Waiting

Waiting to find out if I was pregnant after our IUI on March 20th was weird because on the one hand, I was so nervous and anticipating being able to test, but it was also kind of like nothing happened at all. After all, it’s like a ten-minute basically painless (for me) procedure in a doctor’s office and then it’s just done and you leave. In addition, our timing didn’t seem that great – I don’t think I ovulated until the next morning after our afternoon IUI so I kind of wrote off this cycle and have been looking forward to another try at the end of April.

Then, last Friday, I got a faintly faintly positive pregnancy test at 11 days past our IUI. I didn’t trust it, and I didn’t even mention it to my wife. I’d been having a lot of cramping, and it was so so faint, it just didn’t seem right. I waited, and tested again on Sunday and got a slightly darker line. Still I wasn’t sure, and I didn’t tell my wife. I had a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday (15 days past IUI) and when I was only getting faint positives by then, I wasn’t feeling great. I asked my doctor to test my hCG levels and sure enough they were only 37. I knew that wasn’t great for 15 days after ovulation, but of course I read a million stories on the internet of people that had crazy low hCG levels and ended up with healthy babies. I was feeling pretty awful though, and my hormones aren’t helping the situation. I ended up crying in my graduate advisor’s office and then making my wife come home where I told her the good news (I can get pregnant) and the bad news (I was probably about to have a miscarriage).

Today I got my hCG levels retested, and they were only 24. Hopefully that means they will continue to fall and in the next couple of days I’ll miscarry. My doctor wants me to keep coming in for blood draws until the hCG falls below 5 to rule out an ectopic pregnancy. So, now I’m waiting again.

I know that in some ways, we are lucky to know that the timing was fine even though it didn’t seem ideal, and that my body doesn’t have a problem getting pregnant. I also know that super early miscarriages/chemical pregnancies are super common, and having one isn’t a sign that there is anything deeper wrong. I also know that so many people have had such long roads to creating their family, filled with much more pain than ours has had, and I think I have a new level of empathy for how hard that journey must be. For now, we’ll be waiting for my hCG to fall, and for a new cycle to start, and then hopefully we’ll be on to IUI #2.

IUI #1

Today was our first insemination! It was quick and almost completely painless, but now of course I’m obsessing over whether it was too early and we will have missed the window for this month. I got a +OPK yesterday around 3, and our clinic’s protocol is to do inseminations the day after. Ours was this afternoon, so right around 24 hours after the positive, but I don’t think I’ve ovulated yet and probably won’t until tomorrow, so I’m not sure the timing ends up being very good this month…it’s tough when you’re forking over $1,000 a month to feel like the timing wasn’t perfect (not that perfect timing make it a sure thing either!).

Oh well, I’ve been telling myself that the first one is just for practice because it keeps my expectations realistic. I also know that because of my significant medical history (including several abdominal surgeries and a whole lot of scar tissue in there), we might be looking at a lengthy process. I’m not sure how long we’ll try for me to get pregnant before switching over to my wife who has a clean bill of health and a menstrual cycle like clockwork.

Regardless, it’s fun to think of the possibilities, and we had fun at the clinic today! Now I guess we wait and see!

Cycle Day #1

First of all – can I just say that tracking your period is so cool and I can’t believe most girls (or at least I don’t think so) are really taught about it! I know some women mark it on their calendar or something, but I never really had, and for a long time my periods were so irregular that it wouldn’t have helped me much anyway. In the last year, getting some nutritional issues on track has helped my periods become more regular and I’ve been using an app (Clue – love it) to track when my period begins and ends. The addition of taking my BBT and using OPKs in the past three months just really appeals to a side of me that wishes I’d been a scientist.

That is all to say, I think it’s super fun that I knew that my period should be coming today and then sure enough – it did! I’ve also never been so excited for the start of my period because that means we are officially in our first cycle that we plan to do an IUI. On Monday, I’ll call the clinic we are using and set up a series of appointments based around the window that I usually ovulate. I tend to ovulate around CD18-CD19, so they told me to schedule an appointment for every day between CD15-CD21. Then, I’ll test using OPKs starting on CD13. On each day that I get a negative, I’ll call and cancel my appointment for the following day. Then, on the day I get a positive, I’ll call and confirm the appointment for the following day and we’ll inseminate!

