As you can imagine I’ve had a LOT of time on my hands the past 6 days. Never through any two week wait before has life felt like 24 hours was more like 24 days. Every cramp, itch, pulse in my body triggers some sort of emotion and I’m sure the progesterone is not helping. In fact, I know it’s not because you know what? Progesterone side effects mimic pregnancy. Lucky me, right? While I’m trying to keep my eye on the prize, I am filling my days with work and my evenings with friends and family. I try to sleep as much as I can but without fail I wake up around 5 a.m. most mornings and my brain is in full blown hamster wheel mode. Lovely. I decided that once a day I will try to take a few moments completely to myself and reminisce on happy memories from the past. Today I thought I’d share this memory. This picture was taken in November 2008 (about 3 months before I met Shawn for the first time). I went on a 3-week backpacking trip across the west coast of Australia. My sister lived in Perth at the time and her and I did a 10 trek up the west coast from Perth to Broome. On my way back home I stopped in Sydney for a night and that’s when I decided I HAD to go skydiving. Thankfully a lovely friend I made on the trip arranged everything for me so when I arrived in Sydney I just had to jump on a train and 2 hours later I’d be at the skydiving spot. Keep in mind I was completely alone at this point of my trip. I arrived in Sydney a little later than anticipated that day and had time to drop my bags at my hostel and run to the train station. Luckily I made it with minutes to spare and when I arrived at my stop I called the skydiving company who sent a driver to pick me up. On our way to the location, I heard talk about the heavy winds and how we may not be able to jump that day. I felt slightly discouraged but waited to get more information. Upon arrival it was confirmed that due to winds, our jumps may all be cancelled that day and pushed to the next day. Well, that wouldn’t work for me as I was flying back to Toronto at 11 a.m. the next morning. I panicked a bit but found a nice picnic table to hang out at while I waited for the news. Finally, around an hour later, we were informed that the jumps WOULD be happening but that we wouldn’t be able to land on the beach as originally planned. YAY! I was sooooo happy but it only took about 15 minutes to go from happy to sad again. You see, there was a limited number of seats on the plane and they were only sending it up one more time that day. I was the odd woman out. There was no room for me on that plane and I was pretty upset. It was the one thing I wanted to do to finish that trip off and now I would just watch everyone else go up but me. About 15 minutes later everyone was boarding the plane when one of the reps came over to me to apologize that his colleague made an error on the count and that I in fact DID have a seat on the plane. Up, up I went and jumped from a plane at 14,000 feet above the Sydney coast. The 60 second free fall was one of the most exhilarating feelings I’ve ever experienced and I was so happy that I cried after. I remember how many emotions I felt that day and I’m glad I didn’t turn around the first time they mentioned the jumps might have been cancelled. I persevered right until the end even though I didn’t know what the outcome would be. Fast forward to current day and I find myself doing the same. It’s amazing how these little lessons that you think you’ll never apply to life again have a way of making their way back full circle. I won’t give up, I will make the jump again (maybe not from an airplane) but things seem to have a way of working themselves out sometimes.
Seriously. It’s crazy how much has happened in 48 hours. On Tuesday (mid-day) I was anticipating being monitored again Wednesday and then BAM I was told that I will trigger on Wednesday instead. “Trigger” is a shot – more commonly known as Ovidrel – which forces ovulation (something the Orgalutran had previously been preventing). I triggered in the bathroom at work on Wednesday right before lunch (that was interesting) and had my first IUI this morning. For those of you who don’t know what IUI is, it was the actual insemination of the semen in to my uterus.
We used one of the frozen samples that we had stored in October before we went to Thailand. We found out, as I was laying half-naked on the table, that they were a bit concerned with the motility (18%) and post-wash sperm numbers (1.9m) but that they’ve seen worse. This instantly brought on a mental breakdown in the room and when the nurses tried to calm me down, Shawn said (man he knows me too well), “all she’s hearing right now is this isn’t going to work”. It is what I heard. I can go from zero to the most negative person ever pretty darn quick sometimes and this morning was one of those times. I didn’t even really feel the rest of the procedure because my brain was doing 1 million other things. I left the clinic upset and angry. What was supposed to be a happy start ending up in tears. Those tears lasted for a few hours. I realized that this really is just one big old lottery. A semen and egg lottery where the grand prize is a baby (and many of you have heard me say this today). Thankfully I have really amazing friends that helped put things in to perspective for me and I eventually was able to turn my frown upside down. I had fertility acupuncture this afternoon with my ND and she put on an amazing guided meditation for me which was exactly what I needed. I left acupuncture with a far more positive outlook. It only takes ONE. ONE sperm and ONE egg. 1.9 million sperms are inside of me at the moment and that will increase tomorrow when we have our second IUI. Instead of searching for all the reasons why this won’t work, I am going to spend the next 13 days rooting for the ONE (I started by feeding it a teeny bit of my favourite chocolate). I’m not sure how much I’ll have to report after tomorrow, but I’m sure I’ll have something to share during the dreaded two-week wait!
One shout out I really need to take the time to give right now is to my AMAZING team at work. Everyone (whether a part of the legal team or not) has been absolutely incredible through this all. From working with my wonky schedule and monitoring hours to allowing me to work from home on my IUI days, I honestly don’t know how I’d manage my stress levels if I didn’t have them on my side.
