Making a Baby, IUI 5 – Part 2, Insemination and TWW

Making Baby Mettler

This is our 5th overall attempt, but our second attempt with CRM. We went to the gym to get one last workout in before the big day. All of the jitters from final exam week were finally gone (I passed both classes!) so this IUI I was actually pretty relaxed. We talked to the nurse a bit about when I could go back to the gym, how annoying it is to leave all of this up to science, and she told us her own struggle with infertility before she got her twins on IUI #6.

It’s not usually a physically painful process at all for me, which is great. She had to reposition a few things because she didn’t like the angle and wanted to get all of the sperm into my uterus so we had the best chance. I definitely appreciated that she took the extra time to make sure everything was perfect. It was nice having someone there who completely understood our struggles and the frustrations firsthand. Before she walked out she said, “maybe number 5 is your lucky number”, and we told her that was actually the name of our last blog… and we all 3 got chills.

Prior to the insemination, I had to do the Pregnyl injection, which made me sick last time, so I was prepared with ginger ale and Tums just in case, but I never threw up! *high fives* That was a huge relief.

After insemination, we were advised to take it easy at the gym. She suggested I do a rest day on insemination day just to be extra cautious. We had a very relaxing weekend and blew off a few Christmas parties (sorry guys!) for the extra rest time. We finally saw Frozen 2 which was amazing!!

It’s kind of a struggle to write about the TWW because it’s pretty similar each time we do this. Hopefully, this one just ends with a positive pregnancy test rather than a negative. Other than mild cramping and being physically exhausted, it’s been pretty similar to all the others. I’m trying not to get worked up about it since the progesterone mimics pregnancy/period symptoms.

2nd weekend of this TWW we saw Star Wars!! Made Cinnamon sugar roasted pecans in a crockpot (soooo easy) which turned out AMAZING!! Recipe here for anyone who needs to try it.

We went to the gym a few more times because it’s the holidays and sweet things and comfort food are everywhere. Samantha made her grandma’s top-secret Taco Salad recipe for a little bit of her grandma’s spirit around this time of year, and we are attempting a Maple Sage roasted pecan recipe while running around like chickens with our heads cut off to get our lives ready for Christmas and New Years. Wish us luck!

Cost:

CD 16:
Insemination:  $350

Total baby-making cost to date: $9407.70 

January Whole30 – Week 1

whole30

It’s January 2020 and we’ve decided to start our new year with doing our second official Whole30. If you don’t know what whole30 is, check out the website HERE. Basically, you can eat meat, seafood, veggies, fruit, but no processed foods, sugar, dairy, grains, or legumes (not even hummus). AND you can’t step on a scale for the whole 30 days. It takes complete dedication, there are no “cheat days” or “cheat meals”, for an entire 30 days.

My favorite line from her website is:

This is not hard. Fighting cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You have done harder things than this. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth—the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime. Hear me now: The Whole30 is exactly as hard as you decide it’s going to be, so repeat after me: “This is not hard.”

Whole30 has been known to assist with all sorts of health problems and issues like: high blood pressure • high cholesterol • type 1 diabetes • type 2 diabetes • asthma • allergies • sinus infections • hives • skin conditions • endometriosis • PCOS • infertility • migraines • depression • bipolar disorder • heartburn • GERD • arthritis • joint pain • ADD • thyroid dysfunction • Lyme disease • fibromyalgia • chronic fatigue • lupus • leaky gut syndrome • Crohn’s • IBS • Celiac disease • diverticulitis • ulcerative colitis. If you’ve seen this before, you’ve been reading our fertility blog!

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Okay, Let’s get down to business (comment if you started singing Mulan).

Samantha has come up with an entire month of meal plans and shopping lists so that we can eat the right foods on a budget. We’ve also been going to the gym and yoga on a regular basis and the weather is so nice we take a few of our dogs out for long (2 mile) walks once the sun starts to go down.

I think it’d be easier to share our meal plans each week with you guys and then follow it up with our favorites! (We started on January 2nd because we are rebellious). See some shopping hints below!

