IUI #3 – Check

It’s incredible how quickly things can start to feel like habit. If you think about it, I’ve only been on this TTC (Trying to Conceive) journey for 3 months. Somehow it feels like I’ve been going to those doctors’ offices forever. There’s the familiar faces and conversations, and the ease I now feel in that environment.

As I sit in the waiting room (for the IUI I have to wait 1 hour), I look around at the other women and couples. I can fairly accurately distinguish the newbies from those of us that have it down pat. I know what kind of wait I’m against for IUI’s, but also that blood draws and ultrasounds are pretty quick. I know depending on the cycle day whether they are also going to need a urine test or whether I can come with an empty bladder. When I check out, I’m prepared for exactly what follow up appointments I need to make and sometimes I’m the one that reminds the woman at the desk that she forgot my ID bracelet for the IUI procedure.

Just a few short months ago it was a foreign place and every appointment felt new. Now that I know it so well, I’m ready to get back to the unfamiliar. I’m ready for new types of appointments and ultrasounds. The doctor yesterday told me, “Hopefully the next time I see you is for your pregnancy ultrasound and not here in the office again.” I hope so to. I’m trying to stay positive and stay focused in the now.

After my last failed cycle a couple of weeks ago, I was really down. It took an emotional toll on me and while I’m still scarred from it, I had to re-think how I was handling some of this. I had more or less stopped any exercise because the nurse had told me not to do anything too active during the 2 weeks post IUI. I’ve been living my life in 2 week increments but it was like I had stopped the rest of my life and it was making all of this even harder. I was sluggish and feeling isolated, which made the failed cycle that much more devastating and difficult to handle.

Since then I’ve been trying to re-focus. I went to yoga classes a couple of times last week and I also got a Fertility Yoga DVD. It’s yoga that I’ll be able to do these 2 weeks too. The DVD has some meditation exercises on there too, which I think have been helpful. I did it this morning prior to going in for the IUI.

As I lay there today while the nurse and doctor were doing the procedure (it was complicated again this time), I kept to my breathing and repeated to myself “I am fertile and abundant.” I’ve never thought of myself to be into affirmations or intentions, but I’ll do whatever it takes to stay positive and get pregnant.

I have my 2nd IUI tomorrow and then the TWW begins again. I am taking progesterone this time, so hopefully that will combat the issue I’ve been having with the short cycle. Wish me luck!

Trying to Forge Ahead

I’m an avid reader, but I go through phases. It’s sometimes hard for me to start a book, but once I get into it I can devour it in a few days (sometimes in 1 day). Until recently I was on a plane to California once a month, so was reading a book every 1-2 months. Without those plane rides, I had accumulated a pile of unread books. I still buy them, I just don’t start them 🙂

As I started going to the doctor’s office more often, I realized it was the perfect opportunity to get back into my reading. On my way to the last IUI a few weeks ago, I was looking through my pile and then remembered that I had bought a non-fiction book (sort of self help) and had started it sometime in the fall only to have left it to get dusty on my nightstand. It seemed like the perfect thing to be reading right now.

The book is called The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown. I had once seen a TED talk with Brown where she talks about vulnerability. I highly recommend it. It spoke to me because I know that most of the time, I don’t allow myself to be vulnerable which in turn affects my relationships with people and trying new things. So when I was in the bookstore months ago and saw her book, I figured it couldn’t hurt to read it.

Last Sunday as I sat in the waiting room reading, I came across this part in the book talking about how our current culture of instant gratification makes you think that anything that doesn’t come easy or fast is a poor reflection on you.

The part that struck me was, “When we experience something that is difficult and requires significant time and effort, we are quick to think, This is supposed to be easy; it’s not worth the effort, or, This should be easier:it’s only hard and slow because I’m not good at it. Hopeful self-talk sounds more like, This is tough, but I can do it.

There I was feeling defeated after a second IUI cycle…feeling like there has to be something wrong with me and then I read that passage. It’s what I needed to read in the moment. It helped in that moment, but I’ve had trouble continuing to believe it. I’m forging ahead with this next cycle and trying to stay positive, but it has been harder this time around.

My emotions are all over the place and I worry that this will take months or that it won’t work at all. I am trying to push away the negativity and defeat. I’m trying, which is my way of acknowledging the roughness of this, but still believing that this will happen for me.

3rd Times a Charm?

Here we go again. Another failed cycle. Another CD2 ultrasound. Another Clomid prescription.

I spent the days since my last IUI trying not to read too much into what I was feeling. It’s harder said than done. I think I did pretty well the first week, but then it was like going from 1 minute thinking I was pregnant because I fell asleep at 9 pm to the next minute thinking that it had nothing to do with it. I ate a piece of broccoli and spit it out because it tasted so off, which I interpreted to mean I was pregnant. I could go on and on about all the “signs.”

The thing is that I keep thinking that what I’m feeling is not in my mind. That the egg is actually being fertilized and the embryo is making it’s way to my uterus. I’ve started to convince myself that the issue is with implantation because my luteal phase (the time from ovulation to getting my period) is too short. My body isn’t allowing enough time for implantation.

I started feeling this well around the time of my last IUI when I realized that my last 2 cycles had been around 24-25 days instead of 28. Ever since high school I had had short cycles, but in my adult life I had been on the pill so long that I didn’t know what my body would do now. I went off the pill in December and my first 2 cycles were exactly 28 days. The funny thing is that when I was younger I thought that getting my period more often meant that I must be super fertile! Yeah, I guess I didn’t really pay too much attention in biology class or wherever they teach you all of this stuff.

