PIO on the go

I had a plan!!!! My plan was to give myself the Progesterone in Oil (PIO) injection at Philadelphia airport lounge in between my two flights.  I would get some ice from the bar, put it in the ziplock bag I had packed and ice my backside to numb it.  I would then use the nice clean, usually quiet, restrooms to prepare and administer my injection – there are even sharps containers to dispose of my used needles.  It seemed perfect.

But nothing ever goes to plan in the land of infertility!!! Oh no!!!

My flight to Philadelphia got delayed once we boarded – we sat out on the pan for an hour, then they decided that the aircraft jet engine was actually broken (just as well we didn’t take off then??!) so we headed back to the terminal and de-planed.  Practically all the passengers on the flight were transfer passengers and because I was soooo desperate to pee I ended up at the back and so waited forever in the huge queue to figure out if it was possible for me to get my connecting flight to Amsterdam.  By the time I got to the agent, my flight in Philly to Amsterdam was boarding…so no, I wasn’t going to Amsterdam.  I explained to the agent that I didn’t mind flying the next day – but that flight was oversold already. Grrrrrr.  He was going to send me to Amsterdam via London – and I would need to stay in Heathrow airport for about 15 hours before getting to Amsterdam a day later.

Ummmm no.

So I asked about the possibility of getting to Brussels – my true destination.

After the attacks in Brussels I booked my flights via Amsterdam because there were still no direct flights with my preferred airline – American – from the US to Brussels.  But the agent said…hmmmmm I wouldn’t have thought about sending you to Brussels instead of Amsterdam, but if that is what you want then I can get you there via London tonight.  So I accepted the challenge of the additional transfer in London and decided what the heck, I’ll go to Brussels airport (I guessed it wouldn’t be that bad).  From that point onwards I was just unlucky with every flight and barely made the connections. My plan to do the PIO injection in a nice clean restroom went out the window, I was going to have to do it on the transatlantic flight.

I ended up doing the injection in the teeny weeny aircraft toilet.  Fortunately I got some ice so I was able to numb my backside whilst I prepared the injection.  It was pretty challenging to do all of this in the teeny toilet with no flat countertop space…., plus I just get the general heeby geebies about aircraft toilets (people are just so gross in them and never clean up after themselves -sorry grumpy frequent traveler whining!!!). Then there was the turbulence! Everything went slipping everywhere…the progesterone bottle…the needles…the alcohol swabs! Aghhhh!!!! Finally once I got the injection drawn up and ready to go, I got all flustered thinking about people waiting outside and wondering why the hell I was taking so long!  So it took me a couple of minutes to mentally – wooooohhhhsaaaaaaahhhhhh – breathe – relax.

I waited for the turbulence to calm down and I managed to finally give myself the injection and pierce the skin without any issues.  But of course it takes a few minutes for the oil to be injected because it is so thick…and whilst that was going on the turbulence came back!  I was hopping around the toilet trying to balance on one leg and not tense up my butt and leg muscles whilst the needle was still in it.  Very challenging indeed.

I then remembered it was the day to put on new vivelle dot patches (estrogen) on my tummy, as I was doing this I dropped everything on the floor.  Gross.

But despite all this, I barely had any blood after this injection (impressive considering all the joltyness), and I was super proud of myself for not completely freaking the f*** out.

Having said that….I don’t want to have to do that ever again!! I do not recommend to anyone doing this injection on the go.  I did the Lupron one in the plane toilet before and that was easy compared to the Progesterone.  If I’d been more organized I would have asked my doctor for some progesterone suppositories for the days I am travelling.

Anything to keep this little one growing inside me 🙂

PS.

