02 March 2007

We're making a baby

I am starting this blog a little ways into the process, but feel it is time to start putting this down so we remember the tough journey. We are having IUI (intra-uterine insemination) tomorrow at 7:45am. Whoopee!

Some background. This may be more than you wanted to know, or you may already know it all. My dear wonderful hubbin (that's gibberish for husband, more about that some other time) had a vaso-vasotomy (vasectomy reversal) on July 12, 2005. Thirty days later we got the green light to make a baby! I thought for sure it would happen right away. Or, even within 6 months. The doc said it would take 6 months to a year to be back to normal in terms of sperm quality. We kept tryin' and tryin', but nothing happened. By early 2006, I started tracking my ovulation using a method in a book called "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" by Toni Weschler. I started taking my temperature every morning and checking my cervical fluid and cervix position and softness to determine when I ovulated (I said this would be TMI!!). You see, everyone is different and you don't necessarily ovulate on day 14 like the medical doc's say. At the time, I was very regular and seemed like ovulation was happening on day 14 or 15. Several months later it started to slide towards day 17-18, although I think I had it wrong all along. At least that was the excuse I used to explain whey we weren't pregnant yet. I also started to notice I was spotting several days before my period is supposed to start. Around this time Rudy had a sperm analysis. It came back totally normal! Above average, in fact! We thought we would try for a few more months because maybe it just became normal and we hadn't tried on our own long enough.

By September 2006 - one year of trying under our belts we'd had enough of the fun. I called the fertility doctor and made an appt. Surrrrre, you can have an appointment. In. two. months! ARGH! This is one piece of advice I would give people - don't wait too long to see the doc, it takes awhile to get in as they are very busy.

November 12, 2006 we went to see the fertility doc. He asked some questions, said maybe I have endometriosis and made out a treatment plan. First, bloodwork to test some hormone levels and make sure I don't have any infections. He also wanted to schedule some tests to poke around and have a look see. All of the tests were normal except for Rudy has anti-sperm antibodies. This is pretty common and could be treated by washing the sperm before doing insemination.

The treatment plan was as follows: do an ultrasound, then a hysterosalpingogram OR laparoscopy/hysteroscopy (which is surgery) to look in the abdominal cavity and inside the uterus to diagnose and treat endometriosis. These tests would also ensure the fallopian tubes were clear. A hysterosalpingogram is an x-ray of the uterus and tubes while pumping a dye through them - it gives a picture of the outline of the uterus and tubes to identify any problems. I didn't know what to do, but Rudy was adamant he didn't want me to immediately have surgery, so we decided to sleep on it. The rest of the plan involved doing IUI (artificial insemination) while taking Clomid for several cycles.

The next morning we went in to have the ultrasound - a fun vaginal one! After a few minutes of looking around Rudy said "it looks like a necktie!" The nurse said "actually, what we should see is a flat top on the uterus, but yours has a depression in it". This could be a septate uterus - one with a division in it, or it could be arcuate, just a little dent in the top that doesn't mean much. She would have to talk to the doctor to determine the next steps. I received a call the next day and the doc wanted to schedule a hysterosonogram - another vaginal ultrasound, but this time they would pump saline into the uterus to be able to better see the shape of the inside and outside of the uterus. I was transferred to the receptionist to schedule my appointment. She said "Oh, we can fit you in on December 10th". ONE MONTH AWAY, WHAT? I was freaked. I had to wait a whole month to find out if my uterus was deformed or not? Oh. My. God. In the mean time I had developed chronic cervicitis and was being treated with multiple antibiotics with no relief. Great. Luckily, the hysterosonogram went well and they found my uterus to be just fine, no septum that would need to be removed surgically. But, now a month later, I was back to where I was in November. Still no answers as to what our infertility problem was. The doc still wanted to do the surgery or the hysterosalpingogram, but it was my choice. The surgery would tell us everything and be able to fix any problems on the spot. I decided this was the way to go as I was in a hurry and we scheduled the surgery for January 10th, 2007. Big surprise, I had to wait another month for this next step.

January 10th after a bowel prep (awful) and no eating, we showed up at the hospital at 8:30am. By noon or so I was in recovery and felt awful. This was really the beginning of all the physical pain I was going to have to endure to achieve pregnancy. I know the worst is yet to come with child birth, but no one really realizes that infertility is a painful process to live through as well. I woke up nauseous and that was the first word I said to the nurse when they asked me how I felt. "Nauseous". I went to a recovery room where I finally got to see Rudy. He told me the surgery was a success, I didn't have endometriosis and they didn't have to remove anything. My tubes were clear, but they did a tubal lavage to wash them out and stretch them. I also had a pre-sacral neurectomy to cut the nerve that gives menstrual cramps. Awesome! I am still waiting to see if that worked as it takes 3+ months to heal. I scheduled my follow-up appt, couldn't get in for 7 weeks. Very frustrating. VERY very frustrating. I finally asked the nurse when I could start insemination and she said you just call on day 1 of your period, the doctor is not involved. But, we decided to take a month off after surgery because I needed the recovery time. The IUI would happen right around the time I went back to see the doctor.

A few words about the surgery recovery. Even though they didn't do much, it was painful. I couldn't get myself out of bed for a couple of days. Rudy had to lift me up to go to the bathroom or move around. They gave me vicoprofen and it hardly made a dent in the pain, and kept me up all night with a totally buzzed high. I was high, but still felt all the pain, it was not fun. I tried several other painkillers, but none of them were much better. Tramadol ended up being the most helpful with the Vicoprofen a close second. It took a good 3-4 weeks for all the pain to subside. It was a lot better after a week, but still had a lot of tenderness for while. It was not fun and I really felt that I had the surgery for nothing because nothing was wrong with me. However, at least I know now that nothing is wrong!

Which brings us up to date. Tomorrow morning we go in for our first round of IUI. I took 5 days of Clomid from day 3-9 (25 mg). I think that is a fairly low dose, but man, I have had a pain in my side for a week now and it is getting worse. I think I always get ovulation pain, but this is pretty exaggerated. More pain to endure. I have a rice bag that I warm in the microwave on my belly non-stop, I couldn't live without it. It hurts pretty good tonight, I hope it subsides after I ovulate.

Well, I hope you haven't been too bored, I will keep you posted on the progress of the IUI. For now, good night.

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