Anyway, I brought it up with the nurse when I went into the IUI. She didn’t seem too worried, but had the doctor call me. When we spoke he said he was very pleased with my reaction to Clomid this cycle. I had 2 mature follicles and maybe even a 3rd on the cusp. When I told him that my previous cycle had only been 24 days he did sound a little worried, but he said that with the amount of mature follicles I should be producing more progesterone and that he still had high hopes. He did say that if I had another short cycle, that I should make an appointment to sit down and talk with him because we might be dealing with an issue we didn’t know we had.

Sure enough, another 24 day cycle. I have faith in my doctor, so that’s a good thing. At the same time, I am starting to think this is going to be a much longer journey than I thought. We might have to try different things before we get this right and now of course I’m also worried that I might not be able to get pregnant at all. I know I’m jumping to conclusions, but it’s hard not to. I see women on the SMC site who have been at this for months and years and I don’t know how they push through. It’s like a knife slicing through my heart each time…a little more painful each time.

Happy Anniversary!

A year ago today I published my first blog post. Blogging is something I had thought about for a while, but had hesitated partly from not being sure how it would be received and partly because of my over analytical nature that prevented me from doing a lot of things I was thinking about.

When I deciding to take a pause with work last year, I figured why not. It helped to think about it in terms of something I was just doing for myself; if no one read it, it was OK. At a minimum I’d get to practice my writing and see where that led me.

I haven’t always been as consistent as I’ve liked with my posts, but I have enjoyed it. I’ve liked receiving comments from you whether via the blog or in conversation. It’s been nice to in a way reconnect with people who have played important roles in my life even if we don’t remain close today.

Over the last few months, the blog has been more focused on this path to motherhood that I’m on. I don’t intend for it to only be focused on this and do hope to be able to touch on different subjects that are important in my life or that I want to share. It’s been difficult for me to write about other subjects because most days it feels like I have a one track mind, but I know eventually I’ll expand that horizon again.

Thank you to all of you that have humored me by reading and subscribing to my blog, to those of you who have truly been invested in my journey, and to the support you have all shown.

A doctor, a Nurse and a Med Student

I was laying there feet in stirrups, legs wide open as 3 people tried to figure out how to get a catheter in my cervix.

That was what today’s IUI was like and through my discomfort all I could do was laugh. If this is the cycle I get pregnant, it will be an amusing story to tell my child of how s/he was conceived.

For the 3 IUI’s I’d had prior to today (2 last cycle and 1 yesterday) I had the same nurse. During the 1st IUI she had some issues and it took maybe 10 minutes of her trying and moving the speculum around to get it to work. The other 2 times it took all of 1 minute.

Today I had another nurse. She was having trouble inserting the catheter and while completely friendly, at first I thought that she just didn’t have the patience the other nurse had had. She tried for a little bit and then got a different catheter she said might bend more easily. Then she changed the speculum. She said some women have what would seem to be 2 openings in their cervix with one being a dead end. After no success, she said she was going to get a doctor to assist.

Ten minutes later, in walks the nurse, doctor and medical student (it’s a teaching practice). The doctor pulled up my last ultrasound to get a feel for what he might be dealing with and said I had a wavy entrance to my uterus. He continued with “It would be fun for sledding but not for this.” All I could then think of was the sperm sledding into the uterus!

Then I found myself with all three of them in front of me trying different catheters. They even ended up giving me local anesthesia. What could take minutes took half and hour, but I walked out with the IUI completed and a good story to tell.

I’m hoping it means good luck for this cycle!

Take 2

Last night I must have slept 4 hours at most as I was a bundle of nerves tossing and turning. Last cycle I was eerily calm when it came time for the IUI but this month I can’t shut my brain off.

I’ve felt like timing is off or something this month even though it’s not so off base. Last month I got a positive Ovulation Predictor Test on the evening of CD13, so I went straight in for an IUI the next day instead of going in for the CD14 ultrasound and blood work. I was expecting this month to go the same, so when last night the 2 tests I took were negative, I started to get nervous.

It doesn’t help that I have a busy work week. My job is completely different now and I’ve been more concentrated on one project that has required some long meetings every couple of weeks, while the in between time I can be a little more flexible with my schedule. Of course, the next round of full 2 day meetings fall Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. I had to tell the consultant I’m working with that I’ll be late to the meeting that I planned. It goes against all of my usual work ethic. Even though my blog is public, I haven’t openly been telling people at work, so all I could tell her was that I have a doctor’s appointment I can’t move.

I was sort of banking on my first IUI being today and the second on Tuesday, so I could at least be there the full day Wednesday. So seeing the negative last night, I knew it meant 3 mornings of doctor appointments and it added to the stress/pressure that I already feel with this cycle. And, I know I’m supposed to try not to be stressed…

I went in for the ultrasound and I have two leading follicles, which is good. They had me give myself the trigger shot tonight and I’ll be going in tomorrow AM for the IUI. I’m trying to let go of the guilt of being late to my meeting tomorrow and hoping that I can just relax during the procedure and the 15 minutes afterwards.

I want to think good thoughts. I want to feel like last month was a trial and this is it.