Posts Tagged ‘ iui ’

Reblog (Kinda): Will It Always Be

I wrote this earlier on for my newer blog, but I thought it also fit here, too. After-all this is where I started the TTC journey. I can’t say if it’s hormones, or just years of pain, but I seem to be unable to be 100% happy for anyone else. And it makes it difficult for them to be happy for me.

I still dread facebook, family phonecalls, people’s news. It really doesn’t seem to matter that I’m pretty much almost 9 months pregnant. I burst into tears at a friend’s untactful announcement – do people still need to be tactful around me now that I’ve succeeded in conceiving? I am no longer TTC, I’ve STC or MTC, with help, but I still feel like I’m TTC. I deleted the family member who got pregnant and announced it on facebook (even though I didn’t consider her important enough to tell other than by facebook), I still offer half-hearted congratulations to other family members when they get to have their second already.

One of my best-friends was due a few weeks after me (it took a while for me to come to terms with that, too, because it was so, so close to me and I think I figure after this long I wanted to be special, unique and alone), but now due to medical issues, she’s going to have to be induced a week before my EDD. There’s still a chance I can “beat” her, but that’s where my problem is: it isn’t a freaking race! Don’t get me wrong, I’m worried for her, but also pleased that she and baby seem to be okay. There are increased risks now for both of them, but the doctors are all aware.

I still have the nagging thought though: she’s going to beat me. She along with everyone else I know, is going to beat me. And I’m so close to ending three years of pain, but I really will get there last.

Except none of that really matters does it?

It doesn’t matter that she’s going to “beat” me, that I’m last, that other people get their first, second, third so easily without any of the pain I endured for three years. All that matters is that we all have healthy babies, and that we stay healthy, too.

This was the other blog I posted:

I’ve said before that I think I’ll always consider myself fertility challenged and that until I reach the elusive Other Side, I could end up right back in the Trenches with all those others TTC.

I’d like to think that, all being well with Elvis, if I ever wanted a second I’d never liken that inevitable heartache with the 3 years I suffered and what those still TTC their first go through. They’re sure to be similar, both wanting something far outside of your reach, but they’re also world’s apart.

With a little over 2 weeks until my EDD it’s still all so uncertain. I could still lose everything and have my desperate run for life be shot down at the final hurdle. I honestly thought things would get better, that I’d stop feeling like this when I got pregnant because I was/am lucky enough to have conceived with assistance. Naively I knew that I’d never stop feeling infertile but I hoped it’d feel better.

It doesn’t feel better.

Despite feeling a 37 week Elvis kicking me I still feel like crap when someone else gets pregnant, when someone else is lucky enough to skip over all the pain and heartache I went through. I don’t hate them, not like I used to, but I still can’t deal with them.

Will it always be like this? Or will Elvis heal it all? How can I stop all of this coming between me, my family and my friends?

And it does matter. To a small enough part of me, it does matter that I’m last. That this world is so unfair that it keeps reminding me of how unfair it is.

Desperately, I want to stop feeling like this, to stop resenting or hating, to stop comparing, to stop feeling like I’m still TTC. Deep down I’m still so petrified of ending up back where I started. I couldn’t keep on with the trying journey before I got accepted for IUI, and I won’t survive not finishing this successfully. Maybe it really is as simple as when I hold him, I’ll stop. Maybe that really is the only way to stop all of the pain and negativity that built up over 3 years.

~ Persephone M

CD33 – The Testing Time

So I haven’t done an update in a while and its annoying in retrospect because, apparently, the IUI worked!

Day 28 (14dpo) came and went with me having suffered from extreme anger and odd tummy twinges including “ovulation” pain which did have me a bit concerned. So I googled it because I really could not figure out why I’d be getting pain where the hCG hurt so was clearly my ovaries. Until google revealed that I still have a corpus luteum in there.

And I potentially have 3 or more.

In that week from day 21 to 28 where I did start noticing being hot, I did have severe anger issues and an easy ability to cry I was still convincing myself that it was simply the 3 follicles worth of progesterone. On day 28 my bbt even dropped.

But I didn’t break down at it. Nor did I get hopeful over the increase in symptoms. For the first time ever really I kept my logical hat on knowing that it could be pregnancy or from the treament.

I honestly don’t know how I did it. But I also ignored how tired I was and how for a number of nights in a row I had a nap and still went to bed early.

I think it was the night of the 28th or 29th day that I noticed my need to pee at night and the odd pain in my tummy and back which also weren’t helping me sleep.

