The Story So Far

Short Version (in code):
April – November 2009:
Trying on our own, charting, BBT, OPKs. Discover 10 day luteal phase. Mild morphology issue revealed on SA, but borderline. Counts and motility are great.
December 2009:
25mg Clo.mid days 4-8, BFP on NYE
January 2010:
Miscarriage at 6 weeks
February – May 2010:
50mg Clomid days 4-8, 200mg Prometrium daily after ovulation. Nada, but luteal phase is now 13 days consistently. So something is shifting.
June 2010:
Consultation with RE at Fertility Clinic. Testing testing testing. HSG all clear, FSH great, Estradiol great.  Improved morphology on 2nd SA, slightly lower count, motility still good.
July 2010: 100 mg Clomid days 5-9 (late because we were out of town and couldn’t do Day 3 bloodwork). Canceled IUI because of missed ovulation.
Early August 2010: IUI #1 – 100mg Clomid days 3-7. Back to back IUIs on days 14 and 15.  Lining great, good samples (both 34-35 million post wash), two follicles. BFN.
Late August 2010: IUI #2 – 100mg Clomid days 3-7, Back to back IUIs on days 15 and 16. Lining great, both samples in the mid-40s post wash. One, possibly two follicles. BFN.
September 2010: On deck for IUI #3. Same protocol as the other two. Canceled because of explosion at Fertility Clinic. Yes, really.

Animated Version
April-May 2009:
I’m at the point in my graduate program where if I got pregnant I would safely give birth once my actual coursework was over. It wouldn’t be optimal, but being on the other side of 35, we decide to start trying, thinking it might take us six months. (Oh, how right we were).

June-July 2009: I’m mostly relaxed about things not happening right away. More Sundays at the Hollywood Bowl where I could enjoy wine with my picnic! More time for impromptu weekend trips! I also decide that having a baby after my actual graduation would probably be best.

August-September 2009: Maybe our timing is off. I try Ovulation Predictor Kits and they annoy me. You could lose hours of your life trying to decide whether that line is in fact darker than the test line. I also seem to be missing my ovulation window. Maybe I ovulate later than I should for my cycle. I’m getting to the bottom of this. I start to chart.

October 2009: After two charted cycles, and extensive research over at Google U, I realize I might have a luteal phase defect (as in Aunt Flo comes to visit just a little too soon, not giving my future progeny time to successfully implant in my uterus). From ovulation to your period should be 12 days at least. Looks like I’m coming in at around 10. I call my doctor and she tells me to come on in with my charts.

November 2009: Doctor agrees that I might be onto something (love when that happens), rather than dismissing my concerns (love her) and she gives me a prescription for Clomid. Just what I expected. She starts me out on a low dose for my next cycle. Even though I am ovulating consistently, she thinks this will enhance the quality. (Until this journey I had no idea that some ovulation is C-grade crap).

December 2009: Trip to Hawaii. Thinking that there was no chance in hell of me actually getting knocked up at the first brush with Clomid, I spend most of this trip with a Mai Tai in one hand and chopsticks in the other, consuming copious amounts of uncooked mercury-laden tuna.  Spend the last few days in Hawaii fully prepared for the onslaught of my period. Am afraid to go snorkeling for fear of attracting sharks. When we get home and my period still hasn’t shown after two days I decide to take a test. Hot diggity damn. I’m pregnant. It’s New Year’s Eve! No champagne for me!

January 2010: I call my doctor to tell her she is a genius. I am pregnant at last. She wants to do bloodwork and check progesterone levels. Before she even knows what they are, she gives me a prescription for progesterone supplements based on my suspected luteal phase defect. I couldn’t inhale them fast enough. That same night, I start spotting. Try to stay calm.  By the next morning, spotting was gushing and well, I was having a miscarriage. And it wasn’t pretty. (Side note: this unfortunate experience exposed me to the explosion that seems to have taken place in the sanitary pad market since the late 1980s. Who knew there were so many choices? Ones I hope not to be faced with again anytime soon.)

February – May 2010: I jump right back on the Clomid horse. This is clearly what we were missing all along. Now that my ovulation is of superior quality, we will conceive again in no time, right? And besides, aren’t you supposed to be more fertile after a miscarriage? Wrong. 3 textbook cycles and nothing. I get the name of a fertility specialist and call for an appointment. He seems to be a rockstar in his field, and can’t see us until sometime in June. Fine, I’ll probably be pregnant by then, and we will cancel, and save hundreds of dollars.

June 2010: Wrong again. We are indeed going to that appointment. New doctor comes highly recommended by a friend. Her glowing recommendation fails to include the fact that he looks like a movie star.  I’m sure my husband hates him. And along with all those dashing good looks,  he does not fulfill my worst fears by telling me to go straight to IVF. He suggests 3 Clomid/IUI cycles to start, saying that he likes conception to be as natural as possible. Me too, doc. Me too. Especially when natural means cheap(er).

July 2010: After the preliminary work-up, I pass several tests with flying colors.  I have the ovaries of a 22 year old (OK, I’m exaggerating, but I’m in no danger of premature ovarian failure or diminished supply of eggs), and my tubes are clear like crystal. Sperm samples are fine, there’s a borderline morphology issue (i.e slightly higher than normal % of abnormal soldiers), but nothing we need to worry about. I get introduced to the dildocam (AKA the transvaginal ultrasound) and actually get to see two ovaries with burgeoning follicles on the screen. I am reassured. I was beginning to wonder if they were both intact.

August 2010: In the two week wait after my first IUI. Possibly the worst two week wait to date. Oh, and wait, it’s a big. fat. negative.

September 2010: And another IUI. Negative, but tortured with a cycle that’s 2 days longer than usual. IUI #3 planned for later that month, but canceled when something blew up at the medical building that houses my fertility clinic. I couldn’t make this shit up.

October 2010: BFP after “benched” cycle. Really. Thank you September heatwave that made things explode. You gave us a spontaneous conception and saved us another $1000.

Due date June 22, 2010

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