If you are interested to know – my unexpected trip to Brussels airport wasn’t too bad, but it did trigger some thoughts.  I thought about that day as I went to pick up my luggage.  I thought about how that day there were many customs border staff stopping practically everyone to check their bags as they left the airport.  I recall that how at that time I laughed because I was one of the lucky ones who did not get my bag rummaged through.  But today as I went through customs there was only one man.  I thought about how if I had been stopped by customs that day, I probably wouldn’t have been upstairs in departures when the bombs went off.  It was then weird to walk out of the baggage area to see the boarded up area from where the damage had been caused from the explosions upstairs.  I recalled the images of this area in the media and matched it to what I saw today.  A shiver went down my spine as I tried to find my way out of the airport to the train station.  No starbucks for me today.  The route to the train station today brought us out through the parking garage I had found myself in immediately after the explosions, not knowing where the hell I was or where to go.  Today I found myself thinking back about my whole experience.  It was very solemn…but I was OK.

fierce

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IVF Diary Vol III: 17-19 Apr 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). 3DP5DT (3 days past 5 Day Transfer)  PM Progesterone in Oil 1ml Intra-muscular injection, vivelle dot estrogen patches 0.1mg x2.

Injecting into my right side is much harder than my left side – even though I’m injecting with my right hand on the right side – it’s just that I have more flexibility in turning my torso left than I do right.  Is that weird?  Or is that standard for right handed people??

Last night, my first night in a hotel on my own without Chris on hand, I gave myself the progesterone in oil injection.  I felt queasy and thought I was going to pass out as the needle got half way in.  Fortunately I didn’t, but the whole experienced has made me feel nervous about doing it again tonight :-s

We also experimented and replaced the needle with a new one after drawing up the oil to see if it made a difference.  It felt slightly sharper/easier to pierce the skin so I will keep doing that – I have enough needles stored up!!!

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil! Woohoo!!!

Any results?  The nurse called with the news about our embryos –  none of them were of sufficient quality by the end of day 6 to freeze.  Chris came to my work to give me a big hug.  The news definitely sucked…but now we know what we are dealing with.  We have both kind of pushed this news into the corner for another time to think about.  We need to focus on the right now instead.  These two little cheeky embryos had better stick!!

What are my symptoms?  The Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome symptoms have subsided, my ovaries have had lots of sharp pains and twinges the past two days, but the overall abdominal pains has almost but dissipated except for after eating.  Sore boobs….Chris hugged me and I yelped a bit from the tender boobs!!!!

How do I feel today? I had a lovely dream that I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl…like she was the most beautiful baby anyone had seen, the day of coming back home from the hospital we went to a party and showed her off to everyone, then I realised that I didn’t know how to breast feed her and some ladies had to help me. Awkward.  That was weird…but what wasn’t weird was the fact that this dream felt so real when I woke up for a slight second I thought it had actually happened for real 😦 I hope it was my body telling me something!!!

What’s next? Is it test time yet????!

The Final Countdown!!! 

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*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal), 5mg Melatonin at bed time and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

IVF Diary Vol III: 14-16 Apr 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Transfer Day!!!!  PM Progesterone in Oil 1ml Intra-muscular injection, vivelle dot estrogen patches 0.1mg x2.

The past few days Chris has been giving me my progesterone in oil injections because I have been too sore to turn around and attempt to give one to myself in the behind!  Last night I prepped the medication as per usual, I iced my backside, then usually I go lie on the bed face down ready for Chris to inject, but this time I decided to secretly attempt to inject it myself!  I stood with my side facing the bathroom mirror (which I didn’t actually use in the end). I held the needle like a dart, but it’s very difficult to get a true dart like action when doing this to myself! There was no hesitating this time (I must have tried this about 10 times last cycle).  Rather than ‘dart’ it in, I placed the needle on my skin and pushed a little – it didn’t break the skin! I couldn’t feel it because I had iced the area anyway, so I pushed harder.  You definitely have to push that thing in a whole lot harder than you might think!!!  Anyway, it went in and I started to inject the oil.  Chris walked into the bathroom as I was doing this and for a second ignored me…then realised what I was doing, I hadn’t told him I was going to do it!!!  He was super impressed!! After I took the needle out I realised that there was quite a lot of blood with this one – typical!!!  I hadn’t got the gauze ready.  I felt a little dizzy, but not too bad.  I put my heat pad on the injection site as usual and gave Chris a high five!  Can I give a high five to all my lovely supporters who have cheered me on with this injection!!!  You helped me do it! Thank you so much!!!