Thursday, Jan 2
Breakfast: Fruit + Scrambled Eggs (cooked in green chile oil with jalapenos!)
Lunch: Sheet pan chicken sausage (NO sugar), broccoli, and potatoes.
Dinner: Teriyaki (Primal Kitchen) Chicken and zucchini

Friday, Jan 3
Breakfast: Fruit + Scrambled Eggs
Lunch: Leftover Teriyaki chicken and zucchini
Dinner: Hamburgers (no bun) and Air Fryer Crispy Garlic Potatoes

Saturday, Jan 4
Breakfast: Fruit + Scrambled Eggs
Lunch: Leftover Burgers and Potatoes
Dinner: Chili Lime Crispy Chicken Tenders with Avocado Ranch and a honey crisp apple
**We cooked the chicken tenders in the air fryer!

Sunday, Jan 5
Brunch: Hard Boiled Egg + Chomp
Snack:
We went on a long bike ride and stopped at Starbucks. We got Peter Rabbit fruit pouches and the Evolution pressed juices (‘super fruit greens’ and ‘defense up’ flavors).
Dinner:
Sloppy Jane’s

Monday, Jan 6 (Steph Starts School Today – 730am class)
Breakfast: Egg Salad on Sweet Potato Toast
Lunch: Leftover Sloppy Jane’s
Dinner: Skinny Shredded Buffalo Chicken (good for wraps too!)

Tuesday, Jan 7
Breakfast: Egg Salad on Sweet Potato Toast
Lunch: Leftover Skinny Shredded Buffalo Chicken
Dinner: Philly Not-So-Cheese-Steak Stuffed Peppers

Wednesday, Jan 8
Breakfast: 2 Hard Boiled Eggs
Lunch: Leftover Philly Peppers
Dinner: Chicken Sausage and Green Beans

*** Our favorite was the Sloppy Janes ***

Side note: We went to trader joe’s and found these AMAZING date and coconut bites that have been helping between Steph’s morning classes. There’s a cashew apricot flavor and a blueberry almond flavor and they are Whole30. Click HERE.

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Just the TIPS:

We get most of our meats from Costco/Sams in bulk. We got a Food Saver for Christmas so we separate the meats into the portions we need which has been super helpful! For the sauces and seasonings, we spend most of our time at our local Trader Joe’s. We also really like Aldi for fruits and veggies and they sometimes have surprises like fruit pouches that are whole30. They’re really good to curb your sweet tooth – also Apple Sauce with Cinnamon.

We recommend getting a handful of Chomps (the Country Archer beef sticks are also Whole30) to snack on from Trader Joe’s. It’s not encouraged to have snacks on Whole30 since one of the purposes of Whole30 is to eat enough food to sustain you for the next meal and to stop you from reaching for the “snacks”. We also have boiled eggs ready to go in the fridge because sometimes that’s what we have time for and it’s super quick as a snack or a meal. Also, a HUGE help is to have a bunch of shredded chicken ready to go. You can shred a compliant rotisserie chicken or make your own in the crockpot or instant pot.

There’s a ton of Whole30 mayo recipes online and the sauces make everything amazing (Healthy Little Peach is our go-to for the healthiest, yummiest sauces). If you don’t have one yet, GET AN IMMERSION BLENDER. It will make your life SO much easier with sauces and mayo and homemade avocado ranch. Also, an instant pot would make your life easier and makes cook time WAY shorter. Most blogs will have an option for Instant Pot recipes and crockpot versions.

One of the most helpful tips we read before starting Whole30 was to clean and organize your kitchen. That way you have an inventory of what you have in the house plus you have a nice clean kitchen!

Sam writes EVERYTHING in her planner. She has our meal plans in there, the shopping list for the week, when to pull things out of the freezer, AND she has the printed recipes that are numbered for each day. She has a Happy Planner with Weekly Menu Plan inserts in it.

Sam’s favorite people to follow on Instagram (and their blogs) are @littlebitsofrealfood (Little Bits Of), @maryswholelife (Mary’s Whole Life), @thebetteredblondie (The Bettered Blondie), @tasteslovely (Tastes Lovely), @thedefineddish (The Defined Dish), @healthylittlepeach (Healthy Little Peach), @40aprons (40 Aprons), and…

BONUS BLOG: Nom Nom Paleo We know she’s not specifically Whole30 but most of the recipes can be altered and who doesn’t crave Asian food literally all the time (see her Pho recipe).

**Because this is our fourth round of Whole30 AND we are Gluten Free, we already have a lot of the flours and various ingredients that are needed for a lot of Whole30 recipes. Whole30 doesn’t have to be difficult and you don’t have to make a special Pinterest recipe every night. Whole30 is just about making healthier choices and eating enough vegetables to curb your appetite.

