IUI#4: Four Days Post Ovulation

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Exhaustion. Has. Hit. Me. Hard.

It’s 5pm and I’m in bed right now. Under the sheets, hugging my pillow as I type on my iPhone.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that little spark chooses Motel Moi as a suitable place to implant for 38 weeks, at least over the toilet.

I have started prepping for the upcoming school year, and DW and I have been doing some “house stuff” like re-painting the exterior of our house and the 1970’s wood paneling in our recreation room. We also have a contractor coming to completely gut and renovate our bathroom. We have some other big plans for the house once know what is happening with our pregnancy status.

Anyway, eyes are shutting. It might be time for a nap.

IUI#4: Cheap Movie Tuesdays

I always have such witty blog ideas floating around in my head, but when it comes to putting fingers to iPhone (yes, I blog from my iPhone- laziness), I become annoyed by the tiny keyboard dexterity required for all of those words, so I put in a half-assed effort. For that, I apologize.

Some of you might be wondering, “Where’s your computer?”, to which I answer with the following points (point form is less typing on the iPhone):

Uno. I don’t like having a device that emits electromagnetic radiation sitting on my lap (I AM trying to make a baby that is non-teenage mutant ninja turtle remember?).

Dos. Darling Wife has a desktop that we use for school things mostly. All school-related things have been banished from my summer. I am on summer break after all.

Tres. My Mac is currently hooked up to our television so that we can watch Netflix because cable tv sucks right now. It’s got 2 adapters hooked up to it and like I said earlier, I am on lazy summer vacation, so disconnecting and reconnecting might make me sweat.

I have been a bit of a princess the past two days (DW would probably argue that I’m a princess all the time). I have been eating and leaving my dishes lying around, I’ve got various pairs of dirty panties (hate that word) still in the shape of the number 8 cluttering the bathroom floor (crowding around the shower), and I’ve built up a nest of hoarded blankets and pillows on the big couch in the TV room. I think DW deserves an award for putting up with the mess.

Not to mention all of the fetching of things she does for me, as well as dealing with my post-IUI whiney ass.

Yes, yesterday was our IUI. The narrative is clear in my mind, but again, I am too lazy to fill you all in on the specifics. But here is a summary:

After pulling the long-distance phone call induced all-nighter, we got up and hit the local Starbucks for a much-needed caffeinated drink. We got to the RE’s clinic about 45 minutes too early for our appointment and sat in the car listening to Radiohead. Being sleep deprived I felt like I was at a laser show. Fun times. Once in the waiting room, we waited for another hour and a half before we were seen by the doctor. I was pissed off because our sample sat at room temperature for at least 45 minutes post-wash. I’m not sure about the viability of sperm after this period of time, but I have read that it is best to use washed frozen sperm ASAP.

The IUI procedure itself was pain free, and had no leakage, which was great.

We then headed to DW’s school to pick up some local peaches grown by a colleague of hers.

Once home, I set up my “couch nest”, and proceeded to watch two Woody Allen movies, and a movie called “Friends with Kids”. I love Woody Allen, but watching two of his movies back-to-back is a bit painful. Halfway through the first movie, I started having excruciating stabbing pain on my right side, which I am hoping was mittelschmerz. It was so painful that I actually passed out for maybe 30 minutes. We also watched three episodes of Dexter. So while our egg and sperm is hopefully becoming a little spark, I am watching films with dry comedy and about serial killers. Dang. Hope this kid turns out proper.

Meanwhile, DW spent the day doing hard labour- powerwashing the paint off the side of the house, scraping away what paint remains, and vacuuming up all of the chips. She is a hard worker.

That evening, we went to the cinema to see RED 2 (yes, another movie!). It was awesome and had me laughing my ass off for a good part of the entire movie. We then went for a late night dinner at the local Viet/Thai restaurant because when I’m feeling under the weather, all I want is broth and soup.

All day I felt crampy and my cervix was really tender, making it uncomfortable to sit up or change positions. Farting hurt my cervix and peeing hurt my cervix, which really makes me believe that my anus/rectum, bladder, and cervix are very close in proximity. DW said to me today, “You’re definitely gonna have an anus tear during childbirth then!”. Thanks lovaire. Thanks.

