And The Two-Week-Wait Begins…

Here we are again, standing at the beginning of the two week wait. Somehow I think this time will be the “longest” ever!

This morning J and I went to the fertility doctor’s office. We checked in and took a seat. Another couple was called in before us and then it was our turn. We took our deep breaths and she got up on the table, ready to go. She was a ball of nervous energy and of course, I was there to be the solid support, calm although inside I was jittery too! This was our first time having the insemination in the doctor’s office, so it felt like the first time all over again. At least this time we didn’t have to figure out how to get the baby batter out of the tube and just where do we put it? The doctor came in with his nurse after about 15 minutes (thawing time, I’m sure) and gladly announced that Todd had great motility in this sample! Awesome! This had been a silent fear of mine, that we would get right down to this moment to be told that the sample just wasn’t up to par, or some other imagined reason that we wouldn’t be able to proceed. Regardless, there was no need to worry as the sample we ordered was guaranteed to have 20+ million post-thaw, and today we had 37+ million post-thaw. We were all very happy to hear that.

The procedure was pretty straightforward: the doctor puts the sperm into a catheter which is then inserted up through the cervix, into the uterus near the opening of the fallopian tubes. Discharge sperm through the catheter, remove it, and she laid there for 10 minutes to keep it all in. She had some pain/cramping during the procedure, but overall it went quickly and smoothly. She’s been having some cramping still throughout the rest of the day, but its been getting less and less so that’s good at least. Our next step is for her to get her progesterone levels checked via bloodwork on March 8th to make sure she’s got enough progesterone to sustain a pregnancy and aid implantation, and then if she doesn’t get her period on March 16th, she goes in for a blood pregnancy test.

Of course we are hopeful but we have just been praying that the pregnancy will happen when it is the right time and that when it does we will have a healthy baby in there! I think that is all that anyone can ask for and we are impatiently waiting for the 16th to find out one way or the other. I have to agree with J on this one – I am nervous it didn’t work and nervous if it did…we know how to deal with the “no” by now…its the “yes” that we are going to freak out over! Our lives could change forever in a matter of weeks….

She said she wasn’t going to buy any pregnancy tests so she wouldn’t test early. I told her I would believe it when I see it. 😉

-B

 

Advertisements

Un-Crazy

I should really be studying for my midterm in Business Management tomorrow but instead I’m just getting home from our psychological evaluation to get cleared for baby-making next week! It was such a source of worry trying to get this appointment…at first we were going to have to do it the morning of March 2 (insemination day) and we worried that we would have to push back our baby-making attempt until later this month. Then, this afternoon, she called Jenn back and said she had a cancellation for 7:45 tonight so we took it as she wanted to see both of us together and since I’m going out of town next week tonight was as good a time as any. I was a little nervous going in to it because I’ve never been to a psychologist before so I just didn’t know what to expect. Our fears quickly dissolved though as we met with Dr. R and she was actually really cool. We had to fill out some preliminary paperwork and questionnaires, mostly about how stressed we feel about certain areas of our lives. We chit-chatted about ourselves a little, just getting to know one another, and then the questions started. Boy did the questions start…

She asked us so many things…how long have we been trying, are we really OK using donor sperm from someone we don’t know directly, how do our families feel about all of this, are we prepared for worst-case scenarios like Down Syndrome or birth defects, are we depressed/anxious/etc, have we thought about how we are going to tell our children where they came from, and other such various questions. We both really liked her and didn’t have any trouble being honest and never felt like we were being judged. It was kind of nice also to be able to just voice our feelings and plans to someone other than our families or friends, and it reassured us that we had planned and had discussed the important things before beginning this journey. IT just made me feel a lot more calm about the whole thing. Everyone using donor sperm has to undergo this evaluation before the fertility doctor will proceed…and of course we passed! She even said we would make good moms…which is always a nice thing to hear. She was really excited for us and in turn it just makes us more excited that we are one step closer in this process and journey.

So here we are, ordering our baby batter to be shipped to the fertility doctor’s office. Its exciting but still hard to believe that this is all happening so quickly after so much planning and time. Sometimes I just want to hit the pause button to catch my breath! But I wouldn’t trade this ride for anything and I’m looking forward to next week and hoping that everything is aligned and good to go. So far everything has come together with crazy good timing … and I’m waiting to see what’s next!

😀 YAY!

-B

Time Sensitive

Oy vey…Why is it that the one time J’s perfectly timed cycle needs to stay on track it has to switch everything up? In my previous post I told you about all the bloodwork and tests she’s got to get done, so we went ahead and scheduled days off of work for herself and for me so that I could take her to the different appointments as needed. Ok, no problem! Right…..so she has to go on cycle days 21-24 for her progesterone test, check. She did that on Monday the 23rd. Then she is due to get her period on Monday the 30th so we set up her next appointment for cycle days 2-3 for Wednesday February 1…and then she got her period today. Yep that’s right, a whole week earlier. Therefore, we now had to move our entire schedule around and we are now off on Thursday the 26th for her other hormone tests, the glucose test, and cystic fibrosis test, plus she has an eye doctor appointment that day. Oh boy. Now on the 1st we still have to take time off to go do the HSG which has to be during cycle days 7-10.

