1.5 years later… IUI #10

Our first IUI was in January 2016 and today we just completed number 10.

CD 3-7
150 mg Clomid, Zpack antiobiotic, 5mg prednisone, low dose aspirin, 100mcg synthroid

CD 8-11
5mg prednisone, low dose aspirin, 100mcg synthroid, 6mg estrace (oral)

CD 11 U/S: Lining only at 5.8 – estrace switched to vaginal; 20mm lead follicle

CD 12: Pregnyl trigger shot at 6am

TODAY CD 13: IUI #10 at 7:15am (u/s prior showed lining of 8)

I’ll stay on the prednisone, aspirin, synthroid, and 2mg of estrace and in a couple days add twice daily endometrin for the next two weeks. Blood test next Friday to check estrogen, progesterone, and thyroid. Beta the following Friday.

Laparoscopy/Hysteroscopy is penciled in the schedule for 8/3 if this cycle is a bust.

Another pregnancy announcement at work this week has had my spirits a bit down and I’m really wondering if I’ll ever get to experience that joy.

Shout out to my wife for being my rock through the past year and a half. Out of all of the appointments she’s only ever missed one and only that because I needed an earlier appointment to accommodate my work schedule. She tries to keep us both positive, talks through options and next steps, asks questions at the appointments, and in general is 100% invested and involved. I know I wouldn’t have lasted this far without her support.

And extra props to her for actually being able to watch my blood draw this week and for pushing the plunger on the sperm today. Hopefully she has the magic touch.

Another failed cycle

We got the call around 2:30 on Friday that the beta was negative. After stopping the progesterone my period came on Sunday – and it’s been a doozy… my typical regimen of Advil and a heating pad is barely taking the edge off. I’m assuming the extra intensity is a result of the meds?

With bruised arms, checkbook, and emotions we head for another CD3 monitoring appointment tomorrow morning.

I keep saying I don’t know how much more I can take and yet the idea of giving up hurts just as badly. There’s nothing more I want in this life than to become a mom and to give that opportunity to my wife.

10 DPO

IUI #9 happened last Friday at 9:15 am, 27 hours post trigger.

2 mature follicles; 17.4 million sperm and the thickest lining I’ve ever had.

The first 9 days flew by and now time feels like it is crawling. This month has been emotionally tough on both my wife and me. I’m really crossing my fingers that this worked because I’m not sure how much more we can take.

Here we go again

Three months from now will mark two years since starting this blog. I never could’ve imagined I would still be here documenting the journey of trying to conceive. A big part of me doesn’t want to remember all of these months and struggles in the future. So I think any updates going forward will be short and to the point.

Aruba was amazing, as always and we are already dreaming of when we can go back. I hope the combination of the vitamin D boost, relaxation, and being on the keto diet for four months gives us a bit higher odds this cycle. Hopefully, the end (or the real beginning I guess) is right around the corner.

Friday 5/26 – CD1
Saturday 5/27 – Baseline blood work and u/s

New med protocol:
100mg Clomid and Z-Pack antibiotic days 3-7
6mg Estrace beginning day 8

Follow up appointment June 3rd – my wife’s birthday.

Oops

Just realized that I never updated after IUI #8. Despite everything looking perfect and having several good eggs… I’m not pregnant.

We took last month off and are taking this month off too. ARUBA here we come.

I’m so exhausted and frustrated and disappointed by this whole journey. Hopefully I come back refreshed.

Our donor officially sold out. We have 7 vials left and have decided to do two more rounds of IUI and then move to IVF. When our nurse called to let us know the test was negative (at 9pm on a Saturday night – how awesome is she?!) she also said she was switching up my med protocol. Our next cycle will be 100mg of Clomid and 5mg of Estrace.

When I texted her to let her know we decided to take a couple months off she said she was really excited and hopeful about the med change… so hopefully it’s the winning combo.

8th time’s a charm?

Last Tuesday, CD9, we went for another round of monitoring. The ultrasound showed A LOT of follicles. My wife was getting nervous that they were going to cancel our IUI. But our nurse, Kris, looked at the measurements at the end and said we were good to go. She said NO MORE MEDS though or else I would end up with 10 follicles. I joked that we could do IVF then and she laughed about the fact that I could produce enough follicles do IVF only 5mg of Letrozole. Follicle sizes were as follows:

Left: 13.2, 9.44, 8.72
Right: 8.71, 9.2, 9.88, 8.68

After our appointment we headed to the Walmart pharmacy nearby to pick up the trigger shot. (Apparently the pharmacist’s wife had fertility issues so he stocks most of the meds which is really convenient!) The pharmacist on duty asked if I had any questions about the shot and then mentioned to me that they stock the other meds in case I ever need them. He then wished us luck which was really nice.

