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

Just because.

Married Life

Hopefully I can surprise her with this.

I skipped the fertility blog yesterday and today. We will probably post every few days or so now that we have less to post. It’s been really fun reliving all of those internal ultrasounds, but it’s also been heavy emotionally for both of us, so I decided to take today to celebrate Samantha on her BIRTHDAY. Talk about timing! LOL.

I started this blog to try to keep up with all of our adventures, concerts, & travels. We’ve discovered a lot about each other in the last few years like how the max number of hours we can spend in the car without a substantial break is 16. We are both so different in some ways that we fit together like puzzle pieces. For instance, IKEA furniture: I like to organize all my parts and she just starts building without even unboxing fully which drives my insane.

This weekend we went to the aquarium here in Orlando and did Madame Toussauds Wax Museum. We are both incredible at posing with inanimate objects. We also saw Who Framed Roger Rabbit at the Enzian which was one of our first dates nearly 4 years ago! Sometimes we get dressed up all nice and go on dates. Alright enough about us..

Samantha,

You are without a doubt, the most loving and devoted human. You keep me grounded and centered. You are the Monica to my Chandler and the cheese to my gluten free macaroni. I can’t wait to see you holding our baby one day knowing that you will be the most incredible mother. I will fight for you today, tomorrow, and for all the days to come. Thank you for loving me in all the ways you show me and tell me. I cherish every moment with you and look forward to the many more adventures we are about to go on. Everything I do, I do for you. Soul mates, through and through.

I love you,

Steph

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!

 

 

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Married Life, Traveling Gypsies

This past week we’ve been busy celebrating my wife’s thirty-second birthday. I’ve never been so proud of another human in my entire life.

For her birthday, we went mini golfing, then I took her to Universal to see all the Harry Potter things, and this weekend I basically told her to pack a bag and we drove through the night to North Carolina to see her best friend. 💜

Somehow I managed to keep that last one a total surprise!

In one month we will be celebrating our first whole year as a married couple. We’ll be flying to Seattle and spending a week there. (These blog posts might be getting slightly redundant, lol). We are currently in the process of saving up for the “family expansion pack” – which is a little more expensive than the traditional way of things.

Saving money is never fun, especially when you really like to spoil your wife, go to concerts, and travel.

School update: calculus is still hard, chemistry is still hard.. but I’m crying less so that’s something positive. 😂 I ran into an engineering major who was almost done with his classes and he assured me that Calc 1 was one of the hardest courses he took, which was sort of comforting. I just keep telling myself “I’ve totally got this” and my wonderful wife keeps telling me the same thing. I just have to work super hard until December then do it all over again for the next four years.

I’ve totes got this. 🙌🏻

My journey into quantum mechanics.

Aspiring Rocket Scientist, Married Life

It’s 3:45am.

No one said this would be easy. On the contrary, I’ve gotten so much unsolicited advice paired with brilliantly astute observations about how difficult aerospace engineering is. It’s, like, ACTUAL rocket science.

TBH, Going from 2 to 4 classes was probably not the smartest move on my part. Chemistry is proving to be extremely time consuming. I missed Labor Day weekend with friends and any weekend plans have pretty much gone out the window since I started school. I am constantly doing homework, which is why I haven’t written a new blog in a bit.

This past week, I had 3 exams. It’s been difficult to balance time between the 4 classes and keep any semblance of a personal life. I am so lucky and have the most incredible and supportive wife who is the real champion in all of this. She’s been my shoulder to cry on (Calculus has been real rough and my emotions are all over the place lately), and my personal cheerleader.

Our first anniversary is coming up in just over a month. We are going to Seattle and Portland which I’m SO excited for since I haven’t been to either place. We are going to a few concerts while we are there, also. This Florida girl has no idea how to dress for windy 40° wet weather, but I feel like I’ll probably learn pretty quickly how to properly layer.

Oh a few weeks ago, our big 80lb fluff decided to shatter a vase in our bathroom and then stab herself with it slicing her tendon in the process.. $400 later, she got stitched up and got to wear a giant cone which was basically just an obnoxious device meant for knocking over anything in its path, including humans. She got her stitches out yesterday and the vet said she’s looking good!

Sam’s bday is coming up soon and we always try to surprise each other with cool plans. I can’t say what the plans are obviously, but I’ll post afterward with pics. I’m so excited to have some social interactions after feeling like a caveman staring at equations and the periodic table.

This year has been so incredible. Idk how other people feel about the first year of marriage but ours has been nothing short of perfection.

In short, I’ll probably be taking 3 classes next semester for sanity’s sake. My classwork has taken the forefront and while Sam is beyond supportive, I do enjoy spending quality time with my wife.

Babe, if you’re reading this, you inspire me to be a better person every day and you push me to succeed and I love you for that and I’m so grateful for you.

Until next time.

Steph

Get to know us! 20 questions AMA.

Bands and Concerts, Married Life, Traveling Gypsies

I decided to do something a little different for a blog post before I return to school next week. Here’s a little “get to know us” 20(ish) questions. Let me know if you like these and I’ll try to do another one in the next few months!

If you could change only one thing in your life, what would that be and why?

SAM: Honestly, there isn’t a thing I would change about my life. I have been so fortunate and I have everything I could ever need, want or think to ask for. If you asked me what I would have done differently, my answer would be that I would have traveled through other countries and experienced more of what the world has to offer.. But I’m not dead yet, so now I get to do those things with my wife and hopefully future children.

