Saturday, May 25, 2013

Knowledge is Power and All That Jazz

So, I've wondered how much I should divulge on our fertility-clinic stuff on the blog.  On the one hand, it's a big part of our life, and one of the reasons I first started posting was to be able to help people going through it to know that they weren't alone.  Also, it's nice to be able to have an outlet to talk about it.

On the other hand, I don't know how much people want to read? Sometimes I feel silly for writing about all of this, because I know there are people who have waited much longer and gone through more trials than we have, so I don't want to complain.  Also, it is nice to maintain a tiny bit of privacy. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate talking to people about it, but I am not sure I want the whole world to know what cycle day we are on, for instance. Kind of weird.  Right? 

But as much time as I've spent trolling around online for information or personal experiences about some of these things, I thought I might share one of our own recent experiences.  It might help people to be a little less afraid and a little more informed.  And both of those things are important to me. 

A little bit ago we were able to do another IUI.  It was a long road to get there.  We did the maximum femara dose, as well as follistim shots to boost follicle growth, because, in the words of Dr. Brown, I have "very stubborn ovaries." Sweet.  Awesome.  Anyway, follistim was stressful.  It included me watching a 25 minute video three or four times in order to learn how to inject shots of medicine from a pen into my stomach.  Don't waste any of the medicine, it's too expensive!  Don't inject too much or you will give yourself Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome and ovulate 47 eggs! "Inject the medicine with a quick, dart-like motion." AHH!!! 

Needless to say, it's been rather intense.  

But after that, I was able to get one follicle up to 17 mm (mature!) and two more at 14.5 and 13.  The one that was 14 mm was not mature, but it might have been able to grow before we did the ovulation trigger shot.  So that ups our chances! Yay!  I did three ultrasounds last month to figure all this out.  Whew!  But it was worth it.  

Then came the IUI.  I have learned these can be kind of painful, but nothing unmanageable.  They are short and sweet.  Usually. This one was another story.  Two nurses came in, one of whom I know and love named Emily.  She is actually an ARNP, and she is fantastic.  It was the other nurse, a bubbly, middle-aged woman with intense eye make-up, who did the procedure.  

For your information, an IUI involves inserting a catheter and thread into the uterus.  From the beginning, she had some trouble getting the catheter in.  OW.  She jammed and jammed but I could tell it wasn't working, and I was really cramping.  The whole time Emily is chatting with Greg, who was trying to be nice and keep up his side of the conversation. 
Emily:  So do you get flight anxiety?  
Greg:  Uh, no, I like flying.  

Finally, the other nurse said that my cervix was "tilted," and since everything was at an angle, she couldn't get it threaded right. Okay, that explains the prodding and pulling. Emily told me later that having your cervix at an angle is not permanent, but just an abnormality that reoccurs in certain women.  Weird, right? Anyway, the nurse told Emily she couldn't do it, and Emily had to take over.  So they all switched places and the nurse brushed against my leg.  "Oh honey!  You are shaking!  Your muscles must be getting tired!" 

I work out, thank you (uh, sometimes).  That is from THE PAIN. 

IUIs are weird.  It is not like period is more intense and I swear I can sort of feel my muscles contracting a little bit.  Very weird sensation.  Emily eventually got the whole thing sorted out, leaving the room with "Sorry, dear, you will have some spotting." I correctly took this to mean, " will basically be on your period for today." 

I was walking around a bit today and it still hurt...kind of like I was totally bruised.  BUT I am so thankful we are able to do things like this. And it really did not last very long, I'm sure it just felt longer at the time. And honestly, I would take any measure of small medical mishaps to make Operation Zollinger Kiddo happen. When Greg and I originally went to Brown Fertility, we felt a little weird.  Were we being too dramatic, too drastic?  We didn't know.  We just knew we needed some hope, and even though things have definitely not been perfect, at least we are moving forward, and that feels nice.  And yesterday, after a torrent of not fantastic news, we did get news that we are cleared to try one last month in June before we leave for Utah.  We weren't sure that was a possibility, so we are happy about that.  

So, again, if anyone has any questions about what this has been like for us, I hope you know you can ask me.  Information can be the key to having hope.  

Hope everyone has a great weekend! 

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