Day 29 (15dpo) I got so hot and bothered at work I walked out early, tired and needing a nap. It was when hubby got home that he made me take a test. He said it would better to know on the pm rather than am of 16dpo.

I took a test and didn’t really believe it. Although I knew it was correct. I knew I was pregnant. Not from the moment of conception or anything just because I knew it was all far too different. But I had remained logical because of the treatment and then remained calm because there’s a long way to go.

Day 30 (16dpo) I took another test in the am because the fertility center had advised to not test before 16. I had a problem peeing but still got a positive (and I still have 4 tests waiting to be used!). That morning I rang the center and got a scan booked in for less than 3 weeks.

The nurse was so excited for me, the few people I told at work are so excited for me but I just feel cautious. I’ve waited 3 years for this and I don’t want to count my flowers before they bloom (not a fan of poultry).

Day 31 and by the pm my symptoms had gone. I wasn’t as tired. My boobs were not as sore. I didn’t feel as hot and my skin wasn’t bright red. But I’d had the aircon on at work. Oh and I went the whole night without needing to pee. I got worried.

Day 32 and I was getting random tummy and back pains again – apparently normal as my body has started adapting and so I feel a bit happier. I decided that I needed to buy a book. I don’t want to get ahead of myself and become too invested when it’s early days but I need to know what’s normal!

I woke up just after midnight last night so technically today and day 33, with mild uterine cramps. Of all the random pains I’ve had in the past week, uterine based cramps haven’t been included. Over the space of 8 hours I had them 3 times and whilst mild compared to menstrual they didn’t feel that mild. So I woke hubby up and he tried to calm me. He did suggest that maybe it’s growing (which according to the book I just bought it probably is) but that just seems too weird to me.

It seems weird that it’s so early but already my body’s adapting. That it’s already growing. There’s 8 more months left!

But I have my “how many babies” scan in just over 2 weeks and the book I just bought to keep me calm, logical and not too pessimistic.

I just simply can’t believe that it worked first time (if you don’t include the three years!) and that it’s all going to be fine. In fact, I outright refuse to believe that it’s not going to be fine.

~ Persephone M

CD20 – 6 Days Post IUI

Day 20 and 6 days since the IUI(aka 6dpiui) but I don’t love all the abbreviations on this journey. I’m feeling ok. Haven’t gone crazy in the past week. There’s still time.

I’ve had odd and random stomach twinges, some which feel like the discomfort I had leading up to the ovulation. Which is odd. I also had a day with really bad discharge and I’ve still had weird hot flushes.

I want to say that I’ve been logical and calm; on the surface I have been. But I know that deep down I don’t fully believe myself. This is where I start to think I’m an idiot, that I’m stupid and naive, foolish and just well really the stupidest person on the planet.

Take the past week and how I’ve explained everything away. The heat and pains (more discomfort than actual pain) it’s because of the hormones I was injecting. Even more than those things I now have 3 corpus luteums (after the follicle releases its egg it becomes known as the corpus luteum) releasing progesterone rather than the usual monthly one. And progesterone is what causes the temperature rise post ovulation and through any potential pregnancy.

The weird discharge was because my cervical mucus was pierced and there’s always a risk of infection. Its passed now but clearly my mucus may have been responding.

So I have all the logical reasoning that the IUI hasn’t worked, but no matter how logical, how clever or how rational I can be there’s always something more powerful.

Hope.

No matter what scientific reasons I can reason everything away with, I still have hope.

Stupid, illogical, heartbreaking, pain causing hope.

And I hate it. Because other than the signs mentioned, there’s been no other possible symptoms of a pregnancy, which I keep telling myself is because its too early, but that’s where fear comes into it.

Fear that no matter how logical I can be saying that there’s still time, that it’s too early to know, fear makes me doubt everything.

Fear and hope, I hate them both, two sides of the same coin where only one can win. I have another week of being Schroedinger’s cat.

~ Persephone M

My IUI Scans

On my first IUI journey, my blog has so far reached Cycle Day 15. The next post is CD20 and then it skips to the end of the dreaded 2WW. Before we get onto those last 2 entries, I wanted to share my IUI scans.

Whilst giving myself the injections, I had to be scanned every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday by internal ultrasound to check how many eggs were growing in each ovary. Too many eggs, and the dose would need to be cut. Too few, and the dose would be increased.

The images are from days 7 and 9 of the cycle (I seem to have lost the images from CD11 and there were no more after that). The scans also check your lining to make sure it’s thick enough for implantation, but they don’t give you images.

