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

Infertility and Celiac Disease

Making Baby Mettler

Im about to get real science-y so buckle up!

Apparently, roughly 1 in 17 women are experiencing infertility due to Celiac Disease. Yep, that’s the “fad” diet where you don’t eat bread, pasta, or anything else with gluten. Only it’s not a fad, it’s a VERY real thing.

While there are numerous reasons for fertility problems, one that is almost always overlooked by conventional fertility specialists, and that is easy to take into your own hands, is gluten intolerance.A recent study found that undiagnosed celiac disease may be the reason for “all cause” infertility in 3.5% of women, and unexplained infertility in 5.9% of women. It is possible that the rates are quite a bit higher, because celiac is so often under-diagnosed. Another study found that women undergoing fertility treatments had an increased success when they removed gluten from their diets.

Source

In 1986 when my mom was struggling to get pregnant, she was 90 pounds and doctors told her she needed to eat fatty foods in order to gain weight. They prescribed her mac and cheese, grilled cheese and pancakes. This only made it worse. She eventually got pregnant with me, with the assistance of a fertility drug Clomid. I was full term (plus a few days) and born weighing 4lbs 12oz (severely malnourished).

Mom and I, 1989 (I think)

My mom was finally diagnosed with Celiac disease in December of 1988. I was 4 months old and she had reached a low of 78lbs. After months of doctors telling her that she was anorexic and being sent to shrinks, she finally had an answer. (PS Celiac can be somewhat dormant until you have kids, then it comes out full force – it also shows in different forms from skin rash to digestion to headaches, etc.).

Celiac disease is genetic, though I’ve never been tested for it. We had our follow up with the fertility doctor at Brown today and Sam brought it up to him as a possibility. Celiac has a bunch of symptoms, but some people don’t show any. Weight loss or weight gain are the main factors. However, Celiac can also cause problems with fertility. There’s a good chance I have CD, so we’ve been doing a bunch of research about how the two are linked. There are significantly more studies from the UK than the US. The new fertility Dr at CRM basically told me I needed to stay Gluten-Free for 90 days and take a bunch of supplements. Celiac can cause Iron, Zinc, and selenium deficiencies, so we went ahead and ordered all of those to take before trying IUI again.

There’s also several foods that can be considered “cross-reactive“, meaning they can affect you as well. These are dairy, milk chocolate, instant coffee, oats, corn, millet, rice, and yeast_. So if you’re avoiding gluten, I’d avoid all of those as well. This post isn’t sponsored at all and once again, I’m not a doctor. I’ve posted the articles I’ve cited below including medical journals mostly from the UK since they’ve been doing much more research on the topic of how celiac relates to infertility. I would highly recommend reading through the articles and doing your own research as well.

Sam and I have done three Whole30 ‘s before and will be starting it again tomorrow. To read about Whole30, click HERE. It’s meant to be a lifestyle change but the first 30 days are no alcohol, sugar, dairy, gluten, grains, legumes, and a few others. Just read about it and decide for yourself. It’s HARD to stick to, but it’s only 30 days.

Testimonials from thousands of Whole30 participants document the improvement of any number of lifestyle-related diseases and conditions.

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

-From the Whole30 website

If you’re struggling with infertility and think it may be Celiac related I’d LOVE to hear your stories.

Links to Articles:

Links to Peer Reviewed Academic Journals:


Cost:

Follow up appointment: $65 (co-pay)

Total baby-making cost to date: $5298.71

Making a baby, IUI 3 – Results and plans

Making Baby Mettler

My period decided to come 4 days early so that’s another BFN (big fat negative) attempt. It’s all just really emotionally exhausting. My logical brain can’t comprehend why it’s not working.

We have another appointment coming up with the fertility doctor at Brown so we can do a follow-up appointment to see what our options are and what the cost may or may not be. We also have a second opinion appointment with another Fertility clinic to see if they have other suggestions or options that maybe we haven’t heard from Brown.