We are excited to see what this first cycle has to bring and while we don’t know our outcome quite yet, we will learn from this either way I’m sure.
Much love always.
I can’t believe I’m already this far in to my cycle! Yesterday marked cd10 and I can’t believe how quickly this seems to be going. I was fortunate to have a fairly good weekend in terms of side effects and injections. I had the opportunity to have to inject myself outside of the house this weekend – once at my mother-in-law’s house and once in the bathroom at a Cineplex Odeon because we decided to see the 7 p.m. show and I typically take my injections at 7:30 p.m. Im basically a pro now so I can mix and shoot anywhere haha. So yesterday I had monitoring and I’m telling you I’ll never nail down a Monday morning ultrasound routine. I arrived at 6:35 a.m. and was already 4th (the clinic opens at 7 a.m.). This put me a bit behind yesterday but I’m lucky to have he support of my work on this. After’s yesterday’s ultrasound and bloodwork I was told I have one growing follicle (measured at 1.6 cm yesterday) and that the second one from Friday was basically a dud. Last night I started a second injection (Orgalutran) which will prevent me from ovulating until the follicle is the size they want it (around 1.8 to 1.9 cm). That one HURT. Not only is it a bigger needle so I felt like I had to stab harder, it burned. Hopefully I only have to take one or two more of these before I trigger.
Fast forward to today. I needed to monitor again this morning and wanted to be early so I showed up at 6:25 a.m. and I was finally first! Actually, there were only 2 of us this morning. I was in and out so fast and finally caught the train! Win. I’m now at 1.7cm so back for more monitoring tomorrow!
Today marks the end of my first week of our medicated IUI cycle (otherwise known as CD7). What a whirlwind it has been. Firstly, today is the FIRST day I’ve suffered zero side effects from the Menopur but Tuesday through Thursday were somewhat unbearable. My emotions are a little high (I cried.. sorry, BAWLED my eyes out when I missed my train this morning) but that is to be expected. My ultrasound this morning showed that I have TWO growing follicles. One one the left and one on the right. The one on the left is measuring around 1.2 cm and the one on the right is around 0.9 cm. What does this mean you ask? I had no clue. Until I asked my awesome friend (who is due with her little miracle any day now thanks to IVF) and she told me the numbers were good. Typically the doctor would like to see around 2.0 cm before insemination and with 7 days before an anticipated ovulation date, things seem to be on track. This is where things get crazy (to me anyways) – starting next week I’ll start a second injection daily to STOP me from ovulating. I know, strange. But they do that so that the follicles can be the right size before I ovulate and subsequently am inseminated. Once they think I’m good to go I’ll give myself a trigger shot (usually around 36 hours prior to insemination) and voila, those follies will drop and I’ll be inseminated with the good stuff. I will go for monitoring again on Monday and see where I’m at and when I’ll need to start the Orgalutran. Shout outs as always to Shawn for being extra on point this week (and doing all of the grocery shopping and household chores because I legitimately wanted to vomit everywhere for 3 days straight) and to everyone who has had to listen to me talk about this non-stop all week. Love you all. Excited to see what next week has to bring!
It’s official! I am now blogging for Fertility Matters Canada and my first blog post went live yesterday (check it out here: A Time to Reflect). I know I thank you all a lot but I wouldn’t have been able to openly come out about our struggle without all of you. My small little blog was viewed by over 50 people per hour Wednesday alone! I have had so many women reach out to me since which tells me I did the right thing. We are not alone and now more than ever I see that. I’ll be posting a week 1 wrap up later today once I hear back from Procrea on this morning’s monitoring. Happy Friday!
Here we go. The much-anticipated START DAY. I woke up this morning feeling good. I chugged some water, warmed up the car and we headed straight to the ultrasound clinic (with 5 minutes to spare). The morning follicle monitoring starts at 7:00 a.m. and is first come, first served. I learned very quickly that showing up at 6:55 a.m. wasn’t good enough (Friday I’m showing up at 6:40 a.m.). After waiting about 45 minutes I was finally called in and about 90 seconds after that I was sent on my way. Turns out I didn’t chug enough water so I had to pop over to Tim Horton’s and chug a steaming hot tea. I then went over to Procrea to have my blood work completed and then popped in to Shopper’s Drug Mart to check on my prescription. Once I sorted everything out, I headed back to the ultrasound clinic and got both of those out-of-the-way. I was cleared this afternoon to start 75 units of Menopur daily starting tonight. Basically I just have to concoct it in the needle around 7:30 p.m. and stab it in to my abdomen. Yay! Then on Friday I will have another monitoring appointment which will consist of an internal ultrasound and blood work. Not much to report yet other than WE HAVE BEGUN.
No but seriously, it’s happening. I just took the biggest breath out because I feel like since my last appointment with the OBGYN I have been holding my breathe in. I wasn’t trying to be negatively at all. In fact, I was trying extra hard to be positive but given some of our previous experiences, I was hesitant. I didn’t want to get excited because there was still time. Still time to find someone else wrong that would stop us from proceeding this month. But guess what? There wasn’t and I have the email to prove it.
Sh*t just got real and we are both so excited. There is still no way to know how much longer this path to parenthood will take, but it’s moving forward after being at a standstill for far too long.
Here we go.