Testing at 10 days post IUI

I know I shouldn’t do it and I know I said that I wasn’t going to do it, but I did it. I tested at 10PO even though I don’t have good feeling about this cycle and even though I know that’s too early to be testing anyway.

I think I need to stop reading other blogs and forums, they fill your head with stories of women getting a positive result early on and it makes you believe that you’ll be one of those women too. Well I’m not, it was negative (BFN) and I wasn’t surprised. Unfortunately, all it did was make Hayley and I miserable that to see that it hasn’t worked yet. So next month I’m waiting the full 14 days before I test! Or at least I’ll try very hard!

The trouble is, is that nothing about the test is certain, there’s no way of knowing if it’s actually a negative or if my hormones haven’t built up enough yet to show a positive. So really, I’m no further along than before in knowing anything and I still have to wait until day 14.

My only concern about trying next month is that it will be December, what happens if I ovulate on Christmas day? The clinic won’t be open and that’s just another month wasted then. I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Until then, I’ll keep taking my progesterone just in case and I’ll test again on day 14 to get a firm result.

Back in the two week wait

So I went back to the clinic on CD19 and by some miracle, my lining and follicle had grown really nicely and the clinic recommended triggering that day ready for insemination 2 days later. I was pretty up front about my concerns with there not being enough time afterwards to allow for implantation and they agreed that I could use progesterone to delay my period and help encourage implantation.

Wednesday night (CD19) at 8pm I had to inject myself with the HCG trigger shot – this was pretty stressful last time because I had to do it on my own and I was so concerned about getting it wrong. This time, I had Hayley there to help. Hayley has just finished a PhD where she’s been working in a lab prepping lots of syringes, so she was able to sort it all really quickly for me. Although her absolute hatred of injections meant she had to leave the room when I gave myself the shot!

CD21 came around and we were back at the clinic for a prompt 12pm round of IUI. I love the clinic we’ve chosen to go to, they always make us feel so comfortable and welcomed when we’re there. This time was no different, Hayley and I were laughing the entire time – we were giggling at the early Christmas music on the radio and laughing about plans for the weekend. The whole atmosphere made us feel so relaxed in what could be a fairly stressful situation.

Then came the insemination process. I hated this part last time because it hurt so much the first and quite honestly it hurt this time too, but it did hurt less than before – so I’m going to count that as a positive. The clinic even gave us a picture this time of the tube releasing the sperm in my womb, it’s lovely to think that if it does work this month, we’ve got a picture to capture the moment.

So now I’m 3 days post IUI and feeling much calmer than last month. Also, the progesterone tablets mean that I can’t spot symptoms as the tablets themselves mimic signs of pregnancy. This has actually been a nice relief – it means that there’s nothing I can do or look out for that will tell me one way or the other. The only thing to do now is wait until the 24th November 2017 to test. 11 days to go – wish me luck!

Cycle two

It’s been a bit of an odd cycle this month, everything has felt slightly later than usual and I don’t have a good feeling about the treatment. After starting my period earlier than usual last month, everything seems to have stretched itself out this month.

I went for an IUI scan on cycle day 12 and there appeared to be no signs of ovulation at all. My lining was still only at 2.5 mm (ideally I want above 7mm) and there were no growing follicles. Whilst I wasn’t much further along at day 12 last month, I was at least in a better place than this! I went back on day 14 and it seemed a little better, my lining had grown to 3.5mm and a follicle from my left ovary had started to grow and was at 11mm (ideally I need about 18mm). But this meant that I still wasn’t ready to trigger ovulation. So I went back on day 17 for another scan.

My day 17 scan was better, my lining was 5.5mm and the follicle was measuring at 14mm. So there has been some slow growth and it’s looking better. I’m still not at a point where I can do a trigger shot though.

So I’m going back in for another scan tomorrow – day 19. I’m hoping that the scan will show that I’m ready to trigger, I’m religiously taking ovulation tests just in case I miss the surge, but I think day 19 will be the earliest I’m ready.

The trouble is, that according to my period tracker, I’ve got 12 days until my period arrives. So if I trigger tomorrow and undergo IUI 2 days after that, I’ll only have 9 days until my period should arrive. I just feel like that won’t be enough time for implantation and I’m just wasting my money on this try.

I did raise my concerns with the clinic, but they think I’m having a longer cycle and that my period won’t arrive when my tracker estimates it will. I hope they’re right, but like I said at the start, I don’t have a good feeling about this round of IUI.

A faint positive and then a period

So I managed to wait until 9 days PO and I decided that I was going to test. I knew the chances of getting an accurate reading would be low, but I couldn’t concentrate on anything else and I thought that by testing, no matter what the result, it would put my mind at ease.

