This Two Week Wait & TTC Process Is Killing Me

The day after I wrote my last blog entry I woke up feeling really down, dark, and mildly depressed.  I physically felt completely normal, and that upset and frustrated me because I was certain it meant this round of inseminations didn’t take. This thought process was completely absurd because it was way too early for symptoms.

And I knew that.  But I still felt really down and dark, thinking that this cycle wouldn’t take.  And worrying about how many months and cycles we would have to try before the possibility of actually achieving a pregnancy.

I felt a bit better the following day, but I was still having a hard time.  I only felt minimally better when I started to feel a little off and perhaps started to have a symptom, but I still felt really cynical.

I’m still feeling rather cynical and down today.  I felt better yesterday, but I’ve lost that optimism.

I do have one symptom that’s progressing with each passing day, but after having so many symptoms last cycle, and that cycle ending in a BFN, I’m too afraid to become hopeful.

What’s worse is I’m hardcore judging myself for feeling so down because we’ve only had one failed cycle.  There are women who have been trying to become pregnant for years without success.  We are still so early in our journey, and yet I feel like I can hardly handle where we are now, yet alone carry on.

The two week wait last cycle was so much easier to get through than this one.  Time is passing so slowly.  I feel so pessimistic.  I feel like I might need to take a break from trying if this month also ends in a BFN, and I feel so ridiculous thinking that I’ll need a break only after two months of attempts.

Tomorrow starts week #2 of this wait, so we are nearly halfway through.  I don’t think this week will be any easier than last week; in fact, I think it’ll probably be harder.

I wish I had the strength and courage that I see so many other women have who are also going through this process.

Round #2 of Artificial Inseminations Are Now Complete

As of today my wonderful wife and I have completed round #2 of artificial inseminations.  This round was pretty wild and crazy because my surge and ovulation occurred 3-4 days later than my previous two cycles.

My first positive OPK (ovulation prediction kit) for the last two months occurred four days after I had finished my period.  On this, our second cycle, the first positive OPK happened a smooth seven days after I had finished my last period.

I experienced what so many women in my TTC Facebook groups have experienced; my period and cycle completely reset after the initial introduction of sperm inside my body.

What made this cycle of pregnancy attempts so wild and crazy is that my wife and I decided to start our attempts one day earlier than our previous cycle…and this happened before we realized my surge and ovulation were happening later this month!

The result of this was that we accidentally started the inseminations a bit early, ahead of my surge…which means that by the time the surge and ovulation actually happened we did a total of seven artificial inseminations.

…..SEVEN!!  I mean, what the even hell!?

The amazing thing about all of this is that our donor was completely understanding about all of it.  I was honest with him about my surge and cycle being different this month, and before I could even ask if there were any way he could give us even more inseminations after the initial three, he beat me to it by saying “No problem, we’ll just continue with the inseminations until you surge.”

…I’ll truly never understand how we got so lucky with a donor.

The area we live in was predicted to be hit with a pretty large snowstorm this week, and so to be able to continue inseminations my wife and I purposely got snowed in with our donor and his girlfriend last night.

It was fun, relaxing, and everyone had a great time.  For all of the new followers on this blog, I’ll quickly explain that our donor and his girlfriend are two of our closest friends. We’ve known them for years and years.

This round of inseminations has gone completely differently from the first.  And I don’t even mean because we used softcups to inseminate instead of syringes with preseed.  My body feels fine, it feels mostly normal in fact.  Last cycle, during our first attempt, my body felt crazy, off, and completely foreign to me.

I suppose after getting three doses of sperm in our first attempt last month my body is more use to sperm, and is no longer being shocked by something it doesn’t recognize.

We are officially in our second two week wait!! I am feeling much more relaxed, normal, and way less crazed than after our first attempt last month.

The only thing I’ve noticed physically, which started last night, is that I have a “warm, fuzzy feeling” all throughout my ovaries and pelvic area.  I’m not sure what this is from, but it feels nice and comforting, and isn’t painful, strange, or harmful feeling, so I’m not worried.

I’ll try to update more during this two week wait than I did last cycle.  I’m happy to be feeling much more like myself this time around.

Soft Cups Vs. Diva Cups for Artificial Insemination

Since my last entry I’ve practiced with two of the Instead brand soft cups for the past two days.  My immediate results are that these are ten hundred times easier than the Diva cups/menstrual cups!

I first started to try using the Diva Cup last year in the place of tampons for my menstrual cycle.  This was way before I knew my wife and I would even seriously entertain the idea of trying for a pregnancy via artificial insemination at home.

I….didn’t have much luck with them.  I tried to use them for several different periods, before giving up in a heap of frustration and going back to the tampon life.

Upon joining TTC groups on FB last year I discovered that many women try to use menstrual or soft cups after artificial inseminations to help hold the sperm inside their bodies-I thought this was brilliant!

So last cycle my wife and I ordered and bought me fresh diva cups to try and help hold the sperm inside my body after inseminations.

It…did not work out so well.  There was lots of diva cup drama our very first insemination that led to a lot of pain and uncomfortableness the next day.  We also had some cup drama after the third insemination, and both instances stressed me out.

I’ve recently noticed that a lot of the women in our TTC groups have said that they had no luck with the Diva or menstrual Cups, but that they love the Instead brand soft cups for inseminations because they hold the sperm must closer to the cervix.

Upon further investