Archives for posts with tag: IUI

Yesterday turned out to be our transfer day. After much waiting, our doctor went over the results of how our little embies had been faring. As it happens, they weren’t faring too well.

We had 13 eggs fertilized, 7 by ICSI, 6 “naturally”. Of those 13, the eggs fertilized naturally ended up doing a bit better than their ICSI friends. Weird… It’s like the final push from my body and J’s body saying, “We’re doing this naturally”. We had no embies develop to 10-cell status, with most being 5s and 6s. We had a couple that were 8s (maybe some that were 7s–I wish I had researched what the numbers meant before we went), with most of them being Grade 3 frags. We had two little gems that were 8s (I think they were both 8s) with Grade 2 (naturally fertilized), so we made a game day decision: despite my doctor’s initial insistence of putting just one little embie in me, we decided on 2. My doctor didn’t fight us–he supported our decision and admitted he didn’t think the results we had were the ones we were going to have. He suspects this is the PCOS rearing its ugly head–lots of eggs, but lots of crap. My doctor hasn’t given up hope on them yet, though. He said we should let them keep growing and see if we have anything freezable.

So, I came home from the transfer PUPO, as the lovely wannabeayummymommy would say (Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise). I mowed down on some pineapple, chugged my Gatorade, played the next chapter of The IVF Belief CD for post transfer to pregnancy, and willed with all my might that these two sweet little embies are sticking around for the long haul. If I’m honest, I was kind of falling in love with the idea of twins before our doctor poo-pooed the idea in earlier appointments. I’ve got names, I had the whole movie playing in my head.

It’s taken me a bit of time to wrap my head around how different this process is to the IUIs we’ve done. I started falling into a negative thought spiral where I was wondering why on earth this would work when all those IUIs hadn’t, but J was right when he said this is global thermal nuclear war: this is a whole new ballgame here.

Proof #1: My left tube was blocked this whole time. Even after the first laparoscopy when he opened it, it was a dud. Any month that we IUI’d and I ovulated from my left side, we were out of the game.  Statistically, most of our IUIs were done during a left sided ovulation.

Proof #2: Even though our IUIs involved multiple eggs, they weren’t necessarily the best ones. From the 23 that they took out of me during this IVF process, only 13 of them fertilized. Of the 11 that we tried fertilizing naturally, only 6 of them actually fertilized. So if my math is right (and the chances of that are slim), all things considered, we were dealing with a 25% chance of getting pregnant with the IUIs, supposing that we were dealing with an ideal egg released from the right side and with J’s best swimmers reaching it. That’s a slim chance.

Maybe I’m still trying to convince myself that this could actually work. The idea of being pregnant seems so so so foreign and so so so unattainable. I need to change this mindset. I need to focus on the positive, to visualize how amazing our life will be upon the announcement that we did it. WE DID IT. We’re going to have tiny Family Van’s and J’s running around the house and our life will be crazy (because we’re both a little crazy, let’s be honest), but it will be so filled with love and happiness.

That’s what I need to focus on.

-Pineapple-Eatin’-Visualizin’-Crossin’-All-She’s-Got Regular Van.

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Cycle Monitoring – Cycle Day 4 – Duration: less than half an hour (what?!?!)

I started all over today with a fresh round of cycle monitoring. Things were speedy. So speedy, in fact, that I didn’t even have a chance to drink my coffee OR eat my oatmeal (thank you, Starbucks).

My doctor spent more time with me than usual, clearly not thrilled to see me back and unpregnant. The feeling is mutual, pal. Believe you me.

We discussed what happens now. He asked me a question he’s never asked me before: “What were you hoping for from this appointment?”. Basically, where are we going from here, was the question put to me. I guess now that I’ve failed so many times at the IUI game, more options are open to me. He brought up IVF for the first time as an available option, and talked again about the laparoscopy. I could go ahead with IVF even without the surgery, he told me. The ball is entirely in my court, it seems. He talked about injectables again, which I turned down for this month, as it’s the last month of school and I guess injectables involve a lot more appointments. He was fine with that, and bumped up my Femara intake for this cycle from 2 pills to 3. I didn’t get the sense from him that he was overly confident about this month, but never mind.