Making a Baby, IUI 5 – Part 1, Maybe 5 is our Lucky Number

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I was a bit nervous going into our next IUI cycle after having to skip the last one due to a cyst, but we decided to keep trying. At this point, each doctor’s appointment is pretty routine as far as procedure, so I think our excitement level is down to a normal level. There’s just SO much waiting and wondering and it’s been helpful to have my classes occupy that time instead of stressing and worrying about trying to get pregnant. I am trying not to let this blog be one bummer after the next so just know that we are trying to stay hopeful and excited for whatever the future holds for us. We’ve been going to the gym pretty regularly (I’m 3x/week and Sam is 5-6x) and I’ve been gluten free for more than 6 months now. All of this should be helping my body better prepare for a baby in addition to the 23705 vitamins I’m taking.

CD 2: Ovary Scan

They did my ovary scan and everything was totally normal! We are cyst free and ready to go! We ordered all the medication, Clomid, etc. and we are sticking to the same meds schedule as last time, which was I think Clomid on days 2-6, and Gonal shots on days 3, 5, and 7.

CD 10: Follicle scan

We are the grown-ups that laugh at subtle inappropriateness, so of course, when we walk into the room and the screen say’s penetration, we had a veryyyyyyy good laugh about it.

We have 2 follicles that are each 13mm. So that means another 75 Gonal shot on CD 11 and then come back on CD 12 to see what’s happening. Oh also Sam ordered the sperm today so we didn’t have to pay for fast shipping (same donor as last time).

CD 11

Fun story: CD 11 happened to land on our nephew’s birthday. We had planned on being in Georgia for his birthday and we couldn’t disappoint, so we packed up a cooler full of road trip snacks, and my Gonal pen, which can’t dip below a certain temperature. The shots we always have to do between 6pm and 8pm so, after the birthday party, Sam had to give me a shot in the laundry room so the kids wouldn’t freak out. We were able to store it in their fridge while we were there, then we packed up and headed back home with the rest of the shot pen on ice! Oh, also we forgot the alcohol wipes so thanks to Bath and Body Works for their Marshmallow Pumpkin hand sanitizer coming in handy when we needed it.. “This is probably fine..”

CD 12:

We got home from GA around 11pm after waking up at 5am, and our appointment the next day was 7am, so we were pretty out of it. They still take my blood each time to measure my estrogen levels, but apparently I was a little dehydrated which makes bloodwork way less fun. Props to my blood lady for being on point.

Our next set of instructions are to take a full 75unit dose of Gonal on CD 13 between 6-8pm, trigger with Pregnyl (here’s hoping it doesn’t make Steph throw up this time *fingers crossed*) on CD 14 (24 hours later) and inseminate on CD 16! (three days earlier than last time)

I have 3 follicles now which are pretty good odds. I have a 12 and 16 on my left and a 13.6 on my right. Hopefully all 3 fully mature and that way our chances will be higher. Uterine lining is 8.1 which is basically perfect for implantation. It’s getting close to GO time!

 

Cost:

CD 2:
Ovary scan: $65 (co-pay)

Chlomid: $14.79
300 pen of Gonal F: $170
Pregnyl trigger shot: $154.89


CD 10:
Follicle check #1 and bloodwork: $65 (copay)
Sperm from NW Cryobank: $525 for IUI Sperm $245 for shipping.

CD 12:
Follicle check #2 and bloodwork: $65 (copay)

Total baby-making cost to date: $9057.70 

Making a Baby, Future Planning

Making Baby Mettler

Samantha here.

We figured it was time for more of an update to what our future looks like.

We had to get realistic. We would like to have a big family, and no matter how many high hopes, well wishes, fertility crystals, and prayers that we have, the facts are still the facts; Steph’s egg count is insanely low. 

We started discussing me carrying and what all that would entail. And as much as I always said I didn’t want to carry, it all boiled down to how badly did I really want to make our own babies. We knew that we needed to start this process with me soonish, since we know from experience, how long this can all take. We didn’t know what my egg count looked like, if I had hormonal imbalances that would keep me from being able to carry, or who knows what. I have an IUD, and have for 6 years. I haven’t had a cycle since the first 3 months or so that I got the first Mirena (I’m on my second one). I’m overweight and I read soooo many things that scared me about being pregnant and being overweight, so we knew it was time for a professional opinion.