Medical procedures undertaken. 5 Day Embryo Transfer!!!!! I was very nervous that we would arrive and the procedure would be cancelled because I was still feeling the OHSS symptoms.  We arrived at 0700AM at the clinic and we were second in line – there were only two of us patients in the OR today.  Learning my lesson from previous transfers I did not drink anything when I woke up and ensured my bladder was as empty as it could be by the time I arrived at the clinic.  I started sipping my water about 40 mins before they took me in.  They recommend drinking 24oz, but seriously my bladder can barely hold 12oz and with the OHSS the past few days I have only been able to drink about 8oz at the most before needing to pee.  Once I was in the OR the doctor told us we had two beautiful embryos to transfer today and one potential to freeze.  Once I was in the stirrups, the doctor placed the speculum and the other doctor used the transabdominal ultrasound on my tummy. OH MY GOODNESS it hurt!  And this time not from a full bladder!  The Doctor exclaimed ‘Oh yes, you do have super enlarged ovaries!’ I just laughed out loud because I could tell him that without the ultrasound.  Anyway, the canula tube that the embryos would be transferred by was inserted into my uterus and we were ready to go!  The embryologist checked my identity, and went back into his lab and showed us the embryos on the TV screen, confirming they were ours – one of the blastocysts had started to hatch since he took the photo earlier in the morning (a new thing the clinic does!!!!  Very cool because before Chris would snap a pic of the TV screen with his phone!).  At this point I was crying because of the pain from the ultrasound!!! We watched the embryos on the ultrasound screen ‘arrive’ into my uterus 🙂  We had the same doctor do our transfer for our Positive result last year…not that this should make a difference…but….this is a good sign!!!!!

Any results?  The two embryos we transferred were graded 3BB and 3CB (Here is a useful link to find out more about blastocyst grading).  There is one blastocyst that might make it to the freezer (FINGERS CROSSED!!! This would be amazing so it can join our other frozen embryo!!!) Sadly the other 7 embryos are highly unlikely to make it to the freezer 😦

blastocyst 3BB blastocyst 3CB.jpg

The one on the right is the 3BB the one on the left is the 3CB –  we haven’t decided on a name for them yet!

What are my symptoms?  Still suffering with OHSS, but the important thing is that it is not getting worse.  Now we have to hope that it doesn’t get worse if I get pregnant (OHSS can either appear or get worse as hCG levels increases once you actually get pregnant)…so we are still on the watch.  I am really getting bored of not being able to do anything other than a gentle walk – and that is a short distance gentle walk too 😦

How do I feel today? I was feeling really anxious last night about today’s transfer and I did not sleep well at all.  I had awful nightmares about the Brussels attacks too.  I woke up from them and couldn’t stop thinking about it for about an hour or so before I fell back asleep.  Today I am feeling relieved that we had at least two to transfer and all those emotions came bubbling up in the form of tears as we left the clinic – a true mix of happy, scared and pained feelings!

BUT I am PUPO! (Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise) and for that I am truly grateful.  We will be over the moon if this one blastocyst also makes it to the freezer.

What’s next? The two week wait…..eeeeeeek!!! To pee or not to pee (on a stick)…..that is the question!!!!

The Final Countdown!!! 

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*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal), 5mg Melatonin at bed time and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

IVF Diary Vol III 15-20 Mar 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Ovulation Control Pill (OCP) Reclipsen 0.15MG-30MCG x 1 per day, Lupron 0.5mg (10 units) injection AM.

I started the Lupron injections on Thursday morning.  Although the amount of liquid is tiny and the needle is small, I still freaked out about giving myself the injection.  I tried to do it, but the needle bounced off my skin, so I asked Chris to do it so I could feel how hard it needs to e to pierce the skin. But on Friday, I did the injection myself! It didn’t hurt, I was just slightly hesitant and the needle went in slower than I expected.  Saturday, the needle bumped off my skin again!  I’m sure I will figure it out.  Also, there is barely any blood after these injections so I don’t really need gauze and I can’t tell where I just did the injection which means I am finding it difficult to figure out where to put a plaster over it!  I discovered putting a plaster over the injection site means that I don’t have to remember the next day where I just did my previous injection.

