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 – 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 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 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!

Welcome to the Monthly Brew

Monthly Brew

Back in June, I won a contest with Swiss Water and the Specialty Coffee Association. The prize included 12 months of decaf coffee hand picked by Swiss Water. You can actually subscribe to weekly or monthly coffee deliveries HERE. Some of you may be wondering why on earth anyone would want to drink decaf when they could have a regular cup of caffeinated bliss. Samantha and I have been prepping for our baby adventure, so I’ve been drinking strictly decaf for 3 months. It may be time to switch if you find yourself getting anxious due to too much caffeine or if you just enjoy a good coffee but don’t want the buzz.

I received my FIRST coffee delivery mid July and thought I’d blog about each coffee of the month starting with my birthday month of August! Full disclosure – they have several coffees that they send out each month so they’ll most likely differ from the ones I have on the blog.

Generally, decaf is not too much different from caffeinated aside from the obvious lack of caffeine. However the process of decaffeinating coffee can be different depending on the company. Some companies use chemicals or use processes that alter the overall flavor of the coffee. This brings me to this amazing company called Swiss Water.

Let’s get this party started!

Let’s talk about Swiss Water. This is an awesome company that uses a 100% chemical free process to remove the caffeine from coffee without hindering the taste. They’re very much into creating a sustainable product that serves the environment in a positive way and they really care about every aspect of their coffee from the trees and the farm workers all the way down to your coffee cup.

This month

I got a full pound of whole bean decaf espresso from Cafe Virtuoso in San Diego, CA. I was nervous at first because it said dark roast, but I really like the full body flavor of espresso. My first cup of coffee was so incredible I actually said “woah” out loud. I’ve worked at 3 different coffee shops and cafe’s and I’ve used top of the line espresso machines and have tasted way more coffee flavors than the average person. I am in no way a coffee expert, but I have some experience.

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The first thing I noticed was the rich smell of the beans. It was like inhaling freshly roasted beans. Once I brewed it I noticed just how smooth the coffee was. Typically the reason I add any sort of (non-dairy) creamer to my coffee is to cut down on the acidity, but this brew really didn’t need it at all. It’s actually rather light/crisp and dry for a dark roast coffee. I recognized hints of chocolate and toasted caramel that didn’t leave any odd aftertaste at all. I drank every last drop of coffee before it got even the slightest bit cold. That’s saying a lot – I’m the person who leaves the last 2 sips in the bottom of the cup.

I’ve brewed via french press, pour over, and Keurig’s fill your own k-cup and all three have tasted amazing. My favorite is always french press because of the extra flavor. This coffee is also great as a cold brew. I think the fact that it’s a dark roast helps keep the flavor which is still very bold in an iced coffee.

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My rating: 5 beans!