We had our first consultation with Dr. C of Advanced Fertility Clinics of Chicago at the end of May. (I’ll refer to her often as my reproductive endocrologist or RE). She did an ultrasound & blood work. The good thing is that she was going to run lots of tests with my blood. HIV test, thyroid test, vitamin D, etc. It was the first time I also I found out I was blood type O+! Same as my husband 🙂
Our RE explained our different options to us — we could do an IUI (intrauterine insemination), an IUI + injectables, or IVF (in vitro insemination). Here’s an explanation of each:
- IUI — fertility treatment that uses a catheter to place washed sperm into the uterus (10% chance of pregnancy; 5% chance of multiples)
- Cost: $1200
- IUI + injectables — fertility treatment that uses the medicine used for IVF, except instead of doing IVF you do an IUI (15% chance of pregnancy; 20% chance of multiples)
- Cost: $2200 (+meds ($1,000-$2,500)
- IVF — Egg & sperm are combined outside of the body, in a lab; once an embryo it is placed in the uterus (51% chance of pregnancy; 40% chance of mulitples)
- Cost: $15,000
It is important to note that a healthy couple having intercourse when tracking ovulation has a 7% chance of pregnancy each month.
It was determined by Matt & I that we would try a couple IUIs before moving onto the next step. I was to call the clinic on day 1 of my period & then we could start the process. We left the clinic feeling very encouraged & excited. 🙂
(Side note: We are very lucky that our health insurance covers fertility treatments. It’s a law in IL that insurance companies have to provide some sort of fertility coverage. Ours covers 85%.)
The following day I was contacted by the RN of the clinic with my blood test results. Everything came back good except I was deficient in Vitamin D. Which I had no idea affected fertility! I was immediately put on supplements that I had to take once a week for a month. They did not taste good, lol. My RE also noticed at my visit that my blood pressure was a little elevated so Dr. C wanted me to see a Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor. I’m blaming it on the nerves from the initial office visit 😉
FIRST IUI EXPERIENCE (June 2014)
Two days later (after our first appointment), my period came. I called the clinic and set up a time to go in to have an ultrasound and yes, more blood work. The ultrasound was to check for cysts since you can’t start Clomid if you have cysts. I was cleared to start Clomid. I took 100mg dosage of Clomid on cycle days 5-9. Three days after I finished the Clomid, I had to go back to the fertility clinic to have another ultrasound + blood work. The ultrasound is done to check follicle growth. Follicles contain an egg & it grows until it’s mature and released. The more follicles – the higher your chance of pregnancy.
I had one follicle growing on my right side but it was only at 10mm. The follicle needed to be at least 16mm for it to be considered mature and they can grow around 1mm-2mm per day! I would go back to the clinic in two more days to check growth again.
Two days later and it had grown to 14mm – still not big enough. More blood work done as well. I wish you could all witness how much of a baby I am when it comes to getting blood drawn or just seeing needles. Really, it’s bad. Just ask my husband. Haha. I turn my head in the opposite direction, clench the chair with my opposite hand, & squeeze a stress ball in the other hand. I’ll have him take a picture sometime 🙂 But man, is it painful. The RN always takes blood from my wrist or the top of my hand because she can never find veins in my elbow. Nor can any other doctor that tries to take my blood…strange… —back to the clinic in 2 more days.
Two more days meant going in on a Sunday morning (June 15) and driving to Gurnee, IL (about an hour for us) since the clinic I usually go to isn’t open on weekends. My follicle was at 18mm! They would call me later that afternoon to schedule my IUI once the blood work came back.
They called later in the afternoon and scheduled my FIRST IUI for June 17th at 9:30am!!!! I WAS SO EXCITED!!!!! When you do an IUI, you also have to do an HcG trigger shot (36 hours prior to the IUI) at your house — the trigger shot induces ovulation & makes you ovulate from both ovaries.
Here is a picture of Matt preparing the HcG trigger shot:
Well, Matt injected the trigger shot in my stomach on Sunday night, June 15, at 9:30pm EXACTLY. It wasn’t overly painful but the few days following it was just tender in the area where he injected me.
June 17th rolled around (the day of my FIRST IUI) and Matt & I were up early because we were so excited. While we knew we didn’t want to get our hopes too high, it was still exciting to actually be taking the next step in helping us on our journey to three.
My IUI was done that morning at 9:30am and it was pretty painless. Didn’t feel a thing. After the insemination, I had to lay on the table for 10 minutes with my feet up before we could leave 🙂 When the 10 minutes was up, we were cleared to leave & set up an appointment to come back in one week to get blood work done to test my progesterone levels. We were now in our TWW…usually the SLOWEST two weeks EVER.
Let me tell you…the TWW is the WORST. EVERY little symptom, every little cramp, etc I’ll run to Google and see if it’s a symptom of pregnancy. LOL. I know it sounds crazy but I also know I’m not the only one that does it 😉 The first week went pretty quick, but it did help that my mom was visiting that week and we had a lot of plans. However, I did get pretty sick from the HcG injection shot. My body did not like those pregnancy hormones. I was bloated, nauseous, and had a TON of food aversions. I just did not feel like eating and nothing sounded good.
On day 7 (Tuesday, June 24) we went back to the clinic for more blood to test my progesterone levels. My RE wanted to see the levels at the minimum 10. I came back at 9. 😦 So unfortunately, I was put on a progesterone supplement called Endometrin. TRUST ME, you NEVER want to be on Endometrin. It is nasty…that’s all I’ll say about it, LOL. But I do know that if I was pregnant, it would help the baby 🙂
We had an appointment with a doctor that specialized in Maternal Fetal Medicine immediately following our appointment at the fertility clinic. The Maternal Fetal Medical doctor was going to check my blood pressure to make sure I was okay to get pregnant & that I wasn’t high risk. My blood pressure ended up being 124/86 & so he wasn’t even worried at all 🙂 It was normal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Day 14 rolled around (the end of the TWW FINALLY!!!!) & I got a BFN on the pregnancy test 😦 As much as I didn’t want to get my hopes up, it was still a little heartbreaking knowing all we did this month to help our chances. The numerous doctors visits, ultrasounds, fertility drugs taken, blood drawn, injections at home…..it really takes a toll on not only me, but my husband as well. My AF arrived on July 3rd & I’d be going back to the doctor on the 6th for an ultrasound to check for cysts & more blood work to see if we could try again in July…
Bring on July!