So my plan is to go ahead with the laparoscopy before we hop aboard the IVF train, in the hopes that we figure out why the hell I can’t get pregnant. I have a sneaking suspicion there is some endometriosis going on in my business, and my hope is that the surgery will be able to clear up some issues. Crazy, I know, but maybe we could even manage to have a baby naturally. My gut is telling me there’s a reason I haven’t gotten pregnant yet, and if we do the IVF now, we’re unnaturally forcing something that isn’t supposed to happen yet (if that makes any sense). I feel like the surgery is going to give us some answers to my effed up lady parts. I could be wrong, but this is what my gut says.

I’ve been really sad this past week. There have been a lot of tears and a lot of hopeless feelings and thoughts. I don’t really know why this week has been so hard, but I can feel myself falling into a nasty funk that will only be exacerbated by the copious amounts of free time I’ll have over the summer. I’m not complaining about having the summers off (I swear–I SWEAR!!!), but it’s hard to go from days that are so structured (every minute of every day), to no structure at all. That’s a dangerous recipe for an infertile with an internet connection.

Anyway, that’s what’s happening in these parts right now. My mum was worried about me, so she picked me up and brought me home. I’m kind of worried about me, too.

-Sad sad sad Regular Van.

So I may or may not have had a major freak-out last night, which may or may not have caused me to convince myself I had ovulated too late for the IUIs to have done anything.

I may or may not have bugged out so hard that I had to turn off my Circle+Bloom meditation program because my breathing started speeding up.

I also may or may not have spent the hours between midnight – 2:00 AM conducting the following Google searches:

  • i didn’t ovulate iui
  • ovulation not confirmed progesterone suppositories
  • iui pain
  • does progesterone stop ovulation
  • ovidrel
  • ovidrel success rates
  • how long does washed sperm live
  • timing of iui

I also may or may not have yelled at poor J ON HIS BIRTHDAY because I spent a restless night freaking out about whether this cycle was a bust or not and not knowing what to do about it while feeling definite ovulation pain, and maybe kind of resenting the fact that he was sound asleep while all this freaking out was going on.

I may or may not have used yet another sick day to return to the clinic like a crazy lady, and sputter out some nonsensical ramblings about not ovulating and maybe needing a third IUI and not knowing what to do and should I start the progesterone and I swear I’m not crazy but I know it sounds like I am…

I may or may not have spoken to the sweetest nurse in the world who sent me for an ultrasound to see if I’d ovulated, who told me I had two teams working for me. Two teams? “Two teams of sperm are in there looking for that egg”, she may or may not have said to me, while looking at me with an expression that could best be described as a mix of “let’s get this crazy calmed STAT”, and genuine caring. I may or may not have said to her that I don’t usually spaz out like this, I swear, this is my first major bug out, I swear…

My doctor may or may not have seen me after the ultrasound and asked me if I was okay, to which I apparently couldn’t formulate an answer, so he brought me into his office to talk. During this meeting, I may or may not have been repeating the mantra “I can control the flood that is creeping into my eyes right now/You will not break down here”, while listening to him explain that the timing for the IUIs was perfect, that I shouldn’t lose sleep over this (um, too late for that one, sir), and that I had probably ovulated yesterday afternoon or early evening.

I may or may not love my sweet husband even more for encouraging me to go to the clinic to put my mind at ease and to come with me this morning. He may or may not have smeared his face with the chocolate from his muffin to make me laugh, and then forced me to kiss him so he could call me a “chocolate face!!!”, which I know was all done in the name of making me laugh and trying to get me to chill out for just a second. It may or may not have worked a treat.

All of this may or may not have happened, but as I said above, I admit nothing :).

-Keeping Shtum Regular Van

The waiting now officially begins. The IUI went off without a hitch, though Dr. let me know that my body “looks like it’s about to ovulate”, then reminded me that Ovidrel makes 98% of women ovulate (and it’s always worked for me in the past). Kind of nerve-wracking, though. I’ve never been told at my second IUI that I haven’t ovulated yet.

Anyway, the good news to that is that I get to hold off on starting the progesterone until tomorrow morning. Thank heavens for small miracles.