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil.  But – I did have a post op follow up appointment with my Doctor to go over my results from the hysteroscopy.  I knew the biopsy results were good because they come through on my clinic’s app and I am sure she wouldn’t have had told me to start the Birth control pills if there was anything wrong.  However, on the day of the appointment I started to get a bit nervous because I thought if everything was OK, why did she still need to see me?  When I arrived the nurse asked where my husband was?  At first I just joked with her “He’s working – I hope!!!”, but then it dawned on me….should he be here with me because it’s going to be bad news?  I didn’t even think about bringing Chris along.  The nurse did the usual vitals check and took me to the Doctor’s office to wait.  As I was sitting in her office there was one pamphlet on her desk that stuck out – it was about uterine cancer.  My heart started to beat faster!! My head was  racing.  Fortunately the doctor arrived quickly after I sat down.  She cut straight to the chase and said everything looked just fine! Phew.  She took a look at her computer and said that there was just one area of redness of my uterus she had seen on the camera that she thought might be inflammation, but the biopsy did not show any signs of inflammation. So all good!  A very quick appointment, I was in and out in 5 minutes…it was just like being at a doctor’s office in the UK!!!!

What are my symptoms?  I have two symptoms I want to talk about – my upset tummy and my hormones!

At my post op appointment I asked my doctor about my upset tummy.  I told her my diarrhea has been playing up, maybe it’s just my Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) being bad or, is there any chance it could be something related to the hysteroscopy?  The only thing that could cause diarrhea is the cytotec pills I took that ‘softens the cervix’ prior to the surgery.  Maybe it caused a mis-balance of bacteria in my tummy, but it should go away soon.  It wasn’t the most helpful advice I’ve received from a doctor…but as usual not knowing what causes my poorly tummy I am used to.  So I decided to put into practice my knowledge of things to make diarreah go away.  The first is to take some probiotics.  After my appointment I went straight to the shops and looked for a probiotic yoghurt drink.  Now in the UK, there are these little drinks that you can take daily – there are different brands like yakult and actimel, they are very common in the supermarket.  But here in the US, I haven’t ever noticed before until now, they are not common!  I tried looking for a US store that sells Yakult and it’s typical!  The only place nearby is the Commissary!  As a civilian, I am not allowed to shop at the Commissary!! (The Commissary is where the military can buy their groceries at a discount).  Anyway…I did discover something similar in the organic section – Kefir.  Kefir is a fermented milk drink with kefir grains in it.  I wasn’t sure if this would aggravate my upset tummy or the probiotics would do its thing.  There were also some juices with probiotics added, this to my mind didn’t seem the best for my tummy because real fruit juice can make things worse for me.  Anyway either the Kefir has had a positive effect or my tummy is getting better on its own.  The past few days I have returned to normal upset tummy (where I experience diarrhea about once a day rather than 4-6 times a day for the past two weeks!)

My hormones.  I am going to do a separate post on this, but in a nutshell, the Lupron and Birth Control Pills are doing weird things to me.  On Friday evening as I was getting ready to go to the ball (!!!) I was curling my hair and tried to pin it up how I like to.  But for some reason it wasn’t working.  My hair looked awful, I was getting frustrated at it…then I flipped out at my inability to make my hair look half decent.  Like seriously got mad and threw stuff across the room.  I looked in the mirror and I felt nothing, I looked back at myself and felt nothing.  I didn’t feel sexy, I thought I looked hideous.  Chris kept telling me my hair looked lovely down and I should leave it, but I just kept looking at myself and I felt like I was out of my body – I was in somebody else’s body. I felt…..nothing.  It was weird.  I didn’t like it!  Could it be the Lupron doing this to me?

How do I feel today? Chris and I had an evening of sharing our feelings about this IVF cycle.  It got emotional.  We realised we have both been bad at not sharing our feelings, we both made assumptions about things and came to wrong conclusions.  We just didn’t talk enough about what was going to happen this cycle – the changes in my protocol and the uncertainty around dates of key things happening in the cycle like when the Egg Retrieval and transfer might be.  Particularly with the transfer (Day 3 v Day 5).  The difference being that this cycle came around quickly (we both felt unprepared for it), and my period started much earlier than I anticipated.  Because I had been so busy with work, we just hadn’t been keeping the communication lines open…but we re-opened them – that’s good, but it took us a while to figure that out!

