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 ...

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