I’m officially at the start of my IUI cycle! What that means is that I’m a little less than 2 weeks away from potential insemination.
Yesterday was CD2 (cycle day 2) and I went in bright (not so bright) and early for an ultrasound. All checked out OK and I got my prescription for Clomid as well as a trigger shot should I need it in a couple of weeks.
I started Clomid today, which I’m to take through CD7. Then on CD12 I start monitoring ovulation from home. If I get a positive then I go in the next morning for an IUI. If by CD14 I haven’t gotten a positive, then I go in for another ultrasound and the doctor will let me know next steps, which are likely to give myself the trigger shot and then come in the next morning for an IUI.
I’m pretty excited. Of course there’s anxiousness and nerves, but also excitement. I know that there are different ways this can go and I’ve already accepted the fact that it could take a few months. At the same time, I want to only think positive thoughts this month. I want to try and set aside the practical or realist in me and just think optimistically.
I’ve been re-watching Mad Men in preparation for the final season. Yes, I am one of those people that does that and loves it, even if I know what’s going to happen.
I just finished the penultimate episode where Don and Peggy dance to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” It’s amazing how different scenes, whether it be on TV, in movies or books, can impact you depending on what is going on in your own life. Right before Don and Peggy dance, they sit there having a heartfelt vulnerable moment. These are two people who are generally very closed off and who up until this point in the season have been anything but friends. Peggy is struggling to come up with a new idea for a commercial mainly because all research shows it should be geared towards mothers, and as the token woman copy writer she’s always been assigned to be the voice of the mother. Her problem is that she doesn’t know what that is like. She breaks down about the fact that she just turned 30 and that all she could think about when she was interviewing mothers across the country was why she didn’t have what they had. Right on cue “My Way” starts playing on the radio and Don alludes to the fact that Peggy has done things her way. He stands up, reaches out for her hand and they dance. It’s a perfect scene.
I loved it the first time I watched, but tonight I felt like it was speaking to me. Not so much because of the obvious mother talk…that part of the scene still felt the same to me as it did back in May. It was more because of the acknowledgment of Peggy choosing to do things her way, which is not a lesser path than others have taken. I know what I’m choosing is not the conventional way, but it’s my way. And I know it’s the right choice for me.
I’m going to take a little break from all the fertility/insemination talk. A couple of nights ago, I was trying to find a notebook or pad of paper to jot down pros and cons on different donors and I found some writing that I did back in my 20’s. It might be the equivalent of a blog post back then, although not published for all to see.
This is a piece that I wrote at 21 when I had just moved to NYC after graduating college. While so much has changed in my life since then, I thought it was still relevant today. It might be slightly different than I imagined, but strikes a cord in terms of where I am in my life right now and the new chapter I am about to start. So here it is:
It’s weird how life just happens. One minute you are in this comfortable, familiar place and the next you are pushed into this alternate universe. As awkward and uneasy as it may be, you know that it is where you belong. You wake up one day and this strange, foreign place is yours. It is what makes you keep going; it is what keeps you being the person that you are.
Some people aren’t meant to stay confined to one place. They are meant to roam around and scare the shit out of themselves in order to find out who they are. It is a journey that might bring them back to where they started, but everything in between was this wonderful, horrible, beautiful experience.
Your life gets twisted in ways that you once thought unimaginable and all you can do is hold on for the ride. All you can do is hope that it’s all for something…that these twists are taking you to the place you are meant to be. I don’t think that anyone truly knows what they want for their lives. I mean, truly truly knows. I meet people who say that they have all these plans. They know where they want to live when they’re 80 and what kind of cake they’ll have at their wedding and how many kids and grandkids they’ll have. That’s all bullshit. How do they know what they want? How can they be so young but know what they want out of life when they haven’t even lived it yet? I’m not saying that I don’t have any of these plans. I want 3 kids (2 girls and a boy), I want a Vera Wang wedding dress, and I want to marry Pacey. But I know that these plans don’t mean anything. I have no clue who I am going to marry. I don’t even know what I want to be when I grow up (and I’m 21).