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I saw my primary doctor first because my insurance requires me to have a referral in order to see a specialist. She told me that weight doesn’t really play a HUGE factor in Fertility and that it’s based more on health (which is the same thing my gyno said), so she said that if this is something I really want, I need to get serious about losing some weight so that I have an easier pregnancy.  She ran a whole bunch of bloodwork and turns out, I’m pretty damn healthy. My Bad Cholesterol was 3 points higher than it should be, and she said that wasn’t anything to really worry about as long as I was sticking to working out and eating the things that I should be eating. Long story short, stay away from white things. She prescribed me Phentermine and explained that it would only help me lose more weight while I was actually trying and putting forth the effort, but that it wasn’t a magical weight loss pill. I needed to be the one putting in the work. 

Two weeks later, I had my first consult with our doctor to discuss what she would need from me. Ie. how much weight would I need to lose and what our next steps were going to be. She told me that there wasn’t a specific number that she needed to see, just that she needed to see that I was serious about trying to be healthier. She ran a million more tests (12 vials worth of blood) to check allll the things I was concerned about. And she did an Internal Ultrasound that day, which I was NOT mentally prepared for. (I still don’t actually know what the purpose of that torture was…but whatever lol). The nurse called me about a week later and told me that my hormone levels were all great, my blood type was O+ (the exact opposite of Steph’s 0-), and I am CMV Positive (which broadens our donor search ALOT if we decide to switch donors for whatever reason, because being CMV negative is super rare, which means having to select out of a LOT fewer donors who are negative).

Got the Bill for those things like 3 days before my follow up appointment about what our next steps would be and found out that my insurance didn’t cover a big portion of them. So there was an extra $223.63 I wasn’t prepared to spend.

The follow-up appointment told me what my AMH (egg count) level is. Turns out, I have allll the eggs. My AMH is 2.4, and to give you an idea of how many more eggs that is than Steph’s…Steph’s was 0.52 three months ago. I told the doctor when we wanted to start the IUI process with me and so the doctor and I made a plan. She will see me again in 3 months, to make sure that I am still sticking to everything that we discussed, and from there, I will schedule to have my IUD removed with the Gynecologist. One month after I get the IUD removed (I have to wait because my IUD may have put a dent in my uterus and I have to wait for that the reshape), I will have the HSG test to make sure that both of my fallopian tubes are open and that my uterus isn’t tilted and is the shape it’s supposed to be for optimal baby-making. If I haven’t started my cycle by then, she will do whatever they do to force it to happen, and then we start the IUI process. 

So here I am, working out 6 days a week, staying under my calories with healthy whole foods, and still trying to adult.

WHY DOESN’T ANYONE TELL YOU HOW HARD THAT IS?? 

I work until 5pm Monday-Friday. I get into the gym by like 5:40 once I’ve battled traffic. I get home around 7-7:20ish, I have to cook, clean up, and take care of the dogs. Steph gets home between 7:40 and 8pm (usually starving and ready to chew off someone’s arm #sorrynotsorry), we eat dinner, relax for an hour, go to sleep and then it’s time to do it all over again. We are working on figuring it all out and getting a system in place, but this shit is hard. Despite all this, it still won’t make me quit. Having a family and being around to see our kids grow up thing means too much for me to give up. 

So for now, just know that I am probably just busy at the gym and learning how to adult in a new way, and not ignoring you.

We’ll talk more about the journey with me in about 3ish months when I have things to report. Until then, Let’s get a baby in Steph.

TL:DR – Sam started getting tests done, she’s been kicking butt at the gym, she’s super healthy and in good shape for when we’re ready with her. Adulting is hard. 

 

Cost:

Primary doctor for referral: $30 copay
Bloodwork deductible: $37
Primary followup on bloodwork: $30 copay
Fertility Doctor consult: $55 copay
Fertility Bloodwork: $223.63 out of pocket cost that insurance didn’t cover
Fertility Doctor followup: $55

Total baby-making cost to date: $7753.39

Our Christmas 2019

Married Life

Christmas 2019

Oh man, where to start… This will be a “short” Christmas letter because 2019 has been pretty consumed with trying to make babies. Earlier in 2019 Samantha and I started the (very long) process of trying to have babies! We’ve been to loads of doctors appointments, spent tons of money, and been administered a TON of medications. Over the course of the last 9 months, we’ve tried IUI 4 times and we’re hoping that 2020 is our year! So we are basically fertility professionals now. Steph has been totally gluten free for 7 months and we’re basically just sitting ducks learning the value of patience. Lucky for you all, we’ve been keeping track of all the details on our blog: themettleradventures.com <<< Shameless plug.

