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Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

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infertility treatment

And We’re Off….

I should have expected it, I suppose, but didn’t really think about how quickly things move once a cycle begins. I dutifully called the RE’s office on CD 1, had an appointment for the next day and was forking over a credit card number to order medication. And just like that, our first IUI cycle starts. Maybe I expected fireworks or something(though there will be fireworks today, I’m pretty sure they aren’t for me), but its just another day in the life of everyone else.

Many people ask me if I’m excited, and honestly I have mixed feelings. I like to say that I feel “cautiously optimistic”, as this is probably going to be the best chance we’ve had so far, but still only about 20% as far as statistics show. I would never gamble money on 20% in any other situation.

Before “Bob” and I met for our third date, I had to take a pregnancy test. I get this, I mean they don’t want to start filling you up with drugs if you are pregnant, however, the cost of said pregnancy test was $48. Seriously? I could have told you I wasn’t pregnant for FREE. Actually, I would have happily brought in one of my own negative tests to save myself that ridiculous expense. Sheesh.

As it turns out, I’m not pregnant. (Oh my Gosh, shock!) While I waited for the ultrasound lady, I talked with Bob about the importance of calling for third dates and a discussion about his absenteeism. He agreed to be better and we were back in business. This ultrasound was done basically to make sure I didn’t have any foreign bodies anywhere in my reproductive system (i.e. cysts) and to count my antral follicles, which basically is the number of follicles that could potentially grow an egg. I can’t remember how many were on my right ovary, but my left had 23. Incidentally, that does NOT mean I am going to end up with 23 eggs or 23 babies. I can’t even imagine that scenario. I would have…..well, a 23 sided shape is called a icosikaitrigon (no I did NOT know this off of the top of my head, my best guess would have been to go off of 12 sides which is a dodecahedron I think, so I would have said  doubledodecaheminusoneuplets), so that would mean I would have icosikaitriuplets? I don’t even know how to pronounce that.

Anyway, things are good to go. I sat with the nurse afterwards, who went over my med calendar and showed me how to give myself shots. I’ll be taking 2.5 mg of Femara (it induces ovulation) today through Sunday and will give myself two injections of Follistim (also stimulates ovulation) Sunday and Monday. I go back for another ultrasound (Bob actually scheduled the date this time…he is learning) next Tuesday (CD 9) to check the growth status. It looks as though the actual IUI will happen sometime between July 12-14th, if all goes well.

Here goes nothing.

Talk About Awkward

A few months ago when we thought we would be pursing the IVF route this Spring or Summer, I had a sit down with my boss. This couldn’t be avoided because I was going to need to ask for flexibility regarding my schedule as well as several days off. I was nervous about this conversation, but mostly because I was going to need up to a week off and I wasn’t going to be able to say exactly when until possibly less than 24 hours beforehand. I even explained the process of an IVF with the greatest of ease (or at least it felt that way).

A few days ago, we got the official go ahead to do an IUI cycle. We had talked about trying 2 more months naturally and then trying an IUI, but that would have meant it would fall right around my birthday. I decided I would rather enjoy my 30th birthday and have a couple glasses of wine (hey, you only turn 30 once) than concern myself wondering if I should drink because I could possibly maybe be pregnant. No thanks.

The start of my next cycle is still over 2 weeks away and nothing is going to happen until then, however, it meant I had to have another conversation with my boss to explain why I might need to take a couple of hours off with not much notice. Because he was already aware of our situation, I was hoping this would be a simple conversation where I could just say we had decided to try a slightly different route and that while I wasn’t going to need any full days off I would need some flexibility for ultrasounds. I was hoping to do this without any additional detail and be on my merry way.

So, I begin my conversation by saying that obviously we had not gone forward with the IVF as planned, but were going to try an IUI and so I would need possibly a few hours 2-3 times for the procedure and ultrasounds.

Then he asked me what an IUI was.

Now I’m not a shy person. I don’t  usually have issues talking about myself or using words that are in reference to the male/female reproductive system, even to men.

Him: So what’s an IUI?

Me: Well….basically the sp.erm are, like, inserted into……uh…so they still have to make the swim and fertilize and implant, but it bypasses….*awkward pause*…..the V (I used the whole word and said it as quickly as humanly possible) and straight into the cervix. It’s not as successful but it’s also less expensive.

Him: ok, well, just let me know.

Me: I will. Wish us luck.

I exit. I get into the car, and then I think OMG, I just said the word V to my boss. My male boss. Then I told him to wish us luck. *facepalm*

Well, you asked.

~~

In other news, our floors are DONE, and they look FABULOUS! Pictures to come once we clean up the tornado that ran through the inside of our house and wipe the fine layer of sawdust from all of the hard surfaces.

Be Patient

Currently, my two least favorite words in the English language.

 

Bryan went back into the endocrinologist today after his most recent donation to science. Before I continue, let me explain that we have been to a fertility doc, and Bryan also has benefits through the VA. Testing done at the VA is free, so that is usually where we go, but have done some testing and consulting through the fertility clinic also. Back in August, the VA agreed to fund HCG shots in attempts to create more sperm. This man at the VA specializes in hormones, not fertility.

We’ve seen slow, but steady progress. This most recent visit resulted in the following words being uttered yet again: be patient. Your hormone levels look good, you are progressing. (whatever that means, we didn’t get a sperm count number)

Sigh.

According to him, the current plan is to continue on the same level of HCG, increase it in 2 months if necessary and in 6 months add FSH if needed. He actually said to Bryan that we could get pregnant where we are. That he wouldn’t recommend an IVF right now because its too early.

What? Our RE told us that at our current count, our only option is IVF (besides a miracle of course, and yes, he told us to be patient too). He doesn’t even recommend IUI until we have 20 mil sperm, and the last number we got was half that. I just feel like I’m getting two separate sets of recommendations. Bryan’s hormone levels are currently within normal levels. Per our RE, adding additional hormone to an already normal hormone level wont likely make that much of a difference. That makes alot of sense to me. VA doc says, lets keep going! Lets add more! You’ll get more sperm! You can have babies now!

What’s the freaking answer? I’m going to the next appointment, because I’m confused.

Bryan thinks we should let the endocrinologist do this thing. I.e. be patient. He thinks jumping to IVF right now would be a bad decision, but also that if it’s driving me crazy…..then he trailed off and said he didn’t know what to do either. (at least its not just me)

I just don’t know what I want to do. We could go through the next 12+ months of hormone tx and be right where we are a year from now. We could dig up money for an IVF, and it could fail. Or, we could have been able to get pregnant on our own and never know it. And what sucks the most? There is no way to know. There is just no freaking way to know. And I hate that.

I do know this: I’m impatient. I’m 29, so yes, I still have time. I’m tired of watching my friends’ families grow. I’m tired of peeing on sticks. Of planning sex. Of being stressed over it. Of watching Bryan be stressed over it because I’m stressed over it. Of talking about it. Of thinking about it. Of crying about it. Of worrying about the money for it. Right at this moment I’m ready to take the money I have in savings, do some house repairs or take a vacation or something and just say F#$% IT!

I think, at least, it might be time for a break.

 

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