If you spend so much time planning then you are constantly going to be disappointed. You won’t know what happened when you get twisted upside down. It is good to dream, but it is also good to be prepared to be surprised. How can you know what you want for your life at 50 if you don’t even know who you will be at that point? It would be sad if you were 50 and still the same person you are now. You just have to explore life like you would explore a new city and take it in as you will.
Make yourself uncomfortable. Immerse yourself in your alternate universe. Let life just happen.
Yesterday I had my meeting with the doctor and all is good to proceed. I already knew from my SIS ultrasound last week that my fallopian tubes and uterus looked good. He told me that both the hormone testing and first ultrasound all showed that I have a good ovarian reserve and my fertility looks good. So I’m all set to move forward as soon as I want to!
I also met with the nurse who walked me through what comes next and gave me advice on the whole choosing a donor process. Most of what she told me I had already found out in my research. She gave me a list of their preferred banks, which didn’t really narrow much for me. She did tell me exactly what I needed to purchase and that I could have it sent to the clinic as soon as I find the donor that I like.
There’s a couple of things besides choosing a donor that I have to do in the next couple of weeks. I need to go through a psych evaluation that they require for anyone using donor sperm, even couples. I also need to do one more blood test.
Then on day 1 of my next cycle, I call to schedule a blood test and ultrasound for day 2-3. During that consult, they’ll hand me my prescription for 50 mg of Clomid which I need to take for 5 days. Clomid helps with the stimulation of follicles, so it’s just to up my chances of getting pregnant. There’s only a 20% chance for anyone to get pregnant, so I’ll take the increase in chances.
I then have to monitor for ovulation. If by day 14 I haven’t gotten a positive, I go in for an ultrasound and if all looks good proceed with a trigger shot that night to stimulate ovulation. Then the next morning I’d go in for the IUI followed by a second IUI the next morning.
If I do get the ovulation signal prior to day 14, then I go in the next morning for the IUI. The doctor did tell me that part of what they’ll look at in the ultrasound prior to IUI is whether it looks like I have too many follicles. If there’s more than 2 ready to release, then they will cancel the IUI so as to not risk multiples. Even with 2 there is still a small risk, but it’s an 8% chance. If there’s more than 2 then it could result in even more than twins.
So that is it in a nutshell. While I feel somewhat more at ease now that I know my fertility is good and I’m ready to proceed, I haven’t fully processed everything. I’ll let you guys know more about what I’m actually feeling in the coming days. For now, I just wanted to provide an update and not keep you all hanging.
All my fertility tests are done and Tuesday I have the follow up with the doctor to dissect all the results and talk about next steps. What I know at this point is that my blood test results looked within range, my ovarian reserve is good and my tubes are not blocked. After a small scare that I might have polyps or fibroids during the HSG, I luckily got in for an SIS ultrasound the next day and confirmed that everything is OK. So it’s looking promising for moving forward next month.
While I’m 100% sure that I want to do this, my emotions are all over the map and that’s with my non-medicated regular hormones. One minute I’m really excited and the next I’m terrified. As much as I have my family and friends supporting me, I’m still going to be a parent on my own…I will be a one woman show. Of course, I have hope that some day I will still meet someone, but I can’t think of that as a given and I don’t know when that might be.
There’s the upside of getting to make all the parenting decisions without having to compromise with someone else, but there’s the downside of not having someone to bounce ideas off of when it comes to names or pediatricians or nannies. There’s the thought of feeling the first kick one night and not being able to turn to someone in excitement to say “Feel this” or of going into labor in the middle of the night and not have your partner there scrambling for the bag you packed.
I know what I am doing is not conventional. I realize that it is going to be hard. I guess what keeps me sure that I want to move forward is that I can picture my life with my child and it all feels worth it. I can picture him/her smiling at me, yelling that they hate me, laughing with me and growing up before my eyes. I am aware that it won’t be easy, but it isn’t easy for anybody.
