Posts tagged IUI
Posts tagged IUI
We’ve been TTC officially for 18 months now. Sometimes that feels like an eternity, but sometimes it sounds not so bad. A year and a half… that’s not SO long. And, I know that many of you have been at this for much much longer.
I think that might be what scares me most about all of this. I have no idea how long this will take. When is our stop-date? When will the baby be here? If ever? When will I know how my story will end, and what my family will be? When will I know if we’re going to have biological children or adopt, or both? When will I be able to put this all behind me, and be a mother?
Last night I told my aunt that I just want to fast forward the next year. (Seriously, I would pay big bucks for a “life” Tivo right now.) A year from now I’ll either be pregnant or will know that IVF isn’t our answer. I know, there are a million shades of gray in there, and twists and turns, and the journey is rarely as straightforward as we’d hope. Who knows what the next year will hold, or when we’ll get our answer. All I know is that there’s more waiting ahead.
As I’ve said before, I think it’s others successes that make this 18 months feel so so so long. In those 18 months countless friends have gotten pregnant and had their babies, marking this time with the joys I’ve been denied. Also, the monthly “failures” can really build up, mentally and emotionally, to make you feel completely hopeless. I’ve never failed at anything 18 times in a row before…
Today, we go to our RE to ask our “WTF” questions, and the questions we have about IVF. I still can’t believe that we’re done with IUIs, or that we did them at all, and that we’re really truly moving on to IVF. We’ll be starting our first IVF cycle in only 2 months. This is it! I #hope that this is it.
I haven’t been writing lately because I feel like there’s nothing new to report. I’m still in the IF rut, I guess. We’re on our second IUI, 12DPIUI today, and this will probably be our last before moving on to IVF. Given our “unexplained” diagnosis, and my high FSH/low AMH, egg quality is the #1 suspect. The RE agreed that IVF would be the best way to really see how my eggs are doing. And, he doesn’t recommend more than 3 IUIs, regardless.
This IUI has been hard on us. I definitely pushed to do another round, though DH wasn’t feeling completely “ready.” And, now I recognize that I wasn’t ready either. I just had this urge to get another one in. To maximize our chances, create more opportunities for something to work. Timing played a big role. Later this month I have a big conference, then the holidays hit. We wouldn’t really be able to do a cycle w/out seriously disrupting our plans, which neither of us wanted to do. So, this was the month. We weren’t really able to create that same kind of “safe space” around this cycle, though. With our first IUI, we had a PLAN. We talked every day, spent tons of time together, told friends, had visitors, wrote everything in the notebook… it was a huge effort, but helped us feel supported throughout the process. This time it was more like “oh yeah, don’t forget the shot.” We weren’t as able to carve out time for each other in the early part of the cycle, which I think contributed to my melt down two weeks ago.
But, throughout this process there haven’t really been any new experiences, symptoms or emotions to report. It’s pretty much the same as last time. The side effects of the shots weren’t as dramatic (maybe my body has adjusted somehow?). I had more swelling in my ovaries, because of the additional follies, but otherwise, nothing new physically. Which, of course, is not encouraging, but also a relief.
Emotionally, it seems to be all the same. I’m still sad - in a way that makes the word “sad” seem meager. Really, I’m depressed. And, I’m sick of being depressed. I’m sick of being depressed around DH all the time, and guilty that he has to deal with my depression and sadness daily. I’m still angry, very angry, that this is happening to us. I’m still resentful that we don’t have a child yet. I’m still overwhelmingly jealous of women who have children or are pregnant. I’m still in disbelief that all of this is real - that it’s been 18 cycles and we have no baby and that means that we may never have a baby. I’m still terrified, truly truly terrified, that nothing will work and that my eggs are crap and that I will never have biological children. And, there aren’t really words to describe what it feels like to know that the treatment hasn’t helped… it’s just awful. I feel so stuck and helpless, and so so tired of being stuck and helpless.
The only thing that’s new is that after this, we will be done with our IUI phase of this journey. Another door will close behind us, and we still won’t have our baby. That is heart breaking. And unfair. And upsetting. And terrifying. And surreal. I can’t believe we’ve made it through this whole step of the process.
Tomorrow, I’ll POAS. Cross your fingers.
A couple of things…
So, this post is going to be hella long, since I haven’t written in ages. It’s like 6 posts rolled up in ONE HUGE FANTASTIC POST!!! I won’t be offended if you skim.
