IUI #1 fail

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Well we just completed our first IUI cycle. BFN. Surprise, surprise.

I feel like infertility treatment is a lot like gambling. You put a big bet down and hope that you are going to win. Only the odds are worse than Vegas. Why would I pay $1500 for a 10-15% chance of winning a $50,000 jackpot? I wouldn’t! I am not a gambler. I can’t even play the quarter slots. It makes me so uncomfortable to waste money.

So to pay around $1500 for a procedure that has a 10-15% chance of success seems a bit ludicrous. And that’s just IUI. How in the world am I going to find it within myself to fork over $20,000 for a procedure with a 30-40% success rate? (IVF). What if I lose? How will I feel then?

I really had hope this time. I produced 3-4 mature follicles. My 21 day progesterone level was 109! I am not sure what my husband’s sperm parameters were. We followed the doctor’s instructions perfectly. I symptom spotted like crazy. My breasts got stretch marks from all of the extra progesterone. I was sensitive to smells and even nauseated on an empty stomach. But no baby.

Will this ever happen for us? I don’t know. I am pessimistic but I am pressing forward.

I have my first appt for IUI #2 tomorrow. Aunt flo is starting today. I feel sort of numb and dead inside now. I had a good cry already when I tested negative at 12 dpo. I think I processed the failure then.

I have nothing but mad respect for anyone else who has been on this journey. This is a tough freaking road. I should try to be uplifting here, but I am just not feeling uplifting right now.

However, I press on. Here’s to a new year, 2018. May we all find what we are seeking and be blessed to the fullest.

xoxo

-A

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Just went from unexplained infertility to male factor infertility.

What the what?!

I went in for what I thought would be an appt to start IUI. Turns out my husband’s sperm sample has worsened from the last time. He has a normal count but slow motility and increased WBC’s. That means we need more testing. No IUI this month. Anyone else going through male factor and care to share some experiences or thoughts about it? I would really appreciate it. My mind is spinning.

Hello again after several months on hiatus!

Hello blog followers!

I am sad to report that I am still not pregnant.

I have tried all kinds of things…supplements, meditation, relaxation, yoga, OPKs, not thinking about it, not putting any pressure on it. Still. Not. Pregnant.

It has been over 18 months of trying.

Since I last posted, we have moved across the country as well. Lots of life changes. New job, new stress. I have told many many more people in my life about our infertility. It has really helped. I no longer cry when I talk about it!

We met with a fertility specialist in our new town. Still having unexplained infertility. We are planning to do IUI in September.

Infertility will not break me. I am determined to live a life that I love. I am determined to keep my joy.

Now I need to catch up with all of your blogs!

Peace, love, and light.

-A

Increasing my progesterone naturally

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Pictured: Fertility Goddess, Pakistan, 2nd century

I have decided to try taking some supplements to increase my progesterone. I had a level of 8 on my Day 21 labs. I have been reading that it should be above 15. So I started taking Vitex and Evening Primrose Oil today (along with my prenatal Vitamin, Fish Oil, and baby aspirin that I take daily). I have been reading that low progesterone can cause PMS symptoms (I tend to have a LOT of PMS symptoms, including major tiredness, headaches, depression, sore breasts, and sometimes even hot flashes). So I will keep you updated to let you know whether these supplements help. I have been reading that Evening Primrose Oil should only be taken before ovulation, because it can cause miscarriage (due to the effect of uterine contractions). So I will only take that one up to ovulation, and then stop. Vitex can be taken throughout the month.

Anyone else have this issue with low progesterone?

Here is some info about Vitex and Evening Primrose Oil:

Vitex… Fertility Super Herb?

Enhance Overall Fertility with Evening Primrose

Unexplained Infertility

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We just got back from our second appointment with the reproductive endocrinologist. After a battery of blood tests, HSG for me, and 2 different semen tests, the only thing that came back abnormal was my progesterone level (slightly low). So we have unexplained infertility. The doctor said that we would likely be able to get pregnant on our own, if we just keep trying. But if we choose to, we can proceed with fertility drugs and IUI. The ball is in our court.

This is comforting. However, it still doesn’t explain why we haven’t conceived in the last 13 months.

The appointment was helpful for my husband. He had mentally pretty much given up. He was going through the motions every month (reluctantly), each month thinking that if it hadn’t happened by now, there was no chance of us getting pregnant on our own. But the doctor said that we have probably a 10-15% chance of conceiving every month right now, about the same with IUI. So this gave my husband a deeper understanding and renewed hope. (YAY!)

Now I wonder, what’s next? Do we keep trying the old fashioned way? Do we go for the IUI? The other thing that adds pressure to the situation is the fact that my husband is actively looking for another job. And in his chosen career (he is a track coach), that could mean that we have to move across the country, possibly to a place that doesn’t have fertility specialists. We used to live in such a place, a very rural area. Right now, we live in a big city, with every resource at our fingertips. But my husband is not happy with his current job situation.

So my line of thinking is, we should get started on fertility treatments while we have this insurance and these resources. I don’t want to wait 6 months and then we aren’t pregnant, and then we are thinking of moving (possibly to a rural area).

We have some soul searching to do. Anyone else with unexplained infertility, I would love to hear from you. Did you end up conceiving on your own? Did treatments work for you? How long did everything take?

In the meantime, I am going to do some research on how to naturally raise my progesterone levels. Any ideas on that are welcome as well!

Thanks for reading,

-A

Coping Mechanisms

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I have been making great progress lately in learning to live happier through this infertility journey, and I wanted to share some of the things that are really helping me. I know that everyone is different, and these things may not be one-size-fits-all.

Yoga.

Yoga is transforming me physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I have been practicing yoga 2-3 times per week for about 2 months. While I am doing yoga, I am completely present. I am not able to think of anything else. I am able to reach a state of deep relaxation afterward (in fact, I feel so relaxed that I worry that I am unsafe to drive back home)! I feel that I have more patience now: with myself, with work, and at home. I am developing core and arm strength that I did not have before. Yoga has taken my free floating anxiety level way down. I cannot recommend it enough for anyone dealing with anxiety/depression due to infertility. It has been a huge game changer for me!

This blog.

This blog is so helpful for me. Just reading your comments and your blog posts has been so encouraging and eye-opening. I feel a freedom that I never felt before. Thank you everyone who has read my posts and commented! I feel so much less alone!

Music.

Lady Gaga’s new album is my jam right now. I am loving it so much. Music really helps me get through. I also recommend Birdy- she has a soulful voice and very deep songwriting.

Seeing the specialist.

I have new hope after seeing the specialist. It has been a long wait until my second appointment, which will be November 1. But all the labs that have come back for both of us have been normal so far. So I am just waiting. I am really hoping that aunt flo doesn’t come this month, I have been wishing and hoping that this is our month since I had my hsg done. However, I get super hopeful every month, so this is nothing new. I should temper my hopes, and not get so hopeful, but I can’t help it.

Well, that’s it my friends. That’s all I have for now. More to come.

HSG

I had my hsg this morning. I wasn’t too concerned and didn’t think it would be a big deal. Well, boy was I wrong. After the nurse midwife put in the catheter and inflated it, I experienced some of the worst pain of my life. I had nothing to hold onto, so I gripped the exam table and wiggled my toes a lot, writhing in pain. I thought I was going to pass out, and got all pale and sweaty. Tears were coming out of my eyes. The major cramping did subside after a few minutes. They then injected the dye, which did not hurt at all. The radiologist said that he thought my tubes were open, but they would have to look at the images closer. I am glad that is over.