So basically, we have some options. I’d love to say we have more options than a straight couple since we are two women, but we’re 0 for 3 so I can’t say how accurate that really is, lol.

There are two sets of eggs between us and two uteri. My eggs are slim pickings basically, and haven’t been super awesome thus far, but we may be able to use them for IVF. That would only make sense if the sperm hasn’t been able to fertilize my eggs. The other thing that could be happening is that they’re getting fertilized, but not implanting, and another could be that they’re just not great eggs and aren’t turning into viable blastocysts (balls of cells that turn into a fetus). IVF would make sure that the eggs are fertilized before implanting them back into me. I’m not sure that there are any tests they can run to see where in this process my eggs aren’t doing what they need to do.. I would also assume that if we try IVF and they can’t fertilize my eggs, then we’ve found the problem, but then do we still have to pay the $20k for the whole process? (end of thought vomit paragraph)

Our other options include using Sam’s eggs and doing IVF with our donor and then having me carry, OR we can try IUI with Sam.

Our appointments are later this month so we will see what they both have to say and what they think the best options for us would be. We are not against trying IUI one more time either, but that’s another bunch of money and I don’t want to keep spending money on this without changing something because clearly there’s some reason why it’s not working.

We can’t control everything.

I still have an A in college physics so there’s that. LOL.

Cost:

Total baby-making cost to date: $5233.71

Making a Baby, IUI 3 – Part 2

Making Baby Mettler

We had our second appointment on Monday (CD13) and I have 2 follicles on my RIGHT side, which is new since the last 2 times have been on the left. One is measuring 18 and the other is measuring 19. These are the largest I’ve had going into IUI, which I’m hoping is a good sign. Also, if I can remember right, I think my HSG test (from one of the 1st blogs) revealed that my right fallopian tube was much more open than the left side.

We are getting inseminated on Wednesday (CD15) and then the 2-week wait happens again. Crossing our fingers, meditating, holding crystals, praying, and putting good vibes into the universe.

TWW Edit: This two-week wait has been pretty similar to the last two. Some things that are definitely recurring are the feeling of being full, bloating, and the PMS symptoms around day 6-8. Some differences (or things I’m just now noticing that I didn’t last time) are this time I’m noticing a lot of nose related issues. I’m having to blow my nose a bit more than usual and there’s some blood in my mucus. My digestion has also been very different this time around and I’ve been gassy, which isn’t like me. I’m not eating any gluten and haven’t for 2 weeks despite REALLY wanting pizza. We got a cauliflower pizza the other day that was GF – California Pizza kitchen frozen pizza that we found at Publix, but we are sure you can find it anywhere at this point! Other than that no major changes. 

Cost:

Ultrasound #2: $250
Insemination: $500

(luckily our sperm was covered because of that whole mix up last month)

Total baby-making cost to date: $5233.71

Making a baby, IUI 3 – Part 1

Making Baby Mettler

After our second negative test, we geared up for our third run. Now, because we’ve been to the fertility office so often, they pretty much know how I react to the meds and can nearly pinpoint when my follicles will be ready without an extra ultrasound midway (yay for saving $250!). I went in, no cysts, they gave me the 5 days of 2 pills, then we skip a day, and do 3 days of injections. Those end on Friday (CD 10), and we go back in on Monday for our ultrasound to see where my follicles are at size-wise.

After that, we get an insemination date and do this whole thing again.

There’s such a huge difference between the details in our first blog posts with the first IUI vs this third one. If you’re looking for more details, go back and revisit our first try! It’ll give you a way more in-depth blog about the whole experience. At this point, I think we are both exhausted and trying to be as patient as possible. Also, I have a bunch of physics homework that’s keeping me busy.