J has a conference 2 hours out of town this week, so he’s been in a big rush these past couple of days. We talked yesterday about him not sticking around for the IUI after he dropped off his sample. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of this yesterday, but I said it was fine if that’s what he needed to do. And I meant it–I didn’t mean “fine” in that wifey way that really means it’s not fine.

Then we get to today. I was super emotional last night, but I was on my own, so no one saw me weeping while watching the documentary of Elmo’s puppeteer. And I mean weeping.

I felt fine when I walked into the clinic, but when J came over to wait with me to get my blood taken and preparing to say goodbye, I lost my shit a little bit. I started crying which I have never done in the clinic before–not even at our first meeting. I can keep it together in there for some reason. Not today, however. I told J I didn’t think I could do the IUI alone, and I needed him there. I’ve done 6 of these things already. I know the drill. I needed him there, though.

Reflecting on it now, I realize I had never really thought about how intimate the IUIs really are, and the emotional weight that is connected to them. The process itself is quick, but it’s not necessarily the physical act of it that I needed J there for. I initially thought that it’s pretty much the same as getting a pap test done, but I can see now that I don’t really believe that. I’m being injected with sperm that could potentially result in a baby. That’s kind of heavy, and this is supposed to be a partnership (and it is, don’t get me wrong–J is incredibly supportive). I feel like most of this journey has been a solo flight–I’m coming to the regular appointments, I’m getting blood taken on the regs, and I have a long-standing date with my friend Dildo Cam. I don’t mind doing that on my own, but I feel like when we get to the stage where something could actually happen, J should be there. I think he knew that, too.

May 28th is the date for my pregnancy test. I have a surprising amount of hope and positive feeling about this cycle. I can’t explain it, but I feel like this is my time. For the first time ever, I’ve started to be able to visualize myself pregnant, then with a baby, then with a school-aged child. I feel confident that I am going to be a mum. This is all new for me.

Sending big love out to wannabeayummymommy and her man today. It’s a big day for them, and these two deserve nothing but awesomely amazing news. Everything is crossed for you, girl.

-This time might just be it Regular Van

Round 1 of this cycle’s IUIs is complete.

In the left corner, measuring in at a substantial 20.5 mm, Folli “the baby maker” Eggerson!

And in the right corner, measuring in at…oh wait, Folli wins by default, as he’s going unchallenged.

According to Dr., one egg is just fine for a young pup like me (I will never get tired of him telling me I’m young). He explained today that traditional ovulation predictors don’t work for women with PCOS, as their hormones are all wacked. Interesting, as I used to use them and they turned positive when I thought I should have been ovulating.

Big thanks to Lori at Wanted: Family of Three for my fancy IUI socks. I couldn’t wait to be able to wear them! Koi fish are supposed to bring luck…let’s hope these swimmers (and J’s!) do their jobs this month.

A very flattering (!!) shot of Kois and stirrups. Yes, those are oven gloves on the stirrups.

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Today was our first IUI for this cycle. My doctor’s away this week, and it’s been kind of nice hearing different perspectives.

So far, this has been a longer cycle than the previous ones I’ve done at the clinic. I didn’t get triggered until yesterday (CD 18). I has a little follicle in there that was hanging around the 16 mm mark, and the visiting doctor was hoping it would mature before either the trigger or my own surge. It measured at 17 today, so that little buddy is trying! I’ve got my “juicy” one (thanks, new doctor!) at 22 mm today, and a “beautiful lining perfect for an egg”, she told me. I’ve never heard this before! Lining measured at 11 today–the thickest it’s ever been. Hopefully that makes a difference.

This marks the first cycle that i’ve been on the metformin for the full dose for the full month. It’s also the first month with all the naturopath supplements.

Fingers crossed…back again tomorrow for round two.

-Hopeful Regular Van.

I had a cycle monitoring appointment today, but that’s not what I’m going to write about, since nothing of note happened. I’m back in Monday. Hopefully my eggs will be fully cooked by then.

With the news of another failed month a few weeks ago, I was surprised by my sadness. I thought I had got it all out of my system when the first IUI failed. Been there, done that. I knew the chances were slim it was going to work (the odds of pregnancy is so tiny), and I thought I was more prepared this time because I’d been through it before. I found myself breaking down at the most random times: sitting on the toilet, making dinner, putting clothes away…and my sadness and tears were just as heavy as they were the first time round. It felt like the sadness lingered longer this time, too, and I worried that this process wasn’t getting any easier.