We’re on IUI #2 right now. I really thought that I wouldn’t do any IUI’s at all, and we would go straight to IVF. That was the plan. We wanted to start where the odds are greatest, and not put ourselves through hell, month after month. (And, we have three rounds of IVF covered by insurance, which kicks-in in January 2011, hopefully.) But… here we are on #2. I’ve been feeling like I want as many chances as I can get. Suddenly, 3 covered cycles of IVF doesn’t seem like that many. I have low ovarian reserve, so the RE thinks it’s likely that I’ll have only 1 - 2 embies to transfer per cycle, and definitely nothing to freeze. Scary. Also, the three cycles are a life time limit. Uh, what? Even if one does work, how do we pay for baby #2. I know, don’t put the cart before the horse (or something).
This IUI is pretty much the same as last time. Slightly upped the Gonal dosage to 112.5 IUs. Decided to stick with the progesterone suppositories, despite how much I despise them. Otherwise, there we no problems last time, and no cysts on my day 2 appointment. I’m really thankful for that! We started the shots on Tuesday, and expect to IUI on day 10, if things go like last time. Hopefully some follies are growing away in there right now!
Acupuncture + Therapy
Can we say “intense”? This week my acupuncturist figured out that I’m grieving, emotionally. That was the first time we’d used that word. Well, apparently grief is related to your lung chi. And, apparently my liver chi is totally taking over my lung chi. What does this mean? That my emotions/grief are balled up tight somewhere in side of me - sounds accurate. So, he put needles in all new places to release these emotions, and holy hell, it was INTENSE. I don’t remember the last time I sobbed like that, and I’ve been crying pretty hard, pretty regularly for a while now. But, it was a really good release, and I know I needed to let it all out. By the end of the session I was in happy-acu-coma land. Peaceful. Exhausted. Acupuncture is hard work! And, I was pretty rocked since that day started with my day 2 bw and u/s, and I knew I was heading home for shot #1. It was a really really tough day for my body, and I was not super happy about it all at the time. But I’m glad I stuck with the acupuncture.
Therapy was pretty intense, too. I cried a lot, and mostly talked about how surreal this has all been. I’m in such a bizarre place. I cannot believe this is real, that I’m still not pregnant. That I’m actually getting fertility treatments. That’s it’s actually been 18 cycles and no baby. Not one single BFP. It’s literally unbelievable to me at times. How is this my life? I just don’t get it. Hm….
Everyone is Pregnant
Is it just me, or did everyone on Twitter get pregnant last month? Woah! Pretty crazy. Yes, of course, when you spend this much time following the lives of women trying to get pregnant, a bunch of them are GOING TO GET PREGNANT. It just super sucks that I’m not one of them. It’s no fun to feel like you’re being left behind, even by the infertiles. And, of course, there’s the fear that I, ME, I will be the one who can never ever get pregnant. And, I’ll be all alone, even on Twitter.
We aren’t really telling many people about this cycle. I’m just too tired. This whole process is taking SO much out of me. My mom doesn’t officially know we’re doing another round, but I think she can tell. (I forgot my Dad’s birthday… yeah.) Anyways, she emailed the other day, invited us up for Columbus Day weekend, and offered to pay for the train tickets. Honestly, throughout all of this, I keep feeling like I just want to go home, so it’s really perfect. I need my mom to take care of me, even just for a weekend.
I’m also supposed to go to a dear friend’s wedding next weekend. And, we might not be able to depending on the timing for our IUI. Obviously, we won’t know what those little follies are up to until next week, so it would be a last-minute decision. LAME. I was so upset when I realized this last weekend. I called a friend who’s a bridesmaid to ask what she thinks I should do re: telling the bride. My friend was SO supportive (not surprising, but we haven’t really kept her in the loop on all of this). She helped me make a plan for the weekend so we could cancel easily if need be, and if we make it, be comfortable the whole time. Amazing. Then I called the bride. She talked to me for 25 minutes, in the middle of her dance lesson with her fiance, and was insanely sympathetic and understanding. She said ALL the right things. She’s a nurse, and she just gets it. Completely. At one point we both were near tears. It was touching. She ended the conversation by saying I should call her if I need to talk at all this week. Um, hi, you’re getting MARRIED in 10 days! That’s the kind of friend she is. I am so blessed.
(Just found this post from last month, after our first IUI didn’t work. I’m expecting AF any day now, and we’ll likely start our second round of IUI. This is so hard sometimes.)
I hurt everywhere. I feel an empty ache in my chest and my abdomen. My head hurts. My eyes are sore from crying. My shoulder and neck are knotted from tension. My knees hurt. (Probably not fertility related, but hey.) I swear, my soul aches.
