IUI #4 – Check

I had my IUI’s over the weekend, so officially in my TWW. There were so many IUI’s at the clinic this weekend that I had to wait over 2 hours on Saturday morning. I guess all of us going there have our cycles synced up 🙂

Everything looked good at my ultrasound on Friday and I had a really good response to the meds, so I have high hopes! I head to North Carolina tomorrow on vacation, so hoping that the time away will provide some distraction from the wait. I’m excited to get away to the middle of nowhere and to spend time with the family.

Almost Time for Round 4

I survived the Gonal F injection I had to give myself earlier this week and tomorrow I go in for a day 12 ultrasound and blood test to see my response to all the meds. I’m guessing that the next IUI will be Saturday/Sunday.

I’ve been pretty busy the last week, so haven’t had as much to obsess about all of this, but I do have high hopes for this go around. If I responded well and have more than 1 mature follicle, plus I take the progesterone I think I have a good chance of getting pregnant this time.

We shall see.

Paternity Leave

There’s been buzz in the news about paid paternity leave mostly due to Toms Shoes founder, Blake Mycoskie, writing about it in Glamour magazine. He writes about the benefits that his paternity leave had on him personally and in turn professionally (and creatively) upon returning to work. He also writes about encouraging the same to his employees and how the company offers paid paternity leave. Their employees are more productive and centered when they return.

I think this is great. I really do. It would be fantastic for both parents to have the ability to take the time to spend with their newborn child. To start that child’s life together working hand in hand. Or even to be able to save on child care costs and increase bonding by the baby getting to spend 6 full months at home (3 months with each parent separately). I hope that we do see more companies doing this in the coming years.

BUT, and maybe it’s not such a big but, we should first focus on getting paid maternity leave for mothers (unless it’s a dad only household). The fact that in most companies in this country maternity leave is unpaid, just goes to show how little regard we still have for women being a substantial breadwinner for her family.

Take out the single mother scenario for now. The assumption that the family can get by with only one salary for 12 weeks, with the addition of an expensive new family member, is assuming that the husband is the primary breadwinner and that the lack of the wife’s salary won’t make too big of an impact. This is not the case with many families where both spouses make similar incomes or where the parent who gave birth might be making more.

Now add back in the single mother scenario. It takes a lot of planning to ensure that you’ll be able to manage not only an increase in expenses, but also 12 weeks without pay. Even with FMLA, most companies ask that you use any accrued vacation, personal or sick time towards those 12 weeks. This way, when you do come back to work and your child gets sick, you have no sick time! I’ve obviously been thinking about this a lot more now and it’s hard for me to imagine how many people squeak by without help from others.

I’m telling you all of this from someone who works at a company where we don’t give paid leave. From the business side I see the struggle for the added expense of paying an employee who is not working. I see the financial burden to the company who might need to bring a temp in the meantime to cover the role and therefore be paying more. But from a personal stand point I see what it could mean to a parent to be able to focus on the new baby without the extreme stress of having less/no money coming in during that time. I can see that probably 80% of the employees coming back from a paid leave would feel grateful and would come back bringing new perspective into their work.

All of this is basically to say that before we start picketing for paid paternity leave, let’s work on paid “1 parent leave.” I don’t know what the best way to put it is, but I want to be inclusive of a 2 dad or single dad household. If we can at least get 1 parent per household to get paid leave, then we can work further on getting that for both parents.

I think there are great benefits to providing both the maternity and paternity leave. I’m not angry about all the talk going on for paternity leave, but it would be wonderful if we don’t lose sight of the fact that most mother’s aren’t getting paid for their leaves either.

Scary Needles and Syringes

I went in for my day 2 ultrasound yesterday. All is good to proceed with another IUI cycle. I started Clomid today. Last month when I had talked to the doctor we spoke about getting more aggressive, so next Tuesday I have to inject myself with Gonal F which should stimulate more mature follicles. Then on the 26th I go in for an ultrasound to see how I’ve responded and schedule my next IUI.

The nurse gave me a demonstration of what I need to do with the Gonal F and I have to say that I’m nervous. It’s not so much with given myself the shot. I’ve done that each time with the trigger shot, but it’s the preparation and making sure that I do it correctly. The trigger shot comes pre filled, so really all I’ve had to do is give myself the shot to the right or left below my belly button. The Gonal F comes as a powder in a little glass bottle. The syringe is filled with water. I have to take a very large looking needle and insert that into the bottle releasing the water so it mixes with the powder. Then I “suck” the liquid back into the syringe, change the needle to a more normal sized one and proceed with the injection. I’m just worried that I’m going to mess up somehow.

I’ll be doing the progesterone again post IUI. I have high hopes for this try, but only time will tell. For now I get to go out of town for the weekend to Curacao for a wedding. It will be nice to have a change of scenery and routine.

On to the Next

4 negative home pregnancy tests later, I think I’ve resigned myself to this not being my cycle. I think I’m numb right now and it hasn’t completely hit me yet.