I can imagine all the moments through this process when I’ll be scared, but sometimes the scariest things in life are the ones most worth it. You leap and the net will appear.
First round of fertility tests – done. HSG scheduled for Wednesday. Follow up meeting with the doctor to go over the results on March 17th.
I went into the doctor’s office yesterday somewhat nervous, but not too bad. It was more nerves of never having done an ultrasound before. I got my blood taken for the hormone tests, as well as genetic testing. The nurse was just as nice as all the ones that I’ve dealt with there so far. She then had me wait in a separate waiting room for the ultrasound.
As I waited, a woman came in with her daughter. The little girl had a notebook and markers. This first thing she said as they sat down was, “I want to make something for that girl” as she pointed to me. It melted my heart. She drew me something and then walked over to give it to me and ask my name. We had a super cute conversation about how old she was and why she wasn’t in school until the technician came in to get me. It was a very heartwarming way to spend the time waiting.
The ultrasound went fine. I had been under the impression from the forum I’ve been reading that they tell me something right away in terms of how many follicles I have, etc. but the technician didn’t tell me anything. I asked her, but she said that I had to wait to review the results with the doctor. All she would tell me was that she was able to see everything she needed to.
My initial reaction was to think that something is wrong. If everything was great, she would tell me, right? Then she led me to where I needed to pay. I asked the women if I could go ahead and schedule the results follow up with doctor or if I needed to wait until after the HSG. She said she could schedule me and proceeded to tell me that the 31st was the first time the doctor could meet with me. I was devastated. If I wait that long, it would be very hard and leave very little time to actually start anything in April. I told her as much until she was able to get me something in their Margate location on the 17th. She was kind of cold or maybe I had just gotten so accustomed to the others in the office that had been so friendly.
I left a little depressed with worries about the ultrasound and then concerns about seeing a different doctor for the next meeting. I had to call to make an additional appointment with a nurse to go over the ins and outs of donor selection. At the office she had told me that this appointment could only be made on the phone directly with the nurse. When the nurse finally called me back later in the afternoon, she was very nice and also confirmed that I would be meeting with my doctor just in another location. This news made me feel a lot better.
I also posted about my nerves with the ultrasound on the forum and received lots of reassuring comments from the other women that many technicians are not allowed to tell you anything. Sometimes you get a chatty one that tells you more than you should. Some other women mentioned that it was their actual doctor doing the ultrasound which is why they got their results right away. Needless to say I feel less nervous.
Now onto the continued waiting…
Tomorrow I go in for my first fertility tests: hormone and genetic testing, plus an ultrasound. Right now I’m less nervous than I was before my first appointment. I think it’s partly because I’ve at least already been to the office and felt comfortable there. That part is less of an unknown now. Partly it could also be because I’ve been reading so much about everything that I pretty much know what to expect. I’m just going in for the tests and will only minimally be able to figure out what the results all mean for now.
More than being nervous, I’ve been anxious…constantly anxious. It’s difficult to think of anything else. Many of the women on the forum I joined refer to this process as constantly waiting in 2 week increments or cycles. Because the chances are so low to conceive the first time, they’ve been going through it month after month. When you’re still in my stage which is testing, the waiting begins after your first visit with the specialist (RE) until you start your cycle. Then you have a few tests to take. I have the appointment tomorrow and then another one for the HSG scheduled for next Wednesday. After that there’s waiting to meet with the RE to go over the results and talk next steps.
I’m anticipating that I’d be able to start on my next cycle, which means that the waiting will then be for my cycle to start again with possible monitoring in the 2 weeks until ovulation. Then insemination would take place and I’d have to wait 2 weeks for the official pregnancy test by the doctor. If it doesn’t work, then it starts all over again. I know I’m thinking ahead…honestly this initial waiting to take the tests has been torturous enough. I have high hopes (and so does the doctor) that based on my age and medical history, I shouldn’t have any issues and should be good to go. However, it is all just optimistic thoughts at this point.
I’m excited to get started…I guess my only wish is that time would go by a little more quickly.