7 part 2- Insemination

Making Baby Mettler
Screenshot of Sam's phone. Someone asked "can you get pregnant if just the tip goes in" and we had a laugh about it.

This time around, Dr. Jaffe was able to do the insemination, which, not gonna lie, felt more legitimate somehow. While we were waiting in the room with our tiny tube of sperm, I asked Sam how long sperm can live at room temperature so she asked google. I can guarantee that her phone has the most random search history. Apparently, some people never took any sort of Sex Education class.. Peep the top questions asked on the google.. lol

Dr. Jaffe came in and we asked her the sperm question – FYI she said sperm at room temp can last a few days when it’s in a solution. We were joking around (because that’s what you do when there are 4 people in a room and one person isn’t wearing pants.. lol) and Dr. Jaffe said that she was going in with a giant Q-Tip to clean my cervix and then busts out with “You’re going to have the cleanest cervix in the room” as she’s down by my feet with my legs in the air. We laughed and then she told me not to laugh because I wasn’t supposed to be contracting my muscles, which made me laugh more.

Usually, the Doctor usually tells me to scoot down (ladies, amiright?) so I assumed that when she said “put your legs down” that she needed me to adjust, but she was indeed telling me to put my feet down because apparently she has a magic touch and was totally done with the insemination. Aren’t I supposed to feel that??

 

Baby Journey Cost:

Insemination: $350

Total baby-making cost to date: $12,333.06

 

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

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 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.

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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

Our First Fertility Appointment

Making Baby Mettler

If you’re just joining our adventure, check out my previous blog post about prepping for our baby process >>> HERE.

If you’re all caught up, welcome!

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Holy moly.

Monday, we went to our first fertility appointment
and shit just got REAL.

Prior to this appointment, I had my bloodwork done from my primary AND had more bloodwork and testing done from the gyno. I wanted to be ahead of the game for our first appointment.

This appointment was pretty much a consultation. We ended up going to Dr. Cabrera at Brown Fertility in Downtown Orlando – the whole staff there is so sweet and helpful and they’re super supportive with LGBT couples. I still have to go get more bloodwork done and the results can take up to 10 days for one of these tests. This bloodwork tells the doctor how many eggs I have, my CMV status, and some other stuff.

After bloodwork, the next step is an HSG test, which basically checks to see if your tubes are open. It’s covered by our insurance, so we decided to go ahead and get that test done to be on the safe side. Samantha somehow timed the fertility appointment PERFECTLY allowing everything to flow rather smoothly through the next 30 days without having to sit and wait. The HSG test will be done in 2 weeks roughly and if all is well there, they’ll give me some fancy drugs and two weeks later we can get this party started.

The Doctor broke down the testing and cost and what we could expect moving forward. Each ultrasound will be around $250 and I’ll need at least 2 before insemination. We are looking around $2k-$2400 total estimated, which includes the insemination and “baby juice”. We will keep a running total as we go through this process at the bottom of the page.

A few weeks ago, after months of narrowing down our donor search, we landed on a donor that we both LOVE. Last night, we made the purchase officially. Somewhere in a laboratory, there’s a frozen vat of sperm with OUR names on it that will hopefully be our future baby.

In terms of the reality of the risks and chances of success, we are trying not to get our hopes up, but we both let ourselves get really excited about this. It’s the first MAJOR step towards starting our little family and we could not be any more thrilled!

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Stuff we did:

We bought sperm! *GASP*
We came up with a pretty solid list of names we love. ❤
Obsessed over Pinterest…

I also got a 93% on my Calculus exam (self-five!)

Things we are looking forward to:

Getting the bloodwork and HSG tests done.
Hopefully, all the results coming back normal.

Answered Questions from the last blog:

How long does the process take altogether?

I started early with bloodwork and gyno visit as well as a visit to my primary. It’s been exactly a month since all that and if all goes well, we’re looking at exactly a month for the fertility testing and insemination, then a two-week wait to see if it was successful. Roughly 2 months.

What kinds of testing do I need to get done?

Additional bloodwork, HSG test, (that’s it so far..)

Cost:
First visit: $65 co-pay (without insurance it would have been $100)
Sperm from Fairfax: $920

Total cost to date: $985

Prepping for our baby adventure

Making Baby Mettler

Initially going into this adventure, I knew it would be a fairly unconventional one from the get-go. Both of us knew we wanted kids. I was 29 when we got married and I had a feeling the pressure would be building soon after. We agreed to take the first year of our married lives to enjoy being married. We ate a lot of sushi, went to a ton of concerts and traveled a TON. See our post about our Seattle trip for our first anniversary!!

