appointed time · iui · pregnancy

4 days later

I am still pregnant.

It is kinda surreal to write that. After infertility goes on long enough (granted, I know our journey has been short compared to many), it’s hard to imagine what it will feel like to finally get to say that.

My bloodwork on Friday (13 dpiui) showed an hcg level of 80. I repeated a first response test this morning and the test line was the same color as the control, so it seems as though levels are still rising. Each positive and darker test makes me feel a little more sure that at least this one has a chance.

I need to get a doctor to order a repeat hcg (and progesterone!); but it was Friday afternoon when the results posted so nothing has happened yet. I’ll call again in the morning; and probably also will try to contact my OBGYN to set up my first appointment.

I’m trying to take it one day at a time. Even if my levels increase, it doesn’t mean the embryo will continue to develop. Even if it develops, it doesn’t mean it will stick. Even if it sticks, it doesn’t mean something might not still go wrong. But I’m trying to not obsess over the ‘ifs’ and just enjoy the reality now that baby EL (who is the size of a ‘waterbear’) is inside of me.

(EL: first initials of the boy and girl names we’ve chosen.)

 

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appointed time · Infertility · iui

Hopeful, grateful, happy….scared

(Potentially sensitive content to follow)

I caved yesterday and took a home test at 12 dpiui. I was so convinced that AF was coming (I think I had subconsciously started telling myself it hadn’t worked so I wouldn’t be as disappointed?) and I was just feeling really crummy about it so I decided that I’d go ahead and test and get the disappointment over with.

I dipped my stick, and went out to the living room to wait. I told myself over and over not to be too upset, that it was going to be negative.

There were two lines. Distinct, not as dark at the control, but definitely there. I stood there in some degree of disbelief and happiness and shock…did it actually work?

I had already dumped the urine but I managed to get a little more out and tested again with my cheap internet tests. The line was faint, but still present.

It had been over 13 days since the trigger; I couldn’t find anything that said it stayed in one’s system longer than about 10 days, and I imagine even if it was still present it would only produce a super faint line.

So I made my husband a little Valentine’s card from “Baby” and took it to him on his lunch. He lit up; told me he just ‘knew’ that this was it…and has already started talking to my belly. Sweetest thing ever; I don’t think that will ever get old.

I tested again this morning; the first response test was the tiniest shade darker. I’m going in for blood work today, so we’ll see what the actual numbers are…

But I think that I just might (finally) be pregnant.

I am so scared that it won’t last. I know I can only take it one day at a time…and I imagine the fear won’t go away…hopefully my levels will rise and everything will go smoothly and maybe the fear will lessen a little every day and week and month.

Hopeful…grateful…happy.

appointed time · Infertility · iui · trying to conceive

Keeping busy

9dpiui. Blood draw is Friday. Less than 4 days…84 something hours. I’ll probably take a home urine test Friday morning before I go to the lab assuming AF hasn’t shown up. If she has, I really won’t want to go get my blood drawn, but apparently it’s protocol to verify that there really isn’t a pregnancy.

I’ve been doing pretty okay so far. I’ve spent most of my time that I’m not working or hanging with husband working on a cross-stitch project with TV on in the background. It’s relaxing and enjoyable. I try and throw some art/creativity in there every so often, but once I get into the zone of cross-stitching it’s hard to break away and do anything else. At least it’s keeping me occupied.

I feel so hopeful. But I’m also trying to gear up for the more likely disappointment. The IUI was not a guarantee; it just raised our odds. I know that in my head; my heart just keeps telling me that this one had to have been it, that had to have been just the boost we needed between the two eggs and the sticking of the sperm closer to their target.

Even if it is positive, given our previous miscarriage (and the trigger shot/meds I’ve been on), I think I’m going to have a hard time getting too excited until a follow up blood test shows an increase in hcg

Who am I kidding? I’m going to be ecstatic if I see a positive. Granted, I’ll also equally terrified; but such is the inevitable when trying for that rainbow.

I did find it somewhat encouraging that I saw a rainbow both the day of our IUI and the day after. Maybe it’s a sign.

