Well, it’s been 5 months since I shared My Infertility Story and I’m back with another update … Yup, I’m pregnant! Very pregnant in fact. There’s two babies up in there! It’s twins!
The infertility gods heard us and delivered exactly what we wanted! Our twins are due in January of 2018, but they will probably arrive early sometime around Christmas! I’ve been pretty MIA on here and over on Instagram because the first trimester will do that to you, but I’ve been starting to feel better, so I’ll do a bit more blogging before I’m too big to do anything!
Want to know more about the infertility process and how we got pregnant? Read on! Don’t like reading about medical stuffs? Here’s some recipes for Stuffed Sweet Potatoes! So if you recall from when I shared my Infertility Story, the husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for over 2 years. We finally went to the doctor, they ran tests, tests, and more tests, and after poking ME with every needle and contraption, they determined … that my husband had a low sperm count with low motility. Something that is VERY common these days and is NOT talked about … because you know, men, and their egos! So we tried doing an IUI to get pregnant and it failed. We took the following month off of infertility treatment because it’s like a part-time job with all the doctor’s visits and pills, etc., and super stressful, and then we tried again in April.
For our second IUI attempt, I told my doctor I did NOT want to try Clomid again because I felt like it made me depressed. Not in the “I want to kill myself” sense, but in the “I want to sit on the couch and watch TV and eat cupcakes all day and never shower or leave the house” sense. So my doctor prescribed Menopur hormones in order to increase my follicle count, or in regular words, to increase the number of eggs I would release to give the sperm more targets to fertilize.
Menopur is an injectable hormone. I had to be jabbed with a needle everyday for 8 days. The Menopur shots BURN! I can’t give myself a shot, so the husband had to do it for me. We tried to have some fun with it, so we listened to LMFAO’s “shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots” playing on a 10 minute YouTube loop while prepping the injection. Unfortunately, when the husband was about to jab me and I backed away. Twice. He suggested we sit down, so we went to the couch where I screamed almost the entire time and then when it started to burn, I told him to “GET IT OUT OF ME!” He already had. He was already halfway back to the kitchen, but the damn thing stung so much, I thought I had freaked him out and that he had left the needle in me. I am such a big baby when it comes to shots. The second night wasn’t much better: I got my stomach all prepped and alcohol swabbed, skin pinched, and ready, and then hear an “Ow!” from the kitchen followed by, “Ok, now I know how you feel.” Yeah, the Mister had poked himself on the needle! But then he comes walking right out and I had to ask, “Did you change the needle?!?” He said no! (I feel the need to tell you that he was raised by a surgeon and a nurse. And he did NOT change the needle. He is SO lucky he can draw (he’s a professional illustrator) and that he didn’t go to medical school!) So he goes back and changes the needle ( I hope) … and then what feels like 5 minutes later (because I’m still sitting on the couch in ready position with my skin pinched and my eyes squeezed shut), he JAMS me with the needle which makes me jump. Then it burns! AGAIN!
I don’t remember if anything remarkable happened the next 6 nights – I stopped keeping track. But the whole thing isn’t fun. The dose amounts are complicated with the bottles and needles and what needs to be mixed and refrigerated, etc. And every two days, I had to go into the hospital for blood tests and ultrasounds so the doctor could monitor my follicle growth and increase or decrease my dose as needed. Finally, we were given the go ahead for the trigger shot (which releases my growing eggs from my ovaries) and we were told to come back on Saturday morning for insemination. If you read my first Infertility Story then you’ll remember how much Insemination Day sucks. It takes FOREVER. This time was MUCH worse. I won’t get into it, but it’s a funny story, and yet also one of the most stressful days of my life. But after 5-6 hours, we were driving home after being turkey basted with nearly 12 million sperm! Yeah, over the course of treatment, my husband’s sperm count had increased from 1 million (which is a VERY low amount), to 2 million, to 7 million, to now 12 million! (If you’re reading this because you’re dealing with male factor infertility, he was on a quarter dose of Clomid and was taking FertilAid pills.)
Then we started the two week wait to find out if I was pregnant! I don’t think either of us thought it was going to be successful. I mean, our doctor had originally said that our numbers were so low that it would take an IUI miracle, and we were only trying the IUIs because they are so much cheaper than trying IVF. Speaking of money, this round was MUCH MORE expensive than the first IUI. For our first IUI, I was on Clomid, an oral hormone pill. The most expensive part of that process was the trigger shot, so the whole thing cost us about $240. This time, however, I was on the injectable hormone Menopur. It was MUCH more expensive. This round cost us around $2,400. Still way less expensive than $18-20k for IFV, but still pricey enough to make it a really stressful experience. So after two weeks, my blood test date finally rolled around, I got stuck with yet ANOTHER needle (this does not stop once you get pregnant either) and then 8 HOURS later we got the results. We actually happened to be at small concert in Hollywood. Some guy is singing/yelling into a microphone and there are strange Hollywood characters ALL around us and I’m trying to log into my hospital records on my iPhone to see what the results say … which DON’T simply say “pregnant” or “not pregnant.” Nope, it’s an hCG blood test looking for the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone and it has a number next to it. Last time, the number was 0, and this time the number was 390. So I turned to my husband and said, “I think this means I’m pregnant!” I think he almost started crying!
Three days later, I went in for ANOTHER hCG blood test and that number was 3001, so it was increasing and I was indeed pregnant! But after researching the numbers, I soon learned that my numbers were HIGH. I prepped the husband for the news that I might be carrying twins. Three weeks later, we went in for our first ultrasound where the doctor calmly said, “Ok, there’s a heartbeat! Looks good! And there’s the second heartbeat! Congratulations!” I quickly said to her, “Are there any more?!? Make sure there aren’t anymore! Look around! There are NO more heartbeats, right?” I’m now 20 weeks pregnant and everything is looking good! I mean, I swear they are trying to kill me, twin pregnancy is no joke, but the babies at least are doing well!
I also just want to say that we know we are extremely “lucky”. We are very “lucky” we suffered from male factor infertility which is one of the most treatable factors and we’re lucky the Mister didn’t have to have surgery on his balls! I know there are couples who were struggling to get pregnant before us and who are still struggling with infertility, struggling with the high costs of multiple IVF treatments, and struggling with the disappointment when those treatments fail. All I can say is that if you’re struggling with infertility, it sucks, I know, and I wish you the best of luck!
I’m also very grateful to my friend Ilene who, when asked if she any infertility advice, recommended trying the less costly IUIs, just for the sake of trying and trying to save money. She didn’t try IUIs first, but rather skipped right to IVF treatment and I guess she somewhat regretted not trying IUIs first if only for psychological reasons of trying to save money. Our infertility doctor told us that getting pregnant using an IUI would be a miracle, but luckily we tried hormone treatments on the Mister, increased his numbers, and decided to try a couple rounds of IUI and we’re so lucky the second round worked! If you have any questions about infertility, specifically male factor infertility, please feel free to email me and I will try to answer any questions you have!
And no, this blog is not turning into a Mommy Blog. I consider Salty Canary to be a Lifestyle Blog and these twins are now a part of my lifestyle, so I will occasionally do twin and baby posts, but I’ll still continue to post recipes, crafts, travel, home, and more! Those posts will probably just be a bit fewer and far between since my life is going to be diapers, bottles, laundry, and dishes for the unforeseeable future!