Saturday, October 31, 2009

And their off

Hubby is transporting the, ahem, sample to the lab as we speak. This is round three of collecting a sample- the first time was for the semen analysis last spring. It didn't go so well. I got a call from a dejected DH from the collection room at the clinic- "This isn't going to work." Several canceled and missed appointments later we finally got it done by collecting at home- but it stressful. Round two was for our IUI#1 last month. Decided to collect at the lab, but this time I would be there to "help." Again- stressful. Didn't go so well, but we got it done (Tell me, why or why would a semen collection room have a loud ticking clock in it? Tick, Tick,, serious?). We tied up the collection room for over an hour. Um, yea, not good. I think the lab hates us by now. For round three, there was no question- we would collect at home and I would "help". And, it was (thankfully!!!) easy- and actually even somewhat enjoyable today. I started out cranky though- I felt like a 6 year old who wanted to stomp their feet and say "I don't wanna." As were were getting started I admitted to DH that I was in a funk and not very present at the moment. I told him I feeling some resentment that this is the way we have to do things. He cupped my face in his hands , and reminded me that, collection cup or no collection cup, this is just another form of us trying to create life together. And any attempt at us creating life is a form of intimacy. Even if it doesn't look how we want it to. And with that reminder, I let go and was able to just be present with him this morning. (Have I mentioned that I love that man!?)

I am grateful that this cycle has not been emotionally taxing. The first IUI cycle was tough- and I remember having moments when I thought that I was done and couldn't do this anymore. Having had a cycle like this one, now I feel like I have the stamina to stick with this for a while longer. (Remind me of that when the hormones kick in the week before AF comes!) I am grateful that it just so happened our IUI is on a Saturday and we could sleep in, take our time, and not be rushed by work schedules. I am grateful that for at least right now. I have hope that this is going to have a happy ending some day. and I am grateful that for at least right now I am patient for whenever some day comes.


CD13 u/s showed 5 ripe follicles on my right. None on my left. Last cycle I had 2 on my right and 1 on my left. I freaked out a bit when I saw 5, but my doctor said they don't worry at all about that being too many on a clomid cycle. I am perplexed about my underachieving left ovary. A previous u/s showed my left ovary to be much smaller and my doctor thinks probably adhered to the back of my uterus. It is hard to get a clear shot of it on u/s. Now, it hasn't stepped up to the plate like my right one. So I am a bit worried. I guess, I just need one that works, makes you wonder if this is yet another part of our difficulty TTC.

My HCG shot this time was less then half of what I paid this time. Turns out my doctor forgot to check the box stating that generic was okay. So I got the brand name last time. This time i was able to get the generic. Grateful for that extra savings but bummed I didn't know about this option the first time.

Last IUI, DHs post wash counts were low - 3 million. The lab doctor had told me at the time of the IUI that they like to see 10 million. (We were devastated). I have since learned that this is what they like to see for donor samples in an ideal world type of thing. My doc clarified that 3 million is still normal and they don't get really worried until under 1 million. And even 5 mil they are happy with. So, all in all- last cycle wasn't as bad as I feared.

I have a theory (and we will see how it plays out) that maybe, just maybe having a FAR LESS STRESSFUL collection at home this time might prove to give us a better outcome with these counts post wash. I have no idea if this is scientific, but logically I think its a sound theory. We will see...

IUI is in 45 minutes.

POAS in 14 days.

And so it goes....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Today: Brought home our new (new to us) car (4 door family car I might add)
Tomorrow: CD13 Follie check tomorrow morning, full day at work, find and buy interview outfit
Friday: Job Interview for me; big post-cancer scan/check-ups for DH
Saturday: Likely IUI#2 and signing car loan papers (gulp)

Life is full right now.

My posts have been pretty up beat and I have been feeling hopeful these days. I do think though that just looking at these bullet points from just these four days, I should take note that crashing in the near future is very possible. So much BIG life stuff happening. So much out of my control. These are the times that growth happens. We will see...hoping to take it all in stride.


So, after talking with my current RE, "Dr. grass is greener" and with the RE I got the 2nd consult from - i have decided to do an HSG. I had declined before because of the cost and not knowing how far we were dipping our toes in the waters of infertility treatments. But it makes sense now I think (if this cycle is a BFN).

