IVF Diary Vol III: 07-09 Apr 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Stimming phase: day 9.  AM Lupron 0.5mg (5 units) injection.  Today is TRIGGER DAY!! WHOOP WHOOP!!!

Medical procedures undertaken. Monitoring vaginal ultrasound and Estradiol blood tests check 3 on Thursday & 4 today, Saturday!

Any results? Uterine lining 13mm and several follicles >21mm, a few more at 19mm and some smaller ones between 11-18mm, I’m not surprised I’m feeling so sore and bloated! They are much bigger than any of my previous cycles!

What are my symptoms?  Wow I am ready for these eggs to go.  I am feeling much more bloated and sensitive in my ovaries than any of the previous cycles.  Headaches and tiredness galore.

eggs out.png

How do I feel today? I am feeling positive.  I’m feeling excited.  I’m feeling ready!!! I’ve had three days off work keeping myself busy with fun things like shopping, knitting and baking!

Today at a party I was playing with a little girl and someone who I had just met a few hours earlier asked me “so when are you planning on having one of your own?”  I turned around slightly surprised and replied to him in front of everyone in the room, “hmmm soooo in about 9 months time!!”, he said “Oh, umm, wow” taken aback at my response, “You are trying now?”  I said “Well, yes, as of next Saturday I will be pregnant…..we are going through IVF!!”.  Everyone in the room looked a little unsure and shocked at my bluntness!!  Then I got a whole sea of “Oh Congratulations!!” “That’s awesome!!!”.  It’s funny how open I can be about it all now.

What’s next? Trigger tonight at 9PM and then egg retrieval surgery is on Monday 0630 AM!

 

The Final Countdown!!! 

160409_IVF3_Calendar_Countdown.jpg

 

*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.

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IVF Diary Vol II: 23-24 Jan 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Stimming phase: Days 9 & 10. PM: Saturday AM: cetrotide, Sunday PM: Ovidrel (the trigger!!!).  I did the trigger injection myself and decided to record it and post the video to my personal facebook page #thisiswhatinfertilitylookslike. (the video is at bottom of my blog post :-))

Medical procedures undertaken. Monitoring appointment – ultrasound and blood test.

What are my symptoms?  Tiredness – afternoon naps have been required!!!! Nausea that comes and goes.  Sunday, I have felt a little bit better than I have done over the past few days, but the ovaries are starting to twinge with odd pains here and there :-s These eggs are ready to go!!!

How do I feel today?  Excited.  Nervous.

Any results?  My follicles are looking great.  Randomly, in my right ovary all the follicles look the same size and shape.

“My good English eggs are ready!!!”

(The Dr’s words…not mine!!! Every single time I have seen him he makes a reference to my Englishness)

What’s next? Egg retrieval Monday 0630 AM!!!! Trying to mitigate any potential mild OHSS symptoms like I got from last time.

Weight. I haven’t weighed myself, I need to do this before the surgery so I can monitor OHSS.

Waist. My waist is 6cm larger than the same time last time!!! Whoops!!!

Boobs. NSTR.

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 None.  It’s winter.  It’s cold out there.  Oh and we were like the only city in Virginia to get a pathetic amount of snow, it was mostly rain for us! I am pleased so it hasn’t messed up any of this round of IVF.  I hope other women didn’t face problems with the snow storm who may need to travel from further way.

VB Snow Storm

The snow storm wasn’t quite so apocalyptic as it was in other parts of Virginia!

Fun Activity to keep Dani from going insane. It will be time to relax and recover, so no specific fun activities.  However, I am quite excited to watch Orange is the new black – I have a lot of catching up to do!!!!

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

IVF Diary Vol II: 29 Dec 15 – 3 Jan 16

Medication(s) administered and dosage(s). Ovulation Control Pill (OCP) Reclipsen 0.15MG-30MCG x 1 per day

Medical procedures undertaken. Nil

What are my symptoms? As per last time I took the Birth Control Pills, my period lasted a few days longer and I am still spotting.  It’s no biggy.  Especially as I know now that this is exactly what happened last time.  I also appreciate what some women go through who have more than 3 or 4 days of menstrual bleeding…I feel bad for you ladies!  I consider myself lucky that I don’t bleed for 7 days normally.  Today I had quite a heavy ‘spotting’ and had some sharp pains around my right ovary that I would ordinarily feel around ovulation time.  But a hot water bottle fixed that pain and now all is back to normal.

