Saturday, August 28, 2010

Coming up...

Now that I'm officially in a TTC cycle, here's what's in store.

Day 3 - today - start on clomiphene, 50 mgs days 3-7

Day 9 - Friday, Sept 3 - Follicular Ultrasound (FUS) scheduled for 7:30am at the Maple Grove clinic.  They'll see how my follicles are developing, and if things look like they're moving along like they should be, we'll order the "tank" to be delivered to the Edina office later that same day. The "tank" will be holding two doses of what I hope is some major SuperSperm from my #1 donor pick, affectionately known as "Orlando". The sperm specimens are stored in liquid nitrogen which keeps them appropriately chilly until they're needed, or for up to 7 days.

After Friday, I'll be taking ovulation predictor tests at home, and when I see the "surge" of LH (luteinizing hormone, which tells me I should be ovulating soon), I'll call the clinic to schedule IUI (intrauterine insemination) for the following two days. I'll also have the joy of sticking myself  with a needle to inject Ovedril the same evening as I have the surge... unless I'm lucky enough that Nurse Julie is available to help me with that task. Dr. Cheryl would be welcome to help me, but she's a little too far away;)  Ovedril is used to help follicles mature and trigger the release of mature eggs from the ovaries... commonly called a "trigger" shot.  For women who have infertility troubles, it helps correct them.  Even though I don't know of any troubles, we use the trigger shot in my case because we want to make sure ovulation happens in a timely manner, so the egg is there, ready for the SuperSperm the next day.

The clinic has Nurse Practioners (NPs - they're the ones who will do the actual inseminations) on-call on Sundays, and since that Monday is Labor Day, that day as well. If this cycle behaves like the last few, I'd be going in to the Edina office for IUI Monday and Tuesday, or Tuesday and Wednesday. There's also a chance I could go Sunday/Monday. The Edina office is less convenient for me in general, but they only have access to that location when on-call, so it's best to plan for that.

So, assuming things go as predicted - as they have the past few months - I'll begin the "2 week wait" by Wednesday Sept 8th.  Since they missed testing my progesterone last month, I'll go back in for a blood draw a little later in my cycle to get that checked.  And sometime later in the month, around Sept 20th or so, I'll either... take a pregnancy test at home or at the clinic and get some fabulous news; or get my period and cry, then start preparing for TTC round #2.

Trying to Conceive... and Trying to Blog

Today is day 3 of my first TTC cycle.  One of the many acryonyms that I've added to my vocabulary in the past several months of reading, thinking and researching about this journey, TTC means Trying to Conceive.  I decided that it might be a good idea to have something else to focus on during this process, so I'm also attempting to create this blog.  I have friends with blogs, and have recently experienced the value of hopping from site to site, reading posts from other people going through some of the same things I'm facing.  There's  definitely comfort in community.  I know this won't be Pulitzer work, but it seems like a fun idea, and a good way to keep some of my closest friends and family updated on my antics.  It feels a little odd to talk about some of the more personal... and um, biological... details on a website, but I've read enough blogs now that spill it all to make me feel a little more comfortable.  And this process involves a whole lotta' personal, so not sure what the point of the blog would be if I tried to avoid it!

I just took my first of five doses of clomiphene, which I'll be taking 50 mgs of days 3-7.  I had some spotting through the last part of my last cycle, which is likely due to the HSG procedure I had to check my tubes.  The HSG looked great, but it's fairly common to cause a little bleeding because they inject a dye into your uterus, pushing it through the phallopian tubes to make sure they're open.  The spotting still made me a little nervous though, and since my doctor really recommends everyone use clomid during the IUI process, just to help get more bang for our buck, I decided it was the way I'd go. 

Clomid, or the generic clomiphene,  helps to induce ovulation, to correct irregular ovulation, to increase egg production and to correct a condition known as luteal phase deficiency, where the progesterone levels in your body are too low so the lining is insufficient to allow the embryo to implant.  All good things when you want to get pregnant.  My worry about it, and the reason I didn't decide to take it right away, is that it does include an increased chance for twins.  As much as I want to be a mom, being a single mom is going to have some pretty obvious challenges... and being a single mom to twins sounds, well, insanely tough.  But the odds aren't THAT high (I've read anywhere from 5-10%) and I also have to believe that if that's what's meant for me, than I'll be able to do it.  I'm also a little worried about the side effects I may experience, but I decided that the pros outweigh the cons, and it's worth trying.  I am on the lowest dose, so hopefully it will all work out fine... and the end result will be a healthy little baby about 40 weeks from now!