In human speak: it’s been three days since my second IUI. And I’m feeling… really good, actually.
On my first IUI I was so focused on doing everything right that I think I was kind of stressing myself out. After the procedure I went home and laid own for most of the afternoon, then stayed really quiet and focused on visualization exercises, etc. for the first few days. For the entire two week wait I was focusing on every twinge and cramp. And after all that the test was negative.
This time around I’m actually surprised at how not focused I am on a possible pregnancy. After my IUI I went out for Indian food, rested for an hour or two, then drove into the city for class. This weekend I’ve been hanging out doing homework and last night I went to a Halloween party with friends. Of course I’m still taking my prenatal vitamins, trying to drink plenty of water, and getting a solid night’s sleep. But I just haven’t been thinking about it much. The side effects of the hormone meds aren’t even bothering me as much. The other day when my husband said something about how I could be pregnant right now it kind of surprised me.
If I’m going to be really honest, I think it’s not on my mind because I don’t think the IUI worked. Somehow I expected I would get pregnant on my first IUI, and when that didn’t happen it left me feeling kind of jaded about the procedure as a whole. It doesn’t really make sense, I know.
Which brings me to the thing that has been on my mind a bit lately: if this IUI doesn’t work, I don’t want to keep messing around with IUIs. I’d like to start IVF next month.
Of course, this is only possible because we’re fortunate enough to have insurance that covers us for 3 IUIs and 3 IVFs. So far we’ve used up two of those IUIs. The only thing I’m unsure of is whether we have to exhaust our IUI attempts before moving on to IVF. I don’t see anything in our benefits that says that’s the case, but I’m planning to double check with them tomorrow since it wouldn’t surprise me.
I feel the only downside of moving to IVF is that it’s more invasive. IUI has been pretty easy, overall. But honestly, I don’t mind doing more invasive procedures if it means we can get pregnant faster. Every month we don’t get pregnant is another month I have to hold off on certain medications that could really help me – and it also means it’s one more month I don’t get to spend at home with my (hypothetical) baby, since I’ll likely be returning to grad school in August 2017 no matter what. Giving birth in summer 2016 would give me a whole year at home with a baby and I hate to start whittling away at that.
Not to mention, it seems clear at this point that our chances of a successful IUI are probably around the 10% mark. We’re struggling to get the timing right, my doctor won’t give me medication to produce multiple follicles for IUI, and my husband’s sperm count has been just barely high enough to give us a decent shot. If we proceed with IVF at our current clinic our chances of getting a take-home baby after just one cycle are over 30% (and once we’re able to do a transfer on that cycle, those odds rise to 40-45%).* Those are odds I’m much happier with.
I think having that option available is making me feel more relaxed too. So, if it happens this cycle – awesome! But if not we’ve got a good back-up plan.
*According to data provided by our clinic for the CDC’s latest ART report. Our clinic’s numbers are actually a bit lower than the national average, but that’s influenced by the fact that a) our clinic is quite conservative and does single embryo transfers in the majority of cases, and b) they don’t screen patients and tend to take on more difficult cases. We would also only do a single embryo transfer since a CF pregnancy with multiples is quite risky, but given that I’m otherwise young and in good health, I’m hoping our chances might even be a bit better than the clinic’s average.