Category Archives: IUI

Standard

I keep thinking about this journey, and the reality that it is almost over is an incredibly hard pill to swallow.  I have days where it seems easier, but every time I am confronted with the reality of it, I freak out.  I mean, this is a life changing decision.  Everything, everything I have ever hoped for, planned for, and wanted – changes with this being over.

I have career goals, of course, but at this point in my life, those are secondary and really insignificant compared to this.  My plan has always been to position myself professionally during these years so that when my kids were grown and out of the house, I would be ready to take over the world.   And I think I am on the right path for that.  But these years – these years were for family.  And more of it than I have now.

This changes my vision, and expectation, and experience for what my life will be like.  For what my kid’s life will be like.  I have never wanted only one child – I have always wanted, and knew I would have, at least two and maybe more.  And yet, here we are – this idea and vision of my life that I’ve had since I was a kid is crumbling right in front of me.  You walk your path, and mine is being washed away in front of me as I go.  So, I am feeling lost.

This is not a crossroads.  There are not clear ways to proceed, there are not defined paths to choose.  This is my identity.  This means I have to remake myself, remake my life plans, remake so many of the things I know about myself.  And how do you get OK with not fulfilling something that feels like such a fundamental and core part of who you are and have always been?

Look, I know it’s easier for me than for people who have not been graced with kids at all, but who desperately want them.  I am grateful every single day for every ounce of joy, frustration, laughter, exhaustion, curiousity, and everything else that I have because of my son.  Grateful beyond belief.  Frankly, he seems like a bit of a miracle.  As I have gone through all of the losses and failed cycles, it has put this feeling of awe into me that he ever happened.  It has made me understand what a fragile process this can all be, and how lucky we are that things happened just right to bring him into the world.

Back to identity – I don’t necessarily understand who I am as an adult, right now, if we put this behind us and move forward without this working.  In my 20’s it was all about preparing my life and getting pregnant, and then it was about raising a baby and getting pregnant again because that’s what was next.  And then that turned into 2.5 years of trying to get pregnant.  And it consumes you.  Injections, patches, suppositories, ultrasounds, pee sticks, and more injections.  The ups, the downs – I’ve been on hormones of one variety or another for over 2 years.  Everything has been about building a family up to this point in my adult life.

I always thought I would know when it was time to move forward because my family would be complete and I would feel whole.   I had no idea that was a fairy tale ending.  I had no idea that I was going to have to figure out that it was time to move forward because I was hollow and broken into a thousand pieces.  I guess it’s hard to go forward when you have to pick up the pieces and figure out how to put them together first.

This is my pity party.  I will stop having my pity party in the coming few days, but for now, I am sad, stressed, apprehensive, uncertain and just blah.  And I think I just need to be these things before I get on gettin’ on.

Advertisements

Lean Into It

Standard

I’ve reached the end of the road financially, in terms of having choices in how we pursue IF treatment.  After 2 rounds of IVF, 8 IUIs, and 4 FETs – I am almost out of money.  And there are no other sources I can tap.  I would really love to do one more round of IVF with our last vial of sperm, but there’s just no more money.  I’ve been looking for IVF grants and such, but there’s nothing that will work for us.  I suppose I have to be resigned to one more IUI and then we will really be out of money.

I’m going to my regular doctor tomorrow to get the referral I need for my second opinion appointment at the other clinic on the 18th.  I doubt there will be anything else they can say or do.  I will ask my RE about endometriosis this time, but I am otherwise at a loss.  I don’t have any more ideas, or theories, or solutions.

This morning when I tested, I was using my son’s bathroom.  And I swore I saw a VERY light line.  I held it in several different positions and I still saw the line – I mean it was SO light, I thought my mind could be playing tricks on me.  So I took it into the other bathroom to look and made The Wife check it.  She saw no line.  And when I looked at it in that light, there was no line.  That was annoying – I didn’t expect to see anything and then there was just the slightest hint of something and then there was nothing.

I have a distant friend who is dealing with some hardship in her family right now.  And she’s also on a life changing fitness journey.  She posts periodic videos documenting her journey – the good and the bad.  Her latest video is here: 

One of the things she talks about in this video is emotional eating.  She is working on conquering that battle, and as such is learning to lean into the pain instead of trying to mask it with food.  Although I often don’t recognize it, I have the same problem with emotional eating.  It struck me in the shower this morning, as I was struggling with the negative test results, the fact that we are pretty much out of money for another IVF, and the idea that we might really only have one IUI left and then it’s over – that emotional eating is a big thing for me.

