You’re getting pretty used to this, huh? Me too. You know by now that our second IUI that was sure to be the winner was another failure, so here goes try number three. Or Lucky Number Three, if you will.
This cycle started off a little different than one ever has before. I woke up sick to my stomach at 4:00 am on CD1. There are only two different times (without a crying baby in the house) that I would move fast during the night: 1) a burglar, 2) waking up sick to my stomach and ready to toss my cookies. This particular morning’s movement was sparked by option number two. *I have never experienced option number one, but I can only imagine. After managing to hold it together as I hate throwing up but would gladly do it during pregnancy, I made my way to the couch with a ginger ale in hand. Let me tell you what a sick joke it was to wake up with what felt like morning sickness less than 24 hours after a BFN. Shortly after sipping on my ginger ale, I started to become lightheaded and dizzy, sort of like I was in a cloud. But I powered through, got dressed for work and BAM, hello lady in the red dress. Happy Friday to me, right?
So it began…
CD1 (Friday, July 19): I called the FIRM and for the second month in a row, avoided word vomiting. Considering myself an IUI pro at this point, I knew my baseline would be on Sunday, meaning it would be at the main office again. If you’re paying attention all three of our baselines have been at the main office. Krissy gave me great information, we would have Dr. F again for my baseline and likely this whole cycle. Woo hoo! Once the appointment was scheduled, I mentioned my lightheadedness as it was still going strong after about four hours. She told me to call back if I started to have vision problems and to remember my symptoms and period details as Dr. F would want to know on Sunday. She explained this is something that can happen at the beginning of cycles due to blood loss. And as I hold nothing back, I should tell you this was the heaviest cycle I had ever had.
CD2 (Saturday, July 20): I slept off the dizziness but it returned around 3:00 pm the next day. Noted.
CD3 (Sunday, July 21): Our appointment was at 9:30 that morning at the main office, so we didn’t have to leave too early, but we had company as my mom went with us. This worked out great being that she was already planning on visiting my sister and family that day who lives about 35 minutes from the main office, so we decided to go together and she could meet Dr. F, after all, she practically already knew him from me relaying all of our conversations. Remember, due to my lightheadedness, I was going to go over this period with Dr. F and all words that relate to periods and bleeding are J’s trigger words to him passing out, so it worked out well that my mom was in the room with me while J stayed in the waiting room.
Again, you’re catching on – hear my name, down the hall, pee in the cup, undress from the waist down. In came our nurse and Dr. F, who looked a little surprised not to see J, and was greeted by my mom as “Katie’s younger sister!” (Side note – most of my family calls me Katie.) After a giggle, Dr. F said “Kate, what happened? We were perfect on paper?” He said this a total of four times during the appointment and each time it was harder to fight back the tears. So, I assumed the position and while being told to scoot further down on the table, I had to say “You know, this isn’t the best kind of Sunday morning church service!” Everything looked good, nice and quiet, and my fibroid was still nothing to worry about. Then it was time to discuss the previously failed cycle and what we could do differently for this new cycle. I was silently begging Dr. F to not ask me what mine and J’s backup schedule was after our second IUI (if you remember, we couldn’t have “backup sex” after our first IUI due to J’s incubation period from Mexico), so I wasn’t sure if this was something we would discuss. And I had always planned on my mom thinking it was some sort of immaculate conception when I did get pregnant. Silly, I know, but as close as my sister and I are with our mom, sex is not a subject we talk about. EVER! Anyway, back to the appointment – I was already taking the maximum dose of Letrozole that is prescribed to infertility patients, so Dr. F said we would leave that alone but change the trigger shot to a different one and change the timing a bit. Instead of Novarel, I would be using Ovidrel and we would increase the window between the trigger shot and the IUI from 26 hours to the full 36 hours. Then we discussed the lightheadedness I was feeling the two days prior and Dr. F explained that as my lining was thicker and my follicles were larger than the previous cycle, my body had more to shed, so I shouldn’t be concerned unless it persists for a full 24 hours or begins to give me vision problems. All that was left to do was schedule my follicle scan, relay all of the information to J and fill my prescription for another round of Letrozole.
