Happy IUI day!! The lead up & insemination....
Updated: Jul 1, 2022
The last couple months have been the longest ever, waiting waiting. I am now fully vaccinated against the chick pox, viewed my donor's profile on a daily basis, started second guessing myself 1,000,000 times if I am doing the right thing and ate my weight in food over Christmas.
I will admit, I checked my nutrition plan at the door for a couple weeks over Christmas and NYE. I broke my sobriety too but it was worth it. I flew to LA in the middle of what was their worst outbreak of Covid since the start of the pandemic. Call me stupid... probably. I had the brain swab so many times (the delightful covid test), wore N95 masks on the plane and didn't really do too much while there, but spending time with my best friend & her dog was exactly what I needed. I knew my IUI date was coming up and I'd been so strict with myself I really just needed to wind down.
However, after I got back home on January 3rd, I started getting the guilt trips. I've eaten a lot of crap, drank quite a lot of alcohol and even snuck in a few dirty rotten cigarettes (I've been an on and off social smoker for years but never a full on every day smoker and hadn't smoked in months). Why do I feel so bad for living? It is amazing how the mind works, I knew that in just a couple weeks time, I would be starting something great, something that I have been waiting for, I could be pregnant soon! Oh my gosh, just saying that is so crazy.
January 14th came, and just like clockwork, Aunt Flow (aka my period) started. It was my mum's 70th birthday today and I noted that as a good sign. My instructions said to email the clinic on CD1 (cycle day 1). I got an appointment for morning monitoring at 7:45am the next morning for the dreaded bleeding internal ultrasound and blood test.
I remembered to leave the diva cup at home this time lol. So much easier. I was looking at the screen while they were looking at each ovary trying to count how many chocolate chips I could see. I heard the nurse say she could see about 12 on the right and 13 on the left. Grow you choc-ie chips, grow! One of you will be my future bubs, maybe.
Side note, to this day, I still have NOT met my doctor yet in person. All of the tests are done by nurses, so when I really wanted to ask questions, I was told the results would be shared with me later that day. URGH I have so many questions, that is why I did so much research and trying to share that knowledge with you, my readers.
That afternoon I was told everything looked great, and to start taking Letrozole 5 mg - 2 pills daily by mouth every evening for the next 5 nights with the warning that the common side effects are headaches, mood swings and hot flashes... yay. A medicated IUI helps generate FSH (Follicle-stimulating hormone) which stimulates the ovaries are to grow more follicles (choc chips!).
So I started popping the pills that night! Eeeekkk!! Here we go, the rollercoaster has started. I will tell you one thing, the warning of the headaches are real. By the 3rd day I was getting them all day, quite badly. I was hoping it meant my brain was sending all of the good signals to my ovaries. I was able to take Tylenol only if needed.
On CD9 I had morning monitoring again (ultrasound and blood test) to check my hormone levels & to ensure my follicles were growing but not too big! We don't want to miss ovulation. My lining was still a little thinner but they assured me it would be prime. But I drank pomegranate juice for the next couple days, did meditation, walking abs are superfoods to promote blood flow.
Trigger Shot - gulp
CD13, another ultrasound and blood test. The date was January 26th... Australia Day (another notable date... another good sign perhaps?). The results were in... I was ready (meaning the leading follicle is at least 20mm and the uterine lining is at least 7mm)!! Well, ready to stab myself with a needle at exactly 9:30pm, filled with Ovidrel. The timing is VERY important for the trigger shot. The IUI is scheduled 12-42 hours after the trigger medication is injected. Too late and you may have missed your ovulation window, too early, the sperm might die before you ovulate. It is all about the timing. The timing can be different depending on multiple factors and can be different for everyone. they say the sweet spot is 36 hours after the trigger.
So at 9:25pm I got on facetime with my best friend. I was so freaking nervous, I needed someone to make me do it, to hold me accountable. I am so glad I did. I wasn't going to share this video as I look terrible, but this is real, I am real and I if I am wanting to be honest and help even just one of you, I am baring all!
