So my early appointment went well, if not even a tiny bit scary.
First, my right ovary was visible (hoorah!) and held 3 follies and my left ovary showed 4. So, I respond really well to Gonal-F.
They were all under 10mm which is expected since I've only been doing injections for five days. I started to panic because the nurse told me if I had more than 2 mature follicles we'd have to cancel.
Today my doctor said since I'm 39 he'd proceed with 4.
I was relieved and yet petrified. Hold on... 4?!?! But, but... wouldn't we run a risk of twins?
He said "Yes, but we did tell you that's the risk with injectibles."
Okay, very true. And that's why we tried 4 cycles with Clomid before going down this path.
Anyone who knows me is aware that twins is my second biggest fear with fertility treatments.
Two babies will be better than no babies (first biggest fear). But, I did ask James to have a chat with his "fellas" on IUI day. You know, just to say "Hey guys, if one of you gets to an egg first, the rest of you should just back off. Deal?"
Now my other fear is having to cancel the cycle. 7 follicles under 10 doesn't mean all will mature by trigger time; my hope is no more than 3.
Tuesday morning I return for another ultrasound and we should know from there what day to trigger and IUI.
I'm feeling pretty excited about this cycle because things seem to be progressing so well.
Monday I had my baseline ultrasound to start this cycle of IUI.
Once again, my right ovary was nowhere to be found. This is frustrating because that can impede a successful IVF cycle should we need to go that route. If they can't see the ovary, they can't remove eggs. I've read other women who have had this problem and no eggs could be retrieved from the unseen ovary.
Alright well, that's a problem for the future, right? Right now we're not in an IVF cycle, so that is a bridge I don't need to stress about crossing.
I started gonal-f on Monday and I have to say, easy peasy. I can stick that needle in my stomach all day long.
You know why?
Because, I don't feel a damn thing.
Two c-sections has left my stomach numb from the belly button to about the c-section scar (same deal for a friend who has also had two c-sections - no feeling there at all).
I'm now wishing I could take ALL shots in my belly. In fact, I intend to ask my doctor if the trigger shot must be done in the bottom. My guess is, yes, it has to be. But, it doesn't hurt to ask.
Also, when (not if) I do get pregnant, I'll have to take a Lovenox shot every single day and I'm hoping that is done in the same area.
So, Saturday I'll be going in for another ultrasound to see how the follicles are coming along and I hope my right ovary makes an appearance.
The nurse did mention that OHSS is a concern at my age with Gonal-f and if there are more than two mature follicles, the cycle will be cancelled due to the risk of multiples.
Next week, for ICLW, I'll be paying it forward by giving away a lucky gift to a commenter.
Because, that's how I measure time now, days past IUI.
Tuesday at 7:45AM I get my blood drawn for the HCG Beta (pregnancy test). I have to wait for the lab to send the results to my RE who will then call me. I am hoping that, since my appointment is so early, I'll know by lunch. I don't want to be wondering all day long.
My gut feeling?
I'm not pregnant. I think my main reason for saying that is because I've had very PMS type cramping.
Cramps started on the right side for a couple days, then the left side for a couple days, and today, right in the middle. These cramps in the middle are the ones I'm very familiar with. I always, always, always get those right before my period.
Of course, the role of progesterone in PMS really has be wondering. I've done research but can't really find any answers.
I take progesterone suppositories which is meant to trick your body into thinking your pregnant so as to not get your period prematurely which can stop a fertilized egg from implanting.
So, shouldn't that, in turn, stop PMS completely?
If my pregnancy test is negative on Thursday, I'll stop progesterone and a couple days later my period will come because my body will get the message there is no pregnancy. That makes my PMS signs rather confusing.
I still don't know for sure what we'll do next cycle but, I'm pretty sure it will be one more IUI and then we'll move on to IVF.
Between now and Thursday, I'm happily accepting crossed fingers for a good result Thursday.
One last thing - I'm going all "fan girl" today to say that Stephanie from the "Does this baby make me look fat" youtube blog asked me for my blog address so she can follow my journey.
