Happy Birth Day

So yesterday was my birthday. I had a long, wonderful weekend celebrating with friends and family. It was a milestone birthday and this weekend was better than imagined.

I also had my second IUI yesterday morning. I had been dreading it because I couldn’t forget the pain from the last one and was hoping that we could delay things by a day. I preemptively took today off work since I didn’t know that I could go in on a Sunday for the procedure. Things went WAY better this time. I was chatting with the nurse while laying on the patient table and I didn’t realize that it was over in an instant. I guess the only annoying part was that I had to lay there for 10 minutes afterwards. I didn’t have my phone or a watch, or anything to help pass the time, so I made it to I think 3 minutes. The other good news is that when the nurse checked the length of my follicle she said it was super long. Average with Clomid is 18-30mm. Last cycle I was 19 so I’m guessing this one was longer. It’d be quite the birthday present if I do get pregnant this cycle.

I also decided to do things a little different this cycle (although full disclosure, I don’t remember if I did this for the last IUI cycle). I’m going to restrict my alcohol consumption for at least the next 2 weeks. It’s not excessive, maybe 2-3 8 ounce beers a week if that, but I’m going to cut it to 1 beer a week at most. It’ll be a bit tough since we have a shit ton of beer from my birthday party this weekend; until this afternoon, when I bought groceries, the ratio of beer to food in our fridge was 3:1. So doing that, getting back into a workout routine, and waiting to see what happens in the next 2 weeks.

On a related note, I’ve told more friends about our fertility struggles. It’s definitely getting easier and I feel a lot less shame and frustration since the friends I’ve told have been supportive and empathetic. For the friend I told most recently, it was heartening to know that she knows other women who are struggling so she had an idea of what I’m dealing with. At this point, I’m more comfortable with being more open about our struggles instead of giving some vague non-answer.

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Round 2 of IUI

I feel like I’ve gone to the doctor so many times that I can pretty much do most procedures myself. I went to my pre-IUI sonogram appointment and without much direction I disrobed and got into place on the table. Before the tech could mention it I let her know that my left ovary tends to “hide,” acknowledged the med costs, and told her my pharmacy. I didn’t mean to come off brusque but I can’t say I’m a fan of taking more time off of work to have a sono wand being jammed up my vagina.

Anyway, everything looks good and I started Clomid 100 again today. My next appointment is in a week, so if at that point I have long enough follicles I’ll do the trigger shot.

I have a new supervisor at work now and I had planned to tell her today why I had been going to the doctor so often. Unfortunately, one of my coworkers (who I coincidentally called a big mouth in a joking/not-joking way earlier in the day) brought up my fertility treatments when she, my supervisor, and I were in the break room (I had confided in this coworker months ago about our fertility struggles). Since it was the 3 of us and I was already going to discuss this with my supervisor, I talked about my procedures and my fertility struggles in vague detail. Not the way I wanted it to come out but I’m glad my supervisor knows now since I’ll probably come off a bit less suspicious when I ask for time off again.

I’m looking forward to relaxing with family and friends this weekend. I’m feeling emotionally depleted from this week so DH and I are going to visit his folks tomorrow before they leave the country (again; definitely not jealous) then we’re hosting a friend and her boyfriend for a Halloween-themed potluck on Sunday. DH and I are also trying to incorporate more self-care time into our day, including no phones after a certain time. It’s been working out well and we’re hoping to get to the point where we’re not so attached to our technology.

Dominoes

Apparently some of my friends were quite busy this summer. I’ve lost count of how many of them have announced pregnancies in the last week. Juxtapose that with the worst period I’ve had in years. Thankfully only the first day and a half was brutal, but my body wasn’t done yet.

I’ve been hit hard this week as well by a nasty sinus infection. I get them every few months and my last one was about a month ago, possibly triggered by the air pressure changes from the hurricane. Pollen count is up here so I think that’s what triggered this round. The worst part about this one was the pain. On a scale of 1-10, I was at a solid 9 this morning. On top of that, I’ve been very tired this week. I’ve tried to take it easy on coffee in order to help stay hydrated and get through this sinus infection, but it feels like I haven’t slept in days.

