Part 1 can be found here.
We tried again in May 2021. My doctor cut back the amount of medication – which was likely the culprit of the failed first trial, which gave us a better result and allowed us to actually do the IUI this time.
If you have never had an IUI done and don’t understand how it happens, I’ll leave a link here that explains it in better detail than I could.
Once the procedure itself is done, you are required to take progesterone twice a day and return for a blood test 14 days after the procedure to see if it worked.
I had no symptoms of my period coming, so I thought that it may have worked. I went 14 days later and did the blood test and waited for them to call later that day. As you can imagine I spent most of the day anxious because I know that this call could be life-changing.
As we were waiting we get a call from our doctor, we get the news from the rental company for our home that the, now, previous owners of our house have decided that they are going to put it on the market in August when our lease is up.
That was a hell of a gut-punch.
And all I could think was; “this is horrible timing”. Who wants to even think about finding a new house or moving when they’re pregnant?
I sure as hell didn’t.
The anxiety I’d had all day multiplied exponentially because now it’s not wondering if we’re pregnant, but what if we are pregnant and we have to go house hunting and ultimately move…in the summer….in August….when it’s super hot…while I’m pregnant. That sounded like a nightmare.
So, when we got the news from our doctor later that evening that our test was negative – it was actually a relief. While we are capable of doing hard things, the last thing I wanted was to do 2 potentially really hard things together.
Especially considering Devon and I pretty quickly decided to see if it was possible to buy our house, which it was, and then there was the whole process of buying it, which I talked about here.
Since the test was negative, we decided to hold off for a few months to figure out all the house stuff and, worst case, move if we needed to.
So, we waited throughout the summer. We bought our house and we got ready to start a new school year.
Right before school started I talked to Devon about wanting to try again. He thought I would want to wait longer, but I mentioned that depending on timing, trying in September/October would give us an early summer baby, which would also mean I wouldn’t have to take a ton of maternity leave (thanks to summer break), because my district’s maternity leave SUCKS!
And since I am nothing if not typically logical, he agreed and I went and made an appointment for a new (our third) round. Which meant more bloodwork, more ultrasounds, more medication again, etc. When it came time for the IUI procedure, everything looked really good; so we did the procedure and waited our normal 14 days.
On day 13, I had cramps. Like cramps I would expect to have if my period were coming and to the point that I actually called my doctor and said, “I think my period is coming, should I still test anyway?” because I was so certain it was starting.
She wanted me to test anyway, so I went in the next morning. We were having a professional development day that day, so I got to work from home. It was a blessing to me because I was fully expecting to get a call that told me that the third time had failed like the time before.
When my doctor called around 1pm and said “Congratulations, Stephanie!” I did not believe her at all. I even said, “but the cramping”… and she responded, “can be very normal as your body is working and changing to accommodate the pregnancy”. She talked to me a bit more about next steps including coming back in 2 days to ensure that my HCG levels were still rising (as they were through the roof that day) and ultrasounds that would happen.
It was about 2 hours before Devon would get home (and we had a deal that I would tell him in person regardless of when I found out) so I tried to process and honestly couldn’t do it. It took me until our first ultrasound about 2 weeks later for me to really get that I was actually pregnant. Medically I knew I was because my HCG levels continue to go up even higher a few days after the first test. But it wasn’t until I had the ultrasound and saw that little tiny embryonic sac attached that it hit me that I was actually pregnant.
It took us awhile to tell people because I was so nervous that something would happen. A few people who knew we were doing the treatments, knew early on, but outside of that, no one knew.
Devon wanted to go out and celebrate the moment we found out my HCG levels were high, but I talked him into waiting a little while; just until we knew everything was going to “stick” and be a healthy and viable pregnancy.
We finally celebrated at about 8 weeks, when my Shady Grove doctor “graduated” me to a regular obstetrician because everything looked perfect.
Because of my “advanced maternal age”, which I’m only 35 which is apparently right at the threshold of “old age” I’ve had the ability to have some chromosomal tests and scans to ensure that our little baby is healthy from very early on. We had genetic testing done at 12-13 weeks, which showed that HE is healthy in that respect (I also have a brother with Down Syndrome, so it was a concern for me) and it did tell us that this little one is a boy – so we’ve known a long time.
I am 22 weeks right now and I have to be honest -:knock on wood: – this has been a really easy pregnancy so far. I was really tired first semester and had some nausea, but it hasn’t been horrible. Any symptoms I’ve had have been manageable and I haven’t had to do a lot of drastic changes so far. He and I have both been perfectly healthy, for which we are all thankful and I plan to do everything I can to make sure that remains that way.
We are due on June 10th, which is perfect for educators. Our respective administrations both know that we will take leave for the last few weeks of the school year and are supportive and then we get to spend the whole summer with the little one.
At the end of the day, I know that there are a lot of women that struggle with infertility and do treatments and they don’t always work. I know that some women have had a more difficult time than I have and I feel for them – this process is so hard, whether it works the first time or never does. It takes a toll on your body, but it also takes a toll emotionally and mentally because getting pregnant “seems easy” but it’s not for so many people.
I don’t know what it will look when/if Devon and I try again. Maybe we will be lucky and not have any issues, or maybe next time just won’t happen. Getting here has taught me that I have absolutely no control over how this happens.
Which I don’t particularly like. But it is what it is.
My hope is that, while my case isn’t as “severe” as others, if you are someone who is struggling to get pregnant that you go and get checked out and have a doctor that will listen to what you want and help you get there. Shady Grove for us was an amazing decision because we had a wonderful doctor who really listened and made sure we were comfortable throughout the entire process.
Yes, this process can be expensive, we know. But most insurances now cover so much of it because fertility issues are becoming so common. I think between the three trials we did (and our insurance would cover 6 IUI and 3 IVF cycles in total), the medication, scans, etc; it was easily all about $15,000 – but we paid probably less than $500. It’s definitely worth investigating if you need it.
I am immensely grateful that I now get to feel this little one wiggling around (it does feel weird, though) and my hope is that we can develop more treatments to ensure that all women who want this have the ability to get it.
Please speak with your doctor to determine the best treatment for you. I am not an expert, I am just sharing our journey and what we were told to do by our doctors.