After that initial meeting with our RE, Chad and I had the first of MANY hard talks. Guys, being infertile is EXPENSIVE. Our insurance didn’t cover anything so we were going to be completely out of pocket for whatever we decided to do. We both agreed we needed to agree on a stopping point. Chad knows me well enough to know that I would have tried forever to have a baby, even if it meant going crazy and broke. I NEEDED an end point so we agreed that we would pursue IUI’s (intrauterine inseminations) and if they did not work, we were done. We decided to do 4 IUI’s and that was it. Being so naïve and the overachiever that I am, I figured we would only need one shot.
OH HOW I WAS WRONG.
This was a pretty standard IUI. Ovary scan on CD3 and then I took 5 mg letrozole CD3-7. I had 2 follicles…one on each ovary measuring 1 mm and 17 mm. Ovidrel trigger shot and then IUI 36 hours later. It was standard protocol but this was all happening during a HURRICANE. Chad was on the ride out crew at the hospital and we weren’t even sure he was going to be home in time!! My protocol said to have intercourse the night of the trigger shot…hard to do when your husband isn’t home! Turns out he was home before the IUI and it went as planned. What I remember most about this day is having sperm in my purse and how hopeful I was. I just KNEW it was going to work….oh how I was wrong. I was placed on progesterone suppositories after the IUI and let me tell you, those made me feel like garbage. And the side effects mimic pregnancy. Not the best thing for a symptom spotter! I tested 13dpIUI (13 days post IUI) and got a BFN. I was devastated. But I was ready to jump right into the next cycle.
Medicated Cycle #1
We had plans in October to head to DC to see our favorite band (Foo Fighters!) and we would be out of town when an IUI would happen so we decided to just do a medicated cycle and timed intercourse. No real monitoring so I didn’t have high hopes. Another BFN.
My period showed up in the beginning of the month and my ovary scan looked good so we were onto IUI #2. Same protocol as September. CD 11 follicle scan showed two follicles on my right ovary (which turned out to be my dominant ovary) measuring 10mm and 18mm. I triggered 2 days later and had IUI #2 on November 16. Progesterone suppositories started again. I was so bloated and crampy this cycle, I was so sure this one had worked. Took at test 14dpIUI and it was another BFN. Heartbroken and confused. But ready to try again. This was cycle of hope and heartbreak I got used to.
My birthday is in December and we decided to take a much needed break. I researched supplements and started acupuncture. We also took a trip to Savannah, GA to celebrate and get away! Once we returned, I decided that I needed more time before we started treatments again. We kept trying using OPK’s and lots of timed intercourse. The break from the doctor felt so nice. I was doing acupuncture 1-2 times a week and loved it.
Same protocol but we increased my letrozole from 5mg to 7.5mg CD3-7. I ended up with 16.7mm and 17.6 mm follicles on my right ovary (and a cyst AGAIN). This cycle stands out because I did my trigger shot in the bathroom at Epcot (we live in Orlando and frequent the Disney parks) and I storied the whole thing on my private ttc Instagram LOL. My symptoms were the same as the other IUI’s…fatigue, nausea, and overalls sense of grossness. Another BFN 13dpIUI. This month brought feelings of brokeness and bitterness. And lots of tears.
We were headed to Memphis for our anniversary and to see Foo Fighters (again…do you see a pattern??) so May was just a medicated cycle.
All was well during my ovary check except the cyst but it had not grown so we were cleared to start meds. This is the cycle we added injectables. I did 7.5mg letrozole CD3-4 and 2 days of GonalF injections. My follicles measured 16mm and 12mm on the right obv. Trigger shot and progesteron, per the usual. This was a weird IUI as Chad has to work the night before so he dropped his stuff off in the morning and then I went in a few hours later for the IUI. It was strange to do it alone. Same symptoms after. Same outcome. BIG FAT NEGATIVE. I was heartbroken,hurt, sad and numb. I was so hopeful too. We had one more IUI to go before we stopped.
UGH. This one is a hard one to talk about. Same protocol as before with letrozole and GonalF. After 5 days of letrozole and 2 days of GonalF, I had ONE, yes, ONE teeny tiny follicle. I was devastated. Broken. I cried in my car on the way home. I cried when I got home. I cried in the shower. I cried when I got into bed. It was the lowest I had ever felt. It was horrible. My RE advised 2 more days of GonalF and a recheck but I called them and asked to scrap the cycle. She agreed and I pushed to start birth control again int he hopes of shrinking the cysts that were potentially eating up the meds I was taking! So it was onto birth control for 2 months….it was during this time I realized that I was *this* close to being done with all of it. But we could afford one more IUI…..