28 March 2012


In my last post about my story, I talked about the two week wait after our IUI treatment. To continue...

Twelve days after our IUI treatment, on a Sunday morning, I decided to take another pregnancy test. I was leaving the next day to go prepare our house in TX for the movers so we could move our stuff to our new house in Louisiana. Stan was going to have to move out of the temporary apartment and then drive to TX on Tuesday to help with the move. I was hoping to get a real answer before we had to part.

I knew it would likely have turned positive on day 11 if I was pregnant, so I wasn't terribly optimistic.

I got up at about 6AM and peed on a stick before Abigail or my husband woke up. I was groggy and tired and almost went back to sleep before checking the results. I carried the stick to my bedside table so I could wait for the results, and I laid my head down. A few minutes later, I looked, and had to do a double take. It looked like there was a faint line in the test spot.

I woke up my husband with a jolt of energy and danced around the room a little.

And then, doubt set in. Maybe the test was faulty. Maybe it was a super sensitive test and the HCG shot was still in my system. What if it was another ectopic or miscarriage? SO I decided to go to the the drug store and buy a pack of expensive early detection tests. The first was positive, and so were the second and third. But something didn't feel right. I was in the state of disbelief.

I don't know why, but I was so reluctant to fully except that I was pregnant again. I think I took 8 pregnancy tests in the first few days, and they were all positive.

I think fear was preventing me from really believing it. I was afraid that I would go to the doctor, and they wouldn't find a heart beat. Or that something would happen that would cause this baby to go to heaven before meeting us. And so I was reluctant to share the news of this pregnancy as quickly as I had with my other pregnancies.

The only thing I knew for sure this time was that I wouldn't be much help with the move, and so I delayed my trip for Monday. That would allow me to have a blood draw at the fertility specialists office to determine my HCG and progesterone levels. Normally, I would have a second blood draw on Wednesday morning to determine if my levels were doubling appropriately, but since I would be out of town, I wouldn't be able to have the test until Friday.That made me super nervous.

On Friday, as we were moving into our new home, I drove to the doctor's office with Abigail and had my blood drawn. And then I waited on pins and needles to get the call that I was waiting for. They called me with splendid news. My levels were great, and there was no need for concern. In fact, they had more than tripled, and I was thinking we might have twins! We scheduled an ultrasound for 4 weeks after the IUI, which would make me 6 weeks pregnant.

15 March 2012


In my last post, I described the IUI process  we went through trying to conceive #4. To continue ....

For anyone who has every actually tried to get pregnant, you know there is an up-and-down emotional roller coaster that you go through every month. The first two weeks of the cycle are filled with disappointment that you did not conceive the month before, AND your time and mind are consumed with the many things we crazy women do to try to increase the chances of conception. For some of us, these things may be as simple as a minor diet change or making sure to schedule love-making every other day. But the longer you are on the roller coaster, the more intense these preparations may become. For me, with a clear conscience because of a peace from God about fertility treatment, these two weeks were filled with medications, injections, vaginal ultrasounds, and lots and lots of prayer.

After possible conception, which usually occurs around day 14 of a normal cycle, the real gush of emotions begins because at that point, there is absolutely nothing you can do but pray. For anyone who has been on an infertility or trying-to-conceive (TTC) message board, this 2-3 week wait is called the TWO WEEK WAIT (2WW).

The 2WW is an extremely emotional time for someone who has been trying to conceive for a long period of time. For me, when I was not doing any kind of treatment, the 2WW would start with an initial positive, hopeful feeling that you "KNOW" that you have conceived and that a baby is growing inside. Then I would start searching for symptoms of pregnancy, like squeezing my breasts a little to see if they were sore, and thinking I might be feeling nauseous. That hopeful feeling starts to fade throughout that first week though when no symptoms surface.

By the beginning of the second week of the 2WW (actually the fourth week of the cycle), I would generally become very pessimistic and doubtful that I had conceived. And by day 8 or 9 after possible conception (day 22 or 23 of the cycle), I would start taking a daily pregnancy test. I have made many trips to the Dollar Store to buy 10 tests at $1 per test.

Then at some point later in the week, after I had convinced myself I was probably not pregnant, I would start feeling breast tenderness, increased discharge, and slight nausea (all of which can also be signs of  an impending period). And then the optimism was on again! If I hadn't gotten a positive pregnancy test by the 12th day after possible conception, I would go to the drug store to buy an expensive early detection pregnancy test because I was just SURE I was pregnant despite the 5-10 negative tests I had already taken.

And then when the bleeding would start, I would start the whole roller coaster cycle all over again.

Now, for a cycle with fertility treatment, things were definitely different. Not only did the doctors monitor things much more closely, but medications can effect symptoms and even the outcome of a pregnancy test. It was quite a significant difference, but the emotions were just as strong, sometimes stronger, and the hope ...and disappointment ...was just as real.