How do I feel today?  Chilled and relaxed.  That could be something to do with the fact that I have been off work for over a week!  With no travels this festive period, it had been true relaxation, probably more laziness more than anything.  But it’s back to work tomorrow, and despite the unknowns about what the year ahead will look like for me, I feel a bit excited to be starting with a fresh mind, ready for the start of my stim injections 15th Jan!  I am also really pleased I kept a diary from my first cycle….I can look back and read what happened so I have some kind of ‘objective’ truth to what happened.  I think it’s useful because it removes some of my anxieties about what to expect next!

My medication arrived on time…I decided to see how high I could stack up the boxes for this photograph 😉  It looks like a terrifying amount of medication!

ivf2_med pile.jpg

My meds for IVF cycle 2: Gonal-F, menopur, cetrotide, Ovidrel, progesterone in oil (generic), doxycycline

There are a couple more boxes extra compared to last time because they plan on upping the dosages a little.  It was interesting to see the differences in prices in the medication.  Not much, but some of them have gone up a few cents.  And every penny counts.  The lady at Freedom Fertility Pharmacy was very kind to ask if I needed to split my order or wait to the new year for my insurance in case it changed or I had reached my limit.  Fortunately, my insurance limit is ‘lifetime’ rather than a fixed time like every calendar year so it makes things very simple.    (I have also updated my ‘The $$ Lowdown’ page. – counting my blessings I have great insurance coverage for all of this)

Any results? NSTR*.

What’s next? Another week of Birth Control Pills, first baseline appointment is 14th Jan, so it’s all quiet until then.

Weight. I am 10lbs heavier than when I started my first IVF cycle.  Most of that extra weight is from after my miscarriage and Christmas.  I am going to be doing some more exercise, I am not getting too het up about it, I can still fit into my clothes, there are perhaps a few pairs of trousers I won’t be able to wear when it comes to the stimulation phase of IVF!  I will start tracking my weight like last time, but I haven’t bothered with a baseline weight prior to birth control pill.

Waist.  NSTR

Boobs. NSTR

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 For my first IVF cycle I recorded the amount of sunshine I soaked up.  It was summer.  This time, it is the deepest darkest time of winter, so getting sunshine is pretty difficult!  Having said that, we did get out onto the water to see some humpback whales.  The sunshine was glorious although the photo below you can’t quite tell how blue the sky was!

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

whales.jpg

A humpback whale blowing – at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay

What does it all mean? Pt 2: Drugs & Hormones

Hormones, hormones, hormones…why am I injecting all these hormones and what do they do??  This is a good question – apart from doing as I am told by the doctor, I thought I should be able to at least answer this question to my friends and family  who ask: What does each drug do and why I am taking it?  So I am going to have to go back to school with this, I hope I am not patronising.  I am sure I could recant all of this from my biology classes if they weren’t almost 20 years ago!!!

There are several ways a doctor can choose to stimulate ovaries for IVF treatment, these are called protocols and they can vary in dosage, type and timings.  My doctor has chosen the antagonist protocol for me.

Back to basics...so let’s take it back to school…there are four major hormones involved in the menstrual cycle: FSH (Follicle-Stimulating Hormone), LH (Luteinizing Hormone), Estrogen and Progesterone.  Today I am going to focus only on the first two weeks of the menstrual cycle, also known as the follicular phase.

During the folliclar phase, in a normal menstrual cycle the following events occur:

  • FSH and LH are released from the brain and travel into the blood to the ovaries.
  • These hormones stimulate 15-20 eggs in the ovaries, each in its own “shell”, called a follicle.
  • These hormones (FSH and LH) also trigger an increase in the production of estrogen.
  • As estrogen levels rise, like a switch, it turns off the production of FSH.  This careful balance of hormones allows the body to limit the number of follicles that mature to just one.

So what does this mean for IVF?  The goal of IVF is to produce as many mature eggs as possible to create conditions for the greatest chance of successful conception, to do this doctors use injectible hormones to control this phase of the mentrual cycle and stimulate the growth and maturation of the eggs, ready to be fertilised.

