INFERTILITY / IVF TALK
My Infertility Journal, Part 4: Last and Final IUI and Next Steps
Megan Tansom | May 28, 2019
November 13, 2015:
Today was results day after our 5th (yes 5th!) IUI (Intrauterine Insemination). I didn’t have a good feeling about today, not because it was Friday the 13th, more because I knew I wasn’t pregnant yet. You were not here yet. After my blood draw, I drove to work. I get emotional pretty easily these days thinking about how much I want this whole process to be over and just want to be a Mom already. So, I was tearing up a bit when the song “When a Heart Breaks” comes on my playlist. In these emotional moments, or moments when I get lost in thought, I always seem to tune back into the music and a perfect song explains how I feel at that moment, gives me clarity. Today this is how I felt and what I needed:
“When A Heart Breaks” – Ben Rector
I woke up this morning
And I heard the news
I know the pain of a heartbreak
I don’t have the answers
And neither do you
I know the pain of a heartbreak
This isn’t easy
This isn’t clear
And you don’t need Jesus
Til you’re here
Then confusion in the doubts you had
Up and walk away
They walk away
When a heart breaks
I heard the doctor
But what did he say
I knew I was fine about this time yesterday
I don’t need answers
I just need some peace
I just need someone to help me get some sleep
Who can help me get some sleep….
BIG TEARS. This isn’t fricken easy. I hate it. I hate this process, the wait, the unknown, the heartbreak time and time again. Don’t get me wrong, I know it all will be worth it in the end. I just wish I knew when the end was.
Later that day:
We received the “Unfortunately, you are not pregnant” message again.
Later that month:
We did end up canceling one IUI cycle. I went through the process, took the stimulation medication, and ultimately messed up my dosages when I was traveling for work. I didn’t have enough of one of the medications (mixed it up with another) and didn’t realize it until I was on my way back home. This resulted in my follicles not being large enough to continue. Devastated once again, I was so mad at myself. I screwed it up this time. I screwed up this chance. Yes, there is always next month but it was just another setback.
Side Note: For those that don’t know, you have to pay for the medications as well as the monitoring of the follicle size by ultrasound. So not only did we lose time, we lost more money as well. Each ultrasound was around $250 which we needed at least two per cycle as well as the cost of the medication. Some insurances pay for certain procedures or medications. All of my coverage had stopped long before. Once we were deemed “infertile” we had to pay for everything out-of-pocket.
We did our 6th and final IUI procedure with Dr. Corfman this month, December 2015. On December 15th, we found out for the sixth time we were not going to be parents… yet.
We scheduled a follow-up appointment with Dr. Corfman. He explained our situation and said he would be comfortable continuing with IUI’s since we did only do three with him or moving on to IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). Ryan looked right at him and said “We are done. We want to move on.” Dr. C didn’t want to push us into a decision but you could tell he would have done the same thing. We discussed IVF. Dr. C drew some pictures of the process and gave us some information on success rates. We made the decision right there to sign up for the next cycle. MCRH as a clinic only does IVF cycles five times a year. We missed the January IVF prep so had to sign up for March/April of 2016. More waiting….
IUI: Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization. (American Pregnancy Association). Learn more about the technical aspects of an IUI here.
IVF: According to the Mayo Clinic, In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a complex series of procedures used to treat fertility or genetic problems and assist with the conception of a child. During IVF, mature eggs are collected (retrieved) from your ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. Then the fertilized egg (embryo) or eggs are implanted in your uterus. One cycle of IVF takes about two weeks. Learn more here.
Ryan and I scheduled a much-needed vacation. We left right after Christmas to spend some stress-free time in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We felt great going into the new year with a plan. We could enjoy our vacation, talk about the future, and try to be happy with all we do have. Most of all, we have each other and that keeps us going.
REFLECTION TODAY: When I read each of these short journal articles, it just seems like we jump from one thing to the next. What you have to realize is that each “cycle” takes a full month. We did our preparation, meds, procedure, and then waited a few weeks for results each time. It was on my mind EVERY DAY of EVERY MONTH and kept resulting in negative tests. Once I started the fertility meds, I would drive from Stillwater to Maple Grove at least twice that week to monitor my follicles by ultrasound. I would then come back and get my blood tested. It was a lot.
My work was really amazing during these cycles to not be overly concerned if I was a bit late for morning meetings or had to skip out early for a check (Thanks Ergodyne peeps!). I always tried to be considerate of their time but made them know this is what we had to do. I didn’t really have to give specific details as my boss trusted me and my other manager was also experiencing some of the same issues so knew the process all too well. This is a benefit of being open about your situation with the people around you. It may be awkward at first but people SHOW UP and support you in ways you don’t even imagine. I was vulnerable and sad in ways I haven’t been before and it actually helped that people around me knew why and either let me be or showed their understanding/support.
Ryan was really supportive in all of this but I also think it is hard for the partner. He was there for all the emotional stuff and to give his “deposit” (if you know what I mean) but wasn’t IN IN it like I was. He was the BEST through it all and a part of all the big decisions… but most the physical and emotional burden was on me and my body. I also started to go to most appointments alone since there were so many any given week and it was too much for both of us to be there each time. I would just text or update him after each one. I would get the result phonecalls to my cell as well and at first, I let them go to voicemail to listen to with Ryan at a later time. I thought it would be fun to hear we were pregnant together but after a few negative results, I just answered myself in a bathroom stall at work or empty office, took it in, and went on with my day as best I could. It was month after month of this so when we finally did decide to move to IVF, I was relieved we could take some time away from this. Time away from the appointments, the process, the journey. We had a week to lay on the beach, eat, and drink… and that is what we did. After that, we had a refreshing couple months “off” from any procedures or medications to prepare us for what was next – our IVF journey in March.
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