CD3 (Sunday, July 21) PART 2: Leaving our appointment, we decided to meet my sister and her family for breakfast and only in Jacksonville can you get these heavenly pastries from McDonald’s. I know, you’re probably thinking “Ew, gross,” but hear me out! McDonald’s has taken their regular apple pie and enhanced it by adding new flavors, mainly strawberry and cream, known as Warmly Delicious via their advertisements – only found in Jacksonville (trust me, I know this to be a fact as I’ve called all of our local chains). So after every appointment at the main office, we swing by and grab a two for our ride home. So long story short, we went to McDonald’s, grabbed a few Warmly Delicious pastries, fries and coke (not for me – remember, I’m caffeine-free), the girls (my mom, sister and I) separate from the guys (J, brother-in-law and my nephew) as we were going to go shopping and BAM, I backed J’s new car into a forklift. No, it was not moving, no one was even in it however, it was taking up so much room that I basically had no choice but to back into it. Just kidding, I walked past it and knew it was there, but by the time I was backing out, it was just far enough out of the camera view that I smashed right into it. No matter how upset I was, J stayed so calm. That’s what I get for marrying someone in insurance, and a saint!
CD12 (Tuesday, July 30): J and I met at the office for my follicle scan, feeling good but nervous as usual. Dr. F and Crystal, our favorite nurse, came in and told us my OPK was negative, not a big deal – the trigger shot will fix that. After a laugh about the forklift incident and questions of why I was eating McDonald’s, we got to the exam which was a bit of bummer. Dr. F had no trouble finding a follicle on my left ovary but my right was a different story. When you’re a transvaginal ultrasound pro like I am, you know which way to move to help your doctor find what they are looking for. After twisting as much as I could, Dr. F said he was going to press down on my left leg just a little more (the flatter your leg is, the better they can see the opposite ovary). Now, my left leg was so flat that it felt as though it was backward, I knew I couldn’t be the only one noticing this. Finally, Dr. F said “Alright, I feel like I’m going to snap your leg off. Let’s try something else!” WHAT could this be? He said “I’m going to press on your stomach and bladder. Bear with me.” We went from me being a human pretzel to him being one. He’s had the wand in his left hand, his right hand pressing all sorts of ways into my stomach like he was kneading dough (pun intended), head to the left, eyes heavily focused on the screen and his right elbow still forcing my left leg out. The longer he remained silent, the more anxious I became. He unwinds himself and breaks the news: I only had one follicle found on my left ovary that measures 19mm. However, my lining was the best it had ever been at 8mm. Now I know, you only need one egg and one sperm for it to work, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t already feeling defeated. After the exam, we went over exactly how to administer the trigger shot as we would be doing it at home between 10:00 and 10:30 pm that night. Crystal drew four x’s on me, one on each side of my belly button and one on the back of each hip. Ovidrel has a subcue needle so it gets injected in fat rather than a muscle, which is good as intramuscular needles are much bigger.
Shot Time: one thing I have been dreading since our diagnosis, not so much the shot in general, but the thought of either J or I doing it. Ovidrel has to stay in the fridge until it’s used, so we got as ready as possible before we decided who would actually be doing it. We washed our hands, I cleaned the spot I wanted to use, about an inch to the left of my belly button, then I took the cap off the needle which was WAY bigger than the size of my pinky nail as Crystal explained. Once the needle came out of the packaging, J started to lose color in his face and was gripping onto our kitchen island for dear life. There goes any question of him doing the shot, I was up on deck and there was no turning back! (insert eye-roll) One, two, three and I was done at 10:10 pm, or so I thought until I started examining the syringe and realized I didn’t get all of the liquid out. Queue the panic. What do I do now? I know I can’t reinsert the syringe. Will the whole cycle be a waste now? All I knew was that the next nine hours needed to fly by so I could call the office and ask all of my questions.
