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.

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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

Making a baby, IUI 1 – part 1

Making Baby Mettler

Okay, so I got my bloodwork results back. If you don’t care about the results you can scroll down to the next section.

Everything turned out mostly normal. The one thing I had a minor freak out about was my ovarian reserve or AMH (anti-müllerian hormone). My result was 0.80 ng/mL which in my head is really low, but it’s still in the range for my age (30). I would have rather had a more solid number but technically, AMH doesn’t have anything to do with the QUALITY of your eggs, just the number you have left.

The reference they provided me was by age range so:

Age                          ng/mL
18-25 years – – – – – 1.02 – 14.63
26-30 years – – – – – 0.69 – 13.39
31-35 years – – – – – 0.36 – 10.07
36-40 years – – – – – 0.18 – 5.68

One of the other test results was the CMV test. We thought since I had chickenpox AND mono (TWICE) that I would be CMV positive. Silly us. It turns out I’m CMV negative along with only 20% of the population. I am also the universal donor with my blood type, so I am very encouraged to donate blood – CMV negative blood is used to donate to cancer patients and smaller kids who haven’t been exposed to CMV or who are susceptible to any sort of illness. Now that I know that, I’ll for sure be donating blood after this is over!

That all being said, we already picked our donor who is CMV positive. There is heightened risk with me being negative and the donor being positive, but it’s such a slim risk at all (based on our research) that we decided to sign a waiver just saying we know there’s a higher risk. There’s already a risk just because I could come in contact with CMV at any point during my pregnancy regardless of the donor being CMV pos or neg. Many straight couples don’t know whether they are CMV positive or negative before they have a baby so we decided to go with our first choice donor. Again, I’m not a doctor, and our doctor says he recommends CMV neg donor for CMV neg mom, but will provide a waiver for those who understand the risks. (That’s 11 CMV mentions in 2 paragraphs if anyone is keeping count, lol)

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Today was our second appointment to the fertility doctor. They wanted me to come in on day 3-4 of my cycle so they know what we’re working with! I got an internal ultrasound done, which was actually really neat (minus the obvious..)! I got to see my uterus and ovaries – well a black and grey blob on the monitor.. but still cool! If anyone watches the show Friends, I was totally Rachel trying to find her baby. (Meanwhile, Samantha found everything JUST fine). They measured my follicles that were starting to grow (Follicles house your eggs until you are ready for ovulation, which was news to us. If you care to learn even more click HERE) and made sure I was clear of any cysts. I had two follicles that were growing. One measured a 6 and the second was a 7. They need to be about an 18 in order for them to house a mature egg. So now we wait to see how much they grow. Everything else was looking good so we are moving forward with everything!

They gave me some medicine to stimulate my hormones that I’ll be taking tonight and over the next 5 days.  My HSG test (typically you do this beforehand but we didn’t want to put off the whole thing by a month) is scheduled for day 10 of my cycle (next Wednesday) which is the same day I’ll need another ultrasound to check on the growth of my follicles, so I get to do both in one appointment. Basically, all the ovulation tracking I did last year was moot because they essentially hijack my whole reproductive cycle. The meds speed up the growth of my follicles, and the trigger shot (an actual shot in my stomach that Samantha is WAY too excited about giving me) releases the egg within 24 hours. The shot is done at home before the insemination right into my stomach.

If everything looks good with my follicles, they’ll have us ship the sperm, we’ll do the trigger shot, and go through the process of insemination next Friday! If my follicles aren’t grown enough, they’ll give me more meds and we’ll come back the next week. Then after insemination is the 2-week wait.

It’s getting so close!

Edit: The name of the medicine they prescribed me is Letrozole (Femara) to stimulate my hormones. The side effects include dizziness. I’ve pretty much felt like I drank way too much caffeine all day without the heart palpitations. I’m on day 1 after taking it. I’ve been drinking TONS of water which has been helping.. but ya, the dizziness is subtle but real. 

Follicle tracking:
2 follicles measuring 6-7mm

Cost:
First ultrasound: $250
Femara: $6 (insurance covered most of it! YAY!)

Total cost to date: $1241

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. ❤