Well, I tested and the results were inconclusive. A faint line appeared on my test, meaning that it was possibly positive. I surprised myself with how I handled it, I didn’t let my hopes for a positive result run away with me and instead I reasoned that it may have been an evaporation line. So I decided that I’d wait a few days and test again so that I’d get a clearer result. It certainly gave me a lot of hope seeing that faint line, even if it was an evap line, it seemed to me that we were going to be one of those lucky few for whom IUI worked first time.

That’s where it all went wrong. For the first time in over a year (June 2016 to be exact), my period arrived early. At 10 days PO I noticed a spot of blood – Because it was so light to start with, I almost convinced myself that it might have been implantation bleeding. Well it wasn’t, my period arrived in full force the next day and that meant it hadn’t worked.

I don’t know if that faint line was a chemical pregnancy (meaning a fertilised egg which didn’t implant) or if it was just a faulty test and I’m not sure if I want to know. I was certainly frustrated that my period started early. Hayley and I were both a bit upset that it didn’t work and we allowed ourselves that time to feel disappointed before we picked ourselves up to start trying again.

So what now?

Now we’re back to step 1 again with IUI treatment. I go in for a scan on the 31st to check that I’m ovulating and that my womb lining looks good, then we’ll know when to give me a trigger shot and start the waiting all over again. In a way, I think this time will be much more relaxing as I’ll know what to expect and I’ll know not to read too much into ‘symptoms’ during the TWW.

The two week wait

You never know how long two weeks actually is until you spend it impatiently waiting for an answer. I’m only halfway through, just one week, yet it feels like a month must have gone by in this time. I’ve spent the last week convincing myself that it must have worked and spotting symptoms everywhere. I know this is ridiculous and I know that any potential signs of pregnancy could just as easily be PMS, but I can’t seem to stop myself.

Day one post IUI, I experienced some mild cramping around my lower abdomen, this continued into day two as well. Logically, I know that this is just an after-effect of the treatment, but I couldn’t help attribute it to early signs that the egg had been fertilised.

I’ve had terrible back ache for the past few days, my boobs seem to feeling sore and aching and this morning I fell asleep for half an hour on the train during my commute. These are classic early signs of pregnancy… They’re also fairly common occurrences for me (minus the sleep thing) without any IUI treatment. So really, I’m none the wiser.

I suppose deep down I’m expecting to see a positive result and I know that I’ll be disappointed if it isn’t, that’s why I’m constantly trying to think it all through logically. Oh well, 7 days left.

 

Intro

Who are we?

We are Sarah and Hayley, a nerdy couple living with our pet labradoodle, Arwen. We met at university over 6 years ago and we’ve been married for nearly 2 years now. We’ve always known that we wanted to have children, but the timing hasn’t been right until now. We wanted to wait until we were settled in a house big enough for children and Hayley had finished her PhD. Well, we’ve lived in our lovely home for a year now and Hayley has started work, so the time just seems right.

What have we done so far?

We’ve really taken our time over the whole process. We started looking at and visiting different clinics a year ago just to get a feel for where we would be most comfortable and to assess our different options. We finally settled on a clinic in March and we both underwent tests to measure our fertility. Both of us showed slight indicators for polycystic ovary’s, but nothing too concerning and as we both have regular cycles. We were advised to try IUI treatment first, so once we decided who would undergo the treatment first, we were set to begin.

How did we decide?

When we first visited the clinic, we said that Hayley would undergo treatment first. There wasn’t a particular reason for that, we both knew we wanted to try carrying at some point and at the time, Hayley was at home more writing up her PhD, so it made sense for Hayley to undergo the treatment. Time moved on and Hayley finished her write up and started a job, we still hadn’t made a decision on sperm banks and the results from the fertility tests didn’t give us a clear direction for who should go first. So it all came down to flexibility. Sarah has more flexibility in her work hours and a much better maternity pay package and that was really how we came to a decision.

So have you started IUI treatment?

Yes. This on the 10th October 2017 at 2pm, after a year of looking around clinics and undergoing tests we finally started IUI treatment. It was incredibly exciting and terrifying all wrapped up in one. It felt like we’d been talking about that moment for such a long time, and it was difficult to believe that it was finally here.

So what now?

Well now we wait. After IUI treatment, there’s no way of knowing if it has worked for 14 days. So once you’ve undergone the IUI treatment, you go through the dreaded ‘two week wait’ (TWW), anxiously trying to distract yourself from wondering if it’s worked, overanalysing every twinge or cough and googling ‘early pregnancy signs’ even though you know that it’s far too early to tell. I can test on the 24th October – only 8 days left.