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So we have officially started our baby journey! We started doing some research and decided to do anonymous IUI from a donor bank. We tried to look up some blogs to read about other peoples’ journeys on IUI and being a same-sex couple but came up short. There were plenty of blogs and stories about IVF and/or using a known donor (See Missy and Rae’s Blog here!), but not many really outlined the whole process from beginning to end and even fewer answered any questions we had. Hopefully, someone else can come across our blog and learn from our story.

I began taking prenatal vitamins with a bunch of other stuff Samantha looked up to help prepare your body for babies. I’m not a doctor, so do your own research before taking anything – I started taking Prenatals with DHA, Maca powder, Red Clover, Red Raspberry leaf, Folic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin D. I started tracking my ovulation and tried a few different types of ovulation sticks. I wasn’t registering on the non-digital, so we switched to the digital ones. This was sort of our “step 1”. My tests were fairly consistent timing-wise, but less consistent registering my Lh surge. I was a little worried that I wasn’t ovulating sometimes, but the doctor said that sometimes that happens and that if my cycle was regular I shouldn’t worry about it. I used 2 apps, Flo and Glow to track ovulation, periods, temperature and some other stuff like weight and “how are you feeling today” etc.

We went to see the gynecologist for an annual exam in January, and to talk to her about any questions we had (not many at this point). We mentioned that we were thinking about doing IUI the first time at home and she recommended we go to the fertility doctor for the actual insemination to reduce any risks, and essentially to make sure it’s done correctly. We were on board – we’d rather have it done right, even if it costs a bit more. I scheduled a visit with my primary to get a referral to the fertility doctor. I made sure that he ordered a full blood workup since it’s covered by insurance and chances are the fertility doctor would need that anyway.

Things we are looking forward to:

Learning more about the baby-making process and our next steps.
Narrowing down donors.
Narrowing down our potential baby names.

Questions we have:

How long does the process take altogether?
How much will it cost?
What kinds of testing do I need to get done?

Let’s be real, we’ve never done this before so we have a ton of questions. Mostly we can look on google, but some I’ll have to ask the doctor!

If you guys have any questions send them my way and I can try my best to answer!

Our Fertility Journey

Making Baby Mettler

This has been quite the journey for us and #sorrynotsorry for the lack of social interaction, responses, blog posts, etc. Trying to make a baby has pretty much consumed our lives since January 2019 when we started going to doctor appointments. I’ve been documenting our journey via blog posts including costs and our experiences. We had initially planned to post-date all of our blog posts until we got a positive pregnancy, but that hasn’t turned out the way we were expecting.

We’ve been going to the fertility clinic here in Orlando and we recently got a negative result for our third attempt with IUI, or intrauterine insemination, which is artificial insemination via a catheter using a sperm donor. This might be a surprise to most of you since we had been keeping it hush-hush. It’s not very fun to be “the girl who cried wolf” on top of the pressure of having people ask us “are you pregnant yet!?”. It has taken quite a toll on both of us emotionally and physically and it’s only gotten worse each time we’ve tried. 

I think it’s important that we (Samantha and I) share our experiences with the public eye simply because this is a real issue. Being two women doesn’t necessarily increase our chances of becoming pregnant with a donor. I don’t have anything physically/biologically wrong on paper, and honestly, I thought this would go much smoother than it’s been going. We aren’t looking for sympathy or anything like that.. I just want whoever is reading this who may be struggling with infertility to know that you’re not alone.

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Around September of 2018, we did a bunch of research and decided that IUI was the best option for us. We chose a sperm donor that resembled Sam’s characteristics since the baby will already be getting half of my genetics. We went to a bunch of fertility appointments over the course of a few months (Dec 2018 – Feb 2019) and I got poked and prodded and tested and we finally went through 3 cycles of IUI over the course of 4 months (March 2019, May 2019, and June 2019)

Honestly, the last 8 months have been quite a whirlwind. We have a lot more to go through, but I’ll be posting our past blogs for everyone to read. I hope our journey can help others going through similar experiences, whether it be a same sex couple, someone struggling with infertility, or a single mom doing this by herself.

Thank you all so much for the support and love. ❤