STEPH: I would have taken way more advantage of learning new things and reading more. I think because everything is so much more accessible with the internet and knowledge is everywhere, it’s so much easier. My life is pretty great though, now and I’m legit learning rocket science, so I guess I would have just started it sooner.

In a regular day, what do you find yourself thinking about the most?

SAM: Currently, Babies. A year ago, our wedding. A year from now, Either still babies or Our move to Washington State.

STEPH: Food. Our future house somewhere in the mountains. Our future. How I need to drink more water.

Who is your favorite artist that you’ve seen perform live?

SAM: That is suuuuuch a toss up.. Either Dermot Kennedy for his raw talent and the emotion that he evokes from everyone in the room, or City and Colour for the incredible performance and undeniable talent that Dallas Green has.

STEPH: City and Colour in Birmingham, Alabama at Iron City Music hall. But also The Band Camino. I’ve seen both twice and they’re both absolutely incredible.

What things in your life bring you the greatest pleasure?

SAM: Coming home to my beautiful wife and our Zoo of a house. We are so blessed to have such a stable home and a great love that can conquer anything.

STEPH: I love coming home and being able to hang with my wife and the dogs and watching a movie or catching up on our TV shows after a long day of work. Weekends with her are the best.

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment in your life?

SAM: I’m still working on that.

STEPH: So far, going back to school. I’m at the very beginning of that journey, but I think starting anything is the hardest part.

In what settings are you the happiest / eager / most comfortable?

SAM: Any Concert or getaway with my Wife.

STEPH: In my house or hanging out in the backyard (when it’s less than 80 degrees).

What things do you look forward to each day?

SAM: Crawling into bed with the love of my life every night. Just the fact that I am blessed enough to have her to snuggle up to is enough for me.

STEPH: Coming home to hugs and kissed from my wife and our dogs.

What would be my ideal romantic date?

SAM: Whisk me away to anywhere.

STEPH: I love adventure. Any sort of trip to anywhere would be amazing. We are road trip professionals.

What do you appreciate most in your partner?

SAM: The way she views the world through her rose-colored glasses. I fought it for the LONGEST time. But there is something to be admired about her sheer blind faith in the world and the goodness it contains. Her heart is something so pure and I am incredibly lucky to hold such a huge piece of it.

STEPH: Her realness. Whether she’s telling you something hard to hear or is pulling my head out of the clouds and back to reality. Her confidence is something I admire as well. The way she demands with her presence is out of this world. I can’t wait to see her in mom mode.

In what situations do you feel most afraid or insecure?

SAM: Dinosaurs and scary movies. That’s about it. I can take on anything the world throws my way otherwise.

STEPH: I’m not good at being in situations I can’t control, mostly with money or adulting. In an emergency, I’m the person you want by your side, lol. For whatever reason, I’m super calm cool and collected.

What would you like to do outdoors that you have not done before?

SAM: I can’t wait to hike up an actual mountain!!!

STEPH: Being able to explore the wilderness. You can only go so far in Florida on flat land and highways before hitting the beach.

What country would you like to visit that you haven’t visited yet?

SAM: See bucketlist…. I’ll send a picture. Lol

STEPH: Pretty much all of Scandinavia. Denmark, Iceland, and all of Europe. I’ve only ever been in the US.

What family member did you most admire when you were a child?

SAM: My Grandpa was my ENTIRE world.

STEPH: My aunt Barbara. She’s my mom’s little sister and was always the cool aunt who I ran to when I needed absolutely anything.

What are your favorite things to spend money on?

SAM: Ohhhhh crap…. I mean, I don’t likeeeeee the amount of money they cost… but the things I buy the most often are makeup and clothes!

STEPH: I HATE spending money. I can talk myself out of buying anything.. Movies and books are my downfalls.

Who are you most envious of?

SAM: Honestly, no one. There have been moments where I wished that I had what someone else had.. but at the end of it, everything in my life made me who I am today. I wouldn’t change that for anything… … I TAKE THAT BACK!!! I’m envious of morning people!!! I wishhhhhhh I was the type of person who could get up with the Sun.. but I wasn’t blessed with that gene.

STEPH: I’m envious of people who are debt free and are somehow so good with their money that they can travel all the time. I wish I could be a travel blogger. They’re living the life.

If you had endless amounts of money, what’s the first thing you’d do?

SAM: Buy a farm on an Island in Washington…

STEPH: Build a house and pay off my debt.

If you had to live in the world of any book or movie, what would it be?

SAM: ….this is an impossible question…. Every book series that I love is full of sooo much drama and insane crazy, that I can’t say that I would love to live in it…. But the paper magician is the coooolest concept. So if I HAD to choose one, that’d be it.

STEPH: I’d say Star Wars, but they’re legit in pretty much constant battle and there’s a pretty good chance your planet could get blown up, so I’m going to go with Harry Potter.

What’s the last book you read?

SAM: The immortal circus series!!!!!! Sooooooo good!!!

STEPH: I’m in the middle of 3 right now. The last one I finished was Fallen – I take that back. I still haven’t finished that. It was the Paper Magician.

If you could do anything that wasn’t your current job, what would it be?

SAM: Either be a History professor or own and run a successful record label.

STEPH: I’d work for Spacex or Nasa.

What is your least favorite food?

SAM: Greek!!!!

STEPH: Olives. Or any of the weird cheeses like feta and blue cheese. And pickles.

 

Here’s Sam’s Bucket List. Is she forgetting anywhere? Have recommendations? We’d love to hear from you!

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