I really liked the 2nd consultation doctor I saw a couple of weeks ago- we'll call him Dr. Silver. Due to the scheduling I had my appointment with him before I had my follow-up appointment with Dr. grass is greener following my IUI/BFN. And I left my appointment with dr. silver thinking I might consider moving to him. But then I met with dr. grass is greener and realized i really like her too. The cool thing, is I feel like I have the best of both worlds right now- I have my foot in the door at two great clinics and IF I feel I need to move clinics or get more info- I have that option. The other fabulous and unexpected outcome of this 2nd consultation is I found out that the HSG will be 1/2 the price at the new clinic. And they said even if I keep my treatments at my current clinic, I could come to them just for the HSG. It was eye opening to realize there could be such a huge price difference for the same procedure. The difference is that one clinic does it in their office and the other uses another facility so I imagine there is a extra fee for that. Anyways I am thrilled I stumbled on to this information. Makes me want to do my homework in the future to explore the actual costs of each step along the way with the REs.

IUI #2 CD12

This cycle has flown by. It is SO busy right now in life, I even forgot to order my HCG injection until today. Ooops- thankfully I swear the online pharmacy folks work all the time- I called to day and it will be here tomorrow, so i will still get it in time to (most likely) inject tomorrow night.

Its nice that this cycle has flown by- nice to be able to actually be actively trying but not have it take much mental energy. I have barely thought about IF related things this cycle.

Tomorrow is CD13 U/S. If all goes as planned, HCG injection tomorrow night and IUI on Saturday morning. Sunday morning my sister and my baby niece come to visit for 11 days. I can POAS the morning after they leave. I am thinkin' this 2ww should fly by as well with the family here.

My BBT temps are all over the place. I can't figure it out- I usually have predictable temps. But there is no pattern. I did a OPK today and doesn't show my LH surge yet. Which is good. All of this though has my expectations on the lower side for my U/S tomorrow. We'll see.

I continue to be in really good spirits. Hopeful. I guess I feel like I have options- with IVF being one of those options. Time will tell if we need it, but I think I am ready for it if we get to that point and we are pretty close to being able to afford it as well.

24 hours from CD13 U/S.....

Monday, October 26, 2009

great jumpin jehosaphat! holy smokes! yipee!

I have just been googling for the past 5 minutes trying to find an expression to start out this post. I want to do a dance on a top of a mountain and yell at the top of my lungs:

"My insurance is paying! They are frickin' paying!"

Not everything- and I certainly don't understand their math- but in total they paid about 1/2 the cost of our first IUI. HALF! And we were expecting NOTHING. Plus, in addition they are paying almost all of our consultation appointments.

I am holding my breath because I fear they will somehow retract this. But time and time again they keep paying. They keep paying!!!!!

I feel like a bit of justice is being done. When I realized my insurance would not cover these visits or treatments it felt like such an injustice that a women, a couple, doesn't have the choice to pursue medical help for fertility issues or recurrent pregnancy loss. And they are paying!

At the very least this means we can do our several IUIs and it will cost 1/2 of what we planned on using from our savings.

And if I let my brain dream a little bit- I start to wonder if they are covering these visits and appointments in part if maybe, just maybe, the same would be true for IVF..... It would be a whole new ballgame if that was the case. I don't dare dream of that just yet though.

They are paying!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Car, Career, and RE Consultation

It has been a while since I blogged. Usually that means that I am in a funk. And you would think that to be the case because I just had a failed IUI. But, I actually only briefly felt like I was in a funk. As my BBT starting plummeting, and the POAS were negative, my heart sunk. And then the last 5 days of my cycle I was in hormone hell as all the hormones had a wrestling match in my body and then finally released themselves to let AF flow. And I immediately felt reset. And I've felt light on my feet ever since.

And then we sat with the question of "what next" for a bit. But just a bit, because doors have been flying open. I feel like my world is a bubbling pot of possibilities. Not really related to TTC, but then again, it all feels connected. The common denominator with all of these is hope and possibilities:

We are a one car family. We bike and bus as much as we can and use the car (usually) only as necessary, but our city still is lacking in providing an abundance of options for living car-free. My car was 12 years old. I bought it in college- my first "new" (new to me at least) car. The folks co-signed on the loan, but I paid every penny of that car. And I was (am) proud of that. And have lived without having to make a car payment for the last 9 years. She had over 172,000 miles. And it was a good car. It was a two-door car. Nothing about it was conducive for a some-day-family, let alone even just my husband and i. but it was paid for and we don't really WANT to own a car. So, the car lived on. Until last Tuesday. My car was given a terminal diagnose by the mechanic, never to return to us. This also happened to be CD28. That morning before heading to the mechanic, I got my final negative pee stick confirming this IUI had failed. The same day my two door, not-family-conducive, cute, two-door car gave up the ghost. And so, we are moving the world of four-door cars. We test drove some today. And I can't begin to explain how significant this act of shopping for a four door car is. I feel like I am opening up a part of my life to hope in the possibility that some day there will be a infant seat in that back seat. I don't know why I am finding hope in this, rather than despair, but regardless I am grateful that I can at times still hope in what could be.