I tell you what, timing is EVERYTHING when it comes to this stuff! All I can figure is she has just been so stressed out lately, and my hormones have been all out of whack regulating my own period (I have PCOS & insulin resistance too and over the last 3 years have lost about 65 pounds which means that all of a sudden my body decides to start working and I’ve now had a month-long period of doom…but that’s a whole other can of worms!). So…we now have different appointment dates but at least everything is getting out of the way sooner than expected…she’s not looking forward to it all but at least she’s got one test down and … well, seems like 100 more to go.

Here’s hoping everything else goes off without a hitch!

-B

P.S. GOOD NEWS ALERT!! We checked with Ty at NY Cryos about their policies on donor testing for Cystic Fibrosis and each of their donors HAVE to test negative for the 97 mutations in order to donate. They even said if she tests positive to send them the results and they will double-check to make sure the mutation she is positive for was definitely one they tested Todd for. YAY! At least something is going our way and we can stay with our cute donor with the big brown eyes…so excited and happy about this at least!

Off to a Running Start!

We were all set up to visit the fertility doctor (he’s a reproductive endocrinologist – cool!) today but I was given the opportunity to work and make 2.5 times my pay…which is A LOT for me…so of course I signed up! We have to pay for this baby somehow and on top of J’s mandatory 8+ hours a week of overtime all month, it worked out and I feel like I contributed now. J went to the doctor on her own and promptly called me to tell me all the details afterwards. In summary:

1)      Doc  did an ultrasound and everything structurally looks well and good…it also looks like she is about to ovulate (and she has big ol’ ovaries which she says means she would have had huge balls if she had been born a boy. I told her I wasn’t sure that was a good thing…LOL

2)      He was also pretty upset that she had been on the progesterone…he said it really wasn’t necessary, hence the lack of “horrific, doozy of a period”. He also doesn’t think she will need any type of fertility drugs like Clomid to make her ovulate since it looks like everything is normally functional all on its own…which is a good thing because she does NOT handle medications well and was worried about pumping herself full of hormones! He doesn’t seem to be one to push meds so hopefully we can avoid that altogether!

3)      They can store the sperm from NY Cryos there at their office so we could lessen our financial hit by ordering a few vials up front and only paying ONE $250 shipping fee.

4)      He can/will give her an HCG trigger shot to force ovulation when it comes time to start trying and that will give him a time-frame to inseminate there in the office. This is good because we have a much higher chance of getting pregnant easier and sooner than if we were to try again at home…she’s OK with this, so I’m OK with this too.

5)      She is going to be stuck by needles over the next few weeks…a lot. Like, seriously a lot. They have to check all of her hormone levels at different times of her cycle, plus she needs to get checked for Cystic Fibrosis (her grandma died from it and it could be bad if she is a carrier and our donor Todd is a carrier so we HAVE to get this checked out) and they are doing a 2-hour glucose test where she has to drink the nasty sugar water and try not to puke everywhere. Fun.

6)      She has to go on a low-carb diet…she’s got a pretty severe case of insulin resistance which is why she hasn’t been losing weight anymore and it can lead to her having full-on diabetes in a few years and/or gestational diabetes once she does get pregnant. Coming from my family chock-full of diabetics, I know this is NOT the way to go if you can do anything to help it.

7)      She has to go and get a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) done where they shoot dye into your uterus and let it flow out of your fallopian tubes to check for any obstructions or blockages or deformities. It is supposed to be fairly painful so we’ll have to take the day off work to do that so she can go home to rest afterwards.

I think that’s everything…oh he also gave us a sperm bank that he does a lot of work with called Fairfax outside of Washington DC. It’d be awesome to just pick up the samples when we are there in April but …. We looked up some donors and found two we liked enough but when we ordered their pictures…let’s just say NO WAY. They sounded good and all but Todd just has a special place in our hearts. We need to email Ty at NY Cryos to find out if they test for Cystic Fibrosis or not and cross the next bridge when we get that answer…let’s hope its good news.