In other news, Steph has passed all her classes this year. She managed to get an A in Calculus and the math classes keep piling up. She’s officially able to apply to the Aerospace Engineering program instead of the “pending” status. WOOHOO We almost have an actual aerospace engineer major on our hands! But don’t stop sending all the good vibes because rocket science isn’t easy, it’s rocket science..! Samantha remains the glue holding us together. She’s been to every doctor’s appointment and has been riding the Mettler roller coaster through all the fun hormones and negative tests. We’ve been going back to the gym and Sam’s been KILLING IT going 5+ days/week and Steph’s joining her on the weekends.

Back in March, we went to Birmingham, Alabama to see Mumford and Sons in concert, which was amazing. While we were there we visited the haunted Sloss Furnaces and went to Saturn Cafe which was basically a rocket themed coffee shop! We’ve been going to Disney a lot (so long as the weather is below 80 degrees). We started collecting Disney Trading Pins, which, if you haven’t started now DON’T DO IT, lol. We finally got to visit Star Wars Land, which was totally epic. Steph almost passed out from excitement.

This year, we also got to babysit our *bonus kid*, Gavin, who we took to a concert and to the water park, and then we celebrated Steph’s birthday at Kennedy Space Center. I’m pretty sure we might have a future rocket scientist on our hands! Steph even took him to a calculus review session and he got to help with some of the math. For Samantha’s birthday, we went to the wax museum and the aquarium (sharks AND a wax figure of Ryan Reynolds in one day!?), then, like any totally normal married couple, we went to IKEA.

For the first time in the 4 years that we’ve been living in our house, we decided (steph decided) to put Christmas lights on the house! Also, despite having 72 different color variations for Christmas bulb ornaments, we had to get JUST one more package of Christmas bulbs. Now we have officially completed the trifecta of Christmas color schemes. Santa would be so proud. Blue and gold? Got it. Silver and pink? Got it. Green and red? Got that too. We’re set for life now so long as our great dane, Apollo, stops sticking his head into the tree and using it as a head scratcher.

This year has been filled with so many ups and downs, but we are both so excited for what 2020 holds. Wishing everyone so much love this holiday season!

Love, The Mettlers

 

Making a Baby, IUI 4 – Results

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I feel like each time we get a negative result, it should be easier, but it’s not. The progesterone kept me from getting my period, which was a huge letdown. I always hold out so much hope, but we took 2 tests, one a day before, and one a day after the end of our TWW (two-week wait) and they were both negative. The doctor told me to stop taking the progesterone inserts so that I can get my period again and come back.

My period arrived about 3-4 days after I stopped taking the progesterone, but it was really light compared to normal. I went back in to do my follicle scan on Friday and we got more bad news..

I have a cyst on my ovary, which could’ve been caused by the change in medication – basically, a cyst kept growing after we triggered to ovulate and the cyst didn’t ovulate with my eggs. The cyst was measuring about 20 and anything over 4-6 could be cause for concern. This means we have to skip this cycle. If they continued with treatment this month, then any medication they give me would cause the cyst to grow, which could be damaging to my ovaries. This was likely the source of my light period. It’ll dissolve on its own, but we have to skip this cycle and try again next month. The doctor said it isn’t a recurring thing, so the likelihood of it happening again is slim.

The good news is that I can eat sushi again! LOL always reaching for that silver lining.

Until next time.

 

Cost:

Ovary Scan: $65

Total baby-making cost to date: $7322.39

Making a Baby, IUI 4 – Part 2, Insemination and the dreaded TWW

Making Baby Mettler

Greetings!

We went in Sunday morning at 10:30am to get inseminated. (Exhibit A)

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We were called right back which was amazing. Everything went smoothly and the sample they looked at had RAPID motility and like 34 million sperm, which is fantastic! Plus it was a full hunters moon the night after our insemination so hopefully, we’ll get a little extra baby energy.