I applied for a job. From the time I turned in my resume to the time I had an interview scheduled was 2 1/2 days. Can we say super speedy? I interview a week from today. I wasn't looking for a new job. My job is fine. But it is just that- fine. My current job is in my field, it has been a good addition to my resume, but I am not challenged and I am not as passionate about this specific field as some other related fields. Okay, and to be honest- I don't feel there are opportunities for me to grow as a leader in my current position and I don't think my boss, as nice as she is, I don't think she has any clue of how under-utilized I am.

My current job is only %55 time. I chose that route so that I could work on developing my own business in my other half time- and work with my business partner in hopes of some day being able to early a salary from our company. My business partner has had some life stuff going on, and I am realizing I don't work well with just me, myself, and I. and while we live just fine with my part-time salary, a full-time salary means being able to grow our savings account. And I just feel like now is a good time to work full time, and save SO that when we/if we decide to jump into IVF or adoption we can do so with a bit more financial security. We will see- trying not to put the cart before the horse, but if it doesn't work, that will be okay. I just have enjoyed this feeling of something moving in my life and seeing where it might go. (Okay, and i'll admit i am interested in seeing if their medical policy just might include infertility treatments. Just curious- )

2nd RE Consultation
So we had an hour consultation today at a new clinic. I have not left my current clinic and don't plan to necessarily- I just wanted to get a second opinion, and particularly because I feared that light of the low sperm count post-wash, that we might be directed to IVF. And if we are directed that way, I will indeed re-look at making sure we are at the best clinic for us. The meeting was fabulous. I really liked him. Major questions he answered: a) he got DH to stop worrying about having curly tailed sperm, and low motility , and low morphology, and reminded him this is all just information and looking for trends, and to not analyze everything so exactly. He also said that DHs curly sperm or poorly morphed sperm are not the culprit in my two miscarriages. Which we both needed to hear. I am sure some could dispute that (?), but it helped to hear it. He didn't encourage RPL testing at this time. He did encourage an HSG and talked about what to ask for at my clinic to make sure the dye is oil based (?). And said that if I want to continue my care at my current clinic, they could just do the HSG (as they do it in office and don't outsource it like my clinic) and then get the results to my doc. I decided to go ahead and do that next cycle. He shared some great info about his preference for letrozole over clomid. He encourage DH to keep bicycling because it is good for stress release and he didn't worry too much about his bike seat being to blame for any sperm dysfunction. We had a brief chat about their shared risk insurance policy and I appreciated his frankness and compassion. (more on this in a sec) And then it got even better. After an hour with him, our "personal" nurse came in. Because they are a big clinic they assign a nurse to each patient so that you have one nurse's email and phone to contact directly for any questions. She sat and chatted with us for over 20 minutes. And then we met with the finance person. And she explained the shared risk plan to me. I know the concept of this insurance plan (pay one fee, roughly the cost of 2 1/2 cycles, and then get 3 fresh and 3 frozen. If you don't bring home a baby, then a partial refund), but never had seen the details. She gave us price sheets and details- and I feel like we have the information we need IF we need IVF in order to decide whether or not and how to proceed. But for now- this new doctor really encouraged us to try a few IUIs. I asked point blank if it was a waste of time with DHs low counts, and he said definitely not. So, I feel good about moving forward with IUI#2. I am already on CD6. My day 13 U/S is in 6 days. And if all goes as planned- IUI next Saturday.

Trying to focus on hoping in what could be possible....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


AF hasn't come yet, but BBT is plummeting daily. Pee sticks still stark white. Just waiting this out.

I actually had a really good day yesterday- I felt in control and hopeful. And DH, well, I love him more then I can say. He is so on this journey with me. I couldn't ask for anything more.

I am preparing myself for possibly needing to move on to IVF. Struggling a bit with the decision, but feeling like there are still a lot of questions to ask.

Monday, October 12, 2009

And so it goes

BFN on 12 dpiui and 13 dpiui. And my nice high BBT temps took a nose dive yesterday and again today. It's done.