Anyway, I’m now officially in the two week wait. I can’t wait to see what symptoms f&!k with my head.

Maybe my next post will just be my google search history?

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What NOT to Do the Night Before Your IUI

So last night, as my darling and I are winding down for the night, my mother calls. Since the call is long-distance, I felt compelled to answer it, despite our household rule not to answer calls from my dysfunctional family members past 7pm. She had also tried calling me late in the afternoon (well before our “phone curfew”), so I thought it might be important.

I was wrong.

She just wanted to vent.

And after two attempts at trying to wrap up the conversation, I finally got off the phone with her two and a half hours later.

This proved to be very problematic, because it took me from zen to aggravated, and I didn’t sleep a wink all night. Now we are at the RE clinic, on no sleep, feeling resentful and pissed off before our IUI. Not a good scene. This is why, my fellow bloggers and readers, I am currently passing the buck and venting to you.

Thank you for letting me bitch.
Let this be a reminder that rules are in place for a reason.

No calls past 7pm. Ever. Especially the night before an IUI.

Wish us luck today, that a little spark occurs in my Fallopian tubes and that there’s lots of sticky dust to help it implant in the next week.

IUI#3: The Two Week Wait that I Slept Away…

The theme of this two week wait (TWW) is: exhaustion.

Throughout this TWW, I have napped every single day, and sometimes twice a day! Originally, I had thought it might be a pregnancy symptom, but after doing some research, it seems it may just be a side effect of the progesterone suppositories. Other than that, no other symptoms. No breast tenderness, no cramps, no nausea.

I have however, had insatiable cravings for Korean food. I’m not Korean, so don’t have a deeply rooted history of turning to Korean food for comfort, but have craved for (and eaten 3 times this week) gamjatang. In fact, I’m still craving it.

Did blood work today at the clinic (12DPO), and find out whether I’m pregnant. I caved however, and peed on a strip this morning, which came up negative 😦

This IUI seemed different than the rest, and I really hope it’s the one.

We find out in an hour.

IUI#3: Natural Disasters that Did Not Occur in My Reproductive System

So last night there was massive rainfall in the Greater Toronto Area. We broke records established from the 50’s. It rained more between 5pm to 6pm than it does in a whole month in July. Highways, subways, the Go-Train, and many other main roads were under water and closed down. Electricity went out for hours in many cities. People were freaking out. The news stations ate it up, covering “dramatic rescues” and such all night and this morning.

Not to diminish the magnitude of this natural disaster, but while people were being “rescued” via inflatable dinghy out of thigh-deep water, I went for a massage. Somehow it seemed like a good idea to me to have my muscles tenderized by a big 250lb male RMT named “Dave” the night before I was inseminated.

The next day, we got up early and made a pitstop at our neighbourhood Star.bucks. for some SKV (skinny vanilla) lattes, mine made with decaf espresso.

DW had to drop off a document camera to the supply teacher covering for her at summer school, so meanwhile, in the car, I pulled out my acupuncture needles and did a fertility protocol on myself. I got shy at one point when another car pulled up next to me, and made DW move the car to a different spot.

Afterwards, we were on our way, and one highway later, we were at our RE’s clinic.

It was a beautiful but muggy day, with a light drizzle occurring after the night’s destructive storm. I mentioned to DW that I think I was born on a rainy Tuesday. My father made a VHS film of the day him and my grampa picked my mum and I up from the hospital. Personal camcorders were still kind of a big deal then, and he attempted a sorts of artistic things, such as filming going through an automatic car wash. Fun times.

Soon we found ourselves parked in the lot behind our RE’s clinic, contemplating the risks and benefits of a pre-IUI orgasm. We even moved the car to a more “private” spot, but the mixture of my OCD for being early for appointments, the humidity, and the fact that I needed to orgasm on demand made it impossible to get off.

So we turned on the ignition and parked in our original spot.

We waited in the waiting room, and then were transferred into a treatment room. Soon after undressing and covering myself up with the thin but large paper “napkin”, the RE came in. We were ecstatic that our IUI was to be done by our RE! This time around, there was no pain and no leakage! Even after getting up and walking to the car, no leakage.

