Not For the Faint of Heart: Fertility Treatments, IUI #1

READER BEWARE; I have spared no details regarding an entire month of fertility treatments-if you are disgusted by ‘cycles’, or medical things…or even hormonal emotions….Turn away now.

I have chronicled our first round of Intrauterine Insemination (Artificial Insemination) with injectables as a diary of sorts. Each day I checked in to show what I was going through. Here is our deeply personal, overly TMI month…. 

CD1: I have been VERY emotional, and crampy today. Part of me is so sad I didn’t naturally get pregnant last cycle [this is the first time I have ever cried-damn hope]….the other part of me is part terrified, part excited for IUI. There is SO much waiting in the journey of infertility! GAH! I called the fertility clinic to set up our IUI-which I was supposed to do today and I didn’t get anyone-FOUR TIMES! The answering machine says to call back tomorrow….*fingers crossed* it goes smoothly. I work tomorrow so I am a little irritated we couldn’t get everything planned out today.

CD2: After playing phone tag while I was trying to also work, I finally got to speak with the nurses at the clinic. They were so kind and helpful and totally eased my frustration and nerves. I start Letrozole tomorrow, one pill daily. I am feeling SO emotional this cycle which is very unlike me. Even the hubby commented on how emotional I am-I don’t usual get mood swings with my cycles. I feel like I am on the verge of tears all the time!!! Must just be the fertility jitters? I am crying over commercials! What is wrong with me! Ha!

CD3: Letrozole day one. Worried for side effects-the drug sheet warns of bald spots, mood swings, hot flashes, etc… EEk….

CD4: Went to church today….relaxed with the hubby…. Letrozole day 2. G has expressed slight panic about having to give me the HCG injection.

CD5: I have now taken the Letrozole twice-third dose tonight out of 5 total doses. Zero side effects so far. My emotions have calmed down a lot, and I am getting very excited. I wish time would pass more quickly this week! I have a follicle ultrasound on friday morning which will show if I am ovulating properly this month(if an ‘egg’ is going to be released, and aprox. when) and then hopefully will be doing our IUI next tuesday or wednesday. I find it slightly annoying that our clinic doesn’t do IUI on the weekends (it is a long weekend, and my proper cycle days line up on weekends) but oh well. Hopefully timing is on our side and it doesn’t matter!:) The plan is to go home this weekend and visit my parents-should help take our minds off the imminent IUI. Need to start planning things to keep us busy the two weeks after IUI so I am not thinking about IF we are preggo 24/7!!!!!!!! A super sweet friend agreed to help with the HCG injection so G won’t need to. He will be SO relieved.

CD6: We keep talking about baby names…pregnancy announcements. I think we are delusional. We are building this insane hope which I know is so dangerous. I wish I could stop myself and get back to my slightly cynical self which had developed over the past 3 years. Its a lot easier to deal with bad news when you aren’t hopeful.

CD7: Hope continues. Getting excited for our ultrasound on friday to date my follicles(if any). I keep thinking..man….by the end of October I will be pregnant…or know we can’t get pregnant this way. INSANE.

CD8: Worked all day.Awkward encounter: a girl was talking about infertility and blah blah blah. Essentially acting like she was the queen of knowledge, although admitting she had never struggled. She basically said that I didn’t have a right to opinion unless I was in the infertility position. I basically told her… Yah well, jokes on you because I am. Some people are so stupid-you have no idea what people are going though! SO many people feel they have to hide infertility, watch what you say! Im sure there are thousands of people who would be so aggravated by her and not say anything…thankfully I have chosen to be transparent in our journey! I don’t usually stand up for myself in those situations and I am SO glad I did. I have been craving mcdonalds french fries like CRAZY…..I don’t think that is a side effect of anything-I think I am just a french fry fiend…

