When I went through my normal female annual appointment I mentioned that we had been struggling to become pregnant. The cold hard truth was we have never used contraceptive in our marriage. So really we have been trying to get pregnant throughout our entire marriage. The question “How long have you been trying?” feels like a an accusation. Saying “11 years” out loud was so hard. My gynecologist referred me to a specialist here in the Valley. I didn’t know anything about the specialist, and we didn’t know anyone going through this. So when we showed up for our consultation I was so nervous and hopeful. We sat down with the specialist and he asked us some preliminary questions. His idea was to try a Intrauterine Insemination (IUI for short) cycle to test our systems. Two birds with one stone (or bank account). So we did. The doctor did a vaginal ultrasound and said my uterus looked great for twins. I was so elated. We scheduled the next tests. I did the blood test on day 2 of my cycle. My hormones were a little off. My thyroid was fine, but I ovulate a little late in my cycle.
The next step was an HSG. I had no idea what that was so I looked it up online. It is a test where they inject dye into your uterus to see if your tubes are blocked. Sounds simple enough. Then I made the mistake of reading people’s reactions to the test. If you have a blocked tube it can be very painful because the dye can’t get through. I completely freaked myself out. Luckily, my husband came with me. They took my blood pressure and it was pretty high. Thankfully for me, I did not have blocked tubes.
After that we did the IUI part. I had to give myself a shot in the stomach to trigger ovulation. OH MY… I hate needles. I started to panic a little. My heart was pounding, my breathing got short. I pinched my stomach, shoved the needle in, pushed the plunger down and pulled the needle out. I had done it! I wanted to puke but hey I did it!
For the IUI my darling husband (DH for short) did his part and then we waited to the doctor’s office. We set up and I was laid up on the table. The nurse came in and asked my husband if he had recently been injured. He answered that he had not. They got the sample ready and right before injecting the prepared sperm, they told us it probably wouldn’t work. Just like that that, they shattered my dreams. It was like a punch to my gut. I started to cry after they injected me and had us sit there for 10 minutes. My husband held my hand.
Then started the two week wait and the injecting progesterone cream up inside me. Ok now I do not have an easy time with the plastic injector, it is very uncomfortable. And I learned a not awesome side effect was less lubrication during sex. (Uh we nicknamed “her” the Sahara, as in the desert), Yeah that really helped (sarcasm). The 2 week wait was awful. I started to feel the cramps. I was in denial again, I didn’t want to think that it hadn’t happen. They had me come in for the blood test to see if I was pregnant. Again I hate needles and sometimes I am hard person to find veins for. Fourth attempt she could still not drawn any blood. So she told me just to go home and take a regular pregnancy test. I went to the store, bought the test, dreading the outcome. I went home and took it.
3 longest minutes of my life. Negative….yup. I picked it up and threw it out. I called the office to let them know. They scheduled the follow up. When my husband got home from work, I let him know. He was disappointed too.
At the follow up our specialist told us what we feared. In vitro fertilization (IVF) was our best shot. He said the odds of getting pregnant with IUI were 6% over a 12 month time frame. With IVF we had much better odds. So we left saddened and worried about how we would ever afford to pay for IVF.