I remember thinking, when the nurse gave me these images, that if the IUI works these would be images of my part of them. One of these eggs measured could become my DNA half of a child. It’s an amazing thought.

CD7 One Egg CD7 One Egg CD9 One Egg CD9 One egg CD9 One Egg CD9 Two Eggs, One Measured CD9 Two Eggs One MeasuredThe first two scans are CD7, the rest CD9 and the final two scans are of the same two eggs, but different ones being measured – they need to be a certain size before they will ovulate. I guess to be technically accurate what is being measured and can be seen is the follicle, inside which is the egg. The eggs are not themselves as big as these show.

~ Persephone M

Stick Her with the Pointy End

DSC_0386 DSC_0393 DSC_0400Just three simple pictures of the needles I’ve been using, sorry, needle-pens. They didn’t hurt that much.

Honestly.

~ Persephone M

CD15 – The Procedure

So onto day 15 and reflections on the insemination yesterday. We got to the hospital for 9am and were in a coffee shop by quarter to ten where I enjoyed some decaff tea whilst the hubby made some work based phonecalls and then we headed back to collect his sample. There was a bit of a wait even though they only deal with one sample at a time (to avoid mix ups) and we checked out the form of signatures which follow the sample from container to container being witnessed (again to ensure no mix ups). I can understand why it takes over 2 hours.

The biomedical scientist checked my hubby’s ID and then handed the sample over to me so I could pop the pink nutrient loaded sample into my bra to keep it warm and she informed us that the sample was well over the minimum levels for having the IUI.

Heading straight to the fertility center there was a bit of a wait for the consultant which did make me pretty anxious but I eventually calmed when I realised that having the head guy doing it is an advantage. All of the IUI scans and meetings have been with the fertility nurse, the same nurse so there’s a good little relationship that forms. From that point of view, having the consultant do the insemination (when the nurse would if she weren’t on her summer holidays) is odd, but even if the nurse does the IUI more frequently the doctor must be the more skilled.

So we went into the room together with the doctor and I got myself ready on the bed. Funniest thing, or most embarrasing, the doc told me he needed a sample from me and I got all confused thinking he meant some form of swab or blood. He meant my hubby’s sample of course but I sat there all dumb and stupid until hubby realised I was confused and stupid.

Then we were back on track and the procedure started.

I didn’t like the speculum although it was better than a smear.

I didn’t like the saline swabs of my cervix. Honestly weirder than a smear.

Then the catheter was inserted and the speculum removed. Then the pink sample is slowly injected. Personally, I had mild cramps which stopped once the catheter was in.

After all of the sample was in and the doctor had removed all the equipment from me, he left us in the room for as long as we wanted. Instructed to remain lying down for 10-15 mins, we waited a bit longer than that. Despite the doctor saying that there may be some leakage once you get up and plenty online saying the sperm cannot leak out, any wetness is mucus, I was (and still am) convinced that it was all the sperm. I was so convinced lying half naked on the hospital bed that I burst into tears. It was more the emotions of all of this because I’m still sure that some of the leakage was sperm. I’m being overly negative and super cautious because I cannot get my hopes up. I cannot think too much on the positive during this 2ww, I cannot hope too much, I have to keep level headed and err more on the side of caution

But that was it, treatment over, and we were informed to take a pregnancy test 16 days later even if I believe I’m having a period. Now it’s just the long wait. I’m paranoid about walking too fast to work, eating the wrong foods and making some huge mistake that stops this from working.

You see, the doctor said that I couldn’t have responded any better to the drugs and that hubby was within good parameters so what does that mean if this fails again? Especially as I had a discomfort in my groin the day before and of the IUI so I know I ovulated at the right time, at least in the appropriate window, but still, what does it mean if it still doesn’t work?

~ Persephone M

CD14

I am a bit behind. Blame a weird bad back and bout of insomnia but nonetheless I haven’t found this cycle all that difficult. I think I was expecting major hormone imbalances but I’m not even bloated. It’s one of the reasons that I avoid reading things online -I don’t want to hear how it affects everyone slse because either it’ll make me get the same or I’ll panic its not working if I don’t get them.

I’ve read that people cry constantly on clomid. Nope. Or completely break out. Nope. People get pain injecting ovitrelle. Nope. Or pain on ovulation. Not really.

Hubby and I had originally said that we’d do 3 IUIs maximum depending on how it all affects me. Well, we’re both in agreement that, hormonally at least, I’d do this again. We haven’t done the dreaded 2 week wait or dealt with the epic fail if this doesn’t work. That might change everything.