I had prepared myself as much as possible that any IUI has low odds, and this one in particular with such a low count of swimmers. What is hard is that I had figured we'd give it three cycles of IUI before moving on to something else (more treatment or stopping). That was the plan.

Now I have no idea what is next. I have no idea what our options are. I have no idea if the low counts were a one time thing and we should try IUI again? Or if given his low counts more IUIs are a waste of time (and money)? I have no clue what to do next, I feel like if CD1 is imminent, then I don't have very many days to decide what the next steps are. IUI again to see if history repeats? dive into IVF? win the lottery to pay for it?

I have no idea what our next steps should be....nada

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Minus the guesswork

Even if this is a BFN, there is something nice about knowing that we did everything within our control to try for the BFP. DH and I were having this conversation in the car last night and it set a great tone for the weekend.

For the past almost two years now, almost every cycle has been a guessing game of charting temps, watching CM, trying to make sure it is timed right. And then in the end, my period would come and I really wouldn't know if we had indeed timed it right and it just didn't work or if we missed the timing. It was all left to guesswork and second guessing. And it lent itself to feelings of failure, having no idea if we did it "right."

This time- we know we got the timing as close as humanely possible. There is nothing else we could have done. The swimmers were given a head start to make there way up the two little tubes. They were able to bypass part of the swim and instead jump head first, making it easier on these borderline boys. Sure, they were low in numbers, but we know they were the best 3 millions swimmers, all the weaklings were, in theory, left behind in the lab. And, it's worth point out that these poor morphology, low motility, borderline swimmers have gotten me pregnant twice already with no sperm-washing assistance. And we know these best swimmers had three nice plump follicles that were triggered by hcg to release at as close to the perfect timing as possible. One in the left and two in the right ovary. We did everything possible. And that makes me feel like I will be okay with a BFN. At least I know that we did everything we could to try with much less guess work involved.


As I have mentioned before, we have been working on our homestudy for over two years for an adoption. Two years ago, before we even started TTC, we started the adoption process for Yolle, our teenage daughter we tried to adopt. When that fell through, we sat on the unfinished homestudy for a long time. We had our first miscarriage. We sat on it some more. Worked on it a bit really diligently once the grief cloud lifted. Had our second miscarriage. Months of not working on it. Feeling indecisive. (Not really liking our social worker, which doesn't help matters.) Well, we finally found our inertia again and in August, we decided to pick two weekends in October that we would finish our workbook homework which is the major hold-up in the process right now. This weekend happens to be one of the weekends we picked. And it has been a nice and surprisingly a healing exercise in the midst of the IUI countdown. I have found that the workbook, is really well written, and while I feared that my feelings of paralysis and indecision would rear their ugly heads, instead i am getting excited and finding it healing to work through the book. The book so far has talked a lot about loss- loss for the adopted child, loss for the birth parents, and loss for the adoptive parents. And in all that, I am finding a release for some of the loss related to the miscarriage that was holding me back from the adoption journey. I don't think it was an accident that we chose this weekend to work on the book.

Friday, October 9, 2009

10 dpiui

Coming close to the final countdown...

Tomorrow will be 11 dpiui
Sunday will be 12 dpiui
Monday, well you get the picture.

I haven't decided when I will test for sure. Rationally, I don't have any hope for this cycle, so it it silly to even count down. The postwash counts were just to bleak at 3 million instead of a minimum of 10 million that they "like" to see post wash. But in my heart, I am still deep down, way down, hoping. hoping.

But I am reminding myself to read this post that I wrote to myslef (and to read it often).

I tested yesterday (to track the HCG trigger in my system). There was the faintest faintest second line. Today I tested and it was definitely negative. So I feel good that the trigger is out of my system.

I am thinking I will test on Monday- 13 dpiui.

And trying to tell myself that regardless of the answer it will just be nice to be out of this 2ww and on to something else- whatever that will be.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Tired tonight. Today is my start to the weekend and I am SO glad.

Some snip-its:

DH and I are in the place today that we just are pickin' at each other, notreally fighting, but definitely annoying each other. I am certain we are both tired, a bit worn out by all of this. but I want to be taken care of, I want him to have grace for my whiny, bitchy side. I want all my needs met by him. Not realistic I know. he has needs too. Trying to remind myself of that as I have been pouting all day in his presence.

My dear friend that recently told me she was pregnant? The announcement that sent me into sobs for the rest of the night? I saw her for the first time tonight since she got pregnant. It was hard, but okay. I was honest with her, and some tears were shed, letting her know I am barely holding it together right now when it comes to any related to the "p" word. It was a little awkward but she was gentle and I am glad to have spoke of the elephant in the living room.