Since Aunt Flo (AF) hasn’t come to visit yet, I haven’t started all the testing, etc. of a next cycle so the full reality hasn’t sunken in. I guess the good news is that the progesterone worked in lengthening my cycle. The doctor wants me to be a little more aggressive this cycle so that I respond better and end up with more than 1 follicle. I think that if I get 2, like I did on my 2nd try and now add in the progesterone that I’ll have much better odds.

I have to say that as much I am happy that I got through the full “normal” length of a cycle, now that I know I’m not pregnant, I’d really like to get started with the next one. Everyone says to be patient…I get it, but it’s just not that easy.

My mind is already racing with the next cycle and timing, which all depends on when AF decides to arrive. I was planning on going away the 30th through the 4th of July, but it’s looking more and more like the 30th is when my next IUI will fall. I also think I’m going to switch up my donor. I had bought 6 vials, which are now gone. I could buy more from the same donor, but I think it won’t hurt to switch that up a bit too.

On to the next…

Google = The Enemy

It’s amazing how much I’ve looked up on Google since I made the decision to start trying to conceive. In the beginning I looked up what different test scores meant, success rates, etc. Once I had my first IUI, I started looking up every twinge I felt in my body to see if it meant I was pregnant or not.

With each try, there’s less to google since there’s only so many times you can type in “early pregnancy symtpoms” or “how soon can I feel symptoms.” But there’s still lots to investigate. Yesterday I typed in “how long after implantation can HCG be detected?” This was my way of gauging whether it would make sense to take an early pregnancy test or not.

What I’ve realized is that you can find comments to sway you in whatever direction you want. If you’re looking for hope, you’ll usually find it and if you’re looking for doom and gloom, that’s there too. There’s information to suit your every mood.

Against my better judgment, I’ll continue to google.


I’m half way through my TWW and the insanity is kicking in. All the questioning of what might be going on inside my body. The thing is that where the last two cycles I was feeling all sorts of stuff I could consider symptoms, this time I don’t feel any of that. I’m bloated from the progesterone, but that’s about it. One minute it makes me worry that I don’t feel anything and then the next minute I think it might be a good sign since the last 2 didn’t work.

The bloated feeling hasn’t helped with the self esteem. I try to find the right clothes that fit comfortably, but also don’t make me look pregnant! The thing is that I know I’ve gained weight since I started trying to conceive. It’s partly stress eating, partly having cut back on exercise, and partly the obsession with chai lattes that I’ve had recently. I tend to yoyo between a few pounds. At the end of last year, I lost about 6 pounds and was feeling better. Over the last 2-3 months, I’m pretty sure I’ve gained it back. Now I’m feeling self conscious.

Yesterday I was at a friend’s house and they had that pogo ball thing for the kids – you know the round disc with the ball in the middle and you stand on the disc and jump? I got on it and started bouncing only to suddenly remember that I was TTC and that all the jumping might not be good for a potential embryo trying to implant in my uterus, so then clumsily stopped almost falling flat on my face.

All that to say that any rigorous exercise makes me nervous right now. I did go to yoga yesterday morning and I think for now that’s what I feel the most comfortable doing. I’m trying to block out any body image stuff and just focus positive thoughts on being pregnant.

Sort of Going Viral

My blog has gone viral. Well, sort of. I guess it’s all relative. I went from having maybe 30 people visit my site in a day to reaching 90. Let me explain. The SMC forum that I belong to also has a blog. Once a week they put up a new blog post from different contributors and a couple of weeks ago it was one of my posts. It was the post from back in December titled Motherhood.

That post was very personal to me because it was actually an essay that I had worked on for about a year when I was thinking of becoming an SMC. I had started writing it for myself and had then used it in a writing class I was taking. When I announced on my blog my thoughts of becoming a single mother of choice, I used that essay.

I hadn’t read it since then until I saw it up on the SMC website and it felt different. I wrote it way before I knew realistically what it was going to like to become an SMC. While all those thoughts are still valid, and some of those doubts still run through my head, I have such a different perspective on it now. I know so much more.

The last 5 months have been an emotional roller coaster. There’s the excitement of finally moving forward with this, the anxiety over all the waiting, the heartbreak of a negative pregnancy test, and the determination of moving forward to the next cycle. If I wanted something to push me out of my comfort zone, this was definitely it. While I might seem very vocal and open due to this blog, I am actually not in “my real life.” I don’t talk too much about my feelings unless specifically asked. I don’t like feeling vulnerable. It takes a lot out of me to make small talk. I don’t like depending on others and really prefer to do things myself. I hardly even ever go to doctors because I hate calling to make appointments.

I now have a rapport with many of the nurses. I call my doctor’s office almost every week. I have pretty much made myself completely vulnerable on this blog, including on the SMC site by having my blog published there. And most of all, making the decision to be an SMC means that I know I am going to have to rely on others. I am going to need the help of family and friends to survive emotionally.

Reading that old post helps me remember how I came to this decision and why I want this so badly. It’s a good reminder to keep me moving towards my end goal. I’m 4 days in to my TWW, so trying not to think too much about it, but definitely hoping for the outcome I want.