Announcing to the world my period has arrived

First things first, I don’t know how many people read my blog.  And more so, I don’t know who reads my blog.  Fair warning regarding this entry, I mention Aunt Flow the crimson wave shark week my period quite a bit.  If it’s awkward for you, you should stop reading after the next sentence. Then educate yourself on the total normalcy of menstruation and realize this really shouldn’t be that taboo of a topic.

For our last IUI, my period came 11 days post-IUI.  This time, it came 13 days post-IUI.

Those two extra days in my luteal phase gave me so much hope.  I took a pregnancy test at 12 days post-IUI, and it was negative – but I held out hope.  I scoured the internet for stories of women who tested negative on day 12 and still wound up being pregnant.  Each forum I read and each bathroom break I took without my period making an appearance increased my hope exponentially.

So much so when my period started late last night, I couldn’t even tell Ian we weren’t pregnant before breaking down.  The remainder of the night and most of today has been me struggling to control the urge to sob.  Last night, I didn’t do so well.  Today was better.
I don’t know how to explain the disappointment in the time immediately following the realization our second IUI didn’t work.  But I can tell you it’s some sort of terrible mix that includes loss, inadequacy, and heartbreak.  I allowed today to be a sucky day and feel whatever residual emotions I needed to feel. 
The thing about infertility, when you are emotionally, physically, and financially capable of pushing forward, is that you can’t dwell in these moments too long if you want to take advantage of your next cycle.  I need to refill my Clomid prescription so I can start taking it again in two days.  I need to call my fertility clinic to set up the next follicular scan.  I need to call the out-of-state pharmacy to refill my Ovidrel and ship it to me.  More importantly, I can’t continue to exist in the mindset of “I’ll never be able to carry a child.”  I need to believe it will happen.

Thankfully, Ian is far better at being optimistic and believes it will happen.  He doesn’t need to convince himself.  He moves through the emotions of infertility differently.  My period starting doesn’t drag him as far into the depths of despair as it does me.  And having this opposite, more hopeful partner is such a blessing in this season (well, all seasons really).  When I asked him if he wants to do another IUI this cycle, he said, “Yes, definitely.”  When I asked him to get me pity party pizza and a Cherry Coke, he did.  And when I asked him if he would ever want to live a child-free life if all of this doesn’t work, he said, “Not unless it’s because we move to Africa and start an orphanage.”  When I’m too debilitated to do much of anything, he’s the one who keeps us moving forward. 

In an effort to move myself forward, I’m ending this sucky day by writing this blog because it’s cathartic.  It’s nice to say “out loud” that my period started and it sucks.  Because, scientifically, somehow simply typing that makes it suck a little bit less and that’s kind of neat.

I want a baby, but I drank a little.

It’s been four days since our second IUI.  I’ve drank three of those nights.  I know this isn’t great, and I normally don’t drink that often.  But Thursday was our anniversary (4 years!), I had margaritas with a girlfriend on Friday, and last night Ian had a work party.  
For most of this “trying to get pregnant” journey, I’ve done everything I could to get pregnant.  I didn’t drink, I tried my darnedest to eat healthy, I had acupuncture, I took prenatal vitamins.  And it’s not that I’m throwing all those things out, but this time I’m just trying to live my life.  I think part of the depression of infertility stems from the obsession of doing everything right.  It steals my joy and and then devastates me when, even though I did everything right, it still wasn’t enough.

But anyways, like I said, we did our second IUI.  Ian’s motility was low, but his count was so high that it didn’t matter.  I did a round of Clomid during cycle days 3-7, I had zero side effects this time – so I was afraid I wasn’t responsive.  Then I had my follicular scan on cycle day 13, nothing was “ready” on the right side, but I had one mature follicle on the left measuring 18.5mm.  In all honesty, I have a relatively regular cycle and seemed to be ovulating normally before all this, so I don’t know that the Clomid is doing anything for me.  I keep hoping it will give me more than one mature egg, but as long as I keep getting at least one, it’s not hurting to take it.

I took Ovidrel that same evening and went in for the IUI on cycle day 15.  This is earlier than I normally ovulate (when tracking with ovulation tests, I tested positive anywhere between days 16 and 19).  Which makes me wonder if naturally, I have some level of luteal phase defect – but I have no clue and Googling is zero help.  I brought this up to the nurse who did our first IUI because I had my period about 12.5 days after I took the Ovidrel the first time, but she said that wasn’t abnormal.

Fingers crossed for a different result this time.  We have so many people praying and sending out positive vibes for us – if you’re one of those folks, know that we love you and appreciate you so much.