Today should be the start of the 2ww; just over an hour before our day at the hospital starts.

But first perhaps a quick catch up.

Day 9 and another follicular scan where the nurse who had already halved the dose of puregon/FSH, told me to alternate days. So there was no injection. Woo! Although that did then start the worries.

I worried that I could ovulate early (nurse said you can’t because of all the drugs in your system). I worried about any sort of withdrawal (didn’t happen as far as I know). I worried that the FSH would still somehow manage to stimulate the smaller follicles and let the bigger ones falter (according to day 11s scan that didn’t happen).

I mean I didn’t worry too much, just the questions went through my mind. I tried googling it and didn’t find anything that calmed me or made me worry more. Which is always a good thing.

Day 10 I  quickly developed a pain in my lower back that certainly felt muscular but had me ask my GP just to be on the safe side. He said it didn’t sound like OHSS or anything IUI related and that I should be fine to check with the fertility nurse on day 11. My back got worse, definately a pulled muscle right at the bottom of my back. It hurt to stand, to sit and to lie down so I didn’t sleep and went into day 11s scan in pain. I also took what would turn out to be the last FSH shot of this IUI

Day 11 and my back felt a bit better but the lack of sleep and slow walking caused me to have to call in sick. I probably could have gone to work, unable to do any of the manual side of my job and sitting in an uncomfortable chair (not that any chair was comfortable). I’m sorry but I’m just not happy to put extra stress on myself this month. Luckily my bosses are pretty understanding.

I got the bus to the hospital which from home I don’t usually do but I could not walk that far. I got there really early and sat watching as another couple went in for their first scan of a cycle. I’ve no idea if it was their first cycle but they’re still my potential week away mirrors, wondering if either of us will have this cycle work, wondering if we’ll see each other again at scans or classes or the maternity ward. Or the next time we both do this again because there are no guarantees for anyone.

My final follicular scan, which, by the way, is done from an ultrasound internally and not on top of your belly like pregnancy ultrasounds, showed three were ready and that my uterus lining was thick enough. The guidelines in my local NHS trust is to have ovitrelle (ovulation stimulator) 36 hours before the planned insemination. It was decided and booked in for us to have the insemination on day 14 at 11am (day 14 or 12 is my usual ovulation day) so 36 hours before that – day 12 10pm – I give myself the biggest injection of all.

The nurse had told me that everyone gets the same amount of ovitrelle no matter how well they respond to the other hormones (she was very pleased with how little puregon/FSH I’d needed). She also warned me that because its far more liquid than any of the puregon injections it can sting more.

I spent day 12 relatively calm and enjoying the weather but then completely freaked when it came to taking my injection. I’d found the puregon pen odd when injecting because it clicks back down each stop. Syringes, needles and pipettes I’m used to are fluid in their motion and not clicky so I, personally didn’t like it. I was worried because the ovitrelle pen is far more liquid with far more clicks. So I sat there panicking that it was going to sting more, that there was a greater risk of “suck back” (releasing the plunger while in you and sucking your insides out) and that then I’d have huge amounts of hCG in my system.

Finally I plucked up the courage to pinch my inch beneath the belly button and put the needle in. And I encountered the first real problem. The needle was thicker than all those used on the puregon pen. It was harder to put into me. The puregon needles slipped in but the ovitrelle needle was tougher. Or my skin had toughened up!

Then I start pressing the plunger and panic over because it wasn’t as clicky as the puregon pen; it slid down and the drug slipped in. It was fine. With no stinging either!

I counted to ten with the needle still in and plunger depressed (same as with the puregon pen) before pulling it out. The needle was tougher to get in me and it was tougher to get out too which was the last straw for me. Feeling it was different and seeing my skin looked different I panicked and started crying before seeing there was a drip of fluid on the tip of the needle and two lines of blood across my tummy near the site.

I just sobbed as my husband put a tissue to my site, freaking that the blood lines were underneath the skin showing the route of the drug and that a tiny drop of the drug was not inside me. Probably it was just the emotions of all of this, the fear that it still might not work, that my body just might be able to get pregnant because one drop of the liquid will be much and the blood wiped off so wasn’t some sign of internal bleeding although I still don’t know where it came from.

It didn’t take long for me to stop crying and then the insomnia started.

I didn’t sleep at all, all night long. It was awful. But I tried to keep calm so my body didn’t get all stressed. There’s all far too much to think could go wrong, any small thing that I do could stop this all from working.

And now I have to wait for the insemination part!

I vaguely remember when sex used to be fun.

~ Persephone M