OMG so exciting!!
Her blog is brilliant and you'd be doing yourself an enormous favor to head over there and watch her videos.
You will laugh like you've never laughed before. I'm posting a link to my favorite video because I am a user of the "magic goo".
Yesterday for the 4th of July my family came over to our house for cooking out and laughter.
It was great because my cousin, Fiona, is home from College. I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful day and ended it by watching Trump Golf Course fireworks from my front yard.
(Side note: Ryan is petrified of fireworks. So much so, that, he woke up this morning asking if they were over.)
All-in-all a wonderful day. I was happy even knowing what was looming.
Tomorrow we should be celebrating Nathan's 2nd birthday. But, instead, we'll mourn his death. His beautiful little life slipped away while I was sleeping without me ever knowing a thing about it.
I'll remember the very painful c-section I had to endure to give birth to a baby I would never, not once, hear cry.
This is the little brother Ryan has been asking for lately. Not Nathan specifically, he was too young to understand, but he wants a brother. One, I try to tell him he once had but, really, what good does that do? But, we do tell him we're trying very, very hard.
Last year on July 5th, I was at work and I couldn't make it through the day knowing what was coming. I ended up leaving early because I couldn't handle the well intentioned (and very loving) words from my friends at work. I love them and they love me and they wanted me to know they remembered. That's the greatest honor of my sons life that I could ask for. Acknowledgment.
This July 5th though, today, I decided would be different. I woke up and gave Ryan the choice of bouncy castles or Chuck E. Cheese.
His response was "bouncy castle, then Chuck E. Cheese, then beach".
Since beach was never on the table and we don't even live near one, we spent the morning at the bouncy castle place.
Ryan had a great time and it made me happy to see him having a great time. Today I feel more content than I did last year. I guess time does heal, at least a little.
I think, maybe tomorrow, we'll take Ryan to Chuck E. Cheese. It makes no sense to honor Nathan by sitting around moping.
Forgive me for the moping nature of the post to follow, I'm having some pretty bad cramping today so, feeling sorry for myself.
Today I was talking to a friend who just underwent her first IVF. She tried 2 or 3 IUI's with no success.
I regularly read about 20 IF blogs and I have yet to come across someone who has gotten pregnant with an IUI.
While I'm an excellent candidate for IUI to work, I feel like I'm just riding the kiddie coaster with IUI and need to get on the IVF super scary coaster. It's like "Oh how cute, she still thinks IUI can work. I remember when I was that naive".
I'm 39 and I don't have a ton of time on my side.
My insurance pays for 6 IUI's and 4 IVF's. I've used one of my IUI's so far with this insurance (did 2 IUI's self paid before we got my husbands insurance).
I don't know if after this cycle, I should try more IUI's or move onto IVF.
My IUI's so far have been Clomid/Trigger. I have Gonal-F in preparation for my next cycle so I almost certainly will try to do one more IUI with that before considering IVF.
While I think on these options, does anyone have any successful IUI stories to share? If you don't mind sharing your age and a little of your situation, that might help too.
Ooooowww, cramps. :(
And for some laughs (gotta find them where you can when dealing with IF). If you are trying to conceive, you must watch this series of videos. I haven't laughed so hard in.... well a very long time.
If you want to laugh so hard you cry, watch the entire series. You won't regret it.
I have some catching up to do before we get to that.
As I've mentioned before, the World Cup is on and USA has provided me with plenty of happy distractions.
So much so that I thought my appointment with the RE was last Thursday, however, it was supposed to be last Friday. Since I was there and they are wonderful, they fit me in.
I was expecting to be told there were no mature follicles and it was too early, come back Saturday or Sunday. However, he did see mature follicles! He said I was ready and to trigger than night and we'd do a Saturday IUI.
Well now, what a surprise! I was really worried that it would be happening early next week and I'd have to miss USA vs Belgium. That concern was put to rest.
