Wednesday, July 8, 2009

IUI Round 1 - July 4, 2009

The morning of the 4th of July, we were supposed to be at the lab with our sample in a cup, ready to go at 7:30 AM (note that during periods of no traffic, Dr. RE's office is about 30 minutes from home). The sperm wash would take about an hour and a half, and we were to be back at Dr. RE's office by 9:00 for the procedure.

Apparently my hubby was pretty much feeling like a piece of meat, just told when do perform. When you're a 20 year old guy this might be cool and desireable, but as a 34 year old husband, this actually wears on your self-esteem. I have a feeling that he is about as tired of that as I am of getting poked, proded, and showing my nether region to vast quantities of people. This resulted in us having problems obtaining the sample. We didn't leave our house on time because he was trying to get the sample, but to no avail. At 7:35, we left our house (yes, that is after we were supposed to be there, which was half an hour away).

The entire ride was in silence. I didn't trust myself to speak, because I could say nothing helpful. I was filled with negative thoughts and energy, and even expressing the slightest negativity would have only made things worse for my hubby. I was so afraid that we were too late - that we would not be able to have the procedure that day. It was a holiday, a Saturday to boot, and these people couldn't wait around all day for us! All those hormones from the Clomid and from the trigger shot were whirling around in my body. I had endured hot flashes, the sweats, headaches, exhaustion, and more all month and it was about to be for nothing. If you miss the small window, you're done. And I didn't know if the doctors would wait for us. I was pretty sure that we were late enough that they wouldn't.

We arrived there just after 8:00. The lab technician was surprised that we didn't have the sample, but neither of us could stammer out an explaination. I have a feeling she's seen this before. After a brief scuffle over the use of a fresh container, I left my husband in the lab and went out to the car to cry. I cried for about 10 minutes, then collected myself and just sat there.

I was swallowing everything at that moment - I had to collect myself. I finally did. My hubby came out at 8:30, and informed me that we were still on, and we should come back at 9:00. I was very surprised - with as late as we were providing the sample and they would still keep the original timeline - it just blew my mind! This further reinforced in my mind that Dr. RE and his staff and supporting lab are just top-notch. We are in really good hands with Dr. RE - he knows this business.

We ran to a local coffee and pastry shop and managed to choke down some breakfast, then ran back across the street. I was surprised when we got there to see six other patients and their mates in the lobby. I thought there wouldn't be many of us, but I was wrong! That was interesting. We were the last called back, which made sense.

We were waiting in the room for about 20 minutes. It was a similar room to the one we had been in for the ultrasound, but without the equipment. There was a little packet of something taped to the wall, which we both thought was awfully funny. We later realized it was smelling salts, in case someone faints. Interesting.

A different doctor came in to actually do the procedure, let's just call her Dr. Shortstick (for having to work on the holiday). She came in, put a piece of paper on my lap, stuck a vial in my face, and asked me to confirm my husband's name on the vial. I was taken aback, but quickly confirmed that the name was that of my husband. I looked at the sheet and quickly tried to figure out the information I was seeing. There were numbers and formulas all over the place - this was my hubby's semen analysis results! And look at that! 8 million sperm, 1.8 after the wash! Yay! I guess it was worth the wait for the sample to make its entrance for those results. They weren't great, but they were much better than the 2 million with 7% good ones that our chances for success were based on!

