Infertility · iui · trying to conceive

It’s not looking too promising

I made the mistake of testing out my trigger shot. I knew it would probably be a bad idea and didn’t plan to do it,  but once my box of cheap tests arrived I almost couldn’t help myself.

Sunday afternoon (8 dpo, 10 dpt) there was the faintest line. I knew that was absolutely the trigger. Monday morning (9 dpo, 11 dpt) it was about the same. Given how faint it was on Sunday I got hopeful that the line I was seeing was the beginning of real hcg and not the remnant of trigger; though I didn’t use morning urine for the first test so I’m sure that was a factor.

Yesterday morning (10 dpo) the test was completely negative. Not even a hint of a possibility of a line.

I know 10 dpo is pretty early to get a positive, especially with the cheap tests…and if I had a later implantation it’s going to take a few more days for anything to show up. But my positive last time came at 12 dpo and it was enough of a line even on the cheap tests that it seems that the hcg had probably been around for a day or two prior.

So I’m trying not to lose hope since it’s still early, and I’m not out until AF arrives…but my sense of optimism all but disappeared with the trigger lines and I’m trying to mentally prepare myself for the negative I anticipate on Friday while still knowing that even if I prepare for the disappointment it’s still going to be really difficult to have it be true.

Note to future self: just don’t test out the trigger shot. The possibility of knowing just a day or two earlier is not worth the emotional roller coaster that comes with it.

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.)

 

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 · baby dancing · Infertility · trying to conceive

And then the opk was positive

Yesterday the OPK was absolutely, 1000% positive. Blazing. Jumping off the test. No doubt about it. I saved the image of said positive test and edited it to read “THIS is a positive” in case I forget again and think other tests are positive when clearly they are not.

And as luck would have it, we haven’t had sex since Sunday. We got a session in last night after the positive, and we plan to go for the next several days…but my temperature is already starting to rise so I probably ovulated last night.

I flipped out. I’ve continued to test just because I feel better once the negatives actually look negative…and the lack of temperature rise made me question if ovulation had occurred…but to confirm that it hadn’t yet occurred did not make me happy (especially given our unintentional 3 day break).

I was mad. I was discouraged. I was disappointed. I still am. I’m not handling this very well. I was so excited to possibly get to test on my birthday…so hopeful that this cycle would be it after the HSG and the great timing we had around in what I thought was my window…and now, if we’re lucky we may have gone once in my window and most of the semen leaked out afterwards since I had to get up for worship practice (TMI, sorry). And my two week wait just started over.

I know that God can make anything happen regardless of the number of times we BD’d in my fertile window. Perhaps this will still be our cycle and this will be his way of making it completely obvious to both of us (well, me) that this was absolutely nothing that we did.

Because if I ovulated last night…scientifically the odds are very much against us getting pregnant this cycle. But if this is God’s appointed timing, then science doesn’t matter. I guess that’s the lesson I need to rest in during the next two weeks.

appointed time · Infertility · trying to conceive

HSG

I had my HSG test yesterday.

Yowza. It did not hurt as much as I expected at the beginning, and my first thoughts as they kept telling me I’d feel cramping were ‘if this is it, I’m totally fine!’. Then the dye went in and as they started taking pictures that was when it definitely got intense. Like, calling out “ow ow ow” and hyperventilating intense. After it was done and I was lying on the table trying to recover my breath…I had another thought. “If this is any sort of a hint as to how intense labor contractions are…I’m going to need some heavy meds.”

I don’t usually get bad period cramps. Occasionally some months they are more noticeable, but the worst it ever gets is a dull aching pain in my lower abdomen. This cramping as the dye made it’s way through was sharp and defined, and more central. I definitely was wishing my husband was there so I could have squeezed his hand. (Though if he had been there and seen it was a male radiologist performing the test, that might not have gone so well.) Thankfully once the severity of those cramps were finished and the test was done, I felt pretty okay. A little bit of aching cramps on the way home, gone by the evening.

Anyway. Enough about that. Just figured I should be honest; it’s helpful to know what to expect going in. And I’m really glad I did it; even with the pain. It’s worth it to have more questions answered.