I went home happy but once there, got to thinking. I've shown zero signs of being close to ovulating. No positive OPK's, no EWCM and only one high reading on my monitor. I got a bit down because I worried it was too early.
I put my concerns aside and we did the trigger at 11PM Thursday night. It took my husband 3 attempts at the HCG shot - ouch!! But to his credit, this was the first time it didn't go perfectly and I'm not walking around wounded, so all is well.
We arrive this morning at 9AM for James to give his contribution.
I have an interesting side note regarding that:
He's been taking FertilAid & Motility Boost and the last two IUI's yielded 32 million sperm after wash and 50 million sperm after wash.
He ran out about two weeks ago and forgot to tell me so this IUI was going to be a true test to the power of those two products.
His numbers this IUI were still excellent but you can definitely notice a decline. We got 19 million sperm after wash this time.
19 million is not at all concerning and still nearly double the amount recommended. Is it because those two products do actually work or was this a one off? Hard to tell but I'm buying a new supply today.
After James did his part we grabbed a bite of breakfast and took Ryan to PetSmart to look at the fish, kitties etc.
My appointment wasn't until 11AM but I wanted to get back earlier because I wanted to take some ibuprofen and also I decided to use ConceivePlus before the procedure.
We walked in at about 10:35 and the receptionist told me she was just picking up the phone to call me, they were ready for me. That was quick!
I quickly went to the bathroom and used the ConceivePlus and was ready to roll.
You might remember how my last IUI in April was technically very difficult for the doctor. He had a hell of a time getting to my cervix. The on call RE this weekend was not my doctor so I warned her that I'm a difficult case. She did an examination and determined that yes, I am a tricky case. My cervix is pointing up. After some maneuvering she got the catheter in and we were ready to roll.
Once done, they set the timer and I laid back thinking. I thought about the sperm digging into an egg and I thought about my family and friends at the hospital welcoming our new baby.
I saw James trying to give the baby to Ryan to hold and Ryan saying "No, I don't like it!" (trust me, that's almost certainly how it will go down).
I saw my cousin Fiona and her parents holding the new baby just like they did with Ryan.
Then I pictured my friends there with us. I saw Elly making me laugh, Jen being practical as always arriving with a gift basket she collected items for at work and I saw Felicia crying happy tears.
The ten minutes flew by and it was time go home. I went straight to the sofa to lay down. Not because I'm told to but because it makes me feel better to do it.
And now I am officially in the TWW. Blood test to follow on 7/10 - cross your fingers!
At work today I had a bag of grapes and shared them with two co-workers.
One of the ladies (one I don't know very well) ended up with what can only be described as a mutant grape, it was like a conjoined triplet grape.
She showed it to the other co-worker (with whom I am very friendly and knows my infertility struggles very well) and she decided it was a lucky grape and it should be given to me.
I took this lucky grape back to my desk and ate my lunch, deciding the lucky grape had to be saved for very last.
I have to say, it was horrible. It tasted extremely sour and I nearly spit it out. However, it's a lucky grape and I stuck it out to the final bitter swallow (the rest of the bunch were fine).
Here's hoping it was worth the effort!
In other news, I had a pity party for a while today. Sitting in a meeting I looked over and noticed that another co-worker I haven't seen in a while had a noticeable baby bump.
She has a daughter younger than my son and is now well on her way to her second.
Of course this brought out the worst voices in my head - "everyone but me" and "why the hell can't I be walking around with a baby bump" and of course the very pitiful "it's not fair".
Then, as fate would have it, I saw this on facebook:
It's true. I'm hardly alone in this struggle and so far, haven't even had to endure the worst it has to offer.
I think I was pretty damn strong when we lost Nathan - I held it together better than most women could (after a complicated c-section to boot). If I can keep my chin up and stay strong after the loss of a beloved son, I can damn well do it while waiting for our next baby.
ICLW = International Comment Leaving Weak.
It's designed to encourage people to not just read blogs, but to comment also.
To read more about it and the blogs participating (including mine), click here.