So we know that FSH stimulates the growth and number of small follicles, for small follicles FSH is the major survival factor that enables them to develop beyond 5mm in diameter and to avoid apoptosis, i.e. the programmed death of a follicle and egg.  In a normal menstrual cycle, multiple small follicles produce inhibin-B to lower FSH levels so that only one follicle will mature.  In an IVF cycle, artificially increased FSH overides the inhibin-B levels and therefore allows multiple follicles to grow and mature.  This is where the drugs Gonal-F and Menopur come in.

Gonal-F is a follitropin alpha medication (also known as a gonadotropin).  It is a synthetic version of the naturally-occurring FSH.  Where as, Menopur (also a gonadotropin), a combination of both FSH and LH, however unlike Gonal-F, Menopur is natural; it is extracted and purified from the urine of post-menopausal women -ummmm nice.  It is believed that a small quantity of LH during ovarian stimulation produces a better result in some patients.  It is for this reason that my doctor prescribes a combination of the natural and synthetic combination of gonadotropins, menopur and gonal-f.

As the gonal-F and menopur start to work, we need to make sure ovulation doesn’t occur prematurely, therefore they use the injectible Cetrotide.  The active substance in cetrotide is cetrorelix, this blocks the natural hormone LHRH (Lutenising hormone releasing hormone).  LHRH controls the production and release of LH which causes ovulation.  The cetrotide stops the production of LH, preventing premature ovulation.  This allows the doctors to carefully control when ovulation will occur.

The trigger injection.  The controlled hormonal stimulation I have described so far usually lasts for about 8-12 days, and dosages vary depending on how the woman responds to the drugs.  This happens all before another drug is injected – Ovidrel.  Ovidrel is the trigger injection containing a synthetic form of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin – hCG.  There are several brand names for the hCG trigger shot including Ovidrel, Profasi, Pregnyl, and Novarel.  hCG is known as the pregnancy hormone, but it also happens to be molecularly similar to LH. In a natural cycle, LH triggers ovulation. As part of fertility treatment, an injection of hCG is used to trigger the maturation of eggs.  Ovulation usually occurs 36 hours after this trigger injection is given.  In the case of IVF, egg retrieval is carefully timed to collect the eggs just before ovulation, but long enough that the eggs have matured in the body ready to be extracted for fertilisation.

In part 3 I will focus on explaining the second phase of the menstrual cycle which includes the lovely hormones estrogen and progesterone….yippeeee!!!

IVF DIARY VOL I: 01 AUG 2015


IVF_Diary_Vol1a.pngMedication(s) administered and dosage(s).
2 injections: (AM) Cetrotide 0.25mg, (PM) Ovidrel – HcG trigger shot (yippeee!).

Medical procedures undertaken. Ultrasound and Estradiol blood test, Chris came along this time.  The ultrasound was very uncomfortable with all the pressure building up in my ovaries.  Today’s appointment was with one of the senior doctors who I had not yet met.  The ultrasound seemed to be just a brief check that everything was to his satisfaction before he decided when I will trigger – Monday or Tuesday; this time the nurse wasn’t recording the follicles.  The doctor asked me what I was planning on doing this weekend…I said “nothing!!”.  He said he thought that was a good idea, perhaps I could just about manage some shopping (Chris was behind me shaking his head, miming ‘Nooooooo!!’).  But really, I’m not a shopping kind of gal anyway.  He also told me I should drink lots of water or gatorade (2-3 litres) to keep myself hydrated.

How do I feel today? I am super pleased no more menopur or cetrotide injections!!! Those medications are just AWFUL.  Just one injection this evening, and I will be drug free until Monday! I’ll take that 24hr break!

What are my symptoms? I struggled with falling asleep last night because I like to sleep in the ‘recovery position’ and that was almost impossible as my ovaries are very painful.  I even woke up once from the pain.  Today I am still ‘waddling’ and feeling just a little bit sorry for myself.  It’s a pain I have never experienced before.  It is kind of like the pain after being punched in the stomach and been winded (if you know what that feels like!!), I also just feel generally ‘heavy’.  It has been a glorious sunny day, my mum is visiting, we had plans to spend the day on the beach and all I really wanted to was lie on the sofa and watch TV.  Not really like me at all 😦

How does Chris feel today? He is pleased the injections are over (well for now anyway), he is sad that my tummy hurts.  He bought me some flowers to cheer me up today.  He also bought me some cat fishing bait for when I am in bed on monday.  What is cat fishing bait I ask you?  Well it is a roll of crepe paper party streamers…I think his idea was that I can ‘bait’ the cats to sit on the bed with me and keep me company.