CD9: I didn’t experience any side effects of the letrozole which is such a relief. I had my follicle-tracking ultrasound today. It was with a different doctor as mine was out of the office, but she was equally nice and friendly. My nurse is the wife of a doctor I work with which was also cool-we had lots to talk about, taking some of the nervousness away. My ultrasound showed two good follicles on the left- one 9mm and another 11mm. There were some follicles on the right but they were much smaller. From what I have read you need your follicles to be more than 14-16mm to release typically…but I still have 4 days for that to happen. One may release, or two. That gives us a chance of twins-which would be a blessing, but man would I prefer ONE baby at a time. haha. Of course, we will be happy for whatever we get, if we achieve pregnancy. Nervously hopeful. Sunday night will be HCG injection day and then IUI will be tuesday morning. We will be out of town so hopefully someone can do my shot since my friend won’t be able to if we are away. *Note to self* Wear a dress for future appointments. Its super awkward walking to the ultrasound in your paper sheet with nothing down below….

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CD10: Went boating/icecream with the parents and then had a camp fire in the backyard and decided to have an impromptu camp out since we had our tent, and I just needed to be under the stars.

CD11: Went fishing with my Dad and then returned right on time. HCG injection was this night. Surprisingly didn’t hurt a bit-my Dad did it for me since Graeme was too nervous.

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CD12: Woke up with morning sickness? Possibly from the shot…not sure. Lasted until mid afternoon when I ate a heavier meal and then I was just peachy. Started having some left sided cramping which is where my follicles were-so hopefully that is indicating ovulation.

CD13: Went in for IUI today. G gave his sample and then we went for breakfast while it was washed and prepared. The sample was a good count, but poor motility. This is a little disheartening as the last time we were told it had improved. I guess it just varies day-to-day. The doctor said she felt we could have success still though, so *fingers crossed*. The IUI was a little painful. They inserted the catheter through my cervix after a few minutes of not being able to get it in…then ensued major cramping. Like bad period cramps. They let my spasms calm a bit and then injected the sample. I then laid on the table for 10 minutes before going home. So glad I wore a dress! Its now almost an hour post procedure and I am still cramping/contstant need to pee…so hopefully that calms down. Taking it easy until tonight when I work-doc says working should be fine. (ps. my doc was still out of the office…so it was the other doctor) Now begins the two week wait until we get a blood pregnancy test to see if it works!

CD14: This is torture. All I can think about is if I will be pregnant or not. I just want to blurt it out to everyone. I can’t stop googling things I already know. Im so afraid I could cry. I just want this to work so badly. I feel relatively good today-a few minor twinges in my right side…nothing major. Im TRYING desperately to forget about all of this for a few days…but it is impossible, I am obsessed. Obsessed over if it will work…if I am doing anything wrong…obsessed over trying to figure out how we could afford IVF if necessary…etc.

CD18: Still going INSANE. I can’t believe it hasn’t even been a full week. Having some VERY light spotting. Makes me worried my progesterone is too low-I have read up a lot about having progesterone checks which my clinic doesn’t do…annoying. Progesterone is important to prevent you from miscarriage if you DO implant. Ive also had some occasional pangs in my low abdomen…its really sensitive. I think this is probably just a)psychosomatic or b)side effects of the injection

CD19: Oh you know. Insanity remains. Getting slightly more hopeless-more spotting today. Woke very nauseated, ate some toast and it improved. Later in the afternoon got very nauseated and exhausted all at the same time. Was planning to get back out and run finally tonight but I think I’m going to have to wait since Im feeling generally crummy today. I think I might just be getting sick! I think I may be spotting too much to have anything happen. Really wishing I was having progesterone checks. I have to keep reminding myself of the thing I told G the first day-“We will have a wonderful life whether or not we have a baby or not”
After G got home from work I started noticing a heightened sense of smell-or he is more smelly than normally. I couldn’t even tolerate it…I fell NAUSEATED from his sweaty work self and sent him straight to the shower. Meds have such a funny effect. I have also started having VERY vivid dreams of taking a positive pregnancy test. It is heart-breaking to wake up from these dreams.
CD20:  Broke down and checked a urine preg test- It was negative-which just means it is too early to check, and also that my HCG shot is out of my system. Ive been having a lot of spotting similar to before I get my period.
CD21: Ive decided Im going to test every other morning now until blood test day-I don’t want to fall apart on the phone with the stranger when it is negative-I’d like to already know…