Double chin and foul language warning! Mel, if you are reading this... I love you for saying it is a muscle roll not a fat roll hahaha!
So there it is, the lead up to injecting yourself for the first time is such an odd feeling, your brain is just telling you it is not natural to harm yourself. As you can see I chickened out for a second but with the encouragement of my BFF, I was able to stick it in! The verdict? Really not bad at all! The needle it self is small, I iced the area before as well to numb it (highly recommend) and it is over in seconds!
The procedure - let's do this!!
Today, January 28, is a full moon. Yet another notable date!! I have taken the day off, I know it is not necessary but I felt like I deserved it. My IUI was scheduled at 10:45am. I had to arrive 1 hour early to sign the consent form to thaw the sperm, donor 5514. I got there at 9:15... the Virgo in me is early, stupidly early, but they were OK with that and I signed, sat and waited.
I really don't know if I was more nervous or excited. All I could think about was I will be one of the lucky ones, I really thought I would be one and done. My numbers and tests were great, I had been doing really well with vitamins, diet (with the exception of the holidays oops) and was just feeling really lucky.
At 10:15... early... they called my name, I went into the same room where I'd had all the ultrasounds and striped down, put my feet in the stirrups, wearing my awesome socks, because some once said, wear lucky socks. Well I don't have lucky socks, does anyone, really? So instead I wore socks I felt fitting for the day.
A couple minutes later a doctor walked in. Still not MY doctor. Apparently the clinic does doctor of the day and they are all on rotation, probably better that way so the clinic can be open 24/7, 365 days a year.
She asked me my donor number, showed me the empty vile (it was already ready to go), and said 'have you had an IUI before?'. Ummm that is a hard no. First time lady, no freaking clue what is about to happen. She gave me a 30 second briefing, asked me if I was ready, and I stupidly smiled and said 'knock me up please!'
She first put in a speculum, the worst part, just like a pap smear. I swear they were invented by a man. Sorry guys, I love you, but who invited a cold metal duckbill shaped thing to spread open a vagina... surely someone has found a better solution by now??
Next, the catheter is being inserted and the next minute the doctor said we were all done! Seriously? Just like that? I have some donor sperm now inside my uterus hopefully fighting to swim up my tubes to meet with my advance dominate choc chip, I mean EGG! Come on babies, swim, just keep swimming.
The doctor says good luck, enjoy my day, continue as normal and I was free to get dressed and leave and walks out, shutting the door behind her, leaving me laying there too scared to move. I thought I was supposed to rest for 15 minutes, after reading everyone else's posts, they all say to lay for 15 minutes.
I decided to get up and get dressed. It was 10:25. I was in and out in 10 minutes. The IUI was over in about 2 minutes. I walked out of the clinic, got in the elevator and crossed my legs. Swim little ones, swim I kept thinking.
I got on the metro, sat down, crossed my legs again, 1 stop. Walked carefully to the bus, it was so bumpy I kept hoping it was going to bump those swimmers right out of me. On my walk back to my apartment, I bought McDonalds French fries; an old wives tale that eating them after an insemination increases the chance of implantation. Fuck it right? Whatever it takes.
Got home, laid on my bed with a pillow under my butt and ate my fries and just stayed there for about an hour.
I started to panic about getting up and leaving so soon. So I called my doctor. i told her the doc that did the procedure told me to get up, go home and resume normal activities. Turns out, she was right. There is nothing at all that proves laying down after an IUI increases your chances. The only reason some doctors say that, is because you may feel some cramping.
Why does resting after an IUI not matter? Because an IUI, the sperm is being injected allllllll the way up inside your uterus. The sperm are already therewhere they need to be, they don't need to do the hard work of swimming through the vagina and cervix (which is where the majority of sperm will die when having sex or doing home insemination). The hard work is done for them (lazy buggers), there is no leakage (I still hate that word lol) and you really are good to go!
So now I enter the dreaded TWW (two week wait). I was instructed to wait until my due date for my period to test, unless my period came first. But if I don't get my period, I am to call them and go in for BETA testing bloodwork.
Let's see how this goes.