Sperm Exposure

Here We Go Again

I had my ultrasound today and I have 3 or 4 follicles in there. Two are 17mm, one is 13 and there may be one more smaller one, I can’t remember. The doc wants me to trigger on Saturday but this poses a problem for us since I am unsure if we can ship overnight on the weekends. It’s being looked into now so we will see.

To be honest, this cycle just feels like going through the motions to me. I feel empty and a bit sad. I am having a hard time being happy for others and their progress and success, instead I feel sad for us. It feels like we are stuck in a holding pattern with no real progress. I have had so many thoughts of quitting recently. It’s just hard to go through all of this and have no end in sight.

I haven’t talked about it a lot on here, but the year leading up to and the year or two after being diagnosed with MS were straight up traumatic. It was never ending pills, shots, appointments and uncomfortable procedures. In some ways this journey is similar only at some point it will theoretically end and when it does it will be a happy ending. At least in theory.

 

Anywho, cheers for cycle #4.

::::Halfheartedly shakes a pom pom and lets out a lukewarm cheer::::

Sperm Exposure

Ovidrel Trigger

Ok, so I took my trigger shot yesterday morning at llam. Since then, it’s like my abdomen has steadily filled with… something. I am really uncomfortable at this point. My ovaries feel like they are the size of baseballs. My stomach is visibly larger than normal. I read through the side effects and it seems it’s all normal, but damn. I’m ready for my ovaries to shrink back down to raisins thank you very much. 

Anyone else out there end up with baseball-sized gonads using the Ovidrel trigger shot? Did anything help?

In other news, the timing for the inseminations has been really good. My temp rose yesterday morning after an insemination the night before. Then it went back down some this morning so I’m undecided if I have already ovulated. If not then the timing is even better! One more insemination tonight and then I head back home tomorrow. I’m so ready to be home! But I’m really happy with how everything is working out this cycle.

Sperm Exposure

Ultrasound Update

Yesterday morning I saw the RE for my ultrasound and I had two mature follicles. One was 22.9 mm and the other was 17-something mm. There were two other small ones, so 4 altogether that were measurable. My antral count was 9 on my day 3 ultrasound at the beginning of the cycle. After obsessively searching the internet and talking with the RE after my day 3 scan those numbers are low especially since I am taking medication to stimulate my ovaries. From what I have gathered this is more of a concern if I want to pursue IVF. So I am going to try my best to table this concern and deal with it if and when it becomes an issue.

 

But I imagine you all didn’t come here to read about that. You probably want to know if this cycle is going to work out for an insemination or not. RE said I was “triggerable” at my ultrasound so it’s a go, folks!!! I flew to my donor’s city yesterday and did an insemination last night. I triggered this morning. Coincidentally, my OPK before triggering was blazing so I’m hoping that things will go well this cycle. He is coming by later today for another insemination as well as tomorrow. Then I will fly home. Hopefully in 2 weeks I will have exciting news. 😀

Sperm Exposure

We Have a Plan

Whew, so I went and got my ultrasound yesterday and tonight I start Letrozole. For good measure, I am also starting up the vitex again and have ramped up my supplements which I have been lax about taking. Given all the issues I’ve had it’s felt a little hopeless. But now we have a plan! We have all discussed it with each other. We even have a back up plan. It’s like, we are really doing this thing. Finally!

So, as of now, I will go back to the fertility center on July 31st for a second scan to see how my follicles are developing. If it all looks good then I will go see the donor and do as many inseminations as possible before he leaves out of the country the evening of Aug 3rd. I will trigger ovulation based on the RE’s recommendation during/following the inseminations and then we will have the longest 2 week wait of our lives.

I really, really hope this works. I’m excited this time without a hint of the anxiety I felt before. I still hate that I missed the last 2 cycles but maybe the silver lining is that I had an opportunity to process what I needed to and I feel really confident about trying.

I’ll update once I have a confirmation from the ultrasound on the 31st that the plan is a go. 🙂

Sperm Exposure

(Trying to) Get Back On The Horse

Well, now that I am done moping about the fact that I missed my last cycle I’ve collected myself enough to think about my upcoming cycle. I sent a long-winded message to my RE explaining that I want to stay on letrozole every cycle so that even if I am not making an attempt my cycle won’t get all screwy and be 20 days again. I can’t have that. My RE won’t allow it though. Even though the other RE in the practice had responded to this query in my initial message during the ultrasound snafu and said it was perfectly fine for me to do that. My RE says I can’t because, risks. 😡

She suggested birth control to pause my cycle in order to sync up with my donor’s schedule. The issue with that is I still don’t have a good understanding of what cycle day I’m likely to ovulate because all of the going on and off different medications has changed my cycle. Before I knew that either the 17th or 18th day of my cycle I would ovulate. If I could know that when I use Letrozole I tend to ovulate on a certain cycle day then this would all be so much easier. As it stands I have ovulated on day 12, 15, and 17 so far. I can’t plan anything with that. Even with an ultrasound that gives me and the donor two days of lead time. That’s not enough time for me to arrange flights, hotel and for the donor to adjust his schedule. It feels like chaos.