The more I read other infertility blogs, the more is scares me but also makes me feel incredibly grateful.
For one, I have a live and healthy son. No matter what my fertility gets me in the future, Ryan is here.
Also, I've just recently jumped on this infertility train. So many women have been on it for years and even worse, many have nothing but heartache to show for it.
But that's also the scary part. I have so much hope that a simple IUI will work for us and we'll go on to have the baby we want. But, many of these women are way past IUI stage and have had multiple failed IVF's, too.
I know in my head that it might not work for me. I know that maybe at some point we'll have to consider IVF, too. And even then, it might not work. But my heart is just not ready to accept that we won't have success very, very soon.
You can spend thousands on these treatments and have nothing to show for it other than debt or a depleted savings.
To the women who have been at this for years, I am rooting so hard for you. It's my hope to start reading success stories this month.
And I hope to be posting my own success story, too.
After a significant wait today we got in to see our RE and he agreed that the Gonal-F (gonadtropin) was a good next step.
Except that today is CD 4 and I'd have to get the Gonal-F and start it today. Since I didn't leave the office until nearly 4PM and then had to run James back to work, there was no chance of getting the medication today from the fertility pharmacy.
So, this month is another Clomid/trigger shot IUI cycle.
It worked last time (even if the end result wasn't a baby) so I'm okay to have to go this route.
The other potential hiccup is the cost of the Gonal-F. My doctor suggests 900 IU and if I have to pay OOP, it's over $800. Ouch!
I'm waiting to hear back from the fertility pharmacy if my Rx insurance covers any of it. Some women seem to have it covered by their insurance and others are paying OOP.
If my insurance covers it, we'll definitely do the Gonal-F next cycle. If not, we'll have to think about that long and hard.
But you know, let's hope we don't have to worry about what we'll do next month and end up with a positive result THIS month!
It's been a pretty long time since I posted and I'm sorry for that.
There are three reasons for my long absence.
1. I have become obsessed with other infertility blogs
2. World Cup (Go USA!)
3. I have nothing to report
Since the miscarriage in April we haven't done any treatments.
We were hoping the hiatus would only be for a month while we transitioned to James' health insurance and if we had managed to get it done even one day sooner, we would have been ready to go in May.
The insurance was worth the total hassle involved.
We had to sign up with his new insurance and then drop mine (which was a nightmare process). Then I had to call the infertility hotline and sign up with the program. Once that was done I had to get in touch with my RE's office to have them send over needed documents to the infertility department to get started.
The person my RE's office spoke with told them that IVF wasn't covered (I knew it was) so that was several phone calls back and forth between my RE and the insurance, the RE and me & me and the insurance company.
Finally we got everything documented and we're all on the same page. I get 6 IUI's of any kind and 4 IVF's. This alone is amazing but there is many more added benefits. They even cover PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) which was very surprising to my RE. They have never seen that covered before. Score!
Of course, I'm hoping it won't come to IVF and I really doubt it will. Tomorrow we have our first appointment since the miscarriage with the RE and I'm genuinely looking forward to it.
I'm ready to move past the simple Clomid/trigger shot IUI and move on to Gonadotropin/trigger shot IUI.
This has a slightly higher success rate but also a slightly higher risk of multiples.
It will require more monitoring throughout the cycle but at least the office is just a couple miles from my office so it won't be a big deal.
I restocked my cabinet with fertility monitor test sticks and OPK's (turns out these are much cheaper on walmart.com than on amazon.com) so I'm ready to go!
I like to use the fertility monitor and OPK's even when doing IUI's so I know we're definitely timing everything correctly.
So I would expect to be inseminated in about two weeks.
We've been asking Ryan if he wants a brother or a sister. His answer changes daily but I think he'll be happy with either.
Ryan's going to be a big brother. You can take that to the bank.
The first thing I'd like to do is acknowledge the ladies who have carried their babies throughout a long pregnancy, felt them kick, bonded with their unborn babies and then lost them before they were born or even soon after birth.