Trying to figure out when I will be certain that the HCG from the injection (Ovi.drel?) has left my system? When I POAS, how do I know if its the injection or what?

Yes, I know- random thoughts tonight. But I'm off to bed.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


"What is faith? Faith is being grasped by the power of love. Faith is recognizing that what makes God is infinite mercy, not infinite control; not power, but love unending. Faith is recognizing that if at Christmas Jesus became like us, it was o that we might become more like him. We know what that means: watching Jesus heal the sick, empower the poor, and scorn the powerful, we see transparently the power of God at work. Watching Zacchaeus climb the tree a crook and come down a saint, watching Paul set out a hatchet man for the Pharisees and return a fool for Christ, we know that our lives too can become channels for divine mercy to flow out to save the lost and the suffering."

-Will.iam Sl.oane Co.ffin
My default state, if I am honest, is to ask "why me?" I find myself grieving because I don't want this journey that I am on. I want it MY way. The way I had planned it.

This reading above was used as part of our church service recently and it so spoke to me. So often I am looking for the ways in which God is in control, or for things to be fixed, or made right. And in fixating on that, I miss the ways in which I am "grasped by the power of love" in the process. I had a conversation today in an unexpected place, with a unexpected friend about infertility. And I was overcome with peace in the midst of that conversation. Unexpected peace. And I was reminded the ways in which we and others around us become "channels of divine mercy" that flows out around us... so often in the unexpected.

And I keep fighting to find and stay in this center...

Sunday, October 4, 2009


****UPDATED- So 1 hour later the storm has passed a bit since writing this and I am realizing after cleaning up the mess from sobbing on DHs unexpected shoulder that this was probably more of a hormone-induced freak out session than I thought at the time. I am feeling a bit more like me. Not that the heart of this emotion isn't valid- so I will leave it unedited it for you to experience it in all its rawness. Ugg.


I don't feel very good. It's partly physical, but that's not entirely it. Physically I feel "ugg", but my mental state and spiritual states are "ugg" as well.

I realized tonight that have I have been in this space before. Not too long ago. I feel the same tonight as I did during the wait in between finding out I was pregnant for the second time and waiting until 8 weeks for my 1st ultrasound. The wait to know if the second time would be any different then the first.

Tonight I feel like just saying "i'm done- i can't do this anymore and I don't want to do this anymore." done. And as I said that in my head, I flashbacked to the last time I felt like this- that waiting period in my 2nd pregnancy. I felt this exact same way. Not sure if I could go on with the wait. Not sure if was, am, strong enough to go through this. Berating myself that i am so weak as to not fight for something (I thought) I wanted so badly. I am so ready to just give up. to let go of it all. I don't know if I want it badly enough. I don't know if I am capable of surrendering. And I know that is what I need to do. To let go and know that I DON'T HAVE ANY CONTROL OVER ANY OF THIS. The control I "think" I have in day to day life, is actually just made-up. I really have no ability to control how any of this is going to end. And I am not okay with that.

I thought i would be able to find a centered place in going through this infertility journey. A place of not holding to a certain outcome, a place of taking each day as it come, a place of some-what letting go. i don't think i am capable of that.

Add in a healthy dose of hormones to throw me out of whack, and i am a mess tonight.

Friday, October 2, 2009

After the IUI

first off- thanks so much for the comments on my last post. It helps so much to not feel so alone on this journey.


i'm a little cranky today. i don't feel great- maybe allergies, maybe clomid and such, maybe i am just tired.

i wasn't expecting to have the iui take so much out of me that day- emotionally but also the cramping was constant for the next 24 hours. it wasn't a cramping i was used to- not really AF cramps, not really miscarriage cramps, different. I am cramping all day today- but if feels like AF cramps. Even though I am only 3 days past iui. Sounds like from what google tells me this is normal.

most of the time, these past several days, i just don't care about any of this. i don't believe this will work, thus i just don't care. Defense mechanism I know. i think I am also realizing "what the heck did we just do? we are trying to get pregnant?!!!!" having had two consecutive miscarriages, the idea of intentionally trying to get pregnant seems plain ol' absurd if I really think about it. I don't know if I am prepared for the first 7-12 week wait again.

anyways. feeling a bit blue. wishing our path in life looked different than it does. Praying and trying to trust that in the end, the darkness will be transformed into something more beautiful than I can imagine. ..hard to imagine at this point what that could be.