We were quite pleased with his technique, as well as his general disposition. The nurse that we had last time wrangled my tender cervix like it was wild bull, and shoved that catheter in with very little finesse. Next time, if I can, I am going to insist on having him do the IUI.

Once home, I took a 3 hour nap and then resume lazy activities. That night, I also started my progesterone pills again.

Now we brave the two week wait!

IUI#2 BFN

Just heard from the RE nurse. Negatory on the prego. Blood confirmed. Now I stop the vaginal suppositories and wait for AF. What a treat.

Just made Rice.Krispie.treats., bought a 6-bottle case of gluten-free beer, gonna finally take some antihistamines, have an extra coffee, play hockey tonight, and enjoy a much deserved beer in the change room after the game.

I am sad, but these simple pleasures will hopefully dull the pain.

The Two “Abstain From Everything You Like To Do” Wait

So the people around me suspect that something is up.

I’ve taken a few more sick days this month, and my coworkers are thinking I’m either terminally ill or pregnant.

I’ve missed, and will continue to miss a few more hockey games, so my teammates send me emails asking if I’m pregnant.

I have significantly toned down the intensity and duration of my workouts, so I wonder if the trainers at my gym are thinking that I’m pregnant?

This weekend I’ll be catching up with my family and in-laws at a dinner party. I will not be drinking. I betcha they will suspect that I’m pregnant.

We test in 11 days. Until then, I will be wondering if I’m pregnant.

I really do hope so.

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You Want Me to Stick this Medication Where?

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Those who have been following my blog may know that while I ovulate on my own, I have ridiculously short luteal phases. They range from 6 days to about 10, even after supplementation with vit B6. Normal is somewhere between 12- 14 days, while longer seems to be better.

One possible cause of a luteal phase defect is a progesterone deficiency. What happens here is that progesterone is responsible for maintaining the lining of the uterus and preventing it from shedding. Once progesterone levels drop, the uterus begins the process of shedding and menstrual bleeding begins.

Certain events, such as the fertilization and subsequent implantation of a blastocyst release hormones like HCG that prevent the lining from shedding, and allow a pregnancy to continue.

But timing is everything, and if HCG levels aren’t high enough at the time when progesterone levels drop, a chemical pregnancy may occur.

Because of my short luteal phase, my RE prescribed a 3 week course of synthetic progesterone in “bead” form. I was instructed to insert two of said beads into my va-jay-jay twice daily. I could take them orally, but the side effects are more intense that route.

IUI #2 – The Case of the Magic Microscope

After weeks of anxiously waiting and hoping, today finally arrived. Yesterday morning I went in for blood work and ultrasound, and right before being discharged, the nurse gave me the okay to inject the Ovidrel in the evening. Curious about my LH levels, I peed on an OPK stick in the late afternoon, and it was positive. I wish I had tested a few times earlier, to see when I started peaking, but oh well. Being a science nerd, I’ve researched enough to write a literature review on the topic. Anyway, all I knew was that I had already started to naturally ovulate, and the Ovidrel was gonna give that egg the extra kick out the door. I’m curious to see what my BBT is tomorrow morning.

Last night, I was a bit of a baby with respect to the Ovidrel. I made lots of whining noises and borderline crying/pleading while my Darling Wife held the needle like a dart and in fact, referred to it as such. She took great pleasure in tapping the inverted syringe, and depressing it to get air bubbles out. It made me nervous, very very nervous.

It all ended up painless in the end, and I felt awfully silly for the tears that were nearly out of the ducts. The dog looked at me with disappointment and called me weak.

We watched some Walking Dead and then headed to bed. I had the best sleep that I’ve had in a long time. Not sure why.

I woke at 6:15 am, naturally, before my alarm, and was excited for the day. The drive was great, and we stopped at Starf#@!s Coffee so that I could grab a Grande-SFV-L-NF-latte on the way to the clinic. This kept me from getting grumpy due to hunger (a major problem that I suffer from).

