Sunday, May 3, 2015

IUI #4 Results

In April, we had our 4th IUI. We started the month with Femara, an oral medication, on days 3-7 of my cycle. Then on days 10 and 12 I had blood work and ultrasounds done. Lee gave me the trigger shot on day 12 as well, and then on day 14 we had the IUI.

Overall, this month was pretty smooth. The Femara still caused me a few emotional days, but not nearly as bad as the Clomid. For that, we are so thankful. The IUIs are never enjoyable, but seem to be getting easier. The two week wait always seems to pass way slower than a normal two weeks, but that's probably because I'm always so ready to know if this is the month we finally get pregnant.

13 days post IUI (which is actually day 27 of my cycle) I took a pregnancy test at home, and it was negative. I figured on day 14 or 15 post-IUI I would start my period, which means day 3 of my new cycle would fall early in the week. I didn't want to risk not being able to get the medication for a new cycle on time, so I called the doctor's office 13 days after the IUI and let them know that I suspected my period was coming, and asked what we could do. The nurse talked to the doctor, and he said we were okay to go ahead and order the medication. The injectable medication gets delivered right to our door, so that's kind of nice that we never have to go to a pharmacy and pick it up. I ended up starting my period as I had anticipated, and you know what that means... we did not get pregnant with IUI number 4.

Lee and I had talked all month and decided if Femara didn't work for us in April, that we would go ahead and move onto all injectable medication (no more oral medication such as Femara or Clomid). This past cycle, the Femara caused me to produce only one mature follicle (egg to be released). All it takes is one, but since this seemed to be less successful results than when I had taken the Clomid, we decided to stop with Femara and move onto the next step. So this next cycle, we are doing only injectables (no more oral medication).

So here's what our next cycle looks like: Start cycle with an ultrasound and blood work. As long as the blood work and ultrasounds look good, we will proceed with the new medication. On days 3-7 Lee will give me nightly injections, and on day 8 I will go in for blood work and ultrasound to check my hormone levels and see if my body is responding to the medication.

Side note: I've had several people ask me during my last cycle what the medicine does and what the trigger shot is. Here is a very brief, uneducated explanation of what our goal is: take medication at the beginning of the month to help my eggs to mature. (Not only does a woman's body have to release the egg at the optimal time, but the egg also has to be mature enough, but not too mature in order to get fertilized.) So that's what the injections, Clomid, and Femara were all for. Next, the ultrasounds and blood work check to see if I have any follicles (eggs to be released) maturing on my ovaries, and if my hormone levels are appropriate. Once the follicles appear to be the optimal maturity, Lee gives me the trigger shot, which is an injection that forces my body to release the eggs (ovulation). Once the eggs are released, we have the IUI done, which is where Lee's sperm is placed directly into my uterus. This is supposed to be helpful because the sperm doesn't have as far to travel as it would if we had just tried to conceive at home. With the IUI, it is still up to my body to allow the eggs and the sperm to connect, but it does give better chances since we know I'm releasing mature eggs, and we know Lee's sperm shouldn't have far to travel. Who ever thought getting pregnant could be so scientific?! 

So anyways, this month I will start with blood work and ultrasound, do 5 nights of injections, have another set of blood work and ultrasounds done, and then the doctor will decide if we need to continue medication, and if so, at what dose. The nurse says most women use the injections for 7-10 days, and after those 7-10 days they have another ultrasound. At that time, if I appear to have mature follicles (eggs to be released) on my ovaries, Lee will give me the trigger shot, and then we will have IUI #5. Then after the IUI, we wait two weeks and have a pregnancy test, unless I start my period before then.

I know this is already a really long blog post, but I don't want to leave anything out! Over the past several months, I have had a lot of people tell me that they like reading my blog posts and are happy that I have a positive attitude. I write these blog posts from my heart, and I want them to be real and honest, and for those who know me, I want you to read these and feel like we're talking in person because my posts are that real. So can I be honest with you? The truth is, I have to work really hard at being positive, and sometimes I'm not that great at it... Some days I'm negative, angry, impatient, grouchy, and the list goes on. Some days I cry simple at the sight of a baby, and some days I get so frustrated that I tell Lee I'm done with this and don't want to take fertility drugs anymore. Some days I even get angry with God and complain about how unfair this is and wonder "Why us". That's the truth... These rough days are not everyday, and not even every week, but they happen, and I think its important for me to include that, because the ups and downs are a relevant part of this experience.

Every time I have a bad day, there are plenty of good days that come before and after, and on those good days I am reminded that God has not forgotten me, and does not wish pain upon me. I am reminded that although I don't have a baby, that I have a lot of other great things happening, and a lot of great people in my life, and that God has given us the resources to overcome this.

I am also reminded on a daily basis how wonderful my husband is, and although this experience pretty much sucks most of the time, infertility has forever changed our marriage, but not in a bad way. Infertility has forced Lee and I to talk about things and make decisions that we've never considered before. We've become closer in so many ways, and the patience, grace, and kindness that Lee has shown me every step of the way has made me fall in love with him all over again, and in a different way than I did the first time. I have never valued him more than I do now. I never ever imagined that when Lee and I got married that we wouldn't be able to start a family just like we planned. I honestly thought it would just work out that way. I know children will be in our future someday, somehow, but in the mean time, God has reminded me that Lee and I can use this experience as a way to come closer together, and closer to Him, which is something we hadn't necessarily searched for before all of this. Throughout this experience, I have realized just how thankful I am for Lee, and I know that God couldn't have given me anyone more prefect for handling me in this type of situation. 

So for now, although we don't have a baby and are still doing fertility treatments, Lee and I really are trying so hard to stay positive and focus on the good things: God, each other, precious time with friends and family, new experiences together, etc. That doesn't mean we won't have bad days here and there, but with God on our side, and support from friends and family like you all, we know can make it through all of this, and we will.  Thank you all for reading, praying and thinking of us, and encouraging us to stay positive. We appreciate each and every one of you❤️.

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