Any results? Today the smaller follicles on the left had caught up, but they are now at 16-18mm, which is just where they need to be.  There isn’t an official count, but I know that there are at least 15 follicles in total.  I have nothing to compare it to, so as long as the doctor is pleased I’m pleased!!! I don’t know my estradiol results yet.

What’s next?  Chris will administer the Ovidrel trigger injection at 10PM this evening in time for my egg retrieval procedure on Monday 7AM! Nice and early :-s

Weight. NSTR

Waist.  Despite my little bloating around my ovaries my waist has amazingly stayed the same size throughout the stimulation phase.  I think I am lucky, but I have been good about not eating too much crap despite my cravings.

Boobs. NSTR

Hours of Sunshine 🙂 I managed to get out for a short walk to the beach and around the neighbourhood – about 45 mins to soak up a little bit of sun.

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

The $$$ lowdown

I have created a new page on my site that sums up all the costs of our infertility journey so far.  I will keep this up to date as much as possible…I have copied the text from it and pasted it below (or here is the link to the page)

We are very lucky that our medical insurance includes coverage for the treatment of infertility, including IUI and IVF.

We are being open and honest about these costs because it is important for people to understand the difference having insurance coverage can make.  Only 15 states in the US make it mandatory for insurance providers to cover infertility treatment, and even some of those are extremely limited.  There is much debate on whether infertility should be covered as an essential health benefit.  There are many campaigns ongoing to change state law in this regard (www.resolve.org)

There is definitely a lot to be said about the psychology and stress to infertile couples over spending this vast amount of money if they do not have insurance coverage for infertility.  Chris and I find this process stressful enough as it is without the added burden of the actual cost.  I cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like without coverage.  At each stage of our journey we have had to get approval from our insurance company and with having an ‘unexplained’ diagnosis we have always been nervous that they will not cover us.  However, we have been fortunate so far. Fingers crossed they will cover our IVF too.

Item Full cost Insurance covered? Final cost to us
Ovulation Kit (pack of 20) x3 $70.00 No $70.00
Pregnancy Tests (various types) x4 $85.00 No $85.00
Basal Thermometer x1 $13.00 No $13.00
Pre-seed Lubricant x1 $24.00 No $24.00
Chris blood tests $572.00 Yes $10.25
Dani blood tests $560.00 Yes $14.43
Reproductive Endocrinologist Consulting Fees (Doctor visits) x3 $340.00 Yes $5.85
Ultrasounds x4 $900.00 Yes $71.72
Anti-biotics for HSG $15.97 Yes $1.60
Sperm Analysis $110.00 Yes $1.53
HSG $835.00 Yes $29.18
Letrozole x3 $8.53 Yes $0.86
Ovidrel x3 $371.16 Yes $37.11
IUI x3 $765.00 Yes $36.81
Sperm Wash x3 $320.00 Yes $16.80
Progesterone suppositories x3 $147.00 No $147.00
Running Total* $5,136.66   $565.14

A note about our healthcare insurance.  We pay a 10% co-pay for each bill of the ‘in-network’ cost, not necessarily 10% of the whole cost.  Our current infertility clinic (or ‘provider’ as it is also called) is ‘in-network’ so we get extremely preferable rates; for example our new doctor visit it was $190.00, our insurance paid $0, so we paid $0.  This is because our insurance company has negotiated these types of ‘bulk’ discounts in advance with our provider.

Choosing an ‘out of network’ provider can increase overall costs.  There is one other fertility clinic in our area we could have chosen, but is out of network.  It was something we considered, but we went on recommendation and did not think too much about this at the beginning.

Currently my insurance premium is ~$500 a month, plus my employer contributes ~$1100 a month, this covers both Chris and I for all medical expenses including dental and optical.