But, I think the hypnosis might be helping a bit.   I realized that I usually do use food – sugar, in particular, to help soothe my nerves and mask the pain of all of this.  But as I was thinking about it today, I realized that I don’t actually have the craving or inclination to do that today – but I also don’t know what to do instead.  Sugar is like lidocaine for those raw feelings.  And without my lidocaine, how do I deal with that?

Which is what brought me back to Cynthia’s video – lean into the pain.  I’m not sure I know exactly what that means, but if I can’t run from it, and I can’t lidocaine it with sugar, what other choice is there, really?

I wanted to run through it this morning, to just run – run it out of my head.  Get my frustration out, exhaust myself – run until I cried.   Maybe that’s leaning into it?  I don’t know – a freak AM thunderstorm kept me from getting outside, so I’m just sitting with it today trying to figure out what to do with it.

 

Standard

Ok, I’ve been IUI’d.  I’ve had many of these, but this one was a bit uncomfortable.  And as usual, I have my incredibly painful ovulation, so I know I ovulated.  I can’t generally move much for at least 24 hours after I ovulate.  So, eggs released, good sperm count put in.  Now we wait.  The hypnotherapist says I should think frequently, “I intend that this will be the time that I get pregnant.”  She’s pretty experienced in working with people dealing with fertility challenges.  She posits that the pessimism and lack of hope that comes with being this far along in the process, can be detrimental, and this type of mental mantra allows you to redirect your thought process without trying to manufacture some false sense of hope or optimism.  Ok, well, no harm, I can do this.  Maybe it helps, maybe it doesn’t…but it surely doesn’t hurt.

I was thinking a little more about hypnotherapy today.  I like that I don’t have to sit there and talk and deal with my shit with someone.  This just gets right in there and tries to solve shit by altering thinking patterns to change behavior.  There’s something kind of nice about that.

Relax, Relax, Relax

Standard

IUI tomorrow morning.  I have 4 follies.  I wanted more.  I wanted 6 or 8.  But, we got 4, so we go forth and hope for the best.

I started hypnosis.  It’s a bit new agey, so if you can’t be down with new agey stuff, I’m not sure how well this would go for you.  At least the hypnotherapist I am going to is fairly new agey, I can’t say if it’s all that way.  I had to really force myself to be open to this because I am a skeptic, and then I heard some of the things she was saying to help bring me into hypnosis, it was a challenge to keep at it.  Things like “Wisdom Center, allow her to remove obstacles from reaching her goals” – I had a bit of a hard time with it at first.  But I told myself to stay open to it, and I did.  I have had 2 sessions, and both were different experiences.

The first session, I was excited and interested, and then weirded out by the new age stuff.  But, after just accepting that for what it is, I did relax.  I heard and was aware of everything the hypnotherapist said, although afterwards I could not recall some of it.  I just know for sure I did hear it and it was all in line with what I am wanting to do here in terms of weight loss and calming and stress reduction around all of the fertility stuff.  I recall feeling heavy in my legs, and in my chest – a bit of a tingling feeling in the legs.  Then I recall calm, and her talking- but this is the part where I don’t recall what she said, and then she said to come back up, come back to the room and open my eyes.  And I know how weird this sounds, but it really did feel like coming back up into my head.  The only other time I had a similar mental feeling was when I was in childbirth, natural – no meds – and I was there and aware of everything, but mentally I was not in the room until something caught my attention and it felt like mentally I was being pulled back to conscious awareness and participation in my life.

I was a bit taken aback by what a powerful experience it was, and how unexpected that was.  And for the rest of the day, I was energized, rested, and I felt more mentally and emotionally buoyant.

