sorry, it can't be helped

Yes, folks, I'm writing about our fertility treatment process again.

Sorry. Really, I am. You have NO IDEA how much I wish this situation weren't still at the forefront of our lives. But, alas, it is.

I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but it is particularly relevant in my life this week, so I can't NOT write about it. (Yes, I know that's a double negative. What can I say?)

So, without further ado, here's where we're at...

For our last IUI attempt in December, my Super Doctor had me take 5 days of Clomid (100mg per day on days 5-9 of my cycle), go in for a mid-cycle ultrasound on day 13 of my cycle, and since everything looked good there, he gave me an HcG shot that day to force me to ovulate, and had me come back the next day, day 14 of my cycle, for IUI.

We waited two long weeks to find out it failed. That was two weeks ago.

As directed, I took another 5 days of Clomid earlier this month, days 5-9 of my cycle. However, instead of having me come in for another ultrasound on day 13, my doctor told me to start ovulation predictor tests on day 11 of my cycle and continue them until I got a smiley face, indicating that my LH level was surging and ovulation was imminent. (I guess I didn't need the ultrasound because he already knew that I respond well to that dose of Clomid.) I got my smiley face on Wednesday (day 15) and Super Man and I had our second IUI attempt yesterday, on Thursday (day 16).

I'm not going to lie: It hurt. Very unpleasant. I don't know why it hurt so much this time when it wasn't all that painful or uncomfortable last month. I guess the doctor had a tough time threading the catheter through my cervix this time. Which isn't all that surprising, I guess, considering that my OB-GYN told me during an endometrial biopsy I had two years ago that I had a SUPER tight cervix, like that of an 18-year-old, most likely because my one and only child was delivered by C-section, and my cervix was left relatively untraumatized.

Still. I figured since it went pretty well last month, with me feeling just a twinge of pain during the procedure, I was in for more or less the same experience yesterday. I was wrong. So very, very wrong. The multiple attempts to pass the catheter through my cervix felt like someone was raking a serrated bread knife repeatedly across those incredibly tender internal tissues. Not something you ever want to experience.

Trust me.

I spent the afternoon curled up in the fetal position (ironic, I know) on the couch, trying to ignore the lingering abdominal pain, with a heating pad on my left shoulder where I ended up with a gigantic knot in my muscles from all the tension I was pitifully attempting to reign in during the procedure. That was all cool until 3:05, when I had to pull my shit together enough to pick Super Boy up from school. I managed that okay, and came home and lay down for another half hour before I had to get it together again to take Super Boy to swim class. Once Super Man was home from work, I spent the evening in bed while he pulled Super Dad duty. Thankfully, I managed to get a great night's sleep, and woke this morning feeling a million times better all around.

Yesterdays pain aside, I feel good about this attempt. My Super Doctor said that when they let a woman ovulate naturally, they sometimes get a better result with IUI. I hope that's the case for us. In addition to that, the total count of Super Man's "good" swimmers yesterday was nearly double that of last month's attempt, so we're hoping that extra boost of swimmers makes a difference, too. Especially because this is a special month for me -- my 36th birthday is coming up on January 29th, and I'll find out whether I'm pregnant by January 28th. I can't imagine a better birthday gift than a positive pregnancy test.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Hope is a very fragile thing. But I have it, and I'm holding onto it.

Before I sign off, let me also say a few words about the tragedy in Haiti, the devastation left in the aftermath of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit the Port-au-Prince area earlier this week. As anyone who has seen any of the photos or video footage from the region already knows, the people of Haiti are suffering horribly right now. Many lives have already been lost, and more will follow because of the total devastation of even the most basic of support systems in the area. I'm so proud of our country for responding so quickly to the tragedy, from the highest level of government down to all of us at the grassroots level, and I'm also enormously grateful for the presence of the Internet, as it has made it so simple and easy for those of us touched by the tragedy to do something to help.

If you would like to help, there are many legitimate organizations that are ready and waiting to take your donations to help the people of Haiti. If you check out Charity Navigator, it can help you find a suitable organization to support. You can also check out this post from fellow blogger Chris Sacca, which outlines some simple ways to make a difference.

My thoughts and prayers are with all those in Haiti, their loved ones and friends worldwide. I pray that God will heal the injured, give peace to all the survivors, and provide for the people of Haiti in their hour of need.

from the heart,
Average Everyday Super Woman


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