CD22: Someone walked in on a conversation regarding fertility with a friend and with zero knowledge of our journey crassly told me I just needed to “RELAX”. I swear, if another person says that to me I might loose it. EDUCATE YOURSELF. Infertility has nothing to do with if I can relax or not after 3 years. Our specialist says that after 2 years of trying to conceive the chances of naturally conceiving are less than 10%.  1 in 6 couples in canada can’t conceive by JUST RELAXING. UGH. Got a negative preg test…but then I left it on the counter and an hour later came back to see a faint positive. Ive looked online a lot and apparently this is an ‘evaporation line’….you can’t read a negative preg test after 10 minutes. I was stupidly optimistic…

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CD25: How silly of me to have gotten my hopes up. 12 days post IUI…something should start showing by now if I was pregnant. Big Fat Negative. Time to start preparing myself for IUI #2. 😦 I feel silly to have started off so hopeful. this is our 36th month. Not looking forward to going through another cycle- I didn’t expect it to be so emotional. If I can’t have babies….why do I need to deal with this? I wish there was a way to just stop periods forever other than birth control and I also wish there was a way to know 100% if I would eventually conceive or not. This period of unknown sucks. I just want to be able to grieve and move on if I can’t have a child…

CD26: Feeling in much better spirits today. AF arrived and I just feel clear in the head. Happy to have a week break from thinking about fertility stuff before more appointments and what not. Start letrozole again on wednesday. Will be talking with the doctor at my next ultrasound to discuss possibly starting progesterone since I had spotting most days this month. My plan is to get back into running my normal amount-I hope that will help with the emotional whirlwind that is infertility. “We will have a wonderful life with or without children.” Filling up my social calendar for the next month feels great-I love knowing I will be busy. ALSO my best friend moved back home this weekend which I KNOW will help!:)

CD26 LATE EVENING: AF is gone. Now I just feel confused and emotional again. AHHHHH. I can’t wait for the HCG blood test tomorrow to confirm what I already know. I just want to move on. I really wish I didn’t have to go through this again…. But if we want to have a family we don’t have much of a choice. I have never had such an emotional journey in my life-I often find myself wishing I could be more removed from the whole situation. I am normally a relatively positive person and I just feel so negative…
People who continuously complain about their children are increasingly driving me nuts. Its so hard to hold back from saying something cruel. I just want to scream and tell them how damn lucky they are. Yet-every person who doesn’t want a pregnancy seems to be getting pregnant. Thanks world. Thanks. See what I mean-I should probably just keep my cynical hormone injection thoughts to myself so I don’t offend every good person in the world, right?

CD27: I went for blood work at 9am this morning, called the clinic at 10:30 and then again at 14:00 and still at 15:21 no one has called me back. I was so calm knowing the results……but now I have ZERO bleeding. As in..no spotting, no period…for the first time since IUI. What the heck? I NEED THESE PEOPLE TO CALL AND DEFINITIVELY TELL ME IM NOT PREGNANT BEFORE I LOOSE IT! In other news, I was very nauseated again this morning. I DID eat dairy two days in a row though, so I could be to blame.

Later on CD 27: The clinic finally called me back. HCG NEGATIVE. I am positively not pregnant. They do think it odd that we can’t figure out if my cycle is over or not yet though. Im to wait it out a couple days and see what happens. I have instant relief. Im not sad. I feel completely and utterly content finally. I have some time to just relax and not worry for a bit now until round two starts…Its incredible how emotional this journey is-I never fathomed I would be that person clinging to every little sign of hope. On to another cycle, another try.

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6 thoughts on “Not For the Faint of Heart: Fertility Treatments, IUI #1

  1. I truly appreciate how transparent and open and honest you are being about this process. I’m always interested in this journey of yours, but it can be hard to ask about, or know what to say. I’ll leave it at this for today: I am always praying for you and G.

  2. Wow, I can honestly say I didn’t realize just how emotional of an experience this can get to be. I mean, I’ve read it in books, but it is different hearing it from you (for obvious reasons!). Praying for the next one.

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