Any results?  Other than my post op results being clear!

What’s next? I stop the Birth Control Pills next week and keep the Lupron injections going.  I am off on travels to Europe next week so I have the added issue of figuring out what times to take my pills and injections!  I made a mistake of taking my Birth Control Pills after my dinner, so now in Europe with them being 6 hours ahead at the moment, it means I would need to be taking them at 2AM! Doh!  The Lupron injections won’t be so bad – I can take them at 1PM at lunch time.  I may also have to give myself an injection on the plane as I fly transatlantic!!!! Double doh!

Weight. I still haven’t got on the scales yet!

Waist. NSTR.

Boobs. NSTR.

The Final Countdown!!!

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*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal), 5mg Melatonin at bed time and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

IVF DIARY VOL I: 17 – 21 JULY 2015

IVF_Diary_Vol1b.pngMedication(s) administered and dosage(s). Nil (the quiet before the storm??!)

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil

How do I feel today? Woohoo!! I took my last birth control pill yesterday, so I’m feeling excited!

I am on week 7 of my sugar and simple carbs ban.  I’ve done pretty well and have allowed myself just one small treat each week which has kept me motivated (although last night we did have white pasta :-s whoops).  I even bought dunkin donuts for everyone at work today and I had not one bite of them!  Wow, I was drooling over their delicious smell.  I have struggled over the last week or so with sugar cravings.  I’ve never had cravings like this…it got to the point that I even imagined there was a tiny piece of chocolate in the sink when in fact it was just a piece of cat food.  I was hallucinating about all things super sugary, in particular Krispy Kreme donuts.  I was  literally salivating over the cookies at my work cafe and imagining the way that they would crisp and crunch in my mouth, with the chocolate chips still slightly melted as they just came out of the oven.  Was it the Birth Control Pills that did this to me?  Or my addiction to sugar.  I really can’t quite tell.

Work is a bit stressful as I am trying to fit a lot in so I can take time off required for the IVF appointments, plus a bunch of other factors that are out of my hands are probably contributing to the stress.  I probably have piled a lot of that stress on myself, but I can’t help but be a perfectionist; sometimes I have to stop and ask myself – is anybody going to die if I don’t do this work?  When I answer with no, then I remind myself to step away.

What are my symptoms? The spotting finally stopped just as it was time to stop the birth control pills.  I took just 13 pills in all, and the nurse told me to stop take my last on yesterday in preparation for my first day of stimulation injectibles scheduled for this Friday 24th Jul.  I am not sure if I will get a period over the next few days, so I shall await with a pad/tampon to hand just in case :-s

How does Chris feel today? Chris feels like work has distracted him from the build up to our upcoming IVF.  It worries him a little bit because he thinks he might not be paying close enough attention to his true feelings.  But he did tell me that he is excited to be starting, but nervous all at the same time, particularly at the notion of stabbing me with the needles.  (Yep, you and me both hon ;-p !!)

Any results? Nil

What’s next? Our first appointment with the clinic to start the IVF cycle is scheduled for Friday morning, we have been told to anticipate spending about 3 hours there to get a baseline ultrasound, blood tests, fill out paper work, pay them lots of money – I hope they take my credit card (thinking of all the extra points!!!).

Weight. Overall, the Birth Control Pills did not cause me to put on weight.  After tracking for 18 days straight (first time I have ever done this) I can see that I have a bit of up and down cycles as I eat more at the weekends and less during the week.  But looking at my rolling average, I have not put on weight.  Yippeee!  But I have a good baseline set of measurements now prior to stimulation to closely monitor the effects.

Waist.  NSTR

Boobs. NSTR

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 I got in several hours of sunshine this weekend, just before we had a huuuuge storm that crapped the hell out of me…the lightening, thunder and winds were extreme, I wasn’t sure we were about to face a tornado.  Our neighbour’s tree fell down on their house and the neighbourhood flooded, fortunately this is the reason we all have raised houses.