After that – it’s on to the two week wait. We also have a bunch of stuff coming up in March and April including decisions about graduate school for me wife (you should see how many acceptances she’s been getting – she’s totally crushing it) and if we are going to stay in our city or move for next year. I’ve also started applying for jobs, as I graduate from my graduate program in May. We’ve definitely got a lot going on to keep us busy! I’m crossing my fingers for a strong positive OPK in a few weeks!

 

Medical Clearance and Deliveries

We got married in 2015 (the day after the Supreme Court ruled to make gay marriage legal nation-wide!), and had been planning to start trying to get pregnant in 2016. When we first met, G said that she wanted kids, but wasn’t interested in getting pregnant. I had always wanted get pregnant, so it seemed like no big deal that G wasn’t interested. However, I’ve got a pretty extensive history of abdominal surgery, and a couple of years ago I learned that it might be too dangerous for me to try to carry a pregnancy. This was devastating to me, but G said that she was willing to try to get pregnant. We decided we would try in the fall of 2016.

It’s taken us a little longer to get ready than we expected because of a few unexpected bumps in the road, but we are so grateful for that extra time because we are now healthier and stronger than ever and excited to start this process. We also got a second opinion on whether I could safely get pregnant or not, and have decided that even though it is going to come with extra risks, it’s not something we felt comfortable closing the door on. The specialist that we saw agreed that it was worth trying, if it was important to us. This means we’ve changed our plans again and I’m going to try to get pregnant first. If it doesn’t work, we’ll switch to G. Also, when it’s time to have other children, G’s up!

We attended the mandatory orientation at the clinic we will be going to for inseminations right after getting married in 2015. This month, we had to go back for the two other mandatory pre-insemination appointments: one with the social worker to go over the process and one with the nurse practitioner to get medical clearance. I’m a total nerd and so loved every minute of our appointments, while G turned progressively paler as the NP discussed anything remotely painful sounding. I’ve been charting my temperature and using ovulation prediction kits for a few months now, so we went over those and the results from my labs (just basic testing for STDs, pap smear, etc. nothing explicitly fertility related) and we got our official medical clearance!

We couldn’t start this month because I had to get a MMR vaccine after my lab results showed that I wasn’t immune to rubella. Because MMR is a live vaccine, there is a waiting period before you’re supposed to try to conceive which means we miss out on this month. That’s okay though – we also just traveled to a country that may have some zika risk and I’m about to go out to California to visit my best friend and I plan to eat lots of sushi and wine since I won’t be possibly pregnant – so it’s better to wait! Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself since in reality I’m so antsy to get started and was disappointed that we won’t be able to inseminate this month.

After getting medical clearance, we were approved to transfer our donor sperm from the bank to our clinic. We’d already purchased five vials of our chosen donor, but some people wait until they get medical clearance before they pick a donor out. Either way is fine! Because we’d already picked out or donor, as soon as our doctor faxed our medical clearance to the bank, we could go pick up the tank any time. The east coast has been slammed with snow in the past couple of days which means snow days! Since we had an unexpectedly free day today, we started off with huge omelettes, plantains, and home fries and then washed it down with some artisan donuts! After that, we were sufficiently full and had the energy to go pick up the tank. A few signatures later and we were the proud owner of a huge tank full of five teeny tiny vials. We went, dropped it off at the clinic where they whisked it into the back, and then returned it to us fifteen minutes later (presumably) empty. Then it was back to the bank to return their tank and we were officially all set to go!

My next cycle is set to start the first week in March, at which point I’ll call the clinic and set up tentative appointments around the time I usually ovulate (usual cycle day 16-19)! So exciting!

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome!

We are G and J –  two ladies in our late twenties, living in the big city, working long hours in urban education, and ready to embark on a new adventure – attempting to add another human to our family.

We’re hoping to not need to much assistance to get pregnant, so we’ll be attempting the first several cycles through a local clinic that caters to the LGBT community and is a slightly cheaper option than going through our local hospital. Fingers crossed!