Tuesday, October 28, 2014

6 Weeks

Friday and Saturday were really rough days for me. The test results plus lack of sleep, plus my PMS-like symptoms...I was a mess for a little bit there. Very frustrated, very scared.

A good friend of mine called it PTSD. She lost twins before getting pregnant with her son. A cousin told me that the fear will always be there. She lost a baby at 11 weeks after years of infertility and failed IVF cycles.

It's good to know that I'm not crazy. That my feelings are normal and even justified.

Today I'm 6 weeks. My physical symptoms are minimal--fatigue, mild breakouts, cramps/bloating/twinges that come and go. Emotional symptoms, on the other hand...I'm very moody, easily irritated, obviously very emotional in general.

It's really a "first trimester lite" sort of thing so far, which is nice considering the funky betas. This is also the point in my pregnancy when I started having problems before my miscarriage, so it's a stressful time for that reason as well. It's nice that I'm not physically miserable along with everything else. Yet.

In a little more than a week, we'll be at our first OB appointment, and hopefully we will know then what direction this is headed. Every time I think of it, I imagine what it will be like to hear that heartbeat, see that flicker on the screen, watch that little one wiggling around. It's what I'm hoping for more than anything. I want to be the success story. I want to overcome. I want our miracle to be one twice. It's a lot to ask, but we've come so far and been through so much.

Thank you all so much for being a part of our cheering section as we go through this! We have so many people praying for and thinking of us and our little one--it's honestly a little overwhelming. And very humbling.

So here's to another week of waiting, with no numbers to obsess over or getting poked for a change.

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.