I believe if you love your baby and you still honor them even when they're gone, you're a mother.
Happy Mothers Day to you all.
This past week was just about one of the greatest weeks I've had in a very long time.
It all started Monday with Ryan's 4th birthday. I left work early and attended a class birthday party for him at school then I took him to the bouncy castles at Monkey Joe's. After that we met James at Chuck E. Cheese and played games for a couple hours.
Wednesday was my birthday and my wonderful colleagues decorated my cube which looked amazing. They also gave me flowers and cupcakes. I felt so special!
Then on Thursday, my husband gave me news that made me feel like it was my birthday all over again... His new insurance covers 6 IUI's, 6 "next level" (we need to confirm what that means exactly) and 4 IVF's! That's 16 treatments!
I am entirely confident that we'll have our baby next year. There is no doubt it my mind.
On Friday James and Ryan visited me at work and brought me flowers (and a kit-kat but Ryan decided he better go ahead and keep that for himself).
My dad, step-mom and aunt visited on Saturday and we had a very nice BBQ outside until the rain started pouring down on our heads. We had to quickly pack everything up and move it inside. None the less, the party continued and it was a lovely afternoon with family.
As for last month, the miscarriage passed pretty quickly and without too much pain. I feel like I was very lucky for it to have happened with relative ease.
This month we didn't do any treatment while we were confirming insurance coverage. We did try on our own but I know that with my wonky cervix, there is no hope of success the "traditional"way.
I did ovulate pretty quickly after the miscarriage so my hopes are high that we'll have success very soon.
I look forward to posting again once we start our next round of treatments!
It's been quite a while since I've written and there are several reasons for this.
First is my in-laws are in town for James' birthday and that has kept me busy. Before that, I was busy at work trying to get a lot done before I went on vacation.
And also, there was only uncertainty to write about. That's not very exciting.
So I'll sum up what's been going on.
The last IUI worked. By that I mean, sperm met egg and I'm technically pregnant.
However, my HCG Beta started off very low and never really increased. My doctor increased progesterone to four times a day (from 3) in hopes of making it stick but three blood tests later told us this wasn't going to grow into our baby.
So I've stopped all medication and am now waiting for nature to take its course. The medical term is chemical pregnancy (miscarriage) but understand that, at only 5 weeks along, it's a zygote with no heartbeat or anything resembling a baby.
So you're probably wondering how I'm feeling about this, right?
The truth is I'm disappointed but by no means devastated and I'm not feeling any sense of loss. I know many women mourn a chemical pregnancy very deeply.
I think for me, after losing Nathan, this is something I can easily handle.
And I can take positives from it; the sperm met the egg! That's a HUGE step for us. We have every reason to believe that we can have a successful pregnancy.
In the mean time we're having a wonderful vacation with my Mother-in-law, Father-in-law and Sister-in-law. They all helped us with some much needed yard work and even put together Ryan's new bike. It's been very nice to relax and not be at work!
As always, I will miss them when they go. We do get to see James' parents every year but his sister much less frequently. I'm hoping that will change, I love having her around.
I'll update again when I have something to say. We haven't decided on doing another IUI this month, I know the doctor really wants us to but we'll see. There are many factors to consider so you'll know when I know. :)
It was a busy week at work and I've just been feeling tired a lot lately. Not sure what that's about but Spring is in the air and I fully expect to be back in top form shortly.
We're off soon to the fertility clinic for our second IUI round.
We're not sure how well I responded this time because my right ovary was playing hide-and-seek. However, my left ovary did show one mature follicle that was ready to go so on Thursday night, I did the trigger shot.
Speaking of the trigger shot... Last time you might recall, James practically had to chase me around the house with the needle. Finally when I settled down and let him do it, I didn't feel a thing. Easy peasy.
So you'd think that this time I was calm, cool & collected, right?
One again he had to chase me around the house saying "remember last time you didn't feel a thing!".
Finally I stopped and allowed him to do it. Once again, I didn't feel the shot but this time I am feeling a little sore in the area.