*As of 10th May 2015

Facebook: The sad truth of the matter #NIAW, #YouAreNotAlone

Facebook – you kept me awake this morning contemplating giving you up.

I have 423 friends on facebook.

40 of my friends liked this picture of me drinking beer….almost 10%!  That’s pretty high!

Hofbrauhaus in Munich. Mmmm Beer!

Hofbrauhaus in Munich. Mmmm Beer!

The irony being that in this picture, these were not my beers, and I was drinking non-alcoholic beers that night because I’m trying for a baby!

However, only 17 liked this photo and blurb about National Infertility Awareness Week (incidentally only 2 of the 17 were men, I salute you because this is not just about women)….

Did you know that 1 in 8 couples you know may suffer from infertility? Did you know that 1 in 100 births in the US are made possible from Assisted Reproductive Technologies such as IVF? Infertility IS a disease, it is a hidden disease. This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, so please share the message and remember friends ‪#‎YouAreNotAlone‬, ‪#‎WeAreNotAlone‬, ‪#‎NIAW‬

Did you know that 1 in 8 couples you know may suffer from infertility? Did you know that 1 in 100 births in the US are made possible from Assisted Reproductive Technologies such as IVF? Infertility IS a disease, it is a hidden disease. This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, so please share the message and remember friends ‪#‎YouAreNotAlone‬, ‪#‎WeAreNotAlone‬, ‪#‎NIAW‬

So why do I feel judged or failed by sharing this photo and message?  Why do I feel like the number of ‘likes’ is a measure of my success in sharing the message about Infertility Awareness Week?  Maybe people read it, but felt awkward to like it or share it?  Did I make people feel uncomfortable?  Was it not interesting?  Did they know these facts already?  Was it too boring?  Do people not care? Was it not controversial enough?  All these things I wonder….but they are silly.  If I hadn’t posted the picture of me with the beer last week and got so many likes, would 17 ‘likes’ have satisfied me that I had some success in sharing the message?

I have thought about ways to raise awareness.  Before we started this journey, the hunt for the great pudding club, I had no clue about infertility.  I knew it happened, I didn’t know how many people it affected, and how differently it affected people.  The pain and suffering of these people were hidden from me.  It is a personal journey so it shouldn’t have to be shared with me and the whole world, but I feel like I should have been educated in it.  When I was at school and I learnt about conception, the biology behind it, the sex education classes I was unaware of quite how truly each conception is a miracle.  The events that have to occur all in line for conception to be made possible is amazing.  I only learnt about all of this over the last year.

I want to raise awareness so I drafted a blog post as part of the National Infertility Awareness Week blog challenge under the theme of #YouAreNotAlone.  I drafted it last weekend, but I have not posted it yet because the tone of blog will be highly dependent on the outcome of IUI round 3 this week. I have written two versions of the post, the first version is aimed at inviting close friends and family to help us on our journey which is about to get more difficult or, alternatively the second version, announcing to friends and family that we are pregnant in the early stages, as a result of help and assistance from fertility treatment.  I’m still waiting to post my blog.  Here is how it has gone so far…

Sat: 10 DPIUI – I landed back in the US and made Chris drive me to the pharmacy to buy us some of the expensive early pregnancy tests.  I was feeling like I was pregnant 🙂  I took the test and there was the faintest of lines.  I even took apart the test to look closer because the reflection of the plastic made me wonder if I was imagining it.  But could this be the hormones left over from my Ovidrel shot?  I went to bed smiling either way because there was still a chance.

Sun: 11 DPIUI – I took another early pregnancy test.  Nope, nothing, nadda.  Saturday must have been from the Ovidrel.  Why did I take the test so early?  Well, I have never taken a test before my period was due, I was in experimentation mode and thought what the hell.  A sad Dani.  But it is still early and definitely not over til the fat lady sings (AKA Aunt Flow).

Mon: 12 DPIUI – Chris told me not to take a test.  I didn’t.  Chris came home from work sad, he had been thinking about it all day.  I was sad too. It was a sad evening with many hugs.

Tues: 13 DPIUI – I took a cheapy test.  I saw a very very faint line!  Well at least I really thought I did.  Chris took a look at it and told me there was absolutely nothing there.  I didn’t listen to him and went to be with a little smile.  This morning I woke up and looked at it again, he was right, there is nothing there, I was actually hallucinating.