 


Fast forward to Sunday night. I had been feeling super nauseous all day and it pretty much felt like a bout of food poisoning throughout the day (with slightly more control). We finally got into bed and I felt something weird so I asked Sam to hand me some Tums to help my stomach. Not 10 seconds after I asked her, I was RUNNING to the bathroom (thank goodness our dog Hailey moved out of my way fast enough) where I spent the next 12 minutes throwing up. To be fair, I felt much better after that was all over. We called the doctor (because we googled stuff and got nervous) and they said that I’m totally fine and it’s just a side effect of the trigger shot. The next morning I got some ginger ale and more Tums.. just in case. The nausea is a little better but still present at this point and this was only 3 days post trigger shot. It can take 7-10 days to exit your system, so hopefully, the side effects go away.

One of the main differences between our other IUI attempts was that with this cycle, they prescribed me progesterone “insertables” for me to start taking 2 days after insemination.

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10 Days Post Insemination:

I’ve still been feeling nausea off and on. It’s worse in the afternoons. I’ve been starving, which I’m not sure is a side effect from the progesterone.. I’ve been eating Tums to help at night and also drinking ginger ale during the day.

Tomorrow is the date that I am supposed to get my period according to one of the tracking apps I use. The other one says Saturday, so this is pretty much the worst time of the whole 2 week wait. I’ve been feeling some cramps, but at this point that could mean anything. Each day sans period is a good day so we are just taking it day by day. But there’s also this:

If your physician has recommended progesterone support, it will begin 2–4 days after ovulation. You will be given clear instructions on the type, dosage, and schedule of when to administer the progesterone. You should continue to take the progesterone until your pregnancy test, which is done two weeks after ovulation. Progesterone can delay your period, so a pregnancy test must be performed. If pregnancy occurs, the medications will continue until around the 10th week of pregnancy. If the pregnancy test is negative, the medication is stopped, and a period will occur in 2–7 days.

– Source

 

Cost:

Insemination $350

Total baby-making cost to date: $7257.39

Making a Baby, IUI 4 – Part 1

Making Baby Mettler

It’s officially go time again!

We are switching up the blog layout and decided to write basically everything up to insemination in a full blog, then follow it up with the results and all of that good stuff. This way we don’t have 17 chapters for everyone to read and follow.

CD 2: This morning we had our first Ovary scan of this cycle. It is cycle day 2, and our emotions are already all over the place! We are very hopeful this time because literally, everything has changed. Steph has been completely Gluten-free for 90 days now, the medications are almost all different. This ovary scan was the easiest and quickest one we have ever been to. So that was also great. The right ovary was completely quiet and the Left had a couple of follicles.

Steph is starting Chlomid tomorrow and for the next five days (CD3-CD8) and then adding Gonal F Injections on cycle days 5,7, and 9. We had some Gonal F leftover from our last attempt so we used that first.

Our insurance technically doesn’t cover “infertility” but DOES cover “diagnostic stuff”. CRM (Center for Reproductive Medicine) submitted a claim for the diagnostic (cost of ultrasound and bloodwork) which was $250 each time at the other office PLUS the copay, so now if insurance continues to cover it, we should only have to pay a $65 copay each time instead of $250, which would REALLY help cost wise.

Fun/Annoying fact that we learned: The regularly prescribed dosage (250mcg) Ovidrel trigger shot is only 50-70% as effective as the Pregnyl trigger shot. WHAT?!! So what is the point in using the Ovidrel at all if the effectiveness is that insignificant in comparison?!! That’s just silly… 

THE SCIENCE and RESEARCH

We also just learned that the original donor we chose (the whole donor fiasco is in our previous blogs) is suddenly no longer available for purchase. So we have to switch sperm donors again, but it’s probably for the best after that whole mix up.

We narrowed it down to a few this weekend and will be ordering it this week once we decide on one and get the all-clear from the dr.

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One Week later CD 10: 

We went for our follicle scan on Friday, there were 3 follicles growing, Two 12mm and one 10mm. Still not big enough, so they told us to do One more Gonal-F injection the next day (Saturday) and then come back on Monday (3 days later) to check on the growth.

The nurse advised us to go ahead and order the sperm now so that it was at the office in time. This office has the capability of using their own Cryo tanks to store it in case something happens to where we would need to wait until the next cycle, etc. which is SUPER awesome. Normally the “to-go” tanks that they use for shipping are only good for 7 days. We decided to go with a Donor from NW Cryobank for quite a few reasons. They had a better selection for the things we need and want. The CMV negative donors are much fewer in numbers so to find one with the qualities we were looking for was an adventure in itself.