Last week we went to our local “witchy” store called Avalon,  which has pretty much anything ranging from incense to tarot cards, to books on Greek mythology, crystals, jewelry, herbs, oils, and mediums. It’s a really neat place to visit. Sam did some research about which stones and crystals can help with the fertility process, and we picked out a few things. At this point, nothing can hurt. Going to school for Aerospace Engineering requires me to take Chemistry and Physics classes, which just furthered my knowledge of energy. I also filmed and edited all the meditation videos for our local Yoga studio (Warrior One) so I learned a bit more about chakras and meditation from that as well. #shamelessplug #notsponsored

If that scene is not for you, that’s totally fine. It’s also okay if you don’t believe in any of the energy stuff. I come from a religious background and throughout my life my faith/religion has altered and grown with me. My personal faith doesn’t keep me from wanting to learn about other things. That’s something I truly admire about Sam and I and our relationship is that we are always learning, growing, and teaching each other things. This is our personal journey and I’m trying my best to share it with people who are trying to have babies in case anything works for them. Hopefully, this works for us!

 

Cost:
Femara: $3.11
Ovidrel : $53.50
Gonal- F Pen: $170 (thank god for our 50% discount)
Ultrasound #1: $250

Total baby-making cost to date: $4483.71

(do we get to count the crystals too? lol those were optional though sooo probably not)

 

Making a baby, IUI 2 – Part 2

Making Baby Mettler

Okay, so we made it through our second ultrasound. They measured my follicles and I have 3 that are looking decent after all the pills. They’re measuring 11, 12, 13 respectively.

The hardest part of this is all the guesswork and scheduling. The Dr. Prescribed the Gonal F shots again, but this time 3 doses of 75mL (instead of 2). I don’t know if it’s mL or not. That seems like a lot, but I know I set the dial to 75! lol. I gave myself a shot this morning right after we got home from the fertility office (Sam had to go to work). It hurts more when you watch it, lol. They’re having me come back Friday for another ultrasound ($250 we hadn’t planned for) to see if I need to go to the Jacksonville office this weekend to get inseminated, or if they’re still not big enough, we come back Monday and do the insemination then!

Everything seems to be going much faster this time around. Probably because now I know what to expect more so. We briefly hit on the fact that my egg reserve is low (this could explain why they’re slowly growing). Normal AMH range for my age is over 1ng/ml and mine is 0.80ng/ml, so I’m in the low normal range. We also talked about the “what ifs” in case this time doesn’t work. Of course, we are both crossing our fingers and saying our prayers and throwing all the good vibes out, but there’s still only a 20% chance of it working.

We discussed the possibility of IVF regardless if this one sticks or not. IVF is a procedure where they give me a TON more meds to make way more follicles mature, then they go get them, fertilize them, let them grow into embryos, then freeze them until we are ready to have babies. When you’re ready, they pop a few frozen ones into your uterus and because they’re already fertilized, it increases your odds of becoming pregnant (and you have leftover frozen ones stored for later!). Overall IVF is way more expensive ($12-20k), our insurance doesn’t cover it, so that’s not our first plan of action. Because of my age, my egg reserve, and the fact that we want to have a big family, that might be a solid option to look into eventually. That also presents the opportunity for Sam to carry if she wants to, although I don’t know all the testing she’d have to go through for that. We also have the option of Sam carrying or using Sam’s eggs if it ends up working that way!

Overall lots to think about, but we are taking it one step at a time.

I have 2 more days of shots, then we go back in on Friday (it’s Tuesday today) and see if we get inseminated Saturday or Monday!

Cost:
$250 for Ultrasound number 2 this go round!
Total baby-making cost to date: $3207.10

Making a baby, IUI 2 – Part 1

Making Baby Mettler

Samantha here!

I figured, that maybe you should read something from my side of things for a bit.   

THIS PROCESS!!… Has been an absolute whirlwind! Between researching every single piece of information I can possibly find, reading god knows how many blogs, keeping secrets from everyone we love, watching EVERYONE announcing that they’re pregnant, dealing with all of Steph’s “Symptoms”/”hormones” from all of these drugs, and figuring out where all of this money is coming from… My head has been SPINNING! 

