IUI Attempt #2

And so we begin again! After the first failed IUI in September, we decided we would try one more cycle and then wait until January to try the next one if it didn’t work. October 2019 was going to hopefully be our lucky month! The feelings going into this cycle were a little different this time. We were more guarded with our feelings, a bit more jaded than before. The pressure was on to do everything we could to make this one work.

Similarly, to the first IUI, I took provera again to get my body to start a cycle, and on day 3, I started 5mg of Letrozole. We didn’t up the doseage, since we had a good cycle in September, and didn’t want to increase the number of follicles too drastically. Knowing that I ovulate on day 11, we scheduled the ultrasound and anxiously awaited the results. During the visit, we had THREE (!!!) healthy, large follicles! They were 18mm, 20mm and 23mm! We had never seen a more perfect trio of follicles and that hopeful feeling started slowly creeping up again! 

The doctor was happy with the results of the ultrasound and we scheduled the trigger shot and IUI for the next day! Typically, we scheduled all of our appointments for early in the morning, but due to work schedules around this particular cycle, the day 11 ultrasounds was in the middle of the day, around 130pm. This information should seem completely useless, but when we left the appointment at 2:05pm, I immediately called the sperm bank, only to be told that we missed the overnight deadline by FIVE MINUTES!! Somehow, both Lauren and I hadn’t seen the small print on the Cryobank website that explains that you have to place your order by 2pm. We left the appointment on such an extreme high, having the best result in an ultrasound yet, to immediate freak out mode when they told us we wouldn’t get the sperm for two days! We had always been told that the ideal fertilization window was 28-32 hours post trigger shot, and knowing we wouldn’t get it until at least the 40 hour mark was a hard pill to swallow. It felt like we had the perfect follicle waiting for us, but the cards weren’t falling in our direction.  After a good meltdown session, and realizing there was nothing we could do, we accepted our fate and waited until it was 40 hours post trigger shot to complete the IUI. 

Going in for the IUI, I was already preparing for the fact it wasn’t going to work. It had been too many hours in between, and I figured I already missed the window of time, but since we already ordered the sperm, we went through with the IUI. Lauren on the other hand was extremely positive, and had read online that sometimes the longer you waited, the better the result. Leave it to her to find the bright side! We got into the room, and this time when we looked at our sperm, it looked different…better! These little things were MOVING this time! I mean, wild! They were moving in every direction, super quick and efficient! I got a smidge more hopeful. 

We completed the IUI, and again, it was completely painless. This time, I laid there a little longer, 15 minutes, and then we both went back to work! The wait was on for the next 14 days!

I took it super easy the next few days after the appointment, and we decided to go on a little coastal getaway to try and keep our minds and my body relaxed. You try not to think about it 24/7 when you have the IUI done, but every single flitch or feeling you get, you wonder if it happened. You wonder if its PMS or are you pregnant? You think about every single thing you eat, how much caffeine you’re consuming, and how much you’re moving.

We did not cheat the system this time. We didn’t take an early test, regardless of how tempting it was, because we didn’t want to get our hopes up. But this time, it felt different. I felt different. I swore that I was feeling my body change, things that I had never experienced. Five days in, my boobs were extremely sore, which never happens, and I had a string of bad headaches. By day ten, I didn’t like the taste of coffee, which if you know me, must mean that I am dying. All these changes were telling me I was pregnant, but my heart was telling me not to get my hopes up.

Halloween 2019. It was day 14, and we got up bright and early to take the test. We took two separate tests, two different brands, hoping that one might give us a positive result by some chance. I peed on the stick, and we waited…

And waited…

And waited…

P R E G N A N T.

Clear as day. Eight letters and two lines that changed our lives forever. Laurens first reaction was “HOLY SHIT. I have to call Stew!” and immediately FaceTimed my sister. We screamed, hugged and cried happy tears that our second try worked and we were going to be mommies! 

I immediately called the doctor’s office and told her that we had a positive test, and scheduled the six week ultrasound and blood work to verify that it was in fact positive! I think a combination of things worked in our favor this cycle to get us a positive result. The myo inositol, the letrozole dosage and the extended time between the trigger shot and the IUI were, in my opinion, the different makers!

Now comes one of the hardest parts, keeping a secret!

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Where do we begin?

We always knew that we wanted to start a family. We would always talk about where we want to raise our babies, what dream vacations we would take them on, and even bought baby Buzz Lightyear vans many years prior to actually starting our family. In the very beginning of our relationship, it was always a dream, but seemed like it would be just that, a dream. There were so many unknowns that it made starting a family seem impossible. Gay marriage wasn’t legal, both of our families didn’t know about our relationship, and I knew that some of my family wasn’t accepting. It felt like all the odds were stacked against us. Growing up, neither one of us saw or knew families with two parents of the same sex, and when you’re a young kid coming to terms with being LGBTQ+, you sometimes believe that having kids could not happen.

Once we got married and spoiled ourselves with some well earned vacations, we knew it was time to get the ball rolling. We had heard that for some couples it happens in a month, and others it can take years, and we knew that we were in a place in our lives that we were ready to take on the challenges of raising tiny humans. For us, it takes a little more effort, scientific help and money to be able to have a baby. We had so many questions that we needed the answers to. 

Will our insurance help cover the costs of the treatments? How much will the entire process cost? Will it even work? All couples who struggle with infertility have these questions. The thing with fertility help, is that there is never a guarantee it is going to work. You might be shoveling out ten, twenty, even thirty thousand dollars, and still not get a baby in the end. This was a huge fear for us, and for any couple, but decided that there is no reward in life without taking risks. 

Most parents spend their money for the baby decorating the nursery, filling the closet with the cutest clothes, and splurging on the best stroller. And don’t get me wrong, we were planning on all of those things as well, but we had to literally buy our baby. We didn’t only have to pay for the actual process, but we had to find a sperm donor, and buy our sperm! We didn’t know how much this would all cost, or where to even begin, besides calling my OBGYN and setting up an appointment, hoping they would be able to guide us in the right direction. Going into the appointment, we were so apprehensive not knowing what the reaction of the doctor would be, and if there would be judgement that we would have to deal with.

Luckily for us, we have the best group of doctors that we could ever have asked for. The initial conversation was a breeze, and the doctor didn’t even bat an eye. Instead, she got extremely happy and got us pamphlets for sperm banks and talked us through the entire process. We were pleasantly surprised that they were able to do through most of the process in the office, rather than a fertility clinic, as long as we didn’t have to do IVF (Invertro fertilization). Since I am the one who wanted to carry, we had to make sure that I was medically able to have babies. I knew that I have PCO, Polycystic ovaries, which would make it that much more difficult for me to get pregnant, but our doctor specializes in patients with PCO. Any female who has any type of reproductive issues understands my fears, and the constant worry that your body is going to fail you. Add the cost of the sperm and procedures on top of that, and you have one nervous uterus! 

On to the next post…how did we pick our donor?