On that good news, I laid back and got in the naughty-bits-reveal position. First was the speculum, which I'm used to, but still don't like. My husband was next to the table, holding my hand. Dr. Shortstick informed me that I was about to feel something that some women don't like, but can't really explain. She asked me what it felt like to me. I told her it felt like burning in my belly. Apparently she hadn't heard that one before. She stopped talking for a second, and apparently my hubby saw concern in her face, just before he saw me blanch and my eyes roll back in my head. He thought I was passing out, but I wasn't. I guess it was just some more mild shock - not nearly as bad as the HSG, but certainly not fun. And there continued to be burning in my belly. Dr. Shortstick told me to lay there for 5 minutes or so, and then I could just get up and go - we were done. I laid there for nearly 10 minutes, because my belly really hurt. It slowly went from burning to cramping. That unpleasant feeling was with me for the rest of the day, and a few hours later I had bleeding which lasted the rest of the day. I spent the rest of my 4th of July laying on the couch and researching the IUI procedure and experiences that others have had with it. I have found a few new boards on infertility forums that have been a really helpful place for finding information and support. I may invite some folks from those forums over here, as I have a feeling that we'll have some things in common. ;-)

I was now officially entering the dreaded two week wait (2ww), the time during which you just don't know if the treatment worked or not. At the end of the 2ww, you either begin your period and thus a new cycle of treatments, or you don't. If you don't, you test for pregnancy, and hope for a positive result. Two weeks is an awfully long time to wait. I feel like a child saying that, but it's true. As I write this, I am ending my 5th day of waiting. 9 days to go. Nine days seems like an eternity to me right now. I'm going to go pet my puppies and kitties and be thankful for the quiet time that I have with them for now, k? kthxbai. Good night!


G. Silva said...

Wow, I hadn't realized you were already so far into the process. I guess my link was too late to be helpful.

I'm getting sympathy cramps just reading this. You're a very vivid writer. Thank you so much for sharing. Even though it's difficult to digest (and, I'm sure, difficult to write), I feel like I understand a whole lot better. (And helps me appreciate that my ordeal so far has been mostly paperwork! There are other differences, too, though. You're giving up a whole year or more of attachment disorder. When we have Yun Gui, I'll have to go to amazing lengths to balance a positive attitude and harsh reality! Blogging really hones that skill, doesn't it? I see you're practicing it too.)

pixnlil said...

Ha! That is so funny, because when I read your blog and try to understand your experiences, I see it as so much more than just paperwork! I feel like even though what we're both going through is so different in many ways, in many ways it is so similar! You have to deal with the bureaucracy of multiple nations - I have to deal with the various doctors. We both have to deal with frustrating and sometimes insulting comments from people who just don't understand what we're going through but feel they have a right to judge anyway. We're both spending lots of money that we'd rather be putting into a college fund or home repairs, etc. And yes, there are so many emotional facets to both of our stories, I sometimes wonder how we manage to cope with the stress and the waiting. Actually, as difficult as the waiting is for me, when I imagine what it is like in your shoes, I cannot believe the strength you have. I think about how Yun Gui is there, and you are here, and you could be together - really physically you could - but you have to wait because the process takes time. For me there is the wondering if things will ever happen for us, yes, but I cannot imagine what it would be like if my baby was there, alive and real and waiting, and I couldn't hold him. Hopefully my story will end in a fashion similar to yours - with a healthy, happy, beautiful child of my own. =)

G. Silva said...

It's true that there are many aspects that rend the ol' heart. After involving you in the incident with Sun Hao, I can't deny it. On the bright side, none of the pain we feel is unique; we have lots and lots of good company. This is the way of things when we try to make a family by alternative means. But, hey, there's always the option of throwing up our hands and saying, "I guess I just won't have children!" Lots of couples do. We chose differently. We brought this fertility and adoption stuff upon ourselves.

I actually find it easier to deal with when I think of this adoption as the first of two. You've seen me mention it in my journal - it can't be o bad if I'm looking forward to doing it again!

Also, there's a natural grieving period most people go through after they discover they're not fertile enough without assistance, and once that's over, it's a huge load off your shoulders. My grieving period is over. Completely. That's a huge advantage to my ability to weather the bumps. I'm just so, so thrilled to become a parent... but I'm also relieved that the obstacles to parenthood turned out to be surmountable. We're going to succeed against unfavorable odds. (Of course, that success just addresses getting the child. There's still raising the child. I'll deal with that as it comes, too.)