IUI #2: Nothing Ever Goes As Planned

Warning: This post has raw emotion, details of menstrual cycles, and a lot of TMI. Click ‘x’ if you don’t want to read all about it.

photo 2-2

Round 2 of IUI has been hard. Very very hard.
I went on the oral letrozole days 3-7(no symptoms), then on day 9 an ultrasound which showed my follicles weren’t ready yet (but where the same size as last month when the fill-on doc did IUI. GR). Back on day 13 for another ultrasound which showed my endometrium was 8mm (ready) and I had a follicle that was 13mm and another that was 17mm. I was scheduled to do my HCG injection on day 14 (which a wonderful coworker did for me at work) and then IUI the morning of day 16. I was feeling pretty optimistic heading into our cycle.

Because I spotted almost every day the last cycle, my doctor decided to put me on progesterone. Cue kerfuffle. The progesterone has traditionally been suspended in peanut oil. I have an anaphylactic allergy to peanuts. Essentially the pharmacy told me the original suppository which I was supposed to take (180$ every 3 weeks) would not work for this reason. When I talked to the clinic, they offered me another option, which had wheat (won’t do for me since we don’t know if my gluten issues are celiac or not, and if they are celiac it could cause a miscarriage)…and a final option which contained none of my allergens but cost 400$ every two weeks. If I achieved pregnancy that would equal TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS for the first ten weeks of pregnancy. AHH!! ON TOP of the already aprox. 500-600$ IUI with meds will cost (for one cycle).
NOT money I had planned on spending.

Finally, after fretting for a bit of time, the nurses consulted my doctor who was certain the formula of the original suppositories had been changed. After many phone calls back and forth it was decided that I could try the suppositories (in soya and sunflower oil) with an epipen near by…. despite the med-phamlet stating peanut-allergy as a contraindication.

We went in on day 16 for IUI. My husband gave his sample, we had a coffee at our favourite coffee shop [my favourite part-an hour to be together, talk, dream] and then we returned for the IUI. The procedure was done, but there was a lot of difficulty. My cervix seems to cause a lot of problems lately. The nurse said my cervix was retroverted and also very vascular, making it very hard to insert the catheter. She said I could expect a lot of cramping and bleeding after the procedure. During the procedure there was cramping, but nothing compared to IUI #1. The nurse was so sweet and patient with my crazy, nervous self. We chatted about how there should be an infertility walk in Saskatoon to raise awareness. How so many people come to this clinic and few people share their struggle.

After the procedure I laid on my back for aprox. 15-20 minutes, fighting to stay awake- I had just worked a night shift. Then my doctor came in. She is so reassuring. I really appreciate her calm demeanour and taking the time to answer every single one of my MILLION questions and concerns. We talked about the suppositories and she further confirmed that I should try them with an epipen near by, but if I wanted to change prescriptions she would be happy to do that for me also.  She was certain the formula hadn’t actually contained peanuts since 2011 and we must have received an outdated pamphlet. We talked about the sperm sample quality…
Motility 24% after wash-after wash motility needs to be 50% to achieve pregnancy typically.
Counts 54 million= very good
Morphology= very good

We were explained that we would obviously still try with this round of IUI, but that it was unlikely to work due to the low sperm motility (the swimmers won’t be able to swim to meet the egg). I also was suggested to rest in bed all day to give the sperm the best chance possible, and also to reduce the amount of cramping and bleeding from a slightly complicated procedure.  This was very unexpected-I thought I would be able to go to work like normal again. Turns out, I needed the day emotionally anyways. I can’t help but feel like an ass for calling in the day of…when I am not sick…but I guess that is also part of the unexpected infertility process. The nurse was optimistic to say: “You only need one”…but it was pretty clear it was likely to be a bad outcome this cycle. We discussed G seeing the fertility urologist this month, and the four of us discussing “the next step”….. the dreaded, invasive, expensive (10 thousand dollars) IVF.
G was obviously upset leaving the clinic. I was too, but I was trying to hold it together.
As we drove home in silence, the tears started to flow. We came home….I got into bed…and more tears came. I have tried to be so strong…stay optimistic. My heart is just broken.
IVF is not in our budget right now, and to be honest, I don’t know how I feel about months of shots and more meds. I am already an emotional disaster on the simple 4 meds I am currently on. I am devastated. I am heart-broken. I am angry. It is not fair…. but none of those feelings are productive. None of those feelings will help me move on.

So now we wait. We wait, not-so-optimistically for the two week wait. Our hearts are broken, but we can’t be sad forever. I had my hour to cry, for self pity…. It is time to pick up the pieces and rebuild a new plan.

We will have a beautiful life, with or without children. We will have a beautiful life…. we will have a beautiful life……

Thank you for all of your love and support, we are so incredibly honoured to have so many wonderful loving people in our lives.