Infertility Bites

Infertile, Trying to Conceive, and Forty-One Years Old – Ain't THAT a Bummer!?!

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow… February 5, 2008

is it.  Pregnancy Test Day.  My current raison d’etre.  I know that I really ought not put too much emphasis on this time around, considering our poor showing during ovulation.  And yet… the tiniest glimmer of hope is there, whispering into my ear with the faintest voice.  It tells me that it is possible that I’m pregnant.  Stranger things have happened, right?? 

From a strictly scientific perspective, it’s fascinating to witness what’s happening to me ever since I (probably) ovulated.  For the past two or three days, my stomach’s been feeling weird, and my breasts have been tender/borderline sore.  It could be happening because I’m pregnant, or it could also be purely psychosomatic because I know what the early symptoms of pregnancy are. 

I haven’t told anyone, because I don’t want to give anyone false hopes if I’m not preggers.  If I told F that I’ve been feeling these symptoms, he might think it’s actually happened, and it would be such a disappointment to him, knowing that I’d been having symptoms.  I want he and I to find out together tomorrow.  He’s going to the appointment with me. 

It’s a follow-up with my doctor, Dr. S.  If we find out that I’m pregnant, then we embark upon that aspect of this journey with a song in our hearts, and our fingers crossed.  If we’re not pregnant, we discuss our game plan for the next month.  Personally, if we’re not with child this time around, I want us to try IUI (interuterine insemination) next month, along with the Clomid. 

Granted, it’s more expensive when your bloody insurance won’t cover it, but it’s also got a higher percentage rate of success when compared to using Clomid and relying on intercourse.  What would happen is this:  I’d start my cycle, either naturally, or with the help of prometrium.  Sometime during the first 3 days of my cycle, I’d go in for an ultrasound, which would be used as a baseline for that month’s egg developmental progress.  On days 3-7, I’d take the Clomid.  Next, I’d start monitoring my luteal phase with an over-the-counter Ovulation Predictor Kit (OPK).  If I don’t ovulate by day 15, I’d have to take an injection of Ovidrel to stimulate my egg follicles to mature and drop.  

As soon as I’d get a positive when using the OPK, I’d have to call the doctor’s office that morning, so they could make an appointment for me that day.  Then, F would have to contribute his swimmers, either in person, or at home and take his sample in within one hour of its release.  It would be “washed”, assuring that the best of the best swimmers were concentrated into a sample for insertion into my uterus. 

When my appointment came around, the techs would use ultrasound to insert a long, thin catheter into my uterus, and then inject F’s washed (and New and Improved!) concentrate into the catheter.  Once the procedure would be complete, I’d have to remain horizontal for a little while, hoping everyone knows which way they ought to be going. 

The reason they use this technique is to help the little swimmers along by shortening their route dramatically.  They get to avoid the sometimes harsh environment of the vagina, and they’re put into the express lane, bypassing the vagina to go straight into the uterine cavity.  Now, the techs still can’t control which way the sperm swim once they’re into the uterus, but at least more of them have an increased chance to at least be in the running in the Race to the Egg.  Little Ms. Ova and any mature sisters she may have, ought to have dropped from the ovaries, and begin heading through the fallopian tubes, toward the uterine cavity.  In the meantime, F’s swimmers will start (hopefully) moving through the womb and into the fallopian tube(s) to meet any eligible bachelorette eggs in their path.  The first swimmer to meet this egg wins – no one else is allowed to fertilize that egg once it’s fertilized by the sperm who got there first.  

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