But Steph was made to be a mommy, and there is nothing in this world that I want more than to watch my Beautiful Wife care for and raise our babies. (A tiny human with her smile is going to be the death of me.) I will do any and everything that I can to make this happen for us. It’s a killer to sit here and kind of feel helpless through all of this. I watch her nervous and excited face every time we are on our way to the doctor’s office, and it’s a terrible feeling to know that this is all completely out of my control and that all I can do is be her emotional support through all of this. 

We are now starting our second round of IUI and this time feels soooo different!  I feel more calm, and not new at this anymore. I know what to expect and what the odds are. We know the process, how much everything costs, how the drugs make Steph feel, (grumpy and emotional to start) and that I am DEFINITELY not allowed to watch This Is Us or anything remotely emotional for that matter lol! Let alone trash TV because she would rather do dishes than watch Empire.  

Steph decided to start her period a FULL week early! Soooo all of my financial planning went RIGHT out the window! 

We went for the first Ultrasound yesterday (05/07/2019, day 2 of her cycle) to see how many follicles we could be working with and to make sure that Steph doesn’t have any cysts so that they could start her on the Femara. (I also learned that apparently, if they do not check for cysts before starting Femara, the Femara will basically cause the cysts to grow at a rapid rate, which no one wants. Obviously!) All was good in that department and so they had Steph start taking the Femara last night. This time, they doubled her Femara dose and she takes 2 pills a day. They also called in the Ovidrel shot so that we have it for next week. The Process as of now (best case scenario) is, she takes the Femara for 5 days, we go back for an ultrasound 7 days later (our appointment is at 7:15am on 05/14/2019) to check how big her follicles got with the hormone help, and if they are the size they want them to be, we order the sperm on Wednesday so that its there in enough time for those little swimmers to thaw. And then we would trigger her Wednesday night for a Friday insemination. 

Pray for our bank account! 

Cost:

$250 for Ultrasound number 1 this go-round!
$53.50 for the Ovidrel (we still get the discount Yay us!)
$3.10 for Femara (I have no idea why it was cheaper this time for 10 pills instead of 5)

Total baby making cost to date: $2957.10

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Sidebar: I had everything worked out financially this month and figured out whereeeeee on earth this money is going to be coming from, and then Apollo (Our handsome Great Dane) 
decided to get an Aural Hematoma. (basically, a giant blood blister on his ear flap!!).. so that vet visit last night was an extra $115 I wasn’t ready for! JUST when you think you’ve got it all figured out, the universe throws a wrench into things lol but my budgeting skills are something serious, and we are still all good! YAY ME!

 

 

Making a Baby, IUI 1 – Part 4

Making Baby Mettler

PREFACE: This (the two week wait) is the WORST. Try not to go into this week with anything in mind other than getting through it. My one bit of advice: DON’T LOOK STUFF UP. I know it’s hard, but looking things up will only cause frustration. Women are all so different – someone could be feeling ALL the symptoms and another one can feel none but they could both be pregnant at the end of it. I found myself comparing my “symptoms” to others and getting disappointed that I wasn’t feeling certain things. I started to look up every little cramp and seeing if that meant anything… All you need to do is survive these 2 weeks. (If you are in pain or anything super out of the ordinary, of course, go to your doctor.)

There may or may not be light spotting and more than likely you will have some cramping. If you were injected with hormones/trigger shot, you’ll probably feel some period-like cramps/pains in week 2, which can be scary since your period is the last thing you want. Drink lots of water, track your temperature, and read a book or three or the whole HP series again.. YOU CAN GET THROUGH THIS.

Okay now here’s my story:

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The insemination was super easy. It was essentially a pap smear without any lubricant (it can kill the sperm which would obviously keep them from reaching the egg). The morning of, I woke up with some stomach cramping and I was a little nervous, but mostly excited.

