Tag Archives: iui


This BFN hit my husband really hard.  I had already told him I was pretty sure the cycle hadn’t worked, but having a small amount of familiarity with my thought patterns he wrote that off as pessimism.  I got (embarrassingly, violently) sick right in the middle of our Passover seder, and he convinced himself that it was a pregnancy symptom instead of, you know, a microorganism.  I was really a little surprised this weekend when he told me how upset he was.  I wish there was something I could do to make it easier for him.  I wish I could tell him that this is going to have a happy ending.

We are going to take a month off from treatments to recover and to think about what to do next.  Certainly there comes a point at which IUI has to be abandoned — but how do we know when we’ve gotten there?  Is three enough?  Have we tried hard enough?  I feel like I’m nine years old, asking my mom if my room is clean enough yet.  And three IUIs is not the whole story, not by a long shot.  There is the three and a half years before the IUIs, not to be held up as equal but not to be forgotten either.  There is the niece, and the other niece, and the nephew, and the friends’ kids conceived, born, and sent off to preschool since we decided to have a baby.

That’s what we said to each other: Let’s have a baby.  As though you can just … have one.  As though that’s something you can decide.

Have we tried hard enough?  Do we deserve it yet?

My husband is ready to move on to IVF.  Like I said, this BFN really tore him up, and he looks at the odds for IUI and finds he is wholly uninterested in any more of this.  He’s ready to put all the eggs in one petri dish.

Some boring, but necessary, arithmetic: if I keep working at my current job and put all my wages into making payments, it will take me about a year to pay off a $15,000 IVF attempt.  This does not sound unreasonable to me.  Unlike the last time we were looking at IVF, it is a realistic possibility now.  A realistic possibility that I have to deal with as more than a distant thought experiment.  I have to consider this, and come to a rational decision, and then act on it.  Making this decision feels like too much to ask.  (Haven’t we tried hard enough?)

That’s why we’re taking a breather.  We (OK, I) have to think about what’s next, and I need to do it with a clear head and that means not being in the middle of a cycle.  Also I really, really need at least a few weeks in which nobody shoves anything past my cervix.



BFN today, not that I expected anything else, but no sign of my period. My body is just fucking with me at this point.

i’m not here, this isn’t happening*

Ye gods, but I’m depressing.

I’m starting to feel that familiar drawing away again.  Wanting to stop being present as things happen.  And even as I write this post my stream of consciousness is doing this:

I should write a post about the Smearing of Trayvon Martin and how it relates to the Slut-Shaming of Sandra Fluke (who is, of course, alive while Martin is dead so of course it’s not a comparison that should imply equality of experience) but that wouldn’t really fit in with the usual tenor of this blog and besides, people smarter than I am have already done this so what would I be adding to the conversation?  This post is supposed to be about IUI #3, which was this morning and while we were in the waiting room we heard that someone had won that Mega-Millions jackpot and what would I do if I had all that money?  I could pay down our debts, buy a house, pay for ALL the rounds of IVF (that’s mine and yours, ladies), put my nieces and nephew through college, secure my mom’s retirement, start a new ensemble, and then I get lost in what to do with the rest of it.  Human rights, health care, arts funding, education of women and girls, scientific research.  So much money, so much power, so many people I could help.  But this post is supposed to be about IUI #3, which was this morning and tomorrow I have to finish doing our taxes which are extra complicated this year because of the grant my husband got last fall and I am crossing my fingers that the accounting for the project is good enough even though I know we made a few mistakes with it.  But this post is supposed to be about IUI #3, which was this morning.

I am having trouble focusing on that.  That’s why How to Disappear Completely seemed like a good theme song for today.

I’m not here, this isn’t happening.

Some true facts:  My HSG showed clear tubes and no scarring.  It also showed an arcuate uterus, which was not obvious on the image from 2009 due to all the fibroids.  As usual my Google-fu is lacking (largely because I am not smart enough to read medical research) but it seems to me that people with arcuate uteri can and do make babies in them.

More true facts:  Today’s sperm count was 23 million (holy shit, husband!) with 37.7% motility.  Post-wash numbers:  40 million, 21.7% motile.  With a .5 ml volume used in the insemination, that’s 4.34 million sperm hopefully making their way up my tubes with another 15.66 million just hanging out.

I’m not here, this isn’t happening.

No facts here:  We have started to talk about how many of these we are willing to do.  How many is too many?  How many is enough?  Why is no one looking at the sperm morphology and what difference does it make?  Why have I never been pregnant, not for one minute, in three and a half years?  If we do IVF, how will we pay for it?  When do we tell my in-laws what is going on?  How many of these do we do?