Today Weds: 14 DPIUI…….No testing today.  I will wait for Aunt Flow to arrive.  She is rumbling.  Unless I am sorely mistaken.

Whatever happens, I will be posting my blog challenge for National Infertility Awareness Week very soon. #YouAreNotAlone, #WeAreNotAlone

Injecting in the car park…not your average day!

I never finished my story of ‘Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring‘.  Not long after I wrote my blog post, Chris called me back. He could not make it home to give me my injection because he had a meeting in less than an hour.  Rather begrudgingly I agreed to meet him at his work for him to administer the Ovidrel I needed.   Just as I was leaving,Chris called me again.  He had read my blog post and felt guilty, so was going to come home.  But I missed his call as I got in the car, so at his work it was to be!  Unfortunately, his work place does not have any ‘private’ meeting rooms we could use, they are all glass walled, so we decided to just do it in the car park (AKA parking lot for my American friends).

Yup, this is where it was going to go down!  I got out of the car and handed him the equipment.  He could tell I was in a grump; I said I didn’t want to talk about it, rather to just get it over and done with.  I held up my shirt so he could wipe my belly down with an antiseptic wipe, he got the air bubbles out of the pre-filled needle, took the cap off, and whilst I squeezed my belly, he injected the needle into me subcutaneously.  He didn’t even count this time, I just held my breathe, closed my eyes and didn’t move until he told me it was over.  He threw away the needle in the mini bio-hazard bin that the pharmacy had provided me with.  And that was it….within seconds I felt dizzy, as usual.  I sat back down in my car, I didn’t think driving to work would be a good idea for a little while.  Chris went back to work, and so I sat there in my car eating the sour jelly beans I had brought along as a treat to myself.  These were the only things holding back the tears.  I think it is actually impossible to cry whilst stuffing your face with jelly beans.

I was upset at myself for being so pathetic!  Why couldn’t I have just done the injection myself?  I was psychologically torturing myself. I hope that is the last time I ever have to do it, otherwise next time I am going to have to get the nurse to coach me through it.  All you ladies that have managed to inject yourself – kudos to you. Kudos.

Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring!

You know how I said third time round means I must be expert on IUI and I felt at ease with this round of treatment?  Well today is Cycle Day 11, everything had been going to plan so far…..But this morning I had my CD11 Ultrasound to check how my follicles are doing.  (By the way, you know you are in serious business when they send my actual doctor to do the ultrasound – they were obviously sending in the big guns for round 3!  It was good to see her.)  Back to my follicles, they are looking good.  I have two maturing, one in the left ovary and other in the right.  Both are 22mm – perfectly sized!  My doctor commented on how good my uterine lining was – 7mm.  She pondered on why the eggs hadn’t wanted to make a home in this nice uterus already!  She knows all the right things to say 🙂 I told her that I thought I was about to ovulate in the next 24hrs because this morning I had a 0.53 degree drop in my body basal temperature and my Ovulation Predictor Kit came up with an almost positive line.  She thinks I will probably surge on my own, but I should take the Ovidrel shot, just in case.  But this would mean I would have to take the shot now for an IUI procedure tomorrow pm (Weds).  OK….sounded good! Just one problem – I’ve got to go home, get the shot out of the fridge to bring back to room temperature – and I’m going to have to do this thing alone! Oh and I’m supposed to be back at work too. Cue panic attack.

I furiously attempt to call Chris to see if he can come home to give the shot, because I really don’t want to have to give myself a shot for the first time under pressure.  Chris must be busy. So here I am, sat here with my Ovidrel shot warming up next to me, whilst I wait for Chris to call me back. I’m freaking now because it’s either do it myself or nothing. And nothing is not a valid option.  You’d have thought stabbing myself with a needle is a very small price to pay to have this chance of having a baby and my logic would take over my fear.  But no logic does not dictate in this case.  Come on Chris!  Call me back!!!!!

For those of you who have not heard of the ‘saying/quote’ “Don’t Panic Mr Mainwaring”, here is a little video excerpt….

IUI #2 off to a better start than #1

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) round 2 is off to a better start than the first one – we think anyway.