Sam and I have different things we look at when selecting a donor – I look for whether they’re educated, whether they’re a nice, caring person, their favorite things (TV shows tell a lot about the person!), and what they do for work. Sam looks for things like how old their parents and grandparents lived to be, whether there’s been cancer in the family, how many siblings, how many siblings are girls.. (basically all the DNA things that are actually controllable as opposed to my assessment of whether they’re nice, lol). In spite of our nature vs nurture conversations, we found a donor that is amazing and fits all of our criteria.

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Monday CD 13:

Follicle scan was this morning at 7:30 am and we have LOTS of activity… One follicle is at 14.5, One is 13, One is 12.8 and one is 10. One of the things we have been doing differently now that we are at CRM, is that they take my blood each visit (yay me) to measure the amount of estrogen in my body. They use this as a more accurate way to detect ovulation. As much as it sucks getting poked and prodded each time, I know the end result will be worth it. Currently, we are waiting for a phone call to tell us what to do next based on the results, whether I need another Gonal F shot, or whether we ride it out and come back or trigger, etc. It’s looking like we will be coming in this week for insemination, we just don’t know specifically yet until we get the call. As of 3pm, we are both anxious as hell.

Monday, later(4:52pm):

The nurse called. Tonight we have to do another Gonal F shot, but just a half a dose of only 37.5 because they are trying to slow down 1-2 of those follicles. If there are 4, they will cancel the cycle and that is NOT what we want. We go back on Wednesday morning to check up on them and then we will decide what our next step is.

Wednesday CD 15:

Last night, we lit some incense, and put our fertility stones around the fertility statue that our best friend got us for some extra luck with slowing down that extra follicle! We felt like it surelyyyyy couldn’t hurt anything.

This is a statue of the Celtic triple goddess of the Sun, the Moon, and Childbirth.

We had our next ultrasound to see what our follicles are doing at 7:15 this morning, And they slowed down all right! Maybe a little too much. We are down to 2 possibly 3 follicles and those ones haven’t really grown much at all…One is 15 ish, one is 14 and one is 13 (They were 14, 13, 12, & 10 respectively before). Butttt Steph has cervical mucus, which is a sign of ovulation, so they added a progesterone check to her bloodwork to check her progesterone levels, which are able to tell us if she’s actually ovulating or not.

And nowwwww we wait for that phone call again to let us know what our next steps are going to be. This waiting game is going to be the death of us. Whyyyy does it have to take allllll day to get our results. (We are working on this patience thing…)

(Progesterone levels peak a week after ovulation. Measuring progesterone levels at this peak time gives us a way to assess ovulation. A progesterone level above 3 generally indicates that ovulation has occurred and a level 10 or higher suggests adequate production to maintain a pregnancy.)

Wednesday Later (3:30pm):

GOOD NEWS! Steph is not ovulating! Progesterone is only at 0.3! So tonight we will do another Gonal F half-dose shot of only 37.5 units. And we go back in Friday morning at 7:45 am to see what our follicles are looking like.

Come on babies, GROW GROW GROW!

Friday CD 17:

Follicle scan this morning! We have two mature follicles. One is at 19, one is at 14, we also have an 11, but that one won’t end up releasing. They said that the 19 and 14 will grow a little more over the next 24-36 hours, and we should have the two eggs when we inseminate. Hopefully the 14 is able to get to at least 16 to increase our chances way more! Tonight between 6-8 pm we will use the Pregnyl trigger shot to force ovulation (this can take anywhere from 12-36 hours to happen). And then Sunday morning at 10:30 am we will inseminate!

We feel very excited about this cycle. Everything feels so positive and just.. different. Sunday night is a full moon and will be exactly 90 days (that we’ve been counting) of Steph being gluten free. All of our fingers and toes are crossed for babies!

Steph’s been having some headaches and hasn’t been super hungry but we’re chalking it up to the Gonal. She’s been super tired too, but that may be due to the crazy math and Engineering homework… This is the most hormones she’s had in a given cycle and I think this is the longest we’ve gone without triggering as well. Average ovulation is between CD 14 and CD 21 depending on the length of the cycle (28 day vs 35 day) so CD 17 is right smack in the middle which would be roughly the same as our “natural” ovulation date. The fertility clinic basically helps the follicles grow and mature so we aren’t ovulating with eggs that are too small to be able to conceive. They of course also control ovulation so we can pinpoint when exactly to inseminate since we only have that one shot.

