Our Infertility Story: IUI Round Five

“Sometimes you gotta take a break from all the noise to appreciate the beauty of silence.”
~Robert Tew

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So, I know that I touched on this briefly in my last post, without going into very much detail. I cannot promise that I will provide many details now either, as this is a particularly difficult post to write.

Our Intrauterine Insemination chapter of this journey has come to an end, and I wish that were happy news. But it is not.

When I went in for my Ultrasound four days before the procedure, I had two nice, large follicles. We decided to wait one more day to see if one other would get bigger, so I didn’t take my shot of Ovidrel until in the following evening.

I went on for my Fifth IUI two weeks ago today. When I walked into the office that morning, it was with a complete absence of hope. I still tried my best to put on a good face. I wore my new Star Wars Jacket, and a Star Wars shirt. Even though I didn’t have any hope, I still thought Star Wars was appropriate attire for the day: A New Hope? Maybe a little would turn up after all.

It didn’t really.

Aside from an incredibly long wait both in the waiting room, and in the exam room, the IUI went well. My doctor did the procedure again and I didn’t have any cramping. We talked for a few minutes, and then I laid down for ten minutes before rejoining my husband and heading home.

The first week of the TWW was difficult, because I was working every day and just obsessing over whether or not it had worked. We knew going into this that our doctor would be willing to do just one more if this failed. However, we also knew that decision was largely up to us. Before going in, I was already contemplating skipping any further IUI procedures. I was tired, both physically and emotionally. I didn’t want to keep taking the hormones, and I didn’t want to keep crying every single day. Still, I knew we wouldn’t really make that decision until the end of this cycle.

We were away on vacation for the second week of the TWW, and that made things a little easier. We enjoyed spending time with our family and friends, and attending an amazing wedding.

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For the last day and a half of the trip, we went up to Pittsburgh, and did a bit of sightseeing in the city.

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No trip to Pittsburgh is complete with a trip to Primanti Bros, for their famous stuffed sandwiches (shown below with Kielbasa).

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The trip was lovely, and as always, was done way too soon. The good news was that we had a couple days off of work when we got home.

The bad news was that we walked inside to a broken AC…in May…in Florida.

Wednesday morning, when I woke in a very very hot house, I was cramping. My period started shortly after.

That was it. I cried for a while, before finally calling my Doctor’s assistant to leave my message. When she called me back a few hours later, she asked us if we even wanted to do another cycle. I really didn’t know, but not doing another cycle felt a whole lot like giving up.

My husband wanted to know if we could see the doctor.

Amazingly, he must have had a cancellation, he could see us the very next day. That is pretty rare.

We went in today at 2:30.

He talked to us about all of our options (which isn’t much), and explained the chance we have for conception with each procedure. And they were basically all the same…except for IVF…which has greatly increased odds of success. We also spoke briefly about the cost involved, and our financing options. It is going to cost a bit less than we had thought…but it is still a LOT of money. Money that we really don’t have.

For now, he recommended that we take a break. He thinks this whole process has been really hard on me (maybe because I cry every time he sees me?) and so he doesn’t want to do another IUI. With our low odds of success, I don’t think he believes it’s worth it. He wants to put me on something to help the pain and discomfort from the endometriosis (and to prevent the endo from getting worse), but my husband and I want to wait a couple months and try naturally for a bit. If I take medicine, I can’t get pregnant.

This is our plan for now. We want to try on our own just until we get back from our Europe trip in the summer, and then we will start IVF if we can figure out how to pay for it. Our doctor is going to have someone call us to discuss the costs involved.

I feel overwhelmed, tired, and an emotional wreck. I feel like not trying to do another round of IUI is tantamount to giving up…but I trust my doctor and his opinion. And I am so tired that I feel like we do need a break.

So this is where we are for now: Hanging in a bit of limbo, and trying to adjust to our new reality. If I’m being honest, I never really thought this would go so far. I never really thought we would need IVF. I think I just always assumed it would all work out.

So for now, I’m going to go pour myself a nice ice cold glass of wine in my sweltering hot home, and try to do something fun to keep my mind off of all this.

As always, thanks for reading.

~Sam

Waiting for Aunt Flo…

“She’s strong but she’s exhausted.”
~R.H. Sin

  

Well, I woke today at 10dpiui and I think this cycle is a bust. 