So here we are getting ready to drive to Annandale for IUI Round 2.
We didn't do anything different this cycle however, I feel like the timing is better this time around.
Last month I was scheduled for an ultrasound on a Friday but on Thursday morning I got a "peak" reading on my monitor. So I called my doctor and he had me come in that day to do the ultrasound, sure enough, three mature follicles. So I did the shot that night. I'm convinced by the time we did the IUI on Saturday, I had already ovulated. They didn't do another ultrasound before the IUI so there is no way to know for sure but all signs pointed towards what I suspect - ovulation happened the day before. This matters because the egg doesn't have a long life span at all, roughly 12 hours.
This time, my appointment was scheduled for Thursday and that morning I only had a "high" reading on my monitor and all day Friday I had fertile signs indicating I had not ovulated yet.
Long story short, I feel much more confident in the timing this cycle.
I'm off now and will write another update after the IUI.
I saw the RE today and he did a quick ultrasound to ensure the Clomid didn't cause any cysts. I got the 'all clear' so we decided the plan this cycle will be the exact same as last cycle.
I picked up the Clomid prescription today and have already taken the first two tabs.
Next Thursday I'll return for the baseline ultrasound which is where he will look to see how many mature follicles there are and then decide when to do the trigger shot.
(Hopefully James won't have to chase me around the house to administer the trigger shot this time!)
I had a virus run rampant through my body Friday night through Saturday morning and I spent that time with my head in the toilet. Fun!
I spent the rest of yesterday sleeping, giving my body time to rest and recover.
We'll give IUI another shot but need to talk to my RE this week for any suggestions on what he thinks we can do differently and to ask if we should wait a month given that I'm recovering from a nasty virus.
We'll see what's next and I'll update when I know.
Thanks again to everyone who has given us support, it's meant the world to us!
I came across this today which was incredibly reassuring about our chances.
Q: How high a sperm count is needed for IUI? A: A count above one million washed appears necessary for success, with a significant reduction in pregnancy rates when the inseminated count is lower than 5-10 million (in other words, in most cases one should consider 5 million a lower limit for success, 10 million for cost-effective). Higher success rates are with washed counts over 20-30 million, while increasing counts over 50 million did not appear to offer advantage.
So, at 31million, James was able to provide the highest amount proven needed and anything more than that wouldn't have increased our odds.
I think I better step away now from reading clinical studies. At this point, we've done the absolute best we can. I caught that I was going to ovulate earlier than expected thus moved up the IUI. There were 3 mature eggs and James certainly provided the best we could have hoped for.
My friends have been doing their part by praying and thinking good thoughts for us. Even my Aunt Maggie got in on the action yesterday and told me to hold my phone to my belly as she sent a series of texts (directed mainly to the sperm)!
We showed up right at 8AM and soon after James gave his "specimen". We were told to come back at 10AM for the insemination.
We took Ryan to PetSmart to look at the fish and kitties for a while then made our way back to the clinic.
It's a Saturday and we were the only ones there so I was called back pretty much right away.
James' numbers were phenomenal! They confirmed what I had been told which is they like to see about 5million sperm after the wash. James had 31.68 million after the wash and the motility and progression were fantastic - hoorah!!
The insemination part was quick and easy. Afterwards they left me with a timer that would go off in ten minutes. I was to lie there quietly and wait for the timer.
She asked if I'd like a magazine and I said no, I intended to "visualize". And, that's exactly what I did.
I laid there with my eyes closed imagining those 31 million sperm navigating their way to one of my three eggs and breaking through. Then I visualized that growing into an embryo and all the way up to a baby then being born. I pictured Ryan playing with his little sibling.
Then the timer went off and I got up. I couldn't help but picturing all those sperm then going "woooah" and falling down all the length they had already swam. While that's not actually the case, it was amusing to picture!
Now, you might think that with 31 million sperm and three eggs, our odds would be excellent.
The truth is, the odds are incredibly low.
