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.
First off; a couple emotions/thoughts from the Christmas week related to TTC.
- Got a bit emotional after Christmas morning with husband’s family. Sister-in-law is so dramatic about her pregnancy (this is the one that was also TTC and ever since getting pregnant has basically forgotten about our journey)…plus I just miss her and I miss having that friendship but I just don’t even want to talk to her right now and I don’t like that I don’t want to talk to her and being around her without talking to her is just hard. And I also couldn’t help but remember that fact that this is now the second Christmas in a row that she’s been blissfully pregnant (granted, they found out two days after Christmas last year that the baby hadn’t developed…but still) and I’m over here waiting.
- -I really don’t mind sharing our journey with friends or family. I’m happy to tell people where we’re at and what’s going on when people who know we are struggling ask. But I felt the sting today of being judged and given unsolicited advice….I was telling one of my cousins that we are going to be moving forward with a medicated IUI cycle if nothing happens this month and her response was “you really should consider seeing a naturopathic doctor, they usually test for things that a regular doctor won’t and maybe they could get you on some vitamins or supplements that would help.” This is coming from someone who was TTC for a year and a half. I’m sorry. She should know better how annoying it is to be told all the ways in which you clearly aren’t doing enough.
As for resolutions. It’s been a bit tricky this week with the holiday and going away for a couple scattered overnights; I had very little down time…but I did the best I could.
- Read the Bible every day
- Read something every day except Wednesday when I was out of town: Anne of Ingleside mostly
- Creative: struggled a bit. Edited my short story, took more photos, and then I got a mixed media art set for Christmas so yesterday and today I did some watercolor experimentation
- Thankfuls: every day.
- Cleaning/home maintenance: fudged this a few days (counted taking a shower one of the days as ‘cleaning myself’), and used ‘clean up clutter’ several times
- Yoga/walking: eek. One out of seven days.
- Piano: Two out of seven days.
- Dates/activities: Do all the Christmas festivities count?
- Puzzle: worked on one the other night with mom/sister
Now things are back to normal (we don’t do much for New Year’s Eve) so I will get back on track with all this; and back to eating healthy again starting tomorrow. But I did drink my full quart of water every day this week as well.
Aunt Flo arrived today in all her unwelcome glory. I knew she was coming between the negative test at 12 dpo and a temp drop when I woke up. So I spent the morning between my hospice visits fighting back tears of disappointment and frustration and anger and longing and aching.
Then, somehow, it abated. Just like every cycle, hope begins to rebirth. I allow the grief to do it’s thing, then in his grace God reminds me that he is still faithful. I couldn’t even explain what did it this time. I didn’t even recognize it when it happened. Just, suddenly, I wasn’t overwhelmed by sadness.
I’ve (almost) decided that this upcoming cycle…our last one before we pursue assisted reproductive methods (IUI)…should be one without the pressure of tracking. I was initially so desperate to catch our fertile window, so hung up on knowing when I ovulated to know when I could test. I didn’t do well before with not tracking. But I think I can do it one more time. I think, for the health of my marriage and my own spiritual growth I need to let it all go and just be. We will do life, be intimate, enjoy each other…and if I haven’t started my period by February 1st, I’ll take a test. If I have, then we’ll proceed with IUI. Simple.
And to keep myself distracted, to productively fill the time, and to recognize what it can look like to enjoy my life in this child-free time…here are my “resolves” for the next 7 weeks. This blog space will be my accountability. I’ll try to check in at least once a week with updates on how well I’m doing. The list is long but some of the things could take as little as 5 minutes so it’s not really all that much. I’m even going to put the list on my refrigerator.
- read my Bible: every day
- read at least a chapter from a book: every day. (maybe I’ll resume my ‘alphabetical by author progression through my book collection. I’m somewhere in the D’s)
- yoga or walk: at least every other day
- something creative (drawing or other art, coloring, photography, scrapbooking, writing): every day
- play the piano: at least every other day
- clean something: every day. (will probably make a schedule for this)
- intentional date night or memory-making activity with husband: at least once a week
- do a jigsaw puzzle: at least once a week
- list 5 things I’m thankful for: every day
Here’s to making this cycle the best one yet.
Pregnancy test at the fertility clinic today was negative. I was so hopeful, and once again bitterly disappointed. I know I’m not out til AF shows…and as someone on one of my apps pointed out, my temps indicate I may have ovulated even later than I thought which means I could only be 6 dpo instead of 12. Guess we’ll see.
Regardless, I came home tearful. Husband actually came home encouraged; I should have been too but I got distracted by the one negative (that wasn’t even what we went for!). The doctor went over all our results, and as we originally thought…there’s nothing glaringly wrong. She wasn’t concerned by my high AMH (as I have very few other indicators that PCOS is a likely diagnosis), and while she wasn’t thrilled by all of husband’s numbers, she didn’t indicate that anything needed to be done about them (yet).
She outlined the plan for starting a timed/medicated IUI cycle…which we can do as early as my first period that starts in the new year. Due to my current cycle status, if AF shows in a day or two they can’t start with the upcoming cycle as that would put the actual IUI procedure right around Christmas.
