Monday, August 25, 2008

14dpi- tomorrow = CD1; Starting over

Yeah- it sucks. But, no one is lucky enough to conceive on the very first try. Right? I just wish I knew what I could do to make my chances a little better. I can't get any younger, and that scares me. Instead, I am eating as heathily as I can, continuing to steer clear of all forms of caffeine, and completely abstaining from alcohol. I doubled my daily dose of folic acid, too, just in case that might have contributed to our BFN this time out. I'm thinking of using a few days' vacation time during the week of the next IUIs. Maybe if I concentrate on being v-e-r-y relaxed, I'll find success.

What else should I do, short of drug therapies, to up my chances? I've been reading a lot of people's blogs on the subject, and it seems like everyone has to use clomid and an hCg shot and who-knows what else. Should I jump right to that step? Has anyone conceived without any medications?

Time is tight. I have 13 days to learn and do all I can to improve my chances. Help!?

Monday, August 18, 2008

7DPI... halfway through the TWW

Is it too early to test? Could I be feeling symptoms of pregnancy already?

Yes; and most likely, no. I'm tempted though. Two of the last three mornings, my morning temperature has been higher than I've ever seen (in the five months I've been charting). I read that only about 22% of pregnant women experience a tri-phasic temperature pattern, but my body has been so overwhelmingly textbook with respect to everything else, that I expect it to follow every possible trend. I think my breasts were achey over the weekend, too... like a bruise deep inside. It might be all in my head, though. No achiness today, and the real reason I'm overly sleepy is that the cat decided to play with his squeaky mouse at 3 am.

I've been doing a lot of reading- books at home; blogs at work. My heart goes out to all the women who spent literally years on the TTC wagon. I'm not sure our pockets will allow us to do that, although I would sell the house if it meant the difference between the hope of having a child and life without one. What's the point of the house if we don't fill it? The blogs are a help- where else could I find a community of women who have been through DI (donor insemination)? I've learned what the next step can be if our unmedicated approach doesn't succeed. I've found suggestions that might up our chances- acupuncture, supplements, dietary changes.

I hope not to be "one of them," though. I want to be the exception. I want success on the first attempt.

The book I am currently reading (Helping the Stork- I'll name the author later, can't remember right now) has raised some interesting issues that I hadn't considered. Am I naive? My parents are very Catholic, as is one of my brothers. Will they accept a child into the family who isn't genetically tied to my husband? My husband's brother is a Born Again Christian- how will he and his 6 kids react? Should we be keeping the whole process secret? Just how pervasive is the bias against DI and other forms of assisted reproduction? Does anyone know? Has anyone met with any negative responses?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

high hopes

IUI number 2 happened yesterday. Another big chunk of change spent on the dream of a family. C tells me not to think of a failed insemination as money wasted because every try brings us closer to a child of our own. Between the BBT charting and the OPKs, I think we've taken all the luck out of it. I feel as if we've made this effort so scientific, and timed everything so perfectly, that it HAS TO succeed. If it doesn't, there must be something we can improve on for next cycle. I'm not someone who can deal with failure in the absence of a cause. I need to know what I can do to create success. If something doesn't work, I need to know how to fix it.

That said, I know our odds are slim for a successful first attempt. I can't help hoping, though. I'm not telling anyone. I don't want people hovering, asking every day or two how I feel. Even C asking "Do you feel pregnant yet?" is getting on my nerves and it's only been two days since the first IUI. I shouldn't feel anything for at least a week, I think. And we won't know anything for two weeks. I can't stop thinking about it though... what if we succeeded? I'll be giddy. If we failed? I'll be even more dilligent about daily vitamins and eating the right foods.


I've given these up for you, baby-yet-to-be. You're worth every sacrifice. I know you are. Please join our family. We miss you!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The ride begins

Well, we're on board now. The OPK turned positive this morning, so I called the clinic right at 9 am, as instructed, and scheduled my first IUI. Weather and traffic cooperated and I made it there in about an hour. The staff apologized several times while I was waiting, explaining that the longer the sample sits, the more little swimmers rise to the top and are ready to do their job. I told them I'd wait as long as I had to to increase my odds. It was only mildly uncomfortable, and then it was over. I'll be back tomorrow for another IUI so we cover the whole ovulation window.

And then we wait. I think it's commonly referred to as TWW- the two week wait. This is the first hill on a gigantic rollercoaster. I don't know how long we'll be going up, or how steep the drop will be from the top. I just hope my seatbelt is tight enough. Here we go!

Friday, August 1, 2008

who's your "daddy?"

It seemed so arbitrary, selecting a donor. I mean, where do you start? I wanted to pick someone who resembles C so we wouldn't get comments about where our son's curly hair comes from or why our daughter has green eyes. Both of us have straight hair and blue eyes, although a couple of my siblings have wavy hair or non-blue eyes. But if the donor looks like C, then the resulting child will more likely resemble him too. I don't want to hide the fact that we're using donated sperm, but I also don't want to advertise it.

It's surreal- I felt like I was picking a new mate. I spent my whole life wondering whom I'd marry, what he'd look like and who our children would resemble. Since C and I became serious about each other, I've pictured what our kids would look like. And now we have this complete stranger contributing to the family gene pool. It's a strange feeling.

We started with blue eyes and blonde hair, with the hope of finding someone of Irish ancestry. We read through dozens of donor profiles, staff impression reports, and lists of character traits. We eliminated anyone with a positive CMV (I wasn't tested, and it takes two positives to affect a baby, so a negative ensures no affect). We skipped donors under 5'9" tall, or who were overly weighty for their height. The first one we both agreed on and were enthusiastic about turned out not to be available, so C made a list of his top 7 and asked me to narrow that down. Four of the seven were "retired" from the bank. One was in "very limited supply, but may or may not add to his inventory in the future." We bought the long profiles for the remaining two, after calling the bank to check on availability, and picked the one with the more favorable family health history. I just hope the donors were completely honest because this is my child's life that we're delaing with.

Anyhow, we picked one. I placed the order. I took out a small personal loan to pay for everything since we're still recovering from C's 6-month lay-off last winter. We bought 4 vials to start with. We'll use 2 per cycle- one the day the OPK turns positive and another the day after. OPK's turn positive 24-36 hours before ovulation occurs. I'm testing only every 24 hours, and frozen sperm last only 24 hours once thawed. So to increase the odds of success, two inseminations per cycle is recommended. If we get lucky on the first try, the remaining vials will help us make a full sibling for the resulting baby. If not, we've got round 2 all lined up for September.

Some time next week, I'll be heading to the clinic. Meanwhile, healthy eating, lots of sleep, low stress, and my daily vitamin & supplements.