My ‘month off’ ends, now an injectable cycle

Last night I took my very first injectable — 112.5 of Gonal-F via pen. I had thought I was totally okay with this, and had read about it all over the net, in “Navigating the Land of IF” and had talked with friends and fellow infertiles about it. Everyone in the IF world has been so kind about this process – I had several folks offer to come over and help my husband and me. He was all prepared, and I was lying down looking up at him and the needle – and I started to panic. It was like I hadn’t fully realized that the needle would be entering my body. I did some “minis” (deep breaths — you enhale and count to 4, then you breath out counting to 4) and my husband injected me and it was fine. So now that the first one is over, I’m assuming it will be fine.

I had a little scare yesterday when I went in for my baseline ultrasound. They found a cyst! They then took some blood and the doctors had to decide whether the cyst would interfere with this cycle. Since I had last month off, and this month I’m off from school, I did not want to “lose” this month so I was really worried. But the nurse finally called and said that my lining was thin (good) and my estrogen was low (good). Apparently, cysts can give out estrogen and if mine was we wouldn’t have been able to do an injectable cycle. But mine wasn’t, so we could go ahead.

On my month off, I had had an endometrial biopsy. I had DREADED this, and it really really hurt – but for a very short amount of time. I was just relieved that it was over after dreading it for long. They did not find anything, however. They are going to give me Crinone (?) — a progestrone gel – because I had spotting, but I’m still officially “unexplained.”

Of course, I saw a friend last week who got pregnant immediately. I had last seen her in August, when she had blithely announced that she and her husband were going to start having a baby next month. Last week, she was visibly pregnant! She explained that she was surprised to get pregnant the very first month – she had been thinking they’d have more time. Thank goodness some people are so lucky! Hopefully, I’ll be pregnant before she delivers . . .

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Mind-Body Program

I’m participating in a mind-body program for women who are experiencing infertility. We meet weekly and in between we are expected to engage in deep relaxation once or twice a day for ten minutes. I am hopeful that this program will help me manage the difficult and intense emotions associated with infertility. I can feel it slowly taking over my thoughts and I want to retain my identity as a woman first, and not simply as Someone Trying To Have a Baby and Failing.

I like the idea that I might be able to do something that could help me feel better. I know I haven’t been struggling with infertility very long – we’re only in our third month of treatment, trying for almost a year. But it’s already so hard, and I have to find a way to manage it.

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All Clear!

This HSG was totally different from last time. And the result was unambiguous — clear! A nurse practitioner from my clinic did the procedure and just as it was starting to hurt, it was over. My husband was there and saw the dye shooting through the tubes, and at the end I saw that everything was totally clear.

Of course, this leaves us with “unexplained infertility,” at least until the endometrial biopsy in two weeks.

I’ve decided to see this month as a chance to get things done while I’m not pregnant or having treatments. I can get ahead in my work, so that if I am pregnant this winter or spring, I can coast a bit even if I’m not feeling well.

Fingers crossed!

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Today’s repeat HSG

I had a truly horrible experience with my HSG in September. I went alone, since I had not realized how bad it would be. The technician was friendly, but he was having trouble getting the ink through my tubes. He was able to show that one tube was clear, but the other tube only had “partial spillage.” He told me that he would try to “open” it as long as I could bear the pain. Of course, I was thinking, “I can bear any pain if it will help me to have a child!” However, it really hurt. He then explained to me that both tubes were blocked initially, but that he was able to clear one but not the other. I was horrified, feeling like the last 10 months of trying to have a baby were useless, and feeling discouraged about being able to have one at all.

Fast forward two weeks (granted, it was not fast at all) and my doctor explains that she does not think my tubes were blocked at all. She says that it is likely that I spasmed, which is common with an HSG. She said the only way to be sure was to repeat the HSG, but that considering how awful my experience was, and how my history does not suggest any tubal problem, she did not recommend it.

We felt okay with this, but still a little worried there was a problem. Then we went to Resolve’s infertility conference, and realized that we really should be as sure as possible that we really are “unexplained” infertility before we proceed with more IUI’s.

That, plus I had 2 unsuccessful Clomid IUI cycles.

So we called the doctor’s office and explained that we wanted to do another HSG, but that we did not want to do it at that hospital. We asked for our doctor to do it, or to do it at a different hospital, or both. The nurse explained that their nurse practitioner can do it — and they’ve been doing the IUI’s with minimal discomfort, so I’m really relieved.

However, I’m nervous too. I don’t know how I’ll feel if I really do have a blocked tube. I know that we will push hard to not have any more IUI’s.

Also, I have an endometrial biopsy scheduled in two weeks. Since April 2010, I have been having very light periods with short luteal phases. When my period almost disappeared on my first IUI, the doctor decided to definitively rule out any lining problems. That is supposed to hurt, but I’m glad that we’ll have more information.

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