IMG_2178 (2)

After insemination, I had to lay on my back with my knees up for about 15 minutes. They told me to take it easy for the next two weeks. It can take 3-10 days (roughly) for a fertilized egg to implant into the uterus. It takes about 12 days for the hormones from the trigger shot to get out of your system too, so I can’t take a pregnancy test until day 14.

Another tidbit we found out was super interesting. So the day I got inseminated I would actually be “3 weeks pregnant” because, that’s right, they count by the last period. WHAT?! Even though we know the exact date of insemination, all pregnancies go based on the date of your period prior. Super crazy information, but the good news is that we will be able to tell people sooner! We are choosing to wait until I am at least 10 weeks before we tell our families and at least 12 weeks before we go public with an announcement. (That means that if you’re reading this, we’ve already reached that point!)

Possibility of TMI (too much information) ahead. Mom, Dad, unless you want to read about my bodily functions, please stop here and move onto the next blog post.

Day 1: I had a stomach ache early in the morning, and light cramping after insemination that could’ve been unrelated. The actual insertion was less fun than usual due to the whole “no lube” situation, but it only lasted a minute or so. Samantha got to operate the syringe when it came time to actually do the insemination, which was a really neat experience. (Samantha here: I was NOT sure that I wanted to do this part… I didn’t want to kill them!! But they talked me into it, and now Steph can officially say that the first time she had sperm in her, I put it there!!!) We went to Target later in the day (I had a pretty lazy day that included a nap since our appointment was at 7:15am) and I felt a sharper cramp before we went inside. I had a little bit of spotting/vaginal discharge which I’ve been reading is totally normal..

Day 2: Normal overall. I noticed my breasts were a little more sensitive than normal but that could totally be in my head. I also accidentally stabbed myself with a fork. Unfortunately, I cannot blame that one on pregnancy brain… yet..

Day 3: We went to brunch and shopped around a bit. Nothing out of the ordinary. Honestly, I expected to feel different after insemination. I’m not sure how, but I pretty much feel the same as after any doctor appointment we’ve had so far.

Day 4: First day back to work. Brewed decaf coffee. #sendhelp – I’m realizing how long these two weeks are going to be….

Day 5-6: I have been feeling some tummy pressure as if I just did some crunches. Totes could be my abs turning to stone because I haven’t used them in so long, LOL. Thank goodness my calculus professor decided to give us a MASSIVE amount of homework this week to keep me busy. Felt a few sharp cramps around 7pm.

Day 7-11: I’ve been getting some period type cramps that were worse on day 9. It feels a bit like I’ve just eaten a big meal all the time. I feel a little bloated and have felt little bits of nausea here and there. I’ve also been breaking out a bit on my face (which I’ve been washing more often) but that could be due to the hormone injection.

Day 12: Last night I had some cramping (like period cramps) and woke up around 6am and just laid in bed for 45 min before my alarm went off. This morning I had some light spotting (this can last for a few days) and continued cramps throughout the day, which could’ve been intensified through hunger, lol. I’m definitely a bit more emotional today out of nowhere. I’m either starving or don’t want any food, there is no in between. Samantha has been so helpful and supportive and has been talking me off of my “what if” ledge, which has been super beneficial to me. Definitely lean on your spouse for support because this 2-week wait is brutal.

Day 13: (tmi: blood) My wife just informed me that Day 1 is actually Day 0 so that’s my bad. The “spotting” has turned into what looked more like a light period. Long story short, I mildly panicked since I can’t afford to full-on panic in case I’m actually preggo. I wasn’t expecting to see “blood” in the toilet, only the cute “pink” color everyone seems to get when they wipe. BUT turns out it can be a bit more like a light period. I’m still getting a slight pink when I wipe, but even the “light” amount scared me a bit. Cramps are still present. I put on a panty liner just in case. It was very light before I went to bed.

Day 14: After a VERY long 2 weeks, I am officially not pregnant. The whole turn of events was very “boy who cried wolf”. We are going to wait until my next cycle to try again …because $$$… so in a month, roughly.