Wednesday afternoon I got a call from Kris. The retest of my TSH levels came back even lower (0.18) so she called in a new script for a lower dose of my meds. I knew this was going to happen. Next time I need to trust how my body is feeling and push a bit harder for changes. She wasn’t concerned for this cycle and said they prefer me to be on the low end because my levels could jump up fairly quickly once pregnant. I was still a bit worried about it being too low so I decided to skip a couple of doses to help boost things back up a bit.

Friday we headed back to the office for another check. We went up there expecting to trigger in office based on last cycle and my dark OPKs. On the way up we noticed this hilarious funeral home sign for the first time even though we pass it for every appointment!

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The ultrasound showed the following follicles worth measuring:

Left: 17.32, 13.53
Right: 14.56, 12.47

We were really happy, and a bit surprised, with the growth. Kris said she’d like to see them grow a bit more before triggering which I was really happy with since I felt like we triggered a bit too soon last cycle. She said she would call on Saturday after reviewing my blood work with instructions on when to trigger and when our IUI would be.

I waited for a call until about 2pm on Saturday and was afraid Kris forgot about me! The office closed at noon so I texted her to make sure I didn’t misunderstand. Luckily she got back to me right away and said she had just wrapped up with her last appointment for the day. Based on my blood work she decided to have me trigger right away and come into the office at 2pm the next day. Then a little bit of panic set in as I realized I had to mix the trigger shot on my own this time.

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I was a little paranoid that I didn’t do it right… and when I finished the injection I noticed there were several droplets still in the syringe. But my OPK the next morning reassured me that it was all ok 🙂

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My wife got home from work and managed a couple hour nap before we had to head up to the city. We ended up being about 40 minutes early since we weren’t sure how the weather or traffic would be that day. We really didn’t want to be late considering Kris was coming in on a day the office was closed to do our IUI! We waited in the parking lot for about 20 minutes for Kris to get there and then gave her a few extra minutes to get situated inside. We got back into a room right around our scheduled time.

The IUI itself went smoothly, only minor discomfort from the speculum but she remembered to use the smallest one which was nice. She didn’t ask my wife to push the plunger this time so we were a little bit disappointed but at the same time still really grateful for her scheduling flexibility. She said that if this round didn’t work she is going to switch things up next time but didn’t give any details as to what exactly that meant. I laid on the table for about 20 minutes while she wrote up my instructions and lab request scripts and then we headed home.

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Later that day I found out that the sperm sample only had 7.7 million sperm. This is the lowest we’ve ever had, but still within California Cryobank’s expected range for IUI vials. The good news though was that it had the best progression score (3) that we’ve ever had. So hopefully even though we had fewer swimmers they will be more effective!

We didn’t get to do an ultrasound before the IUI like last time, but based on the follicle growth from earlier in the week I’m assuming our follicle sizes were something close to:

Left: 20.62, 16.83
Right: 17.86, 15.77

My understanding is that if you trigger when your lead follicle is around 18mm then the ones 15mm and over are likely to be mature, too! I feel like we have a really good chance of at least two good eggs being released. Here’s to hoping one of them is the lucky one! I’m scheduled to start my Endometrin tomorrow morning, then a blood test Saturday to check my progesterone levels, and finally my beta the following Saturday. I’m going to try to take this tww a bit more laid back and just see what happens. Fingers crossed.

Our Keto diet has also been going really well and I feel great! My wife even said she’ll never go back to drinking sugar in her coffee which is HUGE! I’ve been finding some really great recipes to try and so far have had really good luck. Every time I see a cookie or donut or whatever tempting me… I just remind myself how much I want to be pregnant.

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Pictured here are: Chocolate Chip and Blueberry Cake bars. Keto approved! We’ve also had cauliflower fried “rice” with chicken, cauliflower “mac” & cheese, and cream cheese stuffed chicken wrapped with bacon. I think I’m really getting the hang of it!

I’m extremely proud of my wife for sticking with this and grateful that she is supporting me through it. It is a lot easier to make a huge dietary change having a good partner along side of me.

Now, LET’S MAKE A BABY!