Thursday, October 07, 2021

My Life is Changing

 My life is changing dramatically. To illustrate how, here are two pictures I've taken recently:

(Image description: The first image depicts an Ovry-HCG urine test, designed to detect pregnancy. The control line is clearly visible, and the test line is very faintly visible. The second image is an ultrasound image depicting an 8 weeks gestation embryo, head down, towards the bottom of the uterus, with a yolk nearby.)

In August, I had scheduled my fifth IUI with donor sperm, and pretty much everything seemed to go wrong, except for the most important thing.

I'd used an Ovidrel trigger shot once before, and was planning to do so again. We were also planning for me to start taking letrozole, a medication that's supposed to help control the timing of my ovulation more precisely so that we could better time my IUI. However, a miscommunication led to me misunderstanding when I should be taking it, and missing the window entirely.

Still, I decided to go forward with it. When I had my first vaginal ultrasound, I was nowhere near ready to ovulate. Unfortunately, the radiology clinic was heavily booked during the week I was expected to ovulate, so my fertility doctor was afraid that I'd ovulate before my second vaginal ultrasound. She encouraged me to use ovulation predicter kits (OPKs, a urine test to detect ovulation) in the hopes that if I ovulated before my second appointment, I could schedule an appointment for an unmedicated IUI. However, I decided that if that happened, I would probably just skip this cycle instead, and save my sperm vials for a cycle that was going more according to plan.

I ended up getting my positive OPK the morning before my second vaginal ultrasound. I went in, and the ultrasound confirmed that I had two eggs ripening and was in the process of ovulating that very day. My fertility doctor took a look at the results and told me that I should take the Ovidrel ASAP and come in for an IUI the next morning, on August 26th.

This posed a logistical and health concern for me, though, because I live five hours away from the fertility clinic. And while we do own an old house nearby, the lack of human habitation has contributed to it becoming extremely dusty, and dust is one of my major asthma triggers. Worse yet, I was out of asthma medication.

I went to the pharmacy and got the Ovidrel, but they didn't have my asthma medication ready. I injected the Ovidrel without knowing if I'd be able to go to my IUI appointment - if I couldn't bring my asthma medication along, I was going to cancel the trip, because the last time I stayed in that dusty place without my medication, I needed to visit the emergency ward as a result. I ended up picking up my asthma meds just as we were scheduled to leave town - so we could go, after all.

My Dad and I drove up to our old place, and on the way I realized I'd forgotten to bring clean bedding. I managed to find a pillow in a gas station along the way, but we couldn't get any blankets, so I slept with a dusty blanket that made my skin itch and my lungs feel tight. Even with repeated doses of my medication, I was feeling short of breath and my chest was aching by the time we headed off for my IUI the next morning. It took two days for my asthma to fully settle down to baseline.

With all that chaos, I didn't have high hopes. This was the first two week wait where I didn't somehow convince myself that I definitely had to be pregnant - truly ironic, given the outcome. In fact, I barely even thought about the IUI. This may have been in part because I'd just recently started raising mealworms and got my first beetles while I was away for the IUI, so I had other things to focus on.

The day before my period was due, though, I decided it was time to test. And then everything changed when I spotted a very faint second line on the test. Over the next couple days I took multiple urine tests and got a blood test, all with the same result - positive.

Since then, I haven't had any vaginal bleeding, and my breasts have been aching. I have felt bloated and gassy, and my uterus area feels sensitive, making tight pants uncomfortable. And yesterday, I had my first ultrasound, and got my first look at my child. I watched their heart beat, and felt utterly overwhelmed with joy.

So, this is the start of a major new phase in my life, and a new generation in my family.


Blogger Adelaide Dupont said...

Congratulations Ettina!

And yay for the mealworms and beetles you're raising too.

4:30 AM  

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