This week so far: worst period ever, more baby announcements, feeling like my face was hit with a frying pan.

It gets better!

I was supposed to get my sonogram done today in order to start my next IUI cycle. Supposed to. I got all the way to the office and when I signed in, the receptionist was confused. Long story short, they screwed up scheduling and there was no sonographer at the office. They tried to get me an appointment at their office across town, which made no sense because I literally live 10 minutes from this office and I didn’t want to drive 30-45 minutes out of my way because of their fuck up. I was able to reschedule for tomorrow morning, but that doesn’t change that I took off time from work today and I will have to again tomorrow that I have to figure out how to make up.

I’m fully aware that none of this is in my control, but it’s so hard not to think about how many women didn’t/don’t have to make all these appointments and rearrange their lives to try to get pregnant.

Last Stretch

The last 2 weeks have been okay. DH and I visited my family and I got to show DH more of my home town. The visit was much more needed than I had expected and it was nice to be completely relaxed. DH and I took this weekend for ourselves since we checked the calendar and our next free Saturday won’t be until the weekend before Thanksgiving. While we were out yesterday, my lower back started to hurt and I realized that my period was probably on its way.

Before the hurricane hit I resigned myself to the fact that I probably wouldn’t get pregnant since I missed my IUI due to storm prep, but still held out the smallest bit of hope that I could get pregnant naturally. It wasn’t meant to be. I began having more symptoms of my period today and I’m starting to consider going back on birth control because these symptoms have been the worst in some time. I’ve been vomiting, and have been walking around like Gollum for the last 2 hours due to pain. Barring some other natural disaster, I’ll do another IUI this month and the third and last one in November if the IUI this month fails. After that, if the IUI doesn’t work, we’re done with fertility treatment. DH asked me today if I would be open to adoption. Maybe way down the road. Right now, adoption still feels like a consolation prize.

Back to Square One

Another month, another period. It was very painful this cycle, to the point that I could barely move. It hasn’t been this bad in a while so I’m not sure what the deal was. I’m feeling a little flustered because I called the doctor late last week to let him know it started, but I was unable to go in to get my sonogram done due to bad weather. I have to get a sonogram done to make sure I didn’t have any cysts or fibroids before starting Clomid and the trigger shot and IUI again. So, this means I have to miss a month of treatment. I’m close to giving up. This leaves October and November to get pregnant and if everything fails again in November, then we’re done.

And Another One

Today started out well. DH and I went shopping and while waiting on him at one of the stores, I found out that someone I know is pregnant.

I immediately felt like I had the wind knocked out of me. When I last saw her she said she didn’t want kids. Now I realize that people can change their minds but my first thought was, here’s someone who didn’t want children will have one next spring, whereas I’ve been trying for almost 3 years.

The rest of the shopping trip was a haze. DH didn’t notice that something was up until we were in the car (he’s never been one for catching details, unless he’s telling one of his long-winded stories). I told him what happened and he was supportive. After lunch and a moderately strong cocktail, I felt a little better.

I am feeling a little nervous about this week though because I’m supposed to test on Thursday. I’m trying to stay positive, but I keep thinking about how low the odds of are IUI working the first time, even with medication. I guess we’ll see what happens.

Go Time

This felt like the longest morning.

DH’s appointment was about an hour before mine. He went to the doctor’s office to make his deposit and when he got home he apologized for taking a while. DH said he had some performance challenges due to worrying that he didn’t produce enough sperm. I gave him some reassurance then had to leave for my appointment.