I don’t know if with a little more time I will be able to learn my cycle even with changing it periodically with birth control pills. If I can then that would be such a relief but my fear is that adding in the birth control will screw up my cycle again. And then I will have to figure out what cycle day I’m likely to ovulate using letrozole and then what cycle day I ovulate when using birth control pills followed by letrozole.

I think my RE is used to the only moving target being the woman’s cycle because the sperm comes in frozen vials that are shipped overnight. So two days of lead time is plenty. But that doesn’t work well when I am a moving target and so is the donor.

It’s got me seriously thinking about pursuing IUI or IVF. But I think if we go that route we will choose sperm from the cryobank. We looked into the process of getting our donor’s sperm processed for a direct donation and it’s a lengthy process and I think will run us about $4000 for all of the testing and other fees. I really like our donor and would love to continue using him but that cost is in addition to the IUI or IVF cost which is obviously substantial.

I work in the public school system. We don’t have that kind of money lying around. I mean we aren’t hurting for anything but our net worth is pretty modest. As it stands if we do IVF I think we will have to get a loan. Which makes me want to cry because we moved here from the bay area which we both loved in order to save money and pay off my large student loan debt. Taking out a loan for IVF does not help us with that goal. Neither does a baby, I know but at least a baby made without IVF wouldn’t put us 10K+ in debt right from the start. It’s just a bigger hole for us to dig out of and I hate that. Especially because neither of us particularly enjoy being here but we are stuck here until the debt is paid.

I’m not ready to make any big moves just yet. I need to find out what the IUI/IVF coverage is from my insurance. I’m expecting none but I figure if they will accept 6 at-home insemination failures as proof of infertility in order to cover some of the costs then it would be worth it to continue until we have met that. If there is no coverage then I think I am ready to move on. I just feel like this isn’t working and I’ll be turning 37 soon so each month my chances are dropping. And quickly. I have above average ovarian reserve for my age but I’ve also got ovarian dysfunction that causes low progesterone. I need a solid, well-researched and scientifically informed plan for the upcoming months. Given that, we will be meeting with our RE to go over our possibilities and talk numbers. Including finances for IUI and IVF.

For my upcoming cycle at the end of the month I want to give the donor another chance. I plotted out the days and figured out a range of potential ovulation dates. I gave him these dates and asked him to keep them in mind when planning upcoming trips. Fortunately, the big trip to China may happen on the very last potential ovulation date so I think I can make the cycle work with the help of a trigger shot this time around. I will discuss this with my RE as well.

After this attempt we will need a new game plan because I will go back to work mid/late August so traveling will be a big challenge. If I need to complete 6 cycles in order to get IUI/IVF coverage we may try more shipped cycles. If not, then it might be go time for IUI/IVF. I’ll have to work through my concerns about cryobank sperm if that’s the case but for now I’m going to cross my fingers that the upcoming cycle works.

 

Sperm Exposure

Getting Real, Y’all

I saw my RE for an ultrasound today. I have two mature follicles 20-21mm on right-raisin (ovary) and could surge for ovulation pretty much anytime. I was given the option of a trigger shot to help control when ovulation happens in order to plan for an insemination so I took it. The shot arrives by tomorrow evening. The donor will be shipping to us given the short time frame. I will inseminate at home on Saturday. Possibly tomorrow too. Holy shit. I am freaking out so much right now.

After 3 months of no attempts whatsoever I feel so unprepared for this. I didn’t expect to be ready for an insemination so soon. I’ve had no signs from my body that ovulation is on it’s way. And I sucked at taking the Letrozole, starting it a day late and underdosing myself at least one day accidentally. So I was expecting to hear that ovulation was still a ways off.

I feel really strongly that this one will work. And that has me freaking out about pregnancy stuff and about being a (gulp) mom. What if I have twins????? If I get pregnant I will have to tell people I am pregnant. What if we aren’t ready to be parents?

UGH, I know I will get over my freak out and will be excited but holy shit I did not expect to feel this way at all. This is what I want, right? This is what I have spent months actively working towards. It’s what SO and I talked about for our future. Right?

 

RIGHT?!?!