I’m still a bit hopeful that this cycle was it…also hopeful that in light of all the good numbers and having had the HSG in November that maybe the next cycle will be successful…but if not, I guess we move forward with some assistance. And since IUI boosts our chances quite a bit…husband is feeling sure that we’ll be pregnant within 3 months.
So he let me have my meltdown tonight, and then essentially promised that if we aren’t pregnant within 3 months (after a round of IUI if necessary), we’ll go away for a weekend and have a meltdown together.
Oddly enough, that helped me feel a little better. For my own sanity, it’s not that long to be ‘strong’ if we get a couple more negatives. And it makes me feel less alone to know that he’s seeing a point in time at which he might also be broken by this for his own sake and not just mine. Not that I want him to be broken by this…but there’s a strange comfort and strength in being broken together.
My husband was a lot more overwhelmed by our experience at the infertility clinic yesterday. He was much less prepared for the invasive/personal questions, the rapidity with which we moved forward with testing, and the unfamiliarity of all the medical (and infertility) terminology.
Once we got home and he’d had a chance to process a little bit…in addition to sharing the above he went on to express some of his emotions. The most prominent theme was sadness and burden. After all, this is not how babies are supposed to be made. It’s supposed to be fun and romantic and the result of two people’s love for each other. Turning it into a science experiment (IVF)…or even just removing the component of intimacy (IUI) just feels…sad.
There was also a heaviness on his heart in general that this has been something I have focused so much on (ouch!). He expressed missing the times when we just spent time together and enjoyed being us…when every conversation didn’t revolve around having/making a baby…and when having sex was only meant for fun and romance. He expressed sadness at watching my cycle of emotions every month. He has verbalized this before but somehow it felt deeper last night; and in light of suddenly being realistically presented with these new options for conceiving a baby….I suddenly felt as though I have to a degree forced us to this point.
Thankfully he puts no burden of blame on me. He just wants me to know how he feels. We were (ultimately) able to have a good conversation about these emotions, and we prayed together last night which was really helpful for both of us. I will try to let go (again) of the excessive tracking and work on my trusting…and hopefully have a good month of just enjoying each other.
And while we likely will have some decisions to make in the next couple weeks…if everything comes back normal I think we will both be on the same page with waiting a little longer for God to bless us with this in his timing and praying we will have the privilege of making a baby without any assistance.
But if we end up requiring medical and scientific interventions at some point in the future, I will be infinitely grateful that we have these as options. I just so deeply wish that it didn’t have to be this way for anybody.
Yesterday we had our appointment at the infertility clinic. I’m breaking this into two posts because I want to process the appointment and my general emotions…but then my husband’s response and how that has played out for us needs it’s own space.
The appointment itself was mostly encouraging and helpful. She asked all the expected questions about our history (together and individual) and habits, looked over my color-coded cycle data (and remarked that [a] “you are very organized” and [b] “you guys really have been *trying* for a full year”); and then went on to explain the causes of infertility and her recommended plan for us.
Basically she ordered a bunch of tests (labs for both of us, semen analysis for him, an ultrasound and an HSG study for me. Thankfully I was only on day 4 so all of this was able to be started yesterday and the HSG is scheduled for Wednesday), explained some of the numbers she was looking for with the labs, and then went on to say that assuming everything came back unremarkable/negative the next logical step would be IUI (intrauterine insemination). After a few cycles of that, if still unsuccessful, then we’d move to IVF. Apparently we can plan for the first IUI in January if we want…I’m surprised she didn’t just go ahead schedule my delivery too.
A few things that are very encouraging so far:
- She looked over my cycle data and believes that I am indeed ovulating; due to my average cycle length and the normalcy of my menstruation. That was a relief
- She didn’t find anything glaring in either of our histories/habits that seemed to be a red flag that is impairing our fertility
- My ultrasound showed a normal uterus and two normal ovaries; both with 8-10 developing follicles
- My FSH and estradiol levels both appear to be in the normal range; along with my TSH. Still waiting on a few other labs.
I am grateful that she is moving so quickly with all the tests. Potentially we could have a fairly thorough analysis of our individual fertility within a few weeks.
I definitely didn’t expect her to lay out the whole course of infertility treatment on day one. I was not ready to be talking about IUI as an almost immediate option…I just wanted to start the process of getting worked up so that if there were any minor issues able to be ‘fixed’ we can get started.
Honestly, at this point, just knowing that everything is fine (if it is) would be a huge relief. I don’t mind (so much) waiting if I know that it is just a matter of it not being the right time. Obviously it always is God’s timing whether by IUI or IVF or none of this, but I also believe that sometimes there are steps we can take to remove some types of obstacles (i.e. a blocked tube, a failure to ovulate regularly, low hormones, poor sperm quality…etc) and that’s not necessarily walking outside of his plan.
More on how all this feels to my husband (and consequently how that has helped adjust my own attitude a little) in a later post.