Please, God, let this be it.

83.5 hours. But who’s counting?

 

appointed time · baby dancing · family · Infertility · iui · trying to conceive

And now we wait

It is done. Somewhere around 10 million sperm are now inside my uterus; hopefully my ovaries have cooperated with the trigger shot and have released (or will shortly) an egg (or two)…hopefully the aforementioned sperm will find the aforementioned egg(s); and hopefully my uterus has a thick enough lining to receive the aforementioned fertilized egg(s).

So many things out of my control. So much potential for even this ‘boost’ to not be successful. If it’s not, it seems like it’s God indicating that it is simply still not the right time for us. And I have to try to be content with that. We probably won’t pursue any further IUI cycles for a while; so many things about this next year are up in the air (potential job changes, hopefully purchasing a home near wherever he ends up finding work).

I still feel hopeful. Realistic (trying), but hopeful. I know I can’t symptom spot (from all the hormones I’m on) and I can’t test early; so I’m going to probably resort back to the activities I was trying to do regularly to keep sane during the last cycle. Art, crafts, reading, yoga/exercise, cleaning…etc.

As far as the day itself (note: some potentially TMI to follow)

  • Got up super early (husband was *not* thrilled about this part); drove to the RE office. Checked in, had to wait about an hour before husband could give his sperm. Poor guy. He hated having to do the deed for the semen analysis a few months ago; I can only imagine it was especially unpleasant today since he was so tired, up earlier than normal, and having to walk across the waiting room in front of a bunch of people (instead of at home like before).
  • Then we went back to the car to wait (and sleep); I headed back in after about an hour. Got called to the procedure room about an hour and half after the specimen had been collected; actually had to call husband like six times to make sure he saw that he needed to come back in from the car. He made it in time, thankfully. It may be silly, but he had to be there. If these are the sperm that make our baby; I wanted to at least be physically connected to him while it was happening. (I held his hand the whole time)
  • Doctor explained what to expect after, then got started. It was definitely more uncomfortable than the ultrasounds; similar to a PAP smear between the speculum and the swabs. Once the catheter was in place there was some cramping; she asked me to tell her when it eased and that must have been when she injected the sperm because a minute later she was done.
  • They told me to lie there for 10 minutes, then we could go. I waited about 15; partly because at that point exhaustion hit and the cramps hadn’t abated.
  • Have been crampy all day; mostly on the left side-which makes me think maybe ovulation is happening? I’ve just never felt distinct ovulation pain before and I don’t imagine it lasts for an entire afternoon. I’m trying to think of this as a good thing; if my uterus is cramping it’s probably sending the sperm further up my tubes to where they need to be. Hopefully the discomfort subsides enough for us to do some baby dancing a little later this evening.

So many people are praying for us; it’s been really encouraging to have my family’s support and blessings…I know that whenever we do finally get a baby it is going to be so loved and cherished (and not just by husband and me).

And now we wait.

 

appointed time · Infertility · iui · trying to conceive

We are scheduled!

On Friday I had a follow-up ultrasound to assess my progress. I should have expected to not be ready given that my cycles are already on the longer side; but I guess I thought the clomid might have worked so well that I would have been ready to trigger Sunday or Monday for an IUI yesterday or today.

Unsurprisingly, my ovaries had other ideas and they have just been plugging along at their own speed. I had about 6 follicles close to 10 mm but nothing larger. So the NP scheduled my next ultrasound, and we talked about how to prevent multiples (aka cancelling the cycle if too many follicles matured).

So I spent the weekend stressing about both the lack of maturity (on CD 9) and the potential for too many to mature and having wasted time and money on everything so far.

Yesterday I went back for another ultrasound. And hallelujah; one 15.2 mm follicle on one side, one 14.8 follicle on the other, and one additional follicle that’s right around 10 (she did not seem concerned about that).

She did a few more calculations on expected growth; and I have instructions to take the trigger shot tomorrow night at 10 pm and then we go in for the IUI first thing Saturday morning!!