I decided I needed to do something in an effort to feel slightly less helpless. I made an appointment with the naturopath, which was one of the best decisions I’ve made in this journey. I also downloaded Circle+Bloom‘s program for PCOS, and started listening to the guided meditations on the first day of my cycle.

This summer, in preparation for teaching French for the first time, I read “Eat, Pray, Love” in French, and became fascinated with the idea of meditation. I didn’t do much about it until a few months ago when I found Andrew Johnson‘s awesome iPhone apps. I listen to them at school after a challenging class, and I often use the Meditation for Sleep app when I’m having a hard time falling asleep. His soothing Scottish accent knocks me out cold!

I saw that a few people had mentioned Circle+Bloom on their websites, so I thought I’d check it out. The meditations have become a really cherished part of my day now. I bought some lovely smelling sandalwood incense, and I burn this while I’m using my mind’s eye to focus on my inner lady bits. It’s been amazing to feel the different sensations throughout my body as I focus on each specific part and give each part time and attention.

I feel like I’m a player in all of this baby-making business again, and less like a spectator who’s getting all of this stuff done to her. I think this more active role is helping me to heal from the incredible sadness that was starting to take over.

Here’s my proof that it’s working: Our next door neighbors came home today with their brand new baby girl. J and I had been talking about them yesterday, and we were both wondering whether she’d had the baby yet (she was due April 1st). The car pulled up in front of our house this afternoon, and I saw my neighbor holding the baby carrier. I called for J, telling him the baby was here, and we both went outside to say our congratulations. The baby is absolutely beautiful, of course, and though I felt great twinges of sadness and maybe a tear creeping in there, I held it together and genuinely meant it when I congratulated them. I don’t know if I could have done that even two weeks ago.

So today, on Day 13 of my cycle, I’m going to focus on a successful cycle, whether that means that this is the month we get our BFP, or whether it means it will be a month of healing for my body and my soul.

-Meditative Regular Van

So chalk this month up as another failed month of baby-making. I went for my blood test today after doing two cheapie POSs, so I had a hunch I was still Regular Van.

It was slightly less heartbreaking this time, and I don’t have a trail of mascara streaks on my sweater like I did last month.

I feel resigned. I feel resigned to a feeling that this isn’t going to happen for us, and it’s a feeling that’s growing stronger. I’ve had a few occasions these past few weeks when I stopped to think about what we’re doing here with all this baby stuff, and the thought of me pregnant seemed so ridiculous to me. I can’t shake this feeling like this isn’t going to be a part of my reality. I sound melodramatic, I know (it’s been 2 rounds of IUI, I need to get over myself), but I don’t feel like I’m being dramatic. I feel kind of calm about it…I can’t explain.

At the same time, though, I feel overcome with this massive sense of guilt, like maybe it’s my mindset that’s at fault. Maybe if I was more positive or could imagine myself pregnant, then magically I somehow would be.

I’m resigned to feeling like things are a bit hopeless right now, but I’m more at peace with that then I thought I would be. At this stage, I often feel more frustrated that I can’t DO this thing (getting pregnant) more than I am frustrated by the significance behind being pregnant.

Maybe I don’t want it badly enough, but maybe I’m not allowing myself to want it enough because somewhere inside me I have this feeling, this knowing, that more than just maybe this isn’t going to happen for us.

I’m running out of fight.

-Just Regular Van.

“And you know when I’m down to just my socks what time it is… Oh! It’s business time…”

In my house, “business time” is less about “…making love/making love for/making love for two/ making love for two minutes/when it’s with me girl you only need two minutes/because I’m so intense”, and more about spreading for the ol’ stirrups.

Properly chosen socks have become a staple during my cycle monitoring/IUI appointments. My sock of choice is of the knee variety. They keep my legs warm while that ultrasound wand is doing its business, and let’s be honest here, I’m not shaving my legs unless my legs are exposed all day.

Anyway, a fellow blogger is organizing a sock exchange for interested IF ladies.

You should check it out, because “you know when I’m down to my socks/it’s time for business/that’s why they call them business socks, ooh…”

-Currently Wearing Socks Regular Van.

