Archive for December, 2007

Waiting with bated breath

I go in for my post-IUI pregnancy test on Sunday, Dec. 23rd. Could be a very happy Christmas but I’m also trying to be realistic and not get my hopes up too much. Kinda like when I wanted that new shiny red bike when I was 10. I got the bike so maybe the baby will follow 🙂

It’s been a strange week. I’ve been busier than ever at work (which is why I haven’t posted here) but I’ve remained relatively calm. And happy. I’m not generally a happy care-free kind of person. That’s not to say I’m constantly depressed (though I’ve had a couple of bouts in the past) but I am a quieter, reflective, brooding sort. My mom told me that when she got pregnant with me she felt a peaceful, serene feeling almost immediately. I was the result of ‘just this once without the condom’ so it’s not like I was planned and expected.

There is just so much to obsess over in this whole trying to conceive process. Last month it was my tender breasts, this month my calm state of mind. It’s a wonder my DH doesn’t call the people in white coats to haul me away!

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December 21, 2007 at 6:46 pm 2 comments

Describing the full IUI experience

Earlier this week my blogging friend, preconceived notions, asked for “blow by blow details” of what an IUI entails. I’m sure it’s different for everyone but now that I’m on my third IUI I figure I must know a little about it…at least from a patient perspective.

The first IUI we did was ‘natural’, ie. no drugs. I went to the clinic for daily monitoring and they timed the insemination for when they predicted I would ovulate. Daily monitoring is bloodwork to check hormone levels and an ultrasound to measure the follicles that will grow and produce the egg. I start daily monitoring on day 3 of my cycle and then return on day 7, at which point I go in every morning until ovulation.

On insemination day my hubby and I arrive at the clinic for 7am. He goes into the room with the leather chair, sink, and DVDs of all the basic porn genres and…well…does his thing. I get poked with a needle (more bloodwork) and probed with the ultrasound wand. So unfair!

At this point hubby goes off to work or joins me for breakfast. We have to wait about 1.5 hours for the sperm to be rinsed, spun, and prepared.

When we return to the clinic there is usually more waiting. When it’s our turn I get back into the stirrups and the doc shines a very bright light up my business. She opens a little window that goes into the sperm area and orders up my sperm. I tried making a ‘could you super size that’ joke but I think they’ve heard it a few too many times. Once she has the vial I have to check the label and approve it. (A safety measure to make sure they use the correct sperm!). I haven’t seen exactly how she hooks it all up but basically the vial is attached to a catheter which is inserted into my cervix and I guess there’s some sort of plunger so she can push the sperm out of the vial and through the catheter.

Sometimes I barely feel a thing, somtimes a little discomfort, and sometimes I get pretty crampy when the catheter goes in. After the insemination I lay back on the table for 10-15 minutes and think relaxing thoughts.

For IUI #2 and #3 I took Clomid for days 3-8 of my cycle. The Clomid helps the ovaries produce more and sometimes better eggs. In this last cycle I was on a double dose of Clomid. And I also had the HSG shot in these cycles. The shot goes in your hip/butt and it triggers ovulation. It doesn’t hurt getting the shot but for the next couple of days my butt feels kinda bruised.

After the insemination I insert progesterone suppositories twice a day into my business. And then 2 weeks later return to the clinic for a pregnancy test.

And that is how my IUIs have been done! Of course this is a rather clinical description and doesn’t reflect how the hormones affect me. But I’ve written about that before and I’m sure I’ll write about it again if I need to go through another cycle.

December 14, 2007 at 2:28 pm 2 comments

IUI #3 – Day 2

Today was the second insemination of the IUI we’re doing this cycle. DH was able to stay with me again today instead of rushing off to work after producing his sample – nice treat. The doc came in and said ‘nice sample’ which I thought was really cute. I get so caught up in the hormones and daily monitoring that I forget our infertility is affecting my hubby as well. Well I don’t really forget but it seems secondary to all the hormones and procedures I have to go through. That isn’t fair but it’s honest. Anyway, I thought it was sweet of her to acknowledge his part in this whole thing.

I had a fair bit of cramping yesterday and it got worse in the night. The doc said that is normal. It was sort of like premenstrual cramps but not quite as acute. I envisioned the pain as being my big fat follicles releasing a nice healthy egg.

The actual procedure was a little more uncomfortable today, I could feel the catheter in my cervix and it cramped a little.  But the doc successfully deposited the ‘nice sample’ into my cervix and I rested for 15 minutes while the little guys hopefully swum to their destination. We’re going back on the 23rd for a pregnancy test. We usually have to wait 2 full weeks before the pregnancy bloodwork but I think she wanted to avoid having us come in over the holidays.

She prescribed some ‘sex for fun’ tonight before I put in my first progesterone supplement. Hubby had been joking that we get busy on the doctor’s table while we were waiting for her to come in so I giggled at her prescribing bedroom relations.