We will end this blog post here and pick back up for our next post which will be all about the insemination and our Two Week Wait. Pray for us to have some semblance of patience!

Cost:

CD 2:
Ovary scan: $65 (co-pay)
Progesterone: $44
Chlomid: $14.79
300 pen of Gonal F: $170
Pregnyl trigger shot: $154.89

CD 10:
Follicle check #1 and bloodwork: $65 (copay)
Sperm from NW Cryobank: $525 for IUI Sperm $310 for shipping.

CD 13:
Follicle check #2 and bloodwork: $65 (copay)

CD 15:
Follicle check #3 and bloodwork: $65 (copay)

CD 17:
Follicle check #4 and bloodwork: $65 (copay)

Total baby-making cost to date: $6907.39

Fall is Here and Here We Go Again!

Making Baby Mettler

Samantha here! 

We know that those last 15 blogs were a lot to follow. But we wanted to fill everyone in on what we have been through throughout this fertility journey. We wrote each of those blogs as we went, and were waiting to publish them until we were pregnant. But here we are, three tries down, 10 months into our journey, and no bun in the oven. We decided to take a different approach and to involve our families and friends because we didn’t want to keep everyone in the dark anymore. The more Love and Positivity, the better. 

Our current update:

We chose to switch fertility doctors and try a different approach. We met with the Center for Reproductive Medicine and we were very impressed with our new doctors’ approach. She is very focused on nutrition and the role that it plays when it comes to fertility. Steph has been Gluten-Free for almost a full 90 days at this point. We have been much more active, calorie-conscious, and just more aware of the things we put into our bodies. 

This new doctor is switching everything up. Instead of Femara, Steph will be taking Clomid (pray for me during her mood swings) and they will be combining that with the Gonal F injections at a higher dose. They are changing up her trigger shot (to trigger ovulation) to one that is 4 times as effective as the Ovidrel apparently (probably more expensive and I will let you know the name once I know it). And then the day after insemination, they will start her on progesterone as well to be sure there’s as much “sticky dust” as possible! 

She also required us to go to a counseling session so that we could discuss how we would handle different conversations or scenarios because we are using donor sperm. We found an awesome therapist and the whole experience was actually really interesting because it just showed how much we truly are on the same page. 

We are so ready to get things moving again and are just waiting on Steph’s cycle to start. 

Our emotions are alllll over the place. We are excited, nervous, impatient.. all the things. But we are so ready to be moms. We also discussed having all of the tests run on me during this cycle so that we know what we are working with if me carrying ends up being our next option. At this point, I’m totally up to it as long as it means we end up having babies at the end of all of this. 

Right now,  we know more things about the human body and fertility than any average person knows. I have gone down more research-rabbit-holes than what would probably be deemed healthy. And the only realllll thing this journey has been teaching me is patience. (which I apparently very seriously lack).

 

Cost:

Second opinion appointment at Center for Reproductive Medicine: $65 (co-pay)

Total baby-making cost to date: $5363.71

Monthly Brew – November

Monthly Brew

This month

I got 12 ounces of decaf whole bean Tilikum Crossing from Portland Coffee Roasters in (you guessed it) Portland! They’ve been around since 1996 and their mission is to improve connections, not just in the local communities that they serve, but also the communities, farmers, and partners that they work with.

They have cafe’s located in Portland and also a few more in the PDX airport! I only wish they had some merch! Their design team does a fantastic job on the labels for each coffee (I’m very much a “buy the book based on the cover” kind of girl).

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The coffee itself smelled AMAZING. I got this just in time for fall and the flavor complimented the “cooler” weather (hello from Florida) wonderfully. There was a hint of cinnamon which brought a crisp spice to the overall flavor of the coffee. It’s a medium roast and wasn’t too full bodied. It’s definitely a coffee I could enjoy every morning and one I could share with friends on a cool fall night. This roast is a blend from a few countries including: Brazil, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Peru, and Papua New Guinea. It’s balanced so well and isn’t bitter at all. It’s a rich, flavorful coffee with notes of graham cracker and caramel and a hint of cinnamon. Portland, you’re weird, but you know how to coffee.

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My rating: 5 beans!