Despite convincing myself that I would hate it (spurred on purely by my jealousy of Zooey Deschanel’s adorableness), I started watching “New Girl”, and am sort of in love. Jess’s dorkiness and impulses to bust into song resonate deeply with me. She is currently holding on to a tight second place behind the lovely Liz Lemon as favourite female TV characters. Funny girls=me likey very much.

Anyway, Jess has the hair of like 4 people. It’s incredible. I have never seen such thick lustrous hair in my life (not that I saw it in life…she is on TV). As someone who will freely admit that she has the hair of a 3-year old, I admire those who seem to have somehow been able to continue growing hair past toddler-dom.

This is a long-winded lead-up to how any of this relates to the title of this post. Speed it up here, Slow Moving Van.

Okay, so Jess has bangs. I have sported a bang or two in my life, and I enjoy it very much. I had to de-bang for the lead up to my wedding (that’s a little dramatic–I didn’t HAVE to de-bang, I chose to, but anyway…I’m digressing again). I decided it was time for a bang once more!

My hair lady is in the town I grew up in, so making an appointment is kind of a process. I’m terrified of driving, so making the hour and a half commute back home is involved. Usually, I have to book a weekend appointment, but this week I’m on MARCH BREAK, BABY! So mid-week appointment it was!

My mum’s been away, which sort of threw my plans for a loop. She’s the glue that holds everything together in my family, so I considered just going up for the day, maybe grabbing a coffee with my sister, and then heading back home. In conversation with her, we decided it would be nice to take my dad out for dinner, since he’s on his own with my mum away.

So I make the commute back to my birthplace, get an ADORABLE hair cut (which, coincidentally, is the same haircut I had when I was 3–full circle!), and couldn’t get a hold of my dad.

After hours of this, I decided I would see my sister and go back home without seeing my dad, because he seemed to be unreachable. My sister and I planned to have a quiet meal in with my 3-year old nephew, but when he started having meltdowns, that idea was nipped in the bud quickly.

I heard back from my dad finally (he was at the pub watching a soccer game with my brother), so my sister dropped me off to see them on her way home with a sobbing 3-year old pleading, “Please can we eat dinner at the rest-ro-not?”. Adorable, but boys who don’t listen don’t get to eat at rest-ro-nots.

I was feeling kind of sad about how shitty this visit had been, but then my dad talked me out of going home that night, so we went back to my parents house and watched a movie.

After it was done, he sat on a chair next to me and asked, “So, how are you doing with your plans?”

“Plans?”, I asked. I haven’t talked to my dad about what’s going on, but I figured my mum told him.

“Your plans with your…family…”.

*Insert massive cringe right about here.*

I love my dad. He is an awesome dad. I am very much like my dad. We prefer to spend time in silence, solving Sudoku puzzles or crosswords, or discussing current events. We avoid social situations if at all possible, and have a general distrust of people. Our affections are earned by a select few who prove to be truly exceptional people.

Also, we don’t like talking about periods, sex, or anything connected to those things. This was a little awkward.

What do I tell him? He made a huge move by even bringing it up, so I spilled the beans about everything. I explained PCOS, I explained the IUIs (which was really hard to do without using the word “sperm”), I told him everything. He listened to everything (awesome dad, like I already said), and when I was done, he rubbed my arm and gave me a face that said, “Life has given you a shitty hand, and you don’t deserve to go through this, but you’re going to get through this because you’re strong” (he has a very expressive face).

It’s been weird with my dad. I never knew what he knew about our TTC escapades, so I always felt like I was sort of editing myself. It wasn’t that I was trying to keep anything from him, I just didn’t really know how much he’d want to know. I didn’t give him enough credit–of course he wanted to know everything–HE IS AN AWESOME DAD! Also, he did more than 1 late-night run to the store to get me “feminine papers” during high school when my mum wasn’t home, and dealt with those with such tact. “Just write down what you need”, he’d say, without making eye contact (or maybe it was just me who couldn’t look at him). He always came back with the right ones, too.

I’m so glad I came to see him, and that we had a chance to talk, just the two of us.

Oh, dads.

-Dad-lovin’ Regular Van.