December 12, 2007 at 6:54 pm 2 comments

IUI #3 – Day 1

What a morning! We had an alarm mishap and got up at 4:45 instead of 5:45. By the time we realized the mistake I’d already showered and it wasn’t worth going back to bed. So I did some work at my desk until we had to leave for the clinic. I usually get to the clinic just before 7am and still a little bleary eyed. Today I was more awake than ever with the extra hour I’d been up.

The clinic was very quiet which makes for a nice atmosphere. Yesterday it was bedlam which makes everyone…doctors, patients, nurses, staff…anxious. DH did his thing while I had bloodwork and an ultrasound. Then we went for coffee while we waited for the sperm to be put through the wash and spin cycle and made ready for the insemination. DH stayed with me which was nice as he often has to rush off to work for early morning meetings. And I had my doctor do the insemination which is also a nice change as the last 2 cycles have fallen on her days off. So all in all the stars were aligned for us this morning.

Fingers crossed the swimmers are looking for an egg to fertilize as I sit here and type!

December 11, 2007 at 3:34 pm 3 comments

Side effects of Clomid

The doc put me on a double dose of Clomid for this cycle. I’ve taken Clomid twice before but this is the first time I’ve experienced some really nasty side effects. It started with a slight nauseous feeling on Friday and got worse over the weekend. I had an out of town friend visiting but thankfully she’s really easy going and didn’t mind a pretty low key weekend.

The general nausea stayed with me for about 3 days but generally subsided when I sat down. I also had hot flashes and a few bouts of tears. I was out for a walk on Sunday with my friend and suddenly had to slow down to a crawl as my legs went all weak and I was sweating profusely. Later that night, after she had left for the airport I was decorating the Christmas tree and just couldn’t help having a good cry. I hated the fact I was so teary and couldn’t seem to control it. But I did feel better after I let it out.

I saw the doc this morning and thankfully she said these side effects should subside now. I burst into tears on the drive home but the rest of the day has been OK so I guess the extra hormone is working its way out of my system. I had the HSG shot today so I expect I’ll still feel a little rough for a few days. I don’t find the needle hurts when you get it but I definitely have a dull pain in my hip/butt for a few days afterwards.

All this in preparation for an IUI tomorrow. I didn’t think we were doing an IUI this cycle but I guess the timing worked out and I have 2 follicles growing nicely. One is 20mm and the other is 22mm.

December 10, 2007 at 3:27 pm Leave a comment

I joined a gym

I used to be really into working out. I’ve run a few half marathons and have a few triathlons under my belt. After 6 months of TTC my family doc suggested I restrict my workouts to 4 times a week at 30 minutes each. The bit of research I did on it seems to support the theory.

The trouble is that I was so used to regularly running for an hour or more that 30 minutes seemed like no time at all. So I started exercising less and less because I couldn’t be bothered to go out for such a short period of time. And then I felt kinda gross because my body was used to the endorphins and adrenalin surging through my system after a good sweat. After feeling clunky and bulky for a couple of months the pendulum swung back the other way and I started up the 30 minutes 4 times a week routine.

And then winter hit. And boy did it hit hard. I live in Southwestern Ontario (Canada) and it has been cold! I have run all winter in the past but I’m feeling a bit wimpy at the moment. So today I joined a gym and I’m looking forward to running all winter in shorts and a tee. It’s a 5 minute walk away so it’s actually faster to go to the gym than spend the time finding and pulling on the 5 layers required to run in the winter up here.

I’m on my second month of Clomid and I find it hurts a bit to run the 2 middle weeks of my cycle. The Clomid makes me feel really bloated and swollen and I swear I can feel my ovaries bouncing around when I run. It’s like I need a sports bra for them! Since the gym has all kinds of aerobic equipment I can use one of the low impact machines (probably the elliptical trainer) and reduce the bruising.

December 7, 2007 at 1:51 am 2 comments

Double dose of clomid

Last month I had to skip the clinic as I knew I’d be travelling during prime ovulation time. Then I got my period a few days early, and since I was traveling again, I was miles from home and the clinic on day 3 which is when I’m supposed to go in for the start of the cycle. I called a nurse and she told me to go in when I returned home which would be day 5.

My doctor looked back at the cycles we’ve done and asked if I had any thoughts. I really like how she invites me to say what I’m thinking and participate in the decisions we have to make each month. She suggests patients take a bit of a break around the holidays so we decided to go with the Clomid but probably not do the HSG shot and IUI. And she doubled the dose of Clomid.

In the past the clomid has made me really bloated and full with my ovaries working overtime. I can’t imagine what a double dose will do but I guess I’ll know in a few days.

December 5, 2007 at 2:28 pm 6 comments

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