4dpIUI

calmtww

I’m having a difficult TWW. It’s only 4dpIUI but it seems more like 4 months! DH and I have been treating things as though I were pregnant, so, despite the ridic ovary pain and cramping, coupled with a strained back muscle, I haven’t taken anything for pain. This is probably helping to make the wait seem that much longer. Some moments I think I’m going totally crazy: most TWWs are long, but not like this. I analyze like EVERY-thing, even though it’s too soon for even implantation to have happened yet. Lord, help me. Seriously.

I canceled my appointment for this Thursday with Dr. B because it seems completely pointless to go. I’m past ovulation and it’s too soon to test for pregnancy, so to me it seems like now dude’s just strait fleecing me by asking me to come in. I know I’m kinda new at this whole RE thing, but I can’t shake this feeling that I’m being preyed on as “the desperate infertile woman.” Does anyone else feel this way? As in, I’m grateful for the available treatments, but is the price so high not really because of the technology but more because desperate couples will pay any price for a solution? I’ve already spent hundreds of dollars in the past few months, which I know is much, much, MUCH less than many of you ladies (and gents) and it’d be nice—even just for one week—to keep something in my pocket.

So then, this really leaves me nothing much to blog about for the next eleven months—I mean days—no, it really feels like literal months—but I’m still keeping up with everyone else’s blogs and really enjoy following everyone’s journeys. Will update soon with tears or cheers 🙂

TWW

 

IUI #1

ifdef

This morning was my first IUI. It wasn’t terrible and it wasn’t wonderful, it just…. was what it was, I guess. I don’t have any past experience to compare it to, but I get the impression it was pretty unremarkable as far as these procedures go.

I dropped of DH’s specimen around 8:00 a.m., had an u/s and blood work at the office, then was free to go kill two hours. I took myself out for breakfast at some random diner, went to the bank, sat in the car and talked on the phone to DH, and screwed around on my phone, until it was time to head back to Dr. B’s office. I was immediately ushered in to the exam room where I waited on every gal’s favorite place to catch some zzzzzzs:

gynchair

And I waited. And waited. Finally, almost a half hour later, Dr. B and the u/s tech came in. Dr. B pulled out the speculum, which to me is the stuff that nightmares are made of (seriously, look at that thing. It probably hasn’t changed one bit since the Middle Ages):

speculum

Then he went to work! He was, however, tinkering around down there for what seemed longer than usual. Once again, Idk what “usual” should be here, so finally after a few minutes, I asked Dr. B what exactly he was doing to my lady bits. He replied that because of my many surgeries, my cervix has been drastically pushed to one side (it should be centered) so he was having difficulty actually getting to it. This went on for about 5 or 6 minutes. Finally he got the catheter into my pesky cervix and inserted/injected/Idk-what DH’s specimen. The whole experience was definitely uncomfortable-bordering-on-painful. I just cringed, kept my eyes shut, and tried to go to my happy place for those seemingly-endless ten minutes.Once it was over i was instructed to lay on the exam table for fifteen minutes before getting dressed to leave.

After the IUI I went to work, where I almost immediately started to not feel well. I began experiencing moderate-to-heavy cramping and, weirdly enough, nausea. Like crazy nausea. Boss sent me home after one hour at work, which was prefaced with the expression, “You look terrible (thanks?)! I don’t want to know what they did to you this morning, but you look really sick. Go home. And good luck, i hope it works out for you.” (AWKWARD!) But who am i to argue with the big Boss? I was actually very relieved, as the prospect of spending 5 hours at work was pretty awful.

Currently chilling at home with my heating pad, remote controls, cranberry juice, and my sweet, sweet Puppy. There’s a bit more to the story which I’ll post about separately; I simply don’t have the oomph right now. I just wanted to get this out there because I know a few other ladies who’re preparing for their first IUI’s this week, and I wanted to share my experience to hopefully help prepare them for their own.

Baby dust to you all!

Is IUI Worth It?

I’ve been mulling over DH and my options this week by reading up on IUI success rates (and the procedure itself, which seems pretty basic). The success rates seem ridiculously small! Although we’re back on the TTC merry-go-round with BD (fertile window begins tomorrow—yay!), I keep thinking in the back of my head though that, if natural means fail and we go forward with assisted reproductive help, what our best options would be.

Dr. B recommended IVF during our very first visit with him. He flat out said that IUI wouldn’t likely work, but if DH and I wanted to try it, we could. He’s the third doctor who’s strongly suggested we do IVF. But man is it expensive! (I cynically think sometimes that docs suggest it more to take your money than because a patient truly needs it. Money makes the world go round, and infertile couples strait up will. pay. anything.) Unfortunately for me, Pennsylvania has such screwy health care laws, and like no one in this state has any portion of IVF covered under insurance, ever, or so I’ve been told. So we’d be looking at thousands of dollars for one IVF cycle, not to mention the injections, the procedure itself, time off work, etc. Not saying I’ve written it off as a possibility in the future, but, for now, IVF is still on the backburner.