For this cycle, an IUI with injected medicines and an HCG trigger, the 2WW was interesting. Since the trigger shot is HCG, which is also what makes a pregnancy test positive, I could pee on a pregnancy test and get a very strong positive the day OF the IUI procedure, which should be the conception date, but it would be a false positive. The trigger shot stays in your system for about 10 days too, so taking pregnancy tests every day of the 2WW could just be misleading.

My plan was to pee on a stick every other day until it was negative to see when the trigger shot was gone from my system and then start taking them for real about 12 days after the IUI. Unbelievably, I did not do what I had planned to do. I was just so busy with getting our move scheduled and getting prepared for closing on the new house that I didn't constantly think about whether I was pregnant or not.

I was really pretty sure I was pregnant, and so, I was terribly disappointed when the pregnancy tests at 8 and 10 days after IUI were both negative, even though I shouldn't have been able to get a positive until 14 days after. I was just so sure that if I did conceive, I would have twins, which would make my levels higher initially.

So my wait continued at least for a couple more days. That Friday, 11 days after IUI we closed on our home in Carencro, and that Sunday, I was scheduled to leave for Houston to get ready for the movers on Wednesday. Life would go on whether I was pregnant or not, but I was hoping to have some clarity before Tuesday so I could handle some of the heavier preparation if I was not pregnant. Because of our previous 1st trimester pregnancy losses, if there was a possibility I was pregnant, I wouldn't lift anything heavier than our 24lb daughter, and that was definitely going to limit what I could do to prepare for the move.

I had very cautious hope and was really hopeful that I would find something out by Sunday.

06 March 2012


In my last post, I talked about trying to conceive Pregnancy #4 and using a more invasive fertility drug regimen. To continue ...

So after injecting myself with drugs for a week, I was given the clear to inject HCG, often called a trigger shot, to prompt my body to release any mature eggs into my fallopian tube. The body usually responds to the trigger shot at around 36 hours. So I was told to inject the trigger on Saturday night and come in for IUI on Monday morning.

Since we were doing intrauterine insemination (IUI), we also had to abstain from trying to conceive the natural way until after the IUI was complete. The abstinence for 48-72 hours would promote more healthy sperm available for the IUI procedure.

The HCG injection was actually pretty unpleasant. I had done a trigger shot before, but for some reason, the needles the drugstore provided for this one were very uncomfortable. The needle didn't want to slide into my flesh like a normal needle would, and because of that, it was very painful. The injection site was actually painful for about 2 weeks after.

On Monday, very early in the morning, I woke up in pretty significant pain on my left side. It was a pain I was somewhat familiar with. Because I have PCOS, I occasionally end up with cysts on my ovaries that generally grow and then rupture. And ruptured cysts on your ovary are excruciating! This pain was in the same location as a ruptured cyst but significantly more mild. Since I don't usually ovulate naturally, I can tell the difference when I do ovulate, and I the pain was me ovulating on the left side. My initial feeling was disappointment that it was on the left, because I don't have a tube on the left. Much to my delight, around the time the babysitter arrived to watch Abigail, I began to have significant ovulation pain on the right side. I don't know if I have ever been so excited about being in pain before!

Somewhat graphic detail alert!
The plan was for my husband to go to the office and leave a sample at 8AM and then head on to work. It would take them about an hour to prepare the sample. (They remove the extra junk in semen so the IUI injection is very concentrated, healthy sperm.) Then I would head to the office around 9AM for the IUI procedure.

The IUI procedure is where they insert a catheter through your vagina and cervix, directly into the uterus. Then they inject the sample through the catheter. The uterus is a sterile environment, and in the natural conception process, most of the semen never makes it through the cervix because a lot of it is not sterile enough to be in the uterus. Only strong sperm manage to get through to the uterus. The IUI process allows more healthy sperm to get through, and allows it to start its journey to the egg from a much closer starting point.

The timer looked a little like this except the back was an egg.
The procedure was actually a bit surprising. I went into the office and signed a consent. Then the doctor came in with a nurse, asked me if I had any questions, and told me to remove everything waste-down. When he and the nurse came back in, they asked me to verify my husband's name on the vial containing his sample. Then he told me to lay back with my feet in the stirrups, and he put in a speculum. About a minute later, he said, "Ok, all done." Then the nurse, set a timer for 10 minutes and told me to continue laying down until the timer went off, and then I was free to go. When I was getting dressed, I noticed that the timer was actually a sperm and an egg.

I prayed the whole 10 minutes. Mostly that I was conceiving at that moment, but also that if it was not God's will for us to get pregnant that month, that He would prevent it. I also prayed that God wouldn't allow us to have more than we could handle, and any more than triplets was more than I thought I could handle for sure!

I considered staying there for a while longer, but I decided to trust that 10 minutes was long enough. I saw a preview of a movie once where a woman walked out of the fertility office with her legs clenched together. Yea .... I was so much like that when I left the office.

IUI #1 was complete, and it would either work or not, only time would tell. Now for the two week wait ...