Monday, March 30, 2015

Post IUI #3 Update

We recently completed our 3rd IUI. If you want to read about it, you can do so here.. The first two IUI's did not result in pregnancy, so we tried for a 3rd time. You can read about our first IUI here, and our second IUI here. Our doctor recommended that after the 3rd IUI, sometime during our two week wait, we should meet with him and discuss our progress so far, and what our plan will be going forward if this cycle does not work. We met with him, and he basically gave us 3 options if we are interested in continuing treatment, assuming I'm not already pregnant:

1. Our first option is continue doing the IUI procedure, but this time switch from Clomid to a medication called Femara. With this option, we would still use the trigger shot, and of course the IUI. The main difference would be the medication I would take on days 3-7, and he said it is likely I would not have to use the estrogen pill this month, because the lining of the uterus thinning out is not a side effect of this drug. With this method, we have about the same chance of getting pregnant as the last three cycles, and that is about 15ish%, based on the number of people my age who get pregnant using this same treatment. This option is definitely attractive to us, because other than the medication at the beginning, we know what to expect and how it all works. For me, consistency is comforting. 

2. Our second option would be to continue with IUI, but use only injectable medications (instead of oral pills) at the beginning of the cycle, and then continue with the trigger shot + IUI. This obviously is a little intimidating, because Lee would be giving me shots for 8 to 10 days in a row with this plan, and so far, the injections that he has given me have been in the stomach. I don't think its anything he can't handle though, because he did a really great job with the trigger shot the last two months. Honestly, I think I have the easy side of this deal. I would much rather receive a shot than have to give one to someone else. Props to Lee for not being nervous, and doing an awesome job (especially considering this is not something he learned how to do when studying engineering! haha). After the shots, we would have blood work & ultrasounds. Next, Lee would give me the trigger shot, and then we'd do the IUI. This option is not ideal bc who wants to get a needle to the stomach 8-11 times in a two week period, but at the same time, is a little more enticing because it is a more aggressive medication, and it does give us greater odds of getting pregnant. (potentially a 20-25% chance each cycle)

3. The third option we can try is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). With this method, we would start the month with injectable medication, and then I would have an out-patient procedure to retrieve my eggs. The eggs would then be joined with Lee's sperm in a lab, and several days later the embryos would be put into my body in a procedure similar to the IUI. This route is much more invasive than the procedures we've been doing so far, but it has a much much higher chance of success, so it is definitely something we are considering. (50-70% chance of success, assuming we have 1-2 embryos to implant)

The good news that is even if this 3rd IUI is not successful, regardless of what treatment we choose to proceed with, I do not have to take Clomid anymore! After the emotional roller coaster I was on last month, I am so happy about this. Our doctor did say that although the injectable medications are undesirable for obvious reasons, most women do say that they feel better emotionally on these medications in comparison to when they took Clomid. This is a little bit of light in this long tunnel for both Lee and I! (Probably him more than me. I was annoyed with myself last month, so I can imagine it took every ounce of patience he had to be so patient and sweet to me.)

We of course are hoping that our 3rd IUI was successful, and we won't have to go one of these routes, but the reality is, that we need to decide on a "what-if" chance the 3rd IUI does not result in pregnancy. We will need to decide what route we might want to go, before we get the results of our pregnancy test, because if our pregnancy test is negative, we will start right in on our next cycle. Lee and I were both a little overwhelmed with all of the info given after our appointment. We decided we were going to talk more about it over the weekend, and maybe even make a list of some sort to visualize our options, and pray, pray, and pray some more and hope that God will give us some guidance on what would be the best next step for us. I will keep blogging as we have more information, and will be sure to keep you all updated. Thanks for reading, and thank you so much for all of your prayers.

As you know if you've been keeping up with my blog posts this past month, the first part of this cycle was pretty tough on me. I just felt really down and defeated, and I think a lot of that had to do with the amount of hormones I was taking. After the medication part of the cycle was over, I felt so much better! The IUI itself was the least painful one so far, and this two week wait has been a breeze compared to the last two. I think we're kind of getting the hang of this, and slowly but surely are learning to truly give our worries to God, and trust that His plan will someday make sense. After talking to our doctor and hearing about all of the other options we have, we are relieved to know that there are plenty of other things we can try, and even if this third Clomid + IUI cycle doesn't work for us. As I am nearing the end of my two week wait, I am not feeling any symptoms or changes with my body, and am assuming there is a good chance that I may not be pregnant this month. With that being said, Lee and I are not going to let that get us down! We are really encouraged by all of the love and support we've gotten from our family and all of our friends.

We know that with all of your love, prayers, and support, we can make it through any or all of the options listed above, if that's what God leads us to. You guys are all a great reminder for us to focus on our blessings (YOU all), rather than dwell on the tough times. So thank you to everyone who has been here for us. Your kind words and prayers really do matter, and we appreciate every single one of you! Thank you for reading my blog, and tune in over the next  few weeks to learn our results! 
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