I’m not here, this isn’t happening.

It’s hard for me to focus on this.  I feel like infertility has become a moving target and I’m just too slow.  I don’t know what I think, I don’t know what I want, and I don’t know how many more of these I can do.

i can hear you, you know

I didn’t test at all this last cycle.  I had no expectation that it would work; it felt like we were going through the motions, some kind of very expensive and unpleasant kabuki so that we could look back and say that at least we tried.  There wasn’t much satisfaction in being right — CD1 was as depressing as ever, CD3 was as uncomfortable as ever, what with the wanding and all, and here I am a week later in a hospital waiting room for another HSG.

Whenever my RE looks at me via ultrasound he says things to his medical students like “scarring” and “pelvic adhesions.”  He says “unusual shape” and “difficult positioning.”  But in the consult room he says “no reason to think the worst” and “should be clear.”  But over the past few months it’s become clear that he thinks there is something going on in my uterus as a result of my myomectomy.  He has brought this up in the past but his recommendation has been to just go ahead and do the IUI, but this time he recommended “getting a look at things” before we go any further.  I was planning to ask for this anyway since I am not actually deaf in the exam room and I can hear what says to the med students, so it was nice that we were on the same page.

So here I sit, waiting to find out if there’s yet more wrong with me.  For the privilege I will be paying a cool $1500 out of pocket unless the insurance company decides to pony up.*

* Not bloody likely.

comfort food

homemade bread with bunny chow, avocado, and cilantro pesto

IUI #2 was this morning.

The sperm numbers were good — 18 million post-wash with 31% motility.  That’s by far the best motility number we’ve ever gotten.  I had 2 follicles each measuring 19 or 19.1 when I was monitored on Friday, so this is the best chance we have ever had.  Let me say that again.  This is the best chance we have ever had.

So why do I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck?  I’m not hopeful.  I’m not joyous.  Instead I find myself perversely in need of comfort, and as always that means heading into the kitchen.*

My wonderful husband made the bread (I don’t bake at all but he is fantastic), and I did the rest.  The bunny chow recipe is one I’ve already shared, though this time we sliced the bread instead of scooping out the insides and filling it up.  The cilantro pesto is just regular old pesto with cilantro instead of basil — just olive oil, parmesan, and the cilantro all mashed together in the food processor.

* And that, dear friends, is why I am no longer and will never again be a size 6.  Or 8.  Or 10. 



This weekend I almost fell asleep.

I was at the grocery store and I thought — I remember this.  Moving my cart slowly through the aisle, more slowly than most people, being that lady no one wants to be stuck behind.  Staring at the tomatoes; how can I possibly pick one?  There are too many choices. It becomes hard to hear.  Every sound seems to come from a long distance away, or through a thick layer of fleece.  I’m staring out the window at a blizzard and I know it’s a tragedy, but I’m wrapped in a thick fleece blanket and it can’t touch me.

Numb.  And the blanket is so soft against my cheek.  I could just lie down and sleep; then nothing could touch me.

I remember this.

Shopping becomes an impossibly long series of steps, and the trip can break down at any time when without warning one of the steps is simplytoo much.

Drive to the store.  Lock the car.  Walk inside.  Choose a cart.  Remember where the spinach is.  Check every item off the list.  Choose a brand.  Choose a fruit.  This takes much too long; I wander around the store and can’t remember what I’m looking for or which step is next.  Have I put any ice cream in the cart?  I can’t remember.  Is it melting?  How would I know?  Choose a checkout lane.  Put the food I have no intention of eating onto the conveyor belt.  Put the bags back in the cart.  Wheel the cart to my car.  Open the hatchback.  This is where it stops.  It is too much.

Staring at my empty car, knowing that I can’t possibly lift those bags out of the cart, it is too much to ask in this storm, knowing that that fleece blanket is an invitation to stay out of the blizzard.  An open door to stop feeling.  To sink down and walk slowly and sleep too much and stop eating and not hear what anyone says to me.  I remember this place; I feathered this nest for months and months.  I could go back.

It was intoxicating.  I stood there a long time, crying outside my car in the Wal-Mart parking lot, thinking how nice that numb fleece blanket feels.

But I didn’t go back.  I loaded up the damned car and I drove back home and made myself some damned lunch and that evening I played a damned concert and after the weekend was over I went back to my damned job, where after 77 damned hours of data entry I will have earned enough money for another damned IUI.


Temperature has dropped.  Spotting has started.  Just waiting for that second shoe to drop so I can call the clinic and make plans for next time.