It’s interesting, even though this was the first cycle of treatment for us, the emotional side effects weren’t as bad as I had expected. Not that it was a walk in the park… It’s just the same shit-show it’s been for the past year and a half, rather than the WWIII-level shit-show we’d anticipated. And, none of the emotions are particularly new. Same old fears and sorrows. It’s nearly comforting. Nearly…
Here’s what hurts the most:
We had our follow-up consult yesterday with our RE, after our first (failed) IUI. The two most important take-aways: 1- We still like our RE. 2- No additional bad news.
I think a lot of what I’m feeling right now is frustration with “unexplained” infertility. Yes, my MIS levels are very low, yes my FSH levels are slightly high. Our RE is convinced that I’m still ovulating, and we that have a very good chance. Everything he said was positive. But, he’s not really the enthusiastic-cheerleader-type. And, I could use a little cheer-leading right now. I know this should all make me feel better, but it just makes me feel “blah.”
Anyways, here’s the run down of our (45 minute!!) talk.
Random “reaches” we asked about. I’m a little desperate about this “unexplained” thing. I want to fix something. Bad.
Hm. Looking through all of this, I think what I really need next is a second opinion. Maybe that will help me accept all of this, and feel more confident and ready to keep going. Anyone have a recommendation for an RE in NYC?
Our IF to-do list at this point:
This month, we’re doing NOTHING. I mean, we’re totally doin’ it like crazy. But, I made a huge pile of all of our TTC/IF stuff after the last BFN, and I just don’t want to deal with it right now. I need another break. No OPKs, no charts, no vitamins, no tea, no nothin’. Then, when we’re ready, we can RE-start again.
I’m 12DPIUI today. I could POAS, but we’re waiting until Saturday. We probably won’t go in for a beta - I don’t think I can bear the waiting. If the stick says no, I’ll wait for AF to show up. If the stick says yes, we’ll do the beta.
I haven’t written much lately, which has surprised me. I also haven’t been talking about it that much with friends, which I think is surprising everyone. As you can probably tell, I’m a talker. I like to share - everything. But, I didn’t even make it to therapy last night, and could have done a phone session, but decided not to. This is pretty weird.
I just don’t really know what to say. Or feel. Or do. It’s not that I’m feeling “numb” - I’ve felt that at parts of this process. This is more like “woah, I’m repressing SO MUCH right now.” Kinda scary, and likely necessary for normal-everyday-functioning.
I don’t think this IUI worked. I’m crushed, and the tears have started. I can feel that big emptiness in my chest sometimes. Especially when I think about celebrating our anniversary next week. 4 years together. I’m so proud of us, but also devastated that this will be our second anniversary with no children. We both want a family so badly, it just breaks my heart. Last week I felt so hopeful, and nearly sure. But, that’s gone now.
Physically, I’m doing ok. This wasn’t as hard on my body as I thought it would be, but it wasn’t nothing. And, now that I’m nearly at the end, the hormones have pretty much left my system. I don’t have any of the “fake” symptoms from last week. My boobs feel perfectly normal, which is crazy-weird. No bloating. I mostly feel desperate to get back in the gym. I’m feeling way out of shape, despite regular at-home yoga sessions. My body requires a lot of maintenance to feel normal, I’m always achy, and everything has been out of whack with this treatment cycle. Honestly, a little bit of me is relieved that this is almost over, and I’ll be able to have my life back. Drinking. Eating. Exercising. I want to reclaim my body from this process.
Yesterday, I think the stress of all of this caught up to me. It’s no surprise, I think, that this happened after not having acupuncture this week. It’s helped me so much throughout this process - keeping my body and mind in something resembling balance. I do not doubt at all that its contributed to my overall feeling of calm - something I’ve never really experienced before. Anyways, yesterday I woke up with an aching neck and shoulder, and the headache set in around 10am. No drugs for me, so I tried snacks, decaf coffee, and lots of water. Nothing helped. The tension was radiating from my neck - ugh. Immediately after lunch, my stomach joined the party… gross. I left work, took some pepto before getting on the subway (I barfed on a subway platform once, and have no desire to repeat that experience), and prayed all the way home. I slept for 3.5 hours, and then DH came home with flowers, ginger ale, bananas, and jello. I put a heating pad under my neck for a loooong time, and listened to Circle + Bloom three times. We watched 3 episodes of Gilmore Girls.
I know you’re all thinking that it could be something else… it could be an upset tummy from a pregnancy. But, I really truly don’t think it is. This felt like a stress response. But, then again, what do I know. My body continues to be a mystery.
