Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Real IUI Update

I didn't really want to talk about all this yet. I had plans for this post--I had all but written it. But you know what they say about our best laid plans.

On October 13th, I got a positive test. I'd gotten several before that--I just thought until about 12dpo that it was the trigger.

I got a blood test that day, and it was confirmed. We followed up three days later, and my numbers had tripled.

On Tuesday I turned 5 weeks, and on Thursday I got blood test #3. Only this time, the news wasn't as good. My progesterone, though still well high enough, had dropped. My HCG hadn't risen enough. It should have doubled at least twice, and it had only doubled about 1 1/2 times.

So now, we wait. We have an appointment on November 5th. The appointment where we were supposed to see and hear a heartbeat.

Yesterday was really hard. I hadn't slept well, because we were babysitting my niece overnight while my sister went to the hospital in labor. I had her when I got the news. That afternoon, my sister had her baby girl so we went to the hospital to visit. We had no time to process. I cried a few times throughout the day, but we didn't talk about it.

We talked on the way home, and after we went to bed. I told Chris that sometimes these situations turn out okay, which they do. But I don't think we'll be so lucky. I realized on the way home that I felt different. I realized it again getting ready for bed. Chris said he doesn't want me to give up, but he isn't feeling what I feel and have been feeling for two weeks. And even if this does turn out okay, I just don't understand why we have to go through this too. Haven't we been through enough?

I just don't know how much more my heart can take.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

TTC Thursday: My IUI Experience

I would definitely not consider myself an expert in IUI, but I wanted to share my experience all the same. We are very lucky to have a wonderful nurse-run fertility clinic that helped make the entire process very stress-free. How it works for us is that an OBGYN who is partnered with the clinic orders ultrasounds, meds, tests, and the IUI itself (after seeing you, of course). The clinic then carries out the orders. They are available 7 days a week, including holidays and have ultrasounds right there in the office with two different techs. There are 2 nurses who perform consults and the IUIs, so it is a very intimate setting.

The first cycle was an unstimulated cycle, meaning that I wasn't on any medication to boost ovulation. An ultrasound was done on CD 12 and we found 1 mature follicle. I triggered that night and the IUI was done on CD 1 or 1 DPO.

The second cycle I did a low dose of Clomid CD 5-9. Ultrasound on CD 12 showed 2 mature follicles and I triggered that night with the IUI on CD 14/1 DPO.

I didn't have any issues with the procedure itself. It was pretty much like a regular pelvic exam, but the catheter going in felt like a scratch/pinch, which was uncomfortable but nothing horrible. During the second IUI I had slightly more cramping, but again, it was just a little uncomfortable.

Afterwards, the standard procedure is to stay lying down for about 20 minutes or so. I got several suggestions for this time:

  • Meditate/deep breathing
  • Read a book
  • Bring music to listen to
  • Visualization--some say visualizing the sperm and egg connecting and all that helps
  • Nap
My husband came to the appointment with me so I didn't use any of those suggestions. We talked and laughed a lot, which made me very comfortable and relaxed. If you're new to IUI and your husband can be with you, I highly recommend it. In my opinion, it makes the whole thing just a little more intimate and personal. 

Afterwards, we ran errands but I chose to take it easy once we got home. There really is no reason to do that, and I wasn't instructed to do anything special. I just wanted to. And of course you'll get other instructions for following up on the procedure on your own time. *wink wink* 

All in all, it's not a bad experience. In fact, the second time around it was the most stress-free cycle I think I've ever had! Of course, none of that guarantees success. IUI success rates vary widely based on medications used (if any), the quality of the semen sample, and the environment that your body has created. Still, in my opinion it is worth a shot. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Miscarriage Awareness | Trying Again

Trying to conceive after a miscarriage is a really conflicted process. On the one hand, the anecdotes about increased fertility make you want to take advantage, on the other it might seem wrong...and on still another it is very frustrating to be starting all over again.

When I miscarried, we were NTNP the first cycle. The second, I tried to start charting again but found it very overwhelming. A couple of cycles later I started charting, and we were half-heartedly trying. It wasn't until 6 months after the miscarriage that we started actively trying again. There was no physical reason for us to wait (because that is sometimes a factor as well) but we did because I just wasn't ready. And when I was ready, I found that some things about TTC had changed.

  • Baby steps are your best friend. Don't feel obligated to go all out charting and temping and whatever else right away. Give yourself time. 
  • Getting motivated to try is also not as easy, because you know that the outcome of a positive pregnancy test isn't always a baby.
  • You might become a testaholic. Finding out whether or not we were successful as soon as possible became really important to me. For one, it gave me time to process either way. For two, it gave me the ability to plan our next steps. That's comforting. 
  • You will probably feel like you have to be careful about how excited and hopeful you let yourself be during the two week wait.
  • While you'll be disappointed when you get a BFN, you might actually be relieved too because even though you aren't pregnant, at least you know that you aren't going to have to go through another loss. 

All of these things are normal. You feel how you feel, and it's okay. Just don't get bogged down in all of that.

Eventually, you get to a place where you can be excited and hopeful about trying again. That's awesome--embrace it. Let yourself hope. Let yourself dream. It's cliché, but I've been thinking about the line from Disney's Cinderella. "Even miracles take a little time". I absolutely believe that it is true--whatever form your miracle takes.