My stats to date

My stats to date

*Notes.  I take First Response Reproductive Health multi vitamin gummies (pre-natal) and CoQ10 200mg gummies daily.  NSTR = Nothing Significant To Report.

My first ‘self’ injection and my true valentine hero

I wish wish wish I had video recorded my experience with my first ‘self’ injection with Ovidrel.  It would have been pure comedy and had you all rolling around in stitches.  But I didn’t video it because I had no space left on my iPhone and at 1130pm I was too tired to be bothered with all that.

I worked my self up into a bit of a nervous panic knowing I had to do this self injection.  Fortunately, the evening was spent mostly distracted with a romantic dinner at a lovely local restaurant.  There were 6 courses and I was stuffed silly by the end.  The last thing I felt like doing after all that food was grab the fat of my tummy and stick a needle in it.

I watched several you tube videos with other people doing the injection.  The instructions given to me were pretty clear to follow, but I wanted to see other people’s experience with it.

Here is one adorable couple trying the injection for the first time: http://youtu.be/Yv_KvnNfCOg

And another lovely couple: http://youtu.be/Gm7AkZgVHkA

I wanted to be able to do the injection myself, and I tried, I really did.  But every time I came to put the needle on my skin I freaked and stopped myself.  So I asked Chris to do it.  But then he was nervous and didn’t look comfortable doing it.  So that made me more freaked out more.  So I closed the bathroom door and tried to do it again on my own.  But I just could not bring myself to do it.  So I called Chris back in.  We agreed I would hold my tummy skin, and I would look away.  He was just as nervous as me, and is not particularly good with seeing needles either.  So he counted.  On two he stabbed me gently, then counted to three til it was all the way in, then counted one – two whilst he injected the drugs in and was out on three.  So six seconds in total and it was all over with.

It didn’t hurt, but I felt really queasy afterwards, it’s just the thought of the needle that always gets me.  We had a good giggle about it afterwards.  Afterwards I felt overwhelming love for my husband; he overcame his own fear because I was too chicken to do it myself.  This was his greatest valentines gift to me ever.

My what big follicles you have – all the better for inseminating with!

Today is Cycle Day 11 and I attended the first ultrasound for my first ever Intrauterine Insemination (IUI).  The clinic were very efficient today, I was in and out within 15 minutes.  I sat waiting in the examination room for the doctor to arrive, and there on the wall was a poster explaining the differences between fraternal twins and identical twins – A handy guide or perhaps more of a handy reminder of the increased risk for multiples with IUI.  Today, the doctor had a student shadowing her, I had no problem with this, but I think he looked a bit awkward throughout – bless his cotton socks.

The doctor showed the student my good uterine lining – apparently three lines is good.  This is all new to me, so I appreciated her explaining everything.  I had two follicles in the right ovary (as I had predicted) one 20mm and the other 28mm.  I also had a teeny tiny one in the left ovary, only 6mm, but she said it might be nothing.  So I am ready to go.  They don’t open on a Sunday, so my appointment is on Monday 16th Feb.  As a romantic Valentines day gift, I get an injection of Ovidrel at 1130pm.  Not looking forward to this given my phobia of needles.  I am undecided yet whether I will do it myself or get Chris to poke me in the abdomen.

This is all assuming my medication arrives tomorrow as freedom fertility pharmacy have promised me.  Today I called them to check the status of my order with regard to my insurance approval.  They had the approval for the Ovidrel, but not yet negotiated the progesterone.  I don’t understand how this system works in the background, but from what I understand, it is crazy.  So I said I would go ahead and pay full price for them rather than wait for the insurance company to do its thing.  If it is covered, then I can just try to claim it back later….but I needed my meds ASAP!

The progesterone was $49 and the Ovidrel was $123 full price, with the insurance agreeing to pay up, my 10% copay made it only $12.30.  Not too bad.

Cost of this IUI cycle, full price:

  • Meds inc. letrozole, ovidrel & progesterone: $311
  • Ultrasound: $225
  • Sperm Wash:$140
  • Insemination:$225

Total: $901

Expensive stuff!! Chances of success? Our doctor told us our chances were about 20%.  Advanced Fertility.com breaks down the success rates even further depending on age, sperm mobility and treatment options. Apparently there is a 7.6% chance of success with one follicle, and an increase chance to 26% with two follicles. Wooohooo!  But those numbers are still pretty small. there is almost a 4 in 5 chance that we won’t conceive.  Putting it like brings you back down to earth.