Emotionally, I think I’m prepared to the sledgehammer-to-the-heart that this HPT will likely bring. I don’t have plans on Saturday, and DH and I can do whatever we need to. I’m thinking about getting seriously wasted at brunch - bloody mary’s? - and then sleeping all afternoon. I’ve definitely been feeling more of the “I hate that I can’t have sex with my husband and make a baby.” This is unspeakably UNFAIR. And, I’m seethingly jealous of everyone who has experienced that. It’s such a huge loss, I don’t know if I’ll ever get over it.
I just want it to be over with, so we can move on with our lives - either way. And, this is exactly why we wanted to start with IVF, rather than go through rounds of failed IUIs. I cannot bear the pain. The hope. The not knowing. The crushing disappointment. We don’t have plans to do another IUI, but who knows. It’ll be a long fall, and the shots went well. We’re waiting for the first IVF in January, after my insurance changes over. (Still have to work all of this out…) I don’t know, this whole thing is ridiculous. Can it be Sunday, now, please? Or better yet, next year?
So, I’ve pumped my bod full of hormones that simulate pregnancy. Here’s the run-down of all my “fake,” HCG- and progesterone-inspired, symptoms.
I’m about half way through my two week wait of my first IUI cycle. For the most part, I’m feeling physically fine, with super-fun side effects, and was able to stay positive for the first 5 or so days PIUI. Thursday, things started getting a little rough, and yesterday the shaky-cry-ies set in for real.
So, here are some things I kinda hate about this process.
And, to be fair, and to remind myself that it’s not all hell and misery, here are a couple of things that I don’t exactly hate.
Sooooo, today’s appointment was…. exciting! This was our first monitoring appointment since starting injections on Friday night. DH came with me, and boy am I glad he did. I went for the blood work by myself - takes 2 minutes. Then, grabbed him and we went into the exam room. New Dr. comes in, let’s take a look. Lining looks good at 6.5 “whatevers.” Apparently we want it to be anything above 6 “whatevers,” so that’s cool.
Then, the hunt for follies begins. Start looking at the left side, and find two big round follies! Hooray! They’re each 18mm.Then, we look at the right side - nada. (My right side has been lame this whole time so it’s not a big surprise. But a little disappointing.)
Now, this is not a LOT of follies, but this happened FAST. Woah. I’ve only been taking the meds since Friday, this is only CD7. And, we’ve been on the lowest dose of Gonal - 75 IUs. New Dr. was like “Looks like we’re ready to go. You can trigger tonight if your OPK shows an LH surge.” Then, our heads exploded. Ummmm…. this was supposed to take another WEEK. What? Apparently 18mm is “go zone.” Holy crap.
We literally did not understand anything anyone was saying. Hahaha! Totally in shock. The nurse had to tell us the time line like 5 times. Then I drew a flow chart for DH and it started to sink in.
So, I just POAS (OPK), and no LH surge. I’m going to do another one this afternoon (LH is sneaky!). If we get NO LH surge today, we do the Gonal tonight, like usual. Then, we’ll do another OPK tomorrow. Regardless of + or - OPK tomorrow, we’re doing the Ovidrel TOMORROW NIGHT.
If there IS a + tomorrow, we’ll IUI on Friday. If it’s - tomorrow, we’ll IUI on Saturday. You keeping up? I’m betting that we won’t detect an LH surge at all (this is the month that rightie is supposed to be in charge, and I usually don’t see the LH surge those months) and we’ll IUI on Saturday. Fingers crossed.
So, here’s a thing… we haven’t had any sex yet this cycle. It’s only day 7! AF just left, and we’ve been working and doing shots and hanging out with friends and, well, not having sex yet. AND, this was supposed to happen next week. I thought we’d have all weekend to BD, and hang out, pre-IUI. So, I think if OPK stays negative today (and we don’t need the boys tomorrow), we’re BD’ing tonight. They’ve told us to “refrain” for one day prior, so it should be fine. I think it’s just super weird that I could get to the IUI and have had no sex whatsoever. Weirdweirdweird.
OF COURSE, there’s a slight IRL hitch. DH has BIG WORK EVENT on Friday, for which he is the event planner. We totally thought we were in the clear for this, and would be IUI’ing next week. So, he’s a little freaked (totally understandably) and scrambling at work and nervous about now having to tell people that he’ll suddenly be out for all or part of the day on Friday and has to find someone to take over logistics. Stressful. Not cool.
But, ya know what IS cool? I have two follies, and they’re ready to go.
Update: OPK this afternoon is still negative. SO, trigger is on for tomorrow night! IUI will be either Friday or Saturday morning.