I sat there for a solid 45 minutes in the lobby just waiting. I texted a few friends who are going through similar fertility difficulties to pass the time, but this was probably the longest I’ve ever waited to be seen. I started worrying about whether everything was okay but was finally called back. To do the IUI, the nurse used a catheter to insert DH’s sperm (essentially like using a thin turkey baster). It hurt like hell, which was my biggest concern. When the catheter was in it felt like someone was pinching my cervix. When the catheter was finally out, I experienced some cramping, which the nurse said was normal. She told me to take ibuprofen for the pain, and a pregnancy test in 2 weeks. The IUI itself took all of 2 minutes but the agony of waiting was exhausting. I’m glad I took the day off and I’m really hoping this works.

Shots! Shots! Shots!

My mood has been all of the damn place. I finished the Clomid over the weekend and yesterday I went back to the doctor to get my follicles measured. One was thankfully the right length so we had a green light for the trigger shot and IUI.  My mind was all over the place about whether the shot would work, the expense of fertility treatments, and other random things. Yesterday was supposed to be my next day to run but since my mind was so scrambled I did some strength training instead and walked. It helped my mood a little bit but as it got closer to the time to administer the shot, I was pacing and doubting again. The shot itself wasn’t bad. I had to do it next to my belly button and actually didn’t hurt. Once my nerves settled a bit afterwards, DH and I baby danced. DH is about as nervous as me about this whole process and he had some performance anxiety. I was trying to reassure him but in my mind I was flipping the fuck out, considering we literally had one shot. Things worked out in the end, fortunately, but I had a bit of an existential crisis afterwards. I started to worry about how it felt like having a child was one step closer to death, questioned whether I was actually ready for motherhood, lamenting how much we’ve spent trying to have a baby, etc etc. Completely irrational stuff.

Today I felt worse. My mind was calm but physically I felt ready to crawl out of my skin. My emotions were so heightened that I could barely do my job and I wondered whether it was stress, the extra hormones from the shot, or both. I had to really focus on my reactions to things so as to not snap at anyone or cry. I guess the best way to describe it is feeling extremely physically uncomfortable. If I have to do this again I’m taking 2 days off from work: the day after the shot and the day of the IUI.

Anyway, I made it through the day without killing anyone but now we wait for the actual IUI. DH will go in before me to make his sperm donation and I go in after so they can do the insemination. I’m concerned because I didn’t have to take any pain meds beforehand, but I read that a catheter is used. I guess it’ll be fine, but I hope it’s not painful like my HSG. I really hope this works because I don’t want to go through this again.

30

30.

That’s how many months we’ve been trying to get pregnant now. I was cautiously optimistic last week as my period was 4 days late, but alas it was not meant to be. These stupid omega 3 pills have extended my cycle by 3-4 days (which is good) but has been giving me false hope in the 2 months I’ve been taking them (which is bad). I had an ultrasound done today to check for any cysts before starting the next step, which is to go on Clomid and do the IUI next week.

The ultrasound was a pain in the ass since my left ovary never wants to cooperate. The doctor had to uncomfortably aim the wand since she couldn’t see it clearly. I have to go back to the doctor in a week so she can count my follicles to ensure they are the right length. If they are, I’ll do the trigger shot that night and then the IUI 2 days later. If not, I’ll have to go back again in a day or two later to get the follicles measured again. The doctor suggested that I do 3 rounds of the IUI and if all 3 fail, it will be time to re-evaluate our options again. I’m hoping it works because DH and I decided that IUI was the last step.

All Clear

My tubes are clear!

The HSG went way better this time. I took my meds as prescribed, including my Valium, and barely felt anything. In fact, I was fading in and out of consciousness during the procedure. I’m so glad I asked DH to take the day off. As far as next steps, I think we have to wait to see if I get pregnant this month before I start Clomid again. I’m a little nervous since I had the HSG at the tail end of my fertile window, so I had about a day left. I guess time will tell.  There was some pain the next day, but I avoided taking my prescription painkiller due to its sedative properties. The pain was more of an annoyance than anything else. I tell you what though, I had the best sleep ever after my procedure.