We got another negative test.
I was sort of holding onto hope because my period was a day late. It can get very emotionally draining and disheartening to watch so many people all around us announcing their pregnancies or the birth of their babies when we can’t seem to make even One. I know the timing is not up to me, and I have to trust that when it happens, it happens, but GOODNESS it can be a hard pill to swallow some days.
We also knew that this cycle had a much less chance of success because of the motility of the sperm (which we got a full refund for on top of free sperm for this next cycle- they were super understanding and apologetic, especially after Sam told them our story). If you didn’t hear about that, our sperm was only showing a 20-30% motility rate so only about 3 million of the 10 million were alive, and those were not in the best shape.
We go in tomorrow for the start of round 3.
Some extra thoughts: At the beginning of all this, my initial feeling was that this was going to be a super easy experience since I’m super regular, I’m only 30, and haven’t had any medical issues at all. Go in, get inseminated, get pregnant, BOOM. It hasn’t worked out that way so far. If you’re planning on starting your family and you have a timeline set up, perhaps start a few months earlier just in case. I hate “wasting” all of this time. Initially, I said I wanted to be married for a year before trying to have a baby, but we just hit 1.5 years and those 6 months are weighing heavy on me. Because it’s been so difficult so far (really I keep counting this second one as a failure, but we DID have the sperm against us), we’ve been talking about IVF after this, but we may try one more time with IUI if this next time doesn’t work. I’m just trying to keep my head up and give the control to God and the Universe and whatever other entities control when we get pregnant. I’ve also been super cautious because I don’t want to change my habits, but I’m going to start running again (not far.. or super fast..) to get myself back into some sort of shape. Hopefully, that will help with everything.
–$787 credit for the sperm
Total baby-making cost to date: $4007.10
We went in Friday for our final ultrasound For this round. I had a 17mm and a 14mm follicle and the Doctor decided to have us come back on Monday (today) with the hopes that I would have two mature follicles. We were stressing about having to have the sperm delivered to our house because we would’ve had to pay an extra $100 between weekend + home delivery since this fertility office is closed on the weekends. Our nurse, who we LOVE, suggested that we could choose another sperm bank that’s actually only 20 min from our house (and also one of the largest in the country..) and we would pick it up before our appt Monday. (Come to find out, Sperm is cheaper, and we don’t have to pay the $280 for shipping, or the extra $100 for weekend delivery. YAY!)
After the appt on Friday, I had to race to my physics class and Sam was sending me screenshots of some of the donors. I fell in love with the second one she showed me and while we were sort of attached to our other donor, we’re more interested in making a baby and being able to afford it. Ordering from this sperm bank was actually a few hundred cheaper, so that was a huge upside.
This morning, Monday, insemination day, we went to the sperm bank, picked up our giant yellow box of sperm, buckled it into the seatbelt, and headed to the fertility clinic. Once we got there, we had to wait for the sample to thaw (20 min) and got called back into the procedure room. Our nurse came in and let us know that the sample we got wasn’t as motile as it should’ve been (basically less than 30% of them were swimming) So we got on the phone with the company. They said that this refund process can take a couple of days to be approved…. We decided that since everything is super time-sensitive, we would go ahead with the insemination anyways and not waste the cycle. It only takes 1 good swimmer to make this thing work, after all….
So we are dealing with that this morning. I really hope this time works – I think my excitement has faded into impatience, which I’m working on.
$250 for Ultrasound number 3 this go-round!
$787 for sperm plus $50 pickup fee through Cryos International
Total baby-making cost to date: $4794.10
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!
$250 for Ultrasound number 2 this go round!
Total baby-making cost to date: $3207.10
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!
$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
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!