The second session didn’t seem as easy for me.  I was really distracted by a garbage truck beeping outside, hearing my phone vibrate in my bag, etc.  I also had a small work crisis happening and had some difficulty getting my mind off of that.  But, at the same time, when those distractions came,  I could feel them pulling me mentally from a place of relaxation and quiet, to a noisier mental place.  So, I would guess that it still worked.   There was more guided imagery in this session than the first, and although at the time it was happening, I was certain I would recall everything she said, some of it is still hazy.  The real reason I think something was working right here is because I do recall her talking about a stress free insemination, a welcoming body, a healthy pregnancy, etc.  And anytime someone even mentions that about me, in my presence, I burst into tears.  But I didn’t – I didn’t cry.  And it wasn’t because I was biting back tears – it just didn’t happen.  So, while I can’t say for sure if I was hypnotized, I am led to believe that I probably was despite the distractions and the feeling that it was a bit harder than the first time.  I also left feeling more energized and light.

In terms of outcomes, it’s very hard for me to say if it’s working.  I happen to be having some major intestinal issues at the same time as the hypnosis started, so I am not sure some of my restraint is attributable to the hypnosis or to the intestinal issues.  Here’s what I can say:  there’s a big bag of jelly beans in my pantry and I have hardly touched them.  And that is unusual because I. Love. Jellybeans.  But I haven’t actively had to restrain myself from eating them, I just really haven’t wanted them.  When I do eat, my portion sizes have decreased significantly.  And not through any effort – I’m just not so hungry and food is less of a tasty joy than before.  So, maybe these are things I am seeing?  I sure wish I had a clean baseline to judge from and it wasn’t happening in conjunction with the intestinal issue.

I do, however, love the process of hypnosis.  I love acupuncture because it relaxes me, and the hypnotherapy appointments seem to do that at least three times better!  So,  I am going to keep going and see what happens next!

Full Circle

Standard

It is almost exactly 2 years now since we started trying.  2 years ago, I had an IUI just a few weeks prior to the conference my company puts on every May.  I POAS in my hotel room, by myself, and got my BFP at that conference.  And then I miscarried on Mother’s Day.

Here we are, 2 years later.  It’s about a week and a half before the big conference my company puts on every year, and I had my IUI.  I will POAS while I am away.  Yet another hotel housekeeper who is going to find a pregnancy test lying on the sink.  It must seem scandalous.  Last time I was so excited I tested every day and I left my tests on the sink to come back and see throughout the day.  2 years later, my excitement has been tempered by a big, painful, dose of reality.

 

Today’s IUI was anything but uneventful.  Dr. Z had mentioned that when we went in today to do the follicle reduction, they might be able to freeze the eggs they remove.  And then later if we needed/wanted them, they would thaw them and try to fertilize them.  I agreed that we would like to do that if it was possible, and he said they would not charge us because they do not typically freeze eggs, so they would view this as a chance to practice.  From my perspective, if we get an embryo out of the deal, then great.  If not, there’s nothing to lose.  The other option was to just throw them away anyway.

So, when we got there today, they got me ready for anesthesia – a follicle reduction is the same as an egg retrieval, so anesthesia is necessary!  Then the embryologist came in and explained that they were going to do the egg retrieval.  They would then freeze them and about an hour later, thaw them.  At that point they would ICSI them, using a bit of sperm from the vial that was thawed for our IUI today.  And from there, it’s just like IVF, you wait for fertilization reports, embryo growth reports, etc.  They would also leave several follicles intact in me, and do the IUI while I was under anesthesia.

So, because we allowed them to freeze the eggs, we basically got a free IVF cycle out of this.  They retrieved 13 eggs, and left in 4 follicles for the IUI.  I had 17 eggs on half the meds I was taking with IVF – and I have never had that many before.  This was our last try to get a genetic sibling for our son because it’s the last vial of sperm from our donor, like anywhere.  But because they decided to fertilize the eggs today, in conjunction with our IUI, if anything comes from it, we will have some additional chances.

I need to send them a card or something and thank them.  Everyone was so incredibly nice today.  Beyond nice.  Nicer than nice.  And they gave us this awesome opportunity to maybe get some frozen embryos to use in the future.  So, now we get through the 2WW and see if anything comes from the frozen eggs.

So, it was an eventful day.  I guess this cycle ended up being a combo IUI/IVF?

Standard

So, now I have too many follicles.  My first IVF cycle, I took a whole lot more drugs than this, and spent a whole lot more money and had half as many follicles.  My ovaries have been uncomfortable though, so I knew it was going to be a lot.  There are like 15.  That’s too many for an IUI for sure.  But, they are not ready yet, so I drop my gonal-f dose for the next few days and we check again on Monday.