Also was started on vaginal estrogen for thin uterine lining; apparently the clomid has had that unwanted effect. Hopefully the estrogen bulks things up enough to support any egg(s) that might get fertilized over the weekend.

So I’m relieved, and hopeful, and ready. It’s still not “exciting” in the normal sense, but in another (given the previous uncertainty), I am a little excited. Just to have a green light and to move forward with this step.

 

how to · Infertility · iui · journal entry · Resolution update · trying to conceive

On ‘exciting’

Couple updates before the main content of the post.

  • I gave up on the resolutions. I found I didn’t have the motivation anymore once my cycle started; it was supposed to get me through a cycle and it did, and I’m not sure I want to continue it for now. It definitely helped get some better patterns in place though and I have been reminded of the variety of activities I can use to fill time when I am so inclined.
  • Took my last dose of Clomid today. No significant unpleasant side effects thus far; though I guess it maybe hasn’t started working yet. Had hot flashes one night; and the last 2-3 days I’ve been abnormally tired.

I noticed something at the start of this cycle that irked me. I shared with several people that we were beginning a medicated/timed IUI cycle (as my period had arrived)…and two of the responses (from someone who is currently pregnant and someone who had no trouble conceiving at all) were essentially, “Yay, that’s so exciting!!” 

No, it’s really not. It’s not exciting to be disappointed again, it’s not exciting to have to pursue assistance with getting pregnant. It’s not exciting to anticipate going on hormone meds with potentially nasty side effects; to anticipate having to go be inseminated at the doctor’s office just to increase our chances (not even a guarantee!) of conception.

I wanted to respond with, “oh yeah, it’s the best; isn’t it a bummer that you haven’t had the opportunity to do it too?” 

See, getting pregnant is exciting. Hearing the heartbeat is exciting. Getting to start decorating the nursery is exciting. Having a baby is exciting. Starting an IUI cycle? Not so much.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m so grateful that we have the resources to pursue this option right now. I’m hopeful that it’s just this little boost we need to finally make a baby.  But I’m also sad that we have to, and very afraid that the disappointment if it doesn’t work will be worse than all the ones before it.

As an aside; my mom and my sister responded much better to the initial news. My mom’s text was, “I’m sorry, that’s not what we were hoping for….are you feeling peaceful about this next step?” My sister echoed the apology, asked how I was holding up, and then when I shared the above ‘exciting!’ responses, she says, “yeah, careless choice of words; it’s emotional, heavy, and little (big) glimmer of hope to you.” 

I guess what I (re) learned here is that it is so important not to assume you know what others are feeling. Just ask them. Don’t project your emotions onto a situation; and realize that by doing this you risk simplifying a complicated emotional reaction. And this doesn’t just apply to infertility; though it’s my journey right now so I’m rather focused on that aspect.

 

Infertility · iui · trying to conceive · ttc

On to IUI

On the bright side, at least I didn’t have to wait until February.

I am also trying to be encouraged that my cycle was (again) regular for me and I ovulated right around the time I would have expected.

I just really hoped (at the beginning, anyway) that this last ‘unassisted cycle’ would be the one and that we wouldn’t need to do treatment.

But here we are.

Cycle Day 1.

I was able to get into to see my RE today actually. She did the preliminary ultrasound, which showed about 10 follicles per ovary; and reviewed the plan.

Saturday I start a 5 day course of Clomid.

Next Friday (the 25th) I go back for a follow up ultrasound.

Based on those results, assuming things are where they need to be, she wants to plan for the IUI either Tuesday or Wednesday of the following week. (29th or 30th). This will be preceded by a trigger shot of Ovidrel and sex (hopefully we can still manage to make this one romantic and enjoyable despite the circumstances!).

Then we wait two weeks…and go back for a pregnancy test.

With the exception of today because I’m pouting (and crampy), I’m planning to try to continue my ‘resolutions’ just to keep myself sane/healthy. However I will probably resume cycle tracking just so we are able to utilize every chance we can; and I’m curious to see what my body does on these meds.