The cramps started at work yesterday. The pain wasn’t too terrible, but it took all of my strength not to start sobbing. I did tear up a bit, but otherwise was able to keep myself together. One of my bosses seemed to sense a shift in my mood, and he kept me busy for the rest of my shift which really helped. This is the upside to being open about my struggle at work. Most of the time, I don’t have to explain myself. 

Whatever hope I had when I went to bed last night that the cramps didn’t mean anything, evaporated when I woke up this morning. My breasts got really heavy overnight, and when the puppy snuggled with us this morning he pushed at me with his paws. It hurt so badly. I normally start to slowly develop breast pain after ovulation, and it gets to the point of being super painful a few days before my period. 

I have observed that all of these symptoms are worse during the three IUI cycles we have done. I’m assuming this is because of the additional hormones that I have pumped through my body. 

So, I’m feeling pretty down and defeated today. I was so hopeful about this cycle, and another failure is only going to make our next round even more difficult. I’m going to have to find a way to keep my spirits up before we try again. 

My birthday is in about two weeks. I used to love birthdays, but the longer we try and fail to get pregnant, the more difficult birthdays seem to be. They just serve as a reminder that another year had passed, and I’m still not pregnant. They also remind me that the older I get, the more difficult it will be for me to ever conceive.

I had been hoping I’d receive a nice birthday gift this year in the form of a positive pregnancy test. I guess not…maybe next month?  

Alright, sorry for the super downer post. All that positivity was going to come to a cross road eventually. Hopefully now that I have vented, I will feel a bit better and be able to get through my day? 

Thanks to those of you who read my blog. Your support has meant so much to me. 

~Sam

Schrödinger’s Uterus

“The Two Week Wait:
The human version of Schrödinger’s Cat.”
~Unknown (Some E Cards)

Schrödinger’s cat is what is considered to be a “thought experiment,” sometimes called a paradox. The experiment was created by Erwin Schrödinger in 1935, and illustrates a scenario in which a cat can be thought to be both alive and dead, simultaneously.

Basically, if a cat is placed in a box with poison, that will be dispersed at a random unknown time, the cat can be considered both alive and dead until the box is opened.

This is the strange limbo that I find myself in now (and during every two week wait since I have started treatment). Until I receive my period or a positive pregnancy test, I think of myself as both pregnant and not pregnant. It’s absurd, but it influences every decision I make.

I have been avoiding alcohol, limiting caffeine, eating well, taking my time when performing strenuous activities (like at my super physical job) and trying (but not succeeding) at getting enough sleep. The other day I declined to try a raw cheese someone offered me, but then went into a slight panic when I realized I’ve been eating lunch meat all week.

See what I mean: Pregnant and not pregnant. I’m making some of the right choices since I feel pregnant; but completely forgetting about other things, since I also feel not pregnant.

My two week wait started out pretty well. I was able to maintain much of the positivity that has gotten me through the last couple of week and months, and I felt excited again about trying for the first time in years.

I have been keeping myself pretty busy as well. My two jobs are certainly enough to focus on, but I have also been sort of, “nesting.” I mostly say this in jest, but it is how if feels in some small way. Since my husband and I bought our first house last March (a fixer upper) we have had a multitude of projects that we have been keeping on the back burner. We did MOST of the painting before we moved in, but I do still have some touch ups to do, and trim work that has been neglected. However, the biggest task I have been focused on in the last week has been organization. When we moved in, I busted my butt to get unpacked and decorated as quickly as possible so we could feel like we were living in our “home.” This was important to us, but after a while I reached a point (like you do) where I was just over it and any non-essential items were shoved into a closet or the shed. This way, we at least felt “done,” even if it was only an illusion.

Fast forward to nearly a year later and all the closets, and the bathroom cabinets were still a mess of random junk and cardboard boxes. So…I’ve been dealing with that. I have a tentative goal to get all of the closets finished before the one year anniversary of our close. I hold no unattainable beliefs that I will get to the shed in that time…maybe before next year?

So I am now halfway through my two week wait, and feeling more anxious than I would like. I am trying to remain positive, but the negative part of me that has been trying to get pregnant for over three years still isn’t expecting to be pregnant. I hate to admit it, but she is a larger part of me than the positive part.

I am still clinging to the hope that it is good news we will receive in one week, and not more of the same. In the meantime, it looks like my Living Room exploded with all the clothes that I have ever owned ever, so I should probably get back to my organizing.

How do you keep busy (sane) during the two week wait?

~Sam