Which leaves us with our current path of doing IUI. From what Dr. B says, our 4% chance of conceiving naturally jumps to only 8 – 20% chance using IUI. And it’ll cost around $800. And insurance covers nada. I’m wondering if IUI is worth such small odds? It doesn’t sound terribly effective. Does anyone know someone who’s conceived with IUI? Or have you been down the IUI road and don’t think it’s worth it? I’ve been scouring websites and blogs and haven’t really read anyone’s story who has. Yet.

On a Happy Spring Friday note (it’s 50º in Philly—heat wave!), I leave you with my two fave infertility memes:

favememe endoovercome

The Plan of Attack

Yesterday I had my second appointment with my RE, Dr. B. It was actually encouraging, and I feel SO MUCH better to now have a plan of attack. Although DH and I will continue our TTC the old-fashioned way, there is now a “Plan B” underway and I finally have a medical doctor monitoring my progress, so I feel very optimistic about things.

AF showed up last Friday morning and was gone by Sunday evening. Although it was another abnormally short period like I’ve been getting lately, the intensity of the pain more than made up for its length. I had to call out of work on Friday because the cramps were just too much to bear. I spent all of Thursday evening, all day Friday, and most of Saturday morning in bed with mind-blowing cramps.

The one time I did get out of bed Friday I experienced a “popping” sensation on my ovary, followed by a jolt of pain that was so severe it had me doubled over and crying. I think that was the cyst rupturing. I’ve no idea if that’s good or bad. See, endometriosis can cause these “chocolate cysts” that can rupture, causing the contents of old blood to release and, if there’s a lot of adhesion action going on in that area (which in my case is pretty much a certainty), that spilled blood has nowhere to go. Yikes.

Anyway, a few highlights from yesterday’s visit:

  1. The u/s showed that the cyst they found on my ovary 11 days ago is gone: AF took care of that. See above paragraph.
  2. Based on the blood work drawn at my initial visit, I am a carrier for cystic fibrosis. This was especially interesting because I’ve researched my family tree all the way back to my 6th great-grandparents, and there was no mention on either side of cystic fibrosis. As a result of this finding, DH’s blood was drawn yesterday so Dr. B can ensure he’s not also a carrier.
  3. I am Vitamin D deficient. I KNEW I needed more sunlight! Yes—an excuse to tan!
  4. My thyroid is out of whack. This point alone was worth all of yesterday’s visit. I’ve suspected for more than a year now that my thyroid was off. My mom had a thyroid disorder. My oldest brother has a thyroid disorder. My sister likely has a thyroid problem. Last year I had my thyroid tested twice. Both times my numbers were out of range, but my crappy, evil family doctor did nothing except tell me he wouldn’t do anything to correct it. Dr. B, on the other hand, immediately put me on Synthroid to get it corrected. An unbalanced thyroid can contribute to infertility. Hey—I’ll take all the help I can get.
  5. DH is getting his fertility tested too. Dr. B was surprised to learn yesterday when I told him DH had never been tested before, so off DH went for blood work and then Dr. B presented him with The Cup (“Fill it up and get it back to me ASAP” was about all the medical advice given there). Although DH is over 35, I’m pretty confident things are moving along swimmingly on his end (bad pun, I know). Even though, my feelings on it mean nothing without first making sure everything’s good in that department.

So I’m on what Dr. B’s office calls “tracking,” where I go in for weekly visits throughout this entire cycle and they check to be sure I’m ovulating, to have my egg fragility and age tested, and to continue monitoring my hormone levels. I return in one week from today for the ovulation test. I honestly don’t know what to expect from that.

Following my month of tracking, Dr. B plans to start me on three cycles of Clomid followed by IUI.

With all these upcoming doctor’s appointments, I had to tell Boss something. While reviewing our calendar for the rest of April, I told him I’d be in late next week for my next doctor visit. Boss has been concerned about me lately, asking if I’m okay and such, and I knew I couldn’t continue being vague about what’s going on here. I very uncomfortably, and without looking at Boss, said that “we’re seeing a fertility doctor, so I have to go there kinda often for now” and left it at that. Boss simply replied “Oh.” Later yesterday afternoon in the elevator, Boss said to me “I’ll be praying for you about what you told me earlier. And don’t worry, I won’t say anything to anyone about it.” I awkwardly thanked him and said something about how some things can’t be kept a secret forever. In an attempt at lightheartedness, Boss said if I was pregnant, that there’s no way I could keep that a secret forever. I murmured a reply that I wasn’t pregnant. As if I needed another reminder.

Topping off all of the above, I had another session with my therapist, Dee last night. It wasn’t as emotional for me as our usual sessions, and I didn’t even tear up once! We discussed my medical treatment with Dr. B, who Dee told me she’d once visited once herself.

We spent most of the session discussing my discomfort relating to DH about the spiritual side of this TTC. See, DH is a big proponent of faith healing, as he’s been brought up spiritually in a more Pentecostal, charismatic sector of Christianity than I was. On the other side of the coin, I was brought up in a very conservative Baptist church, and—while I don’t necessary adhere to a great deal of the denomination itself—there are some things that have stuck with me over the years, and I find the notion of “Name it, Claim it,” “Blab it, Grab it” to be unbiblical. The rift between DH and I on this issue is an entire blog topic in itself that I don’t have the time or inclination to get into today. I’ll think that one over some before I write much more about it.

So, end of post, there is now a plan of attack. And I’m ready to attack.