Honestly, I’m sad it didn’t take this time. We did everything we were supposed to, but the odds are still 1 in 5. Getting your period after trying to have a baby is SUPER disappointing. Overall, I’d say get used to oversharing with your partner. They’re in this as much as you are and even though it’s not their body, they’re still your support person. I don’t know what I would do without Samantha constantly supporting me and loving me like she does. This isn’t the end of our journey, it’s just the beginning.

Cost:
Insemination: $500

Total cost to date: $2650.50

Making a baby, IUI 1 – Part 3

Making Baby Mettler

After last week’s visit, the team ruled that my follicles were still not big enough so they gave me some “liquid gold” shots of Gonal F which was to help my follicles grow.

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Samantha giving me my second shot of Gonal F – I was too nervous to take a pic for the first one…

We switched to the shots from the pills because the pills you have to take for 5 days, and we didn’t know if that would be too much time for my follicles to become TOO large. The shots allowed me to come back after 4 days instead of 6. The shots were on Wednesday and Thursday night and it really wasn’t too bad! Sam’s becoming a pro! LOL. I had some nausea on Thursday morning (just in time for calculus class) but it only lasted a few hours and got better once I had something to eat.

This weekend we went to Birmingham to see Mumford in Sons in concert. It was honestly just really nice to get out of the house and go on a mini-vacation and really enjoy the nice weather. We went exploring and visited a few of our favorite places and drank delicious coffee.

I haven’t been stressing too much over all of this fertility stuff, mostly because all of my tests have come back normal and there’s nothing more I can do but simply wait it out. My biggest recommendation for anyone would be to keep yourself distracted so you don’t get to ask yourself the “what if”s. We both strongly believe that whatever happens, happens. We would much rather be going to concerts and living our best lives than worrying about what we can’t control.

*I DID take a few ovulation tests recommended by the nurse just to make sure my body wasn’t going to ovulate on its own. All 3 tests from over the weekend were negative, which is good.

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We were back in the office Monday morning for another ultrasound. They measured my follicles again to see how they were growing. I have 2 on one side measuring at 11mm and two on the other side. One is measuring at 14mm and 17.5mm. The minimum they want is 18mm and they would like me around 21mm before they trigger my ovulation. After about 14mm they begin to grow at a rate of 2mm/day roughly. That would estimate the two 11mm at 15-16mm, the 14mm at 18, and the 17.5 at 21-22 before the trigger shot. Sooooo our chances of multiples are for sureeeee up there! But we will be happy with whatever number the universe gives us! All we need is at least ONE to take!

We have a plan of action.

Wednesday night around 10pm(Day 17), Samantha will give me another shot – this time the shot is called Ovidrel which will trigger ovulation, which is when the mature follicles release the eggs. Click HERE for an animation explaining it a bit better. My body will then release the egg within 24-36 hours. After that, the egg will be viable for 12-24 hours. (everything is sooooo TIME sensitive). We had the sperm shipped overnight to be there by Thursday so that when we go in Friday Morning (early) for the actual IUI procedure the sperm will be thawed and ready to swim their final marathon!!! So Friday is when the actual insemination will happen. After that is the 2WW (two-week wait) followed by a pregnancy test on day 16, which is April 14th! (we can’t test any earlier than that because we could end up with a false positive and that would just be disheartening) and WHEN (putting positivity into the universe) that test is positive we go in for a blood test to confirm!

I probably won’t write another update blog unless I start feeling any weird symptoms,  so I’ll see you in about 2 weeks!!

-Steph

Follicle Tracking:

4 follicles total: 1 follicle measuring 17.5mm, 1 measuring 14mm, and 2 at 11mm (these are too small to count really, but they’re still present so we’ll see what happens!)
Fifth appt. (day 19) – INSEMINATION DAY!!!

