because they're being mean. they're still learning the difference between play and not play.) if you want more info on puppy classes, i'll be writing a full blog post about them in the coming weeks, so get stoked for that! but if you have any questions about puppy classes, feel free to ask! i'd be happy to answer!


now, let's get to the TARGET GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY!!! i am so, so, so excited about this!! i made a goal at the start of Q3 that i wanted to get to 3,500 instagram followers. i know that may seem dumb to you, but it's important to me and it's important to my business as well as for good grief for me to grow on social as well as in my business! so for now, my focus is instagram. my BIG goal is to get to 10k, but my baby step goal for now is 3,500. it's attainable and reachable, but it's also a stretch for me. SOOOOO in order to grow, i decided to start doing some fun giveaways, starting with my $100 target gift card giveaway! to enter, go to this post on instagram, be sure you're following me & tag your friends! more tags = more entries!! because this giveaway is just me, your chances of winning are fairly high, so get taggin!

i honestly am so grateful for you people here. it means the world to me that you care to read my thoughts & feelings! and even more so that you support me in my dreams & big plans! you all really are the best! so thank you so much for being here!


PinkBlush + GIVEAWAY details!

*spoiler alert* when PinkBlush asked me to do a sponsored post featuring an item from their online women's boutique, i was SO excited! a huge thank you to ShopPinkBlush for the complimentary dress! NOW, this post is sponsored by PinkBlush but all of the opinions in this post are mine! i promise i wouldn't endorse something if i didn't love it! to see my full disclosure policy, go here.

a few weeks ago, i was just casually scrolling through my personal account on instagram when i got a DM (direct message) from one of my acquaintances. i checked it, responded, and then noticed that i had a message request from @shoppinkblush. i didn't know what it was, so i nervously checked it.

i opened the message to find that their collaborations rep was asking ME to collaborate with them! i was floored and beyond excited! but i didn't know if PinkBlush even sold anything besides maternity clothes (because i'm definitely not pregnant so that would be a little weird), if it was modest, if they had prices that wouldn't kill our adventure/fun savings, and if i would even like their style. so before responding i headed over to their instagram account. 

i was not disappointed! they had cute dresses for women of ALL sizes. i'll admit, i spent waaaaay too much time on their instagram account and even more time looking at their Women's Online Boutique. floral print tunics, striped dresses and shirts, solid color dresses. i could barely hold myself back from buying the whole shop!

i responded quickly (and by quickly i mean, it had been a few weeks after they had messaged me, but quickly after i saw the message) and was over-the-moon excited when they responded and still wanted to work with me! we hashed out the details and i got right to work trying to figure out what i would choose to get to style and wear. 

now, this was the hard part. because like i said in my about me page, my wardrobe largely consists of ugly sweaters found at a local thrift shop, animal tee shirts, and sunday dresses. i mean, i'll be real-- i have nicer clothes and i really like a lot of the trendy (yet still modest) clothes these days. they just aren't my first pick. 
and here's why: 
1. they aren't that comfy. i'd muuuuch rather be comfy than trendy. (even though i have major heart eyes for trendy clothes)
2. a lot of trendy boutiques online are kind of expensive. like really expensive. like triple digits for ONE dress. WHAAAAT?! 

i'll also admit that i was super nervous about reason #2 when i went to look at the prices at Pink Blush Boutique. but i was pleasantly surprised! no triple digits anywhere in site! (pun intended) and they have flash sales on their instagram ALL the time! win-win!

i ordered my dress and not-so-patiently waited for it to arrive! on wednesday, i got a text from my mother-in-law saying my package from PinkBlush had arrived! i was SO excited! parker got home from work and i told him my package had come. we wanted to go get it, but we had to go to school. so after school we rushed over to his parents house and i quickly opened my package. 

YOU GUYS. i almost died of happiness right there. my dress is perfect! also, it's made of cloud fabric, i'm sure of it! it is the SOFTEST dress i've ever owned! it is striped AND has lace. 

just look at it.

also, parker took these photos. for all the times he's said, "she takes the pictures, i just hold the bag," he's pretty good! 

but wait. THERE'S MORE to this story.

i am SO excited to announce that over here at the banks blog, we are teaming up with ShopPinkBlush to GIVE AWAY a $50 gift card to their online women's boutique! FIFTY DOLLARS! if you want in on that action, and trust me, YOU DO-- head over to my instagram account (@thebanksblog) at 9am to enter! 

the giveaway IS NOW CLOSED!
entering is suuuuper simple:
- follow @thebanksblog on instagram
- like our GIVEAWAY picture
- tag your friends (1 friend per comment. the more you tag = more entries for you!)
follow The Banks Blog on Facebook!

good luck & may the odds be ever in your favor!