Thankfully, everything seemed okay. In my initial pain haze post-procedure I’m pretty sure they said both tubes were clear, though I don’t remember seeing a cloud of dye out the right side like I did on the left. I also think the tech said they did have a little trouble getting the dye through the right initially and that’s why it hurt more, but she followed that with saying that if they weren’t able to get the dye to pass through it would have been obvious. Also my uterus was off to the right; which I’m not sure if that means it’s a “tilted uterus” or just a leaning situation. Guess we wait to follow up with the infertility doctor again.

But I’m still feeling relatively hopeful. Supposedly female fertility is enhanced for a few months after this procedure, even if there’s no blockage just ‘cleaning out the plumbing’ can make it easier for conception to occur. And I took an OPK today just to see where I’m at and it’s positive; which is unusually early for me but I’ll just keep testing and temping and see what happens. We’re about to get busy regardless of my ‘fertile window’; especially since we had to wait until after the test was done and that was unpleasant.

On another note; semen analysis came back as well. Most of the numbers were good, a few were a little on the low side (motility and morphology) but the sample was delayed in being read so that affected the motility…and if the overall sperm count is high enough, even a low percentage of normal shaped ones is still a decent number overall. From my research, the potential issues shown in this analysis are probably pretty easily addressed (as opposed to there being a complete lack of sperm, for example); and I know the last few months my husband has been super stressed and not in the gym regularly; which definitely affects the health of said sperm.

Maybe this will finally be our month (I know, the more hopeful I get the more disappointed I’ll be…but I can’t help it!) and I’ll get a really wonderful birthday present this year.

appointed time · Infertility · trying to conceive · ttc

On an infertility consult: part 1

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.

 

appointed time · Infertility · journal entry · trying to conceive · ttc

If the answer is no…

hrajkvnl;areuijgvnzdk;hunnvaiodfhsiknd

Head to keyboard.

I did a dumb thing today. I took a pregnancy test. It’s still technically early (though now I’m questioning if I even ovulated when I thought)…so it’s not necessarily accurate, but I’m only a few days away from my expected period and I used a super sensitive test. I had convinced myself that it was going to be positive (though this was mixed with an equally strong rational awareness that it most likely wouldn’t be).

It was negative.

This happens every time. I tell myself I’m going to wait to test because I can’t stand the disappointment of another negative…and I also tell myself not to symptom spot because it just makes the disappointment greater the more convinced I am that it’s real. Yet every cycle I get to the last few days and I find more and more “pregnancy” symptoms and I manage to talk myself into testing early because it “should show up by now….” And then I have another day of being miserable in addition to the day AF actually shows up because I see that negative and know that my rational side was right all along.

So after church I had another meltdown. Today my husband just let me cry. He let me be angry and sad and frustrated; and told me not to feel guilty for feeling the negative emotions. I had a good cry. Think I may have another later…tears are welling up as I write all this.

I’m honestly struggling with the place I’m in right now.

  • This isn’t fair
  • Why can’t we have a miracle?
  • Is this because I disrespected my parents, rushed into my first marriage, and then got divorced? 
  • Did God give me this ache for motherhood only to dangle it just out of reach while everyone else gets it?
  • Even if I do conceive again, what if it’s not successful either? I can’t cope with another miscarriage.
  • I’m tired of hoping and being disappointed; and tired of this consuming my every thought. 
  • It is only going to get harder to watch my sister and sister-in-law go through their pregnancies with every month that we still aren’t pregnant. I’m not selfless enough to put my hurt aside, and I’m not strong enough to not let it hurt that they have this and I don’t.

For a long time I’ve been able to say that “oh, well, it must just not be the right time,” and for the most part I’ve been okay with that in hindsight. I’ve seen ways in which it wasn’t the right time before and I’m (mostly) grateful for the things that wouldn’t have happened if we had gotten pregnant or already had a baby.

I believe fully that God can bless us with a baby at any time. Nothing we do or don’t will make that happen when it’s not supposed to. I don’t like waiting. But the longer this goes on, the more that deeper fear kicks in. What if the answer is no? What if this is simply not going to happen for us?

I am not okay with that. I don’t know how to be okay with it. And I don’t even think I want to try.

I’m not proud of what that says about the strength of my faith. I also imagine it’s that right there that is part of the reason we are walking through this…to stretch me and teach me to accept an answer that may not fit with my plan.

—————–

Note; I’m going to feel really silly about this post if I end up with a positive pregnancy test in a few days (or weeks if I ovulated later than I thought).