At the clinic, there were 2 other couples there. It’s funny observing the demeanour of straight couples at these clinics. The women mostly look anxious, and the men always look embarassed. It’s the same look they wear when buying tampons for their women. DW got in a conversation with a straight couple about Sesame Street doing a vocabulary lesson on the word “Incarceration”. By conversation, I mean, they were a bit ignorant, and she did her best to bite her tongue and not make it a “learning opportunity” for them. This is teacher talk for setting them straight (no pun intended). DW is extremely intelligent, and does not suffer fools well. It sometimes results in “mini-scenes” with strangers, and I am glad today’s disagreement didn’t lead to that. After all, the clinic was holding our sperm hostage, and I had already paid for everything in advance.

We were directed to the IUI room by “Harpreet”, and I was very surprised by how bland and ordinary the treatment room was. It looked like a regular physician’s exam room. I’m not sure if it’s the price that we paid (in addition to the price paid by our provincial insurance plan), or the fact that we’ve waited three months for this procedure, but I was expecting more. I expected an ultrasound machine, and for the doctor to watch on the ultrasound as the catheter was threaded through my cervix…. I pretty much expected to watch as he walked the sperm down the aisle. Unrealistic? Partially. I also felt like the RE talked it up this way, because I had no preconceived notions of what this experience was going to be like. Plus, the waiting rooms are all swanked up, connected by a spiral staircase, and equipped with fireplaces, big screen TV’s, and interior decorating that makes you sort of want to smoke a cigar. Not sure why.

So in this waiting room, I was asked to remove my shorts and underwear, and drape a big sheet of medical paper towel over myself. DW and I took some funny pictures of me making some obscene gestures and hand positions towards the medical diagram of the female reproductive system. What can I say? We were in a classy kind of mood.

Our sperm, who we’ve nicknamed a name I can’t write on the world wide web, was in a vial on the counter, washed and suspended in some pink stuff, ready to party. We took some pictures of the vial. Clean pictures. I did not do dirty things to it.

A nurse came in to do the IUI, and was kind of rough with my cervix. DW says that my cervix is shy. She points down and tucks her head a bit to the side. Not to worry though, the nurse clamped her and forcefully straightened her out. Similar to when I grab our dog by the scruff as she’s about to dive face first, mouth salivating into a pile of some other dog’s shit. Graphic, but it’s the only way I can describe the pain. I clenched my jaw and fists, and did my best not to shout a mouthful of profanities in front of the strange nurse. Out of the corner of my right eye, I see DW getting up, taking a step toward the nurse. She didn’t punch her in the face like I had hoped, however. She asked if she could depress the syringe- send the boys off on their race. As lesbians, this is one of the ways that a NGP (non-gestational parent) can actively take part in the insemination process at a clinic. I must admit, I really enjoyed our IUI #1, which was done at home, with DW dressed like a caver, headlamp, gloves, focus faced and all. I don’t remember if I wrote an account of that experience. Maybe I will some day. It was so much fun, and absolutely hilarious. I literally quieffed (spelling?) out a good lot of the sperm because I was laughing so hard.

Back to IUI #2. So DW injected me with the love juice, and then the nurse told me to stay laying down for 15-20 minutes. Holy crap was that the longest 20 minutes ever! So long in fact, that we got ourselves into a bit of stuff we probably shouldn’t have. Perhaps you can put the following pieces together: some of the precious and expensive love juice dribbled out and onto the medical table; there was a microscope in the room; we found slides and cover slips in a drawer; we both have multiple degrees in science and/or medicine.

Anyways, the drive home was fun. I dropped my iPhone and closed the car door on my head while trying to climb into the already-reclined passenger seat. I buckled up and lay back with my feet on the dashboard. Again, classy.

The rest of the day was quite uneventful. I was supposed to lay down and take it easy for the rest of the day, but I felt restless and felt like tidying and cleaning the kitchen. This turned into me making a nice breakfast of bacon, eggs, and a breakfast sammy for DW. I made batches of semolina and gluten-free pastas with ground turkey pasta sauce for our lunches for today and tomorrow. I also marinated and bbq’d salmon filets and sauteed shredded bok choy. Then I stripped the guest room bed of sheets and did two loads of laundry. I also marked two class sets of labs, and cleaned a bit.

Now I’m blogging, and considering going to the grocery store at 9:30 at night.

Can you tell I’m excited?

This is gonna be a long two weeks….