Fingers crossed for a Valentines baby (Just like Chris is!).  Happy Valentine’s day everyone!

Infertility Tests – wands, needles & fishy dye

I scheduled my initial round of infertility tests as soon as I could, but due to work commitments and travel back to the UK for Christmas the tests ran over two more cycles.  Over December 14 and January 15 I had a vaginal ultrasound, cycle day 3 blood work and HSG.  Chris booked his sperm analysis in January.

Vaginal Ultrasound. An ultrasound wand was placed in my vagina to check if I had follicles in my ovaries.  And I had many!  The ultrasound also showed that I was just about to ovulate from my left ovary (which is the ovulation pain I had been feeling earlier that day – it’s nice to know that I can tell which ovary I am ovulating from!!).  The doctor confirmed everything looked healthy and normal. Woohoooo!

Cycle Day 3 blood work.  I was horrified at the amount of boxes that had been ticked on the blood paper work….I calculated at least 4 vials of blood.  I am not good with needles.  I cannot bear to look at them without feeling faint.  Just before I deployed to Iraq I had to ensure all my vaccinations were up to date (all four million of them).  The army nurse asked me how I wasDani thought with needles.  I replied ‘not particularly good’.  He said ‘well now is the time to overcome your fear, I’ll tell you when you can look away’, and then immediately proceeded to jab me four times, after he just laughed, ‘see?  I told you would overcome your fear!’.  I walked away dizzy and attempted to find the toilet to be sick.  I also have donated blood once, and passed out after giving 1/2 a pint.  Apparently even when I voluntarily want to give my blood away my body won’t let me!  This time, for these particular blood tests, the nurse was lovely (despite him coming to the conclusion that I ultimately kill people for a living), he put me at ease straight away.

A big difference between the UK and the US, is that here in the US it is possible to get your blood test results online before your doctor sees them and discusses what they actually mean.  I am not a doctor and I can barely pronounce the name of the tests, so using the internet to help me decipher the results was a TERRIBLE idea!  In the UK you call up your doctor and then a receptionist will tell you if the results were normal or you need to book an appointment.  I am not sure which way round I prefer!!  Anyway, my results were normal.

Hysterosalpingogram also known as a HSG.  I’m not sure any human being would want to have this test performed out of choice. This procedure is where dye is injected through the vagina into the uterus and by using x-rays to see if the fallopian tubes are blocked. I was given an information sheet about the procedure, I felt prepared, and took the 800mg of Ibuprofen as prescribed an hour before.  My friend accompanied me as it recommended that you have someone drive you home afterwards. I am very pleased she was there with me, I couldn’t have gone it alone.

I was a bit nervous, naturally, but it wasn’t until the nurse asked me ‘Are you familiar with the procedure?’, I said, ‘yes, I read up’.  The nurse looked a little worried ‘uhoh you haven’t been reading the internet have you?’.  Now that part made me nervous!  I had not thought to look up the procedure online because the info sheet given to me was sufficiently detailed.

The procedure was very uncomfortable, and painful at parts, it felt like my insides were on fire and I had immediate cramping.  I could just about see the screen with the x-rays on it and could make out that my tubes were flowing freely.  Great news!!!! But the doctor asked me ‘did you know you have a retroverted uterus‘? Nope, no I did not know that.  Well everyday is a school day after all.   The only question I had on my mind at that point, was  what does all of these results really mean?  What will Chris’s results be?  I felt sad and guilty that Chris would be feeling more pressure about his sperm analysis.

Google – Jekyll & Hyde?  After my final test, I went home intrigued, and googled “HSG”.  I am so glad I did not read any forums before going for this procedure, there are some sad and terrifying stories out there.  The nurse was right to look so worried.  A lesson was certainly learned here – I’m going to  keep trusting in the people I am paying lots of money for to look after me.  Maybe I’m being naive, but google isn’t always your friend.