Cost:
Third ultrasound: $250
Fairfax Shipping to ship our baby juice: $280 (priority overnight was required)
Ovidrel shot: $53.50
– – – – (a discount card that we applied for through EMD Serono Compassionate Care Program saved us 50%)

Total cost to date: $2150.50

Making a baby, IUI 1 – Part 2

Making Baby Mettler

We were back at the fertility Doctor this morning!

This was a follow up to check on my follicle growth and also do the HSG test.

Follicle Update:

I was a little nervous this morning because I’ve heard mixed things about the HSG test. They did the ultrasound first, which was a little longer than the first one because my bladder was more full than the last time (of coffee, no doubt..), but they saw about 4 follicles this time measuring roughly 11-12mm. So in the last 7 days, they went from 5-7mm to 11-12mm. This was after 5 days of taking the Femara (follicle steroid pills – I think it was 2.5mg that they started me on). They won’t trigger you for ovulation until they are measuring at least 18mm, so they were going to put me on a double dose of the same pills, but after the nurse talked to the actual doctor, they decided to go a different route.

They WERE going to have me come in next Tuesday(Day 16), but Sam had mentioned that at that point it would be getting sort of close to the date that I would have naturally ovulated. The Doctor decided to do a shot instead of the second round of pills. So now, Samantha has to inject me with 75 units of Gonal-F (Typically an IVF drug) tonight and tomorrow night.  NOW we come back Monday (5 days from today) for another ultrasound. (fingers crossed)

The goal, from what I’ve understood, is to have 1-2 follicles at least 18mm before they trigger ovulation. Any more than 2 follicles that are maturing runs the risk of multiples (as in more than 2 babies), which would put me and the baby(ies) at risk, in which case they would cancel this cycle and try the next month. The steroids they are giving me are causing my follicles to grow a bit faster than normal so that they CAN trigger my ovulation in order to more precisely determine the proper moment for insemination. If the follicles get too big (more than 24mm) then they have a chance of ovulating on their own, and we definitely don’t want that, because then they could miss my ovulation. That’s why they are doing so many ultrasounds and really monitoring my follicle growth.

HSG Test:

Okay, so I was super nervous because I’ve heard so many mixed things about the HSG test. I heard it hurts from some people and others felt mild cramping, so it was sort of a mixed bag of emotions. In my personal experience, it wasn’t any different than a pap smear. When they injected the dye, I felt a warm sensation and then slight cramping. I described it to my wife as if you have to pee really bad and then someone squeezes your bladder. It didn’t burn and wasn’t super uncomfortable for me at all.

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The RN let me watch the screen as they injected the dye, which was cool. I got to see as the Doctor injected the dye, my cervix filled and got darker and then the dye spilled into my fallopian tubes (which look kind of like spaghetti noodles coming out of my cervix). I snagged a photo of the still frame once they were all done.

One of my tubes was super clear and the dye came out right away, the other took an extra few seconds but both of my tubes were totally fine. The nurse said that it’s possible it was partially blocked, but the HSG test could’ve unblocked it. She also said she’s had experiences with people having better luck with IUI after the HSG test for that very reason. I’m glad I did it for my own peace of mind. Plus it was covered by insurance. Sooooo Win-Win!

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…So that’s pretty much the update for now. Sam “gets to” give me a shot tonight and tomorrow that will continue to stimulate follicle growth.

This weekend we are headed on a mini-vacation to Birmingham, Alabama to see Mumford and Sons in concert. We are SO ready. Until next week!! (See our blog from that trip HERE)

Follicle Tracking:
4 follicles total: 2 follicles measuring 11-12mm, 1 at roughly 10mm, and 1 at 8mm

Cost:
Second ultrasound: $250
Antibiotic for HSG test: $11 (thank god for insurance!)
HSG: $65 co-pay! The actual test was covered by insurance thank god!
– – – – (or it would have been roughly $600)
Gonal F fertility shot: Thankfully we got a sample! (Otherwise, it would have been $2200)

Total cost to date: $1567