However, I insist of being positive and thinking positive until the day I get a + result on a home pregnancy test.
I'm scheduled for a blood draw on 3/20 to determine pregnancy. Until then I go about life as usual and try not to obsess.
The hardest part about the TWW (two week wait) is not falling into the trap of "symptom spotting". So many women trying to conceive do this far too much and I've seen & heard many disappointed women who were so sure they were pregnant because they were tired/hungry/nauseas/sore etc and end up disappointed because they read far too much into these symptoms.
One last note:
Again, I'd like to thank everyone for being so supportive. It feels good to be able to talk about this journey and not keep it secret as if infertility is something to be ashamed of.
You'll remember from yesterday that the plan was for me to return tomorrow (Friday) for an ultrasound to check that the one little egg follicle has progressed and that would most likely determine that we'd need to do the trigger shot on Friday night and do a Sunday insemination.
You may also remember that the doctor did not see my right ovary at all and found the one follicle on the left ovary.
This morning I took OPK and Fertility monitor tests and they both showed "peak" fertility.
So naturally, I panicked.
I was sure that meant that our timetable would be too late and we were probably already too late to catch this cycle and we'd have to abandon and try again next month.
I called the doctor right at 8AM and told them the test results from the morning.
The nurse spoke with the doctor and he said I needed to come in today for another ultrasound.
I spent the day convinced that I'd be told we're abandoning this month and I was coming to terms with it.
The ultrasound surprised us all. The RE today was only able to see my right ovary but saw two mature eggs (20mm and 25mm)!
So between yesterday and today I went from one decently growing follicle to having three. This is great news!
But, it does bring the timetable forward so it was good I went in today.
Tonight at 10PM I will take the trigger shot and Saturday at 8AM we go in for the IUI process.
I can't even express how excited I am!
Now I need all my friends & family (framily!) to cross your fingers and send us all the positive vibes you can spare that one of these eggs will fertilize and become our third baby.
After a bit of a wild goose chase pursuing something else last week, we're back in the IUI saddle and tomorrow is the first appointment to get going this cycle.
Tomorrow will be CD 2 and as I understand it, an ultrasound will be done then I'll get a prescription for Clomid. I plan to ask if Femara is a better option because it works the same with less side effects. We'll see what his thoughts are on that.
I'm choosing not to do a trigger shot the first cycle so I'll have to use OPK's and go in when I get a positive result.
We're very excited and our hopes are high!
It's been an emotional week with some unnecessary drama but we've put it behind us (and also learned a valuable lesson).
I'll update tomorrow after the appointment - so excited!
There hasn't been much to write about because now we're just in the "wait-and-see" phase.
I'll stop taking Prometrium on the 2/19 and then I'll either be (by some miracle) pregnant or my cycle starts over.
As mentioned before, as soon as my cycle starts over, I call the RE and we'll go in to get treatment started for the IUI.
I'm very fortunate that I have a strong marriage. I can see how infertility could easily break apart a fragile marriage. I know we still have a long road ahead of us and it's nice to have a partner supporting me along the way.
I also fortunate that James is a very active part in all this and feels comfortable to ask the doctor questions I hadn't thought of.
My friends have been... spectacular! I have so many people, all over, rooting for us. I can't thank them all enough.
And to my new friend, Jen L, who just did an IUI late last week; my fingers are double crossed for you.
So many people have reached out to me through Facebook and forums; I appreciate every single word of support, comfort and luck.
Total Motile Sperm: 36 million
Total Motile Sperm: 70.06 million
Normal Range: Greater than 9 million
We're so pleased with these numbers!
I had to do a little research on the CBE Monitor today because this morning I got another "peak" reading and I felt fairly certain that wasn't accurate.
It turns out that the monitor is programmed to automatically give you another day of a "peak" reading, then a day of "high" before going back to low after it detects the first "peak" reading. In other words, the test stick means nothing at all.
So ladies using this product suggest you just stop testing after you get a "peak" reading to save yourself some test sticks.