A matter of timing

The first round of IUI was, of course, all new to us.  I had taken an ultrasound on the Friday (Cycle Day 11), took an Ovidrel Shot to stimulate ovulation on Saturday evening, and had IUI on Monday (CD 14).  At the time we wondered whether the IUI procedure too late because my clinic are not open on Sundays we could not do IUI that day, the Doctor had indicated that I needed the IUI procedure early on Monday, rather than later as my follicles were rather large.  I had a positive result from my ovulation predictor kit on the Sunday morning, the day BEFORE the IUI.  I simply thought that this was the Ovidrel in action, and the doctor had everything timed well.  But now we are suspicious that all this meant is that the IUI was too late….

THIS time around for cycle 2 it was a slightly different story.  I had my ultrasound on the Thursday (Cycle Day 11) and I had slightly smaller follicles, but big enough to go ahead with the IUI.  I took the Ovidrel shot on the Thursday evening, and had IUI on Saturday (CD 13).  This time, I got a positive result from my ovulation predictor kit on the morning of the IUI, Saturday morning.  This makes me believe that we were too late last time around as it seems that the Ovidrel doesn’t interfere with ovulation predictor kits.  This cycle I decided to monitor my Basal Body Temperature (BBT) for the first time ever.  Today, Sunday (CD 14) I got a spike in my temperature confirming my suspicions that I most likely ovulated yesterday.  Woohooooo!  This cycle, it feels that the IUI procedure was better timed.  I was also having horrible ovulation pains on the way to the clinic and all day yesterday.  A good sign?

The sperm stats low down

Another excellent sperm sample Mr C!

  • semen volume: 1.2mL
  • Sperm Concentration: 129 million per mL
  • Percent motile: 51.9%
  • Number of motile sperm: 80.3 million
  • After washing (centrifugation)
  • Number of motile sperm in vial: 72.5 million
  • Motility:  86.8%
  • volume of vial: 5mL
  • recovery rate for processes sample: 90.2%

The IUI procedure

As we were a bit more knowledgeable about the whole procedure this time around so the whole appointment took about 20 minutes, of which 15 minutes I was laying down on my back resting whilst the sperm figure out which direction they need to swim in. Chris joked we knew that about 15% of the sperm were just swimming around in circles, confused, not knowing what to do with themselves.

The doctor was a new one for me – a sweet lady who seemed very happy for an early Saturday morning!  I asked Chris later if I had just been treated for the first time by someone younger than me.  Eeeek we are getting old! But he believed she was actually in her mid thirties, so not much older than us.  The doctor was very kind and kept apologizing for any pain she might cause.  She told me she would use the smallest speculum and the smallest catheter possible so it wouldn’t hurt.  This made me wonder whether all this time other doctors purposefully use big speculums and catheters out of choice!  She was good at explaining everything she was doing.  She put the (smallest!) speculum into my vagina (No lubricant because this kills sperm).  She told me she was going to open the speculum up and I might feel some pressure.  Which I did, but it did not hurt.  After this she inserted the catheter into my uterus via the cervix and the sperm was injected via the catheter directly into my uterus. I barely felt a thing and it was over with in less than 2 minutes.  I had no cramping until later in the day.

Here is a short 2 minute 3D animation of how IUI works.

The nurse set a 15 minute timer and I lay down on the bed feeling a bit surreal. This time the 15 minutes went much quicker than last time because we spent it talking about our next holiday – a road trip to the West (Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Santa Fe etc).  We have been planning on going in October, but have been waiting for the last 4 months to see if we were pregnant before we book anything.  This will be the last cycle we wait before we book it.  No more holding off!

Naughty Gift – no not that kind of naughty

The morning of the IUI I decided to give Chris a gift I bought him a few weeks ago.  I have declared before that I believe it is unlucky to buy baby name books, pregnancy books, baby clothes etc before actually conceiving.  But seeing as we have been unlucky so far I thought we cant possibly have any more bad luck so what the hell, I bought a pregnancy book for men.  It’s a slightly funny book with interesting facts about pregnancy.  I couldn’t resist!  But I won’t buy anything else.  I just wanted to get him something we can share together along this journey.

My naughty gift to Chris

My naughty gift to Chris

2 Week Wait and greasy progesterone suppositories here we come!