CD13 (Wednesday, July 31): I spoke to Krissy first thing in the morning and immediately felt better, as I always do when I talk to her. Everything would be fine, as you can’t get every last drop out. Phew!
CD14 (Thursday, August 1): Our IUI was scheduled for 9:30 that morning at the office near our house, just like last time, which allowed J to collect at home again, lucky him. (insert second eye-roll of this post) We were on the same strict timeline: J was to collect between 8:00 and 8:15 am, have the sample delivered within 30 minutes of collection, which would take about an hour to prepare and insemination would be at 9:30 am. So, I set the alarm just like the last cycle for our 6:30 am wake-up call. J woke up, watched some tv in bed then made his way to the couch for some more relaxing while I made sure to prep for another big date while constantly reminding myself not to make rude comments this time… no matter what! I left our room, J completed his part and I waited to hear him yell my name as that was my cue that the collection is done and he was in the shower. It was 8:06 am when our 30-minute countdown began. A few minutes later, the shower turned off and it was go time! I drove us again as J had to keep his collection close to his body, and naturally, we caught every light but made it to the clinic at 8:38 am, two minutes past schedule.
Once our hour wait was nearly up, out came Crystal to the waiting room, and she immediately asked how the shot went. I rolled my eyes and told her the story as we made our way to the vitals room for my blood pressure, heart rate and temperature. All was good, I just wanted to know why J is never the one getting his vitals or having to step on the scale. After getting settled, Crystal came back into our room with Dr. F who greeted us with “Who is ready to get pregnant today?” ME ME ME, pick ME. He asked how the trigger shot went, to which I rolled my eyes, and he told me he was proud of me for overcoming a fear. Why thank you as I didn’t have an option! Prior to every IUI, I have to agree to the information on the needle and catheter and review the numbers of J’s collection. Dr. F started the conversation this time by saying “Well this guy had another great performance as usual!” To which I replied sarcastically, “Great” as I know J was going to have a big ego about it this month too. This time, he had 108 million sperm, lower than last time, but his motility went up to 86%, that’s almost 100% and the highest his has ever been! I, of course, voiced my concern of only having one follicle this time and Dr. F reassured me that “you only need one egg and one sperm to get pregnant.” No matter how many times I repeated this to myself, I only believed it when he said it. So maybe Dr. F was right, maybe I would get pregnant this time.
After agreeing to the numbers and information, Dr. F said: “I know you’re never ready but the sooner you are, the sooner this is over!” A couple of scoot requests and about 30 seconds later, we were done. “What? You’re already done?” I was shocked as I didn’t feel a thing, either because I am truly an IUI pro at this point or because Dr. F really is the best at his job (this may be a completely biased statement). Then as I was practicing IUI voo-doo, my gloom and doom side came out when I asked: “So if this one doesn’t work, will we do the same thing for the next cycle?” We discussed options but Dr. F told me not to think about that as I was just going to stress myself out. 15 minutes later and we were headed home, after stopping by billing on the way out, of course.
So, you know the drill, this is where I leave you for now but you can head to Instagram (@thebabystepsblog) to see the result of this IUI. As always, below is my list of medications for this cycle.
– Dose: 7.5mg/day
– Days: CD3-8
– Side effects: a few hot flashes
Ovidrel HCG Trigger Shot
– Dose: 250 micrograms – equivalent to 6500iu
– Day: CD12
– Side effects: not one single side effect!
PS – If you’re wondering, J’s car is fixed and looks brand new and I remembered to pee in the cup for each of my appointments this cycle!
PPS – This was the first IUI that I had any sort of spotting with afterward. Spotting the day of doesn’t make a difference, it’s entirely too early and impossible to be implantation bleeding, but I wanted to note this as you will hear many women talk about spotting which is common because you’ve just had a catheter inserted into your cervix.