My next concern was whether or not it was going to make me start testing every month on CD6 which, for me, is a waste.
It turns out that it makes everyone test on CD 6-9. As it gets to know your cycle it will move to 9 if that's the best course of action for your normal cycle.
There were two suggestion to circumvent the "ten test sticks" requirement:
1. Save one used test stick and repeatedly use that until you are closer to the days you normally ovulate
2. Refuse to test until you are closer to the days you normally ovulate.
In both cases, you take a chance of potentially missing your ovulation date if you happen to ovulate early that month.
Also, in my view, that could skew the pattern the monitor is trying to get to know.
And, the thing that annoys me the most about this monitor is that it will ask for test sticks in sets of ten even after you reach your peak. I got my first peak day on my 11the test day. Which means that it will ask me for 9 more test sticks after that. Not going to happen! So the suggestion was the same as above, just insert a used test stick for the rest of the required days.
All in all, I think the OPK system is probably better because you can use as few test sticks as you want. However, I say this about the CBE Advanced OPK only.
But, I own the monitor now so will continue to use it
And speaking of OPK's...
Out of curiosity I took another OPK this morning. Remember, with the CEB Advanced OPK's you get a blinking smiley when you have a "high" reading, a solid smiley at "peak" and a open circle for a "low" reading.
You might recall from my post yesterday that I got a "low" reading when I came home from work.
This morning I got this:
Since I got another blinking smiley here, we'll add another day of BD to cover all bases.
My thought is that when you're taking these CBE (OPK and Monitor) tests, you're supposed to use first morning urine. Obviously, that's not what I used when I got home so maybe that's why I had the "low" reading.
I don't think I'll have much to talk about tomorrow so there may not be a post.
Today I have my fourth acupuncture session and I'll say that even if this doesn't help me get pregnant, it has eliminated my back pain. That alone has been wonderful!
I have two sessions left in my 6 pre-paid package I paid for. I'm not entirely sure I'll continue, I'm still pondering that.
This morning I posted pictures of my two ovulation tests showing "peak" readings. All day today I had a feeling ovulation had passed due to a nearly total lack of CM whereas the last three days I had it in abundance.
When I got home I took another OPK and it was completely negative. I think, had I taken the OPK last night, I would have gotten a "peak" reading. I believe that ovulation started last night and is done now.
The OPK and CM would certainly indicate that. Unfortunately, you can only us the monitor once a day at a designated time so I wouldn't have been able to take that last night but I could have taken the OPK and now I wish I did.
Not because it would have changed any BD plans, we have that covered, but mainly because I'm interested in how long my LH surge lasts.
One last thing to note but first here is the picture of my negative OPK taken just a moment ago:
The open circle indicates a negative result. I have the test stick ejected and even though I KNOW you're not supposed to read the stick, we all know that we can usually eyeball the stick and agree with the digital reading.
When I look at this, the test stick looks positive. IOW the test line (line on the right) looks as dark as the control line (line on the left).
However, since the instructions tell you to ignore the test stick and only go by the digital results, I'm calling this negative as the open circle indicates.
But, I'll get another BD in tonight... just in case.
One of the things I forgot to mention yesterday was how my RE said more than once how well informed I am. He didn't say this like he was annoyed or even amused, he was glad that I had taken the time to understand what he'd be suggesting, what the test results meant and that I was taking time to understand my reproductive health.
I can't stress enough how important it is to gather information, ask questions and BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE! Don't sit idly by and be afraid to speak up about things you want clarification on.
You are not pestering your doctor, this is what you're paying him for. Be an active participant in your medical care. Your doctor will not mind. And if they do, get a new doctor.
On to other news:
CD 16 and finally "peak" readings on both the monitor and the OPK! That mean I will most likely ovulate in the next 12 - 24 hours. I never did get a "high" reading on the OPK (that happened last month too).
On Saturday I start the progesterone so that if sperm meets egg, it will have a greater chance of sticking.
Even though the odds are against us, I'm still hoping for a miracle.