The day started with me rushing my husband's 'sample' down to the clinic to have it washed (recall that this is the process of removing the less than ideal sperm and all of the other components of the semen, leaving only the good sperm). I arrived there about 10 minutes before they opened, so I had to wait in the car with the jar tucked in between my legs to keep it warm. While I waited, 3 other cars pulled up with anxious looking men and women in them. I suppose I looked much the same to them. Then a man walked up to the door and unlocked it and went inside. This was about 3 minutes before the posted open time of 7:30. So, I got out and walked up to the door, only to find that he had locked it behind himself. *sigh* I went back to my car and continued to wait, this time tucking the sample jar in my armpit to give my legs a break. Three minutes later, the same man walked to the door from inside and unlocked it, so I jumped out of my car and went inside.
I approached the desk and said, "I have this sample to drop off for an IUI." The man was very friendly and said, "OK, sure. Just write your husband's name, your name, and his SSN on the side of the jar." Uhhhhhh . . . well, he had told me I didn't need anything other than to give them his name, so I didn't have his SSN with me. So I asked, "Can I just use my SSN?" To which he explained that doing so would result in his records permanently being under my SSN instead of his, which can be a problem if there are irregularities with the sample. I told him that yes, I fully expected irregularities with the sample, based on his problems from our first go-round a few years before. He then realized that my husband would already be in the system, and was able to find him by his name. Whew! Next he says, "OK, here is his SSN - write it on the jar please. Then just let me see your photo ID." Uhhhhhh . . . again, didn't know I needed anything, so my purse was in my car. I had to run out and get it, running past about 4 other people who were waiting in line while all of this transpired. *sigh* Finally we got everything sorted out and I was allowed to leave. I ran to the Panera Bread restaurant up the street to get some coffee and breakfast while I waited for 9:00 to roll around, which is when the procedure was to take place.
I had my first IUI of trying to conceive (ttc) #2 Tuesday. That's IUI #4 total - I guess I'm an old pro at this by now. The counts weren't exactly what I'd hoped for, but they're not too bad. The pre-wash count was very bad at 4.2 million. Remember that a 'normal' count is 40 million+ and anything under 20 million+ is considered very low. Post wash though was a bit of good news. Under our old patterns, a count of 4.2 would have led to a post-wash count of 400,000 or less. Today it led to 2 million! That means that 50% of his total count was usable! Yay! We conceived RoBet with 1.8 post-wash, so, I am allowing myself a bit of hope.
The procedure itself wasn't bad at all this time. It's the first time my actual doctor did the procedure, always before it was another doc at the clinic. This time, Dr. RE came in and showed me his smiling face. He's always so happy - I really like his demeanor. He is a bit of a geek, which makes me feel so much more at home with him. He's not cold and stern like Dr. Shortstick. So as I scooched down on the table and put my feet in those oh-so-wonderful stirrups to 'present myself' for the insemination, he started making chit-chat. We had discussed my husband's counts, so apparently sperm was the topic of choice for him at that point. He began by saying, "Do you remember that doctor that, about 8 years ago, was inseminating all those women with his sperm?" I replied, "Ummhmm, I do recall that story, yes." He proceeded to go on discussing the details of the situation with that doctor at length, and as he was threading the catheter through my cervix, he declared, "Oh, but don't worry! I had a vasectomy!" All I could do was to laugh. That was really TMI, Dr. RE, but how hilarious that in that moment you realized that the topic could be taken as a bit unsettling! ha!
The procedure itself was as I remembered it - uncomfortable but not horrible. The rest of the day, however, was a bit more on the painful side rather than the uncomfortable side. The cramping was very intense for awhile, causing me to have to take a brief break from the meeting that I was running to allow the waves of pain to subside a bit. That was embarrassing as I couldn't explain why I needed that minute to just sit. Then for the rest of the day, it felt as though I had a bowling ball sitting in my uterus. Every step I took felt like that ball was wiggling around inside of me and hurt so much. But I made it through the day and even managed to care for my daughter, cook and clean up, and tidy up the house in preparation for the cleaning lady to come all by myself, as my husband was working late hours.
All in all, the process felt all too familiar. I not only remember the anxiety that infertility produces, I am living it all over again. Before my ultrasound, I had felt so much more at ease and in control, and now I feel just as helpless as I did two years ago. I know that RoBet is young and we have time, but I am ready to be pregnant now. I am ready to add to my family today, why must I be in such limbo? And for how long? So I must try to cling to the hope that this worked for us last time, even if it was a lightening strike, lightening can strike in the same place twice. I just hope it does for us.