All in all this was a SUPER productive visit and although it is crazy expensive to see this guy ($200 copay…COPAY with INSURANCE!!) she really likes him and was very comfortable with him and his staff. I think this is VITAL so I’m OK with all this too. I am so glad we were referred and got some good answers and of course, a good plan for what to do next in baby-making-land. I’m really excited and I think that we will get pregnant pretty easily and hopefully quickly this time around. Not only are we more emotionally  and financially prepared, but I think physically the roadblocks just won’t be there. Or if they are, then at least we are in the good hands of a doctor that knows his stuff! 🙂

I can’t wait to start turning the pages of this baby-making journey … we have many doctor’s appointments, tests, and blood draws coming up in the next month or two and hopefully by March we will have the green light to go ahead and order a few vials of baby batter so we can get this show on the road. I feel way more prepared and confident this time, and I know she does too. We are just ready to be pregnant already!!

More to come…

-B

Here we go again!

So much for avoiding undue stress! We ordered according to the period tracker so that we would have the sperm on time for ovulation yet lo and behold she ovulated earlier than predicted AGAIN this month! Ty was once again super helpful and got our sperm shipped to us overnight and we inseminated on day 2 of the positive OPK, just like last month. There wasn’t as much excitement or hoopla this time around but that’s okay, I think we relaxed knowing what we were doing (sort of!). My birthday is next weekend and we are driving up to Atlanta to see my favorite band perform live, Death Cab for Cutie. I can’t wait – this is one of the first big trips we have taken alone together and I am sure it will be super fun. The best birthday present I could ask for, though, is a positive pregnancy test! I am hopeful and keeping my fingers crossed. We’ll know yes or no by the 20th so I’ll post to you then! Wish us luck!

-B

Ready? Set? GO!

Okay! So we got the go-ahead from Dr. C late last month and Jenn got her period shortly after we got the good news. Which brings us to this month and our first insemination attempt at home. According to our app we use to track her period, she was due to ovulate around the 12th of July. We have found a donor whom we have fallen in love with…his name is Todd and he donates to Cryos International in NYC. He is an open-ID donor which means if we conceive using his sperm, our child will be able to contact him once he or she turns 18 to find out information such as genetics, health history, or just what his favorite band is. We liked Todd a lot not only because he looks a lot like my younger brother (they give you a free childhood photo along with his biography so you can see what he could contribute to your own child’s looks) so our child would look like both Jenn and I but also because of his reason for donating – he had a friend that was a single woman and she used a sperm bank to conceive her child and when he saw how happy she was he wanted to be able to help others like her make their own families too. Also he has a child of his own, is happily married and to top it all off, his wife totally supports his choice to donate. So he’s a winner all the way around!

Now comes the tricky part…what do we do?! Luckily the Cryos website is super informative and pretty easy to use. You just have to know what type of sperm sample you need to purchase (IUI -which just means the sperm sample is “washed” of dead sperm and is usually for intrauterine inseminations in a doctor’s office but can also be used at home, or ICI – which is an “unwashed” or “normal” sample used for intracervical inseminations either in a doctor’s office or at home) and what motility you need (the higher the motility means the higher number of viable sperm in a sample after thawing). You pick how many straws to order (this translates to how many attempts – 1 straw = 1 insemination attempt) and voila! You pay and have it shipped to you. We picked a mid-range motility (MOT20) and ordered two straws because it is recommended to try twice per cycle for best results. We had an issue with the credit card not picking up on the website since we had just moved (very nerve-wracking when you are talking about $1200!!), but the next day Jenn called Cryos and got everything all straightened out. Not to mention, we now have a contact at Cryos named Ty, and he is an extremely nice gentleman who really helped us through some of the process. Good thing because he really came in handy!

So according to her period tracker, she was supposed to ovulate on July 12, which was a Tuesday. We ordered the sperm to be delivered on Tuesday, but when we woke up on July 8 (Friday) and did our normal morning routine – poof! She got a positive OPK. Oh no! After a minor meltdown about how she was early and the egg is only good for a day and what do we do now because the sperm won’t be here until next week and we already paid for it!!!!!!! etc. etc. etc….I calmed her down and assured her that it would be OK. I’m sure these things happen all the time. Just call Ty when they open at 9 and I’m sure they can figure something out for us.

Which of course, they did! Ty was super awesome and assured us that yes, these things do happen frequently. So instead of charging us the normal fee he put one straw into cryo-storage for free for the next few months and had the other straw shipped to us for rush Saturday delivery by noon for no extra charge! Awesome!

Fast-forward to Saturday morning…the Stork (aka Mr. FedEx) delivers our baby batter to our doorstep in what looks like the remnants of some post-Vietnam bombshell. No really, this is what the sperm comes in:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside of said bombshell is the nitrogen tank:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And inside is our straw of baby batter along with the needle-less syringe needed to inseminate:

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m sure you can guess what comes next and there’s no need to go into detail, but it ends with Jenn lying on her back with two pillows shoved under her butt and her legs propped up against the wall for an hour LOL Regardless, although stressful and scary, it was fun and exciting and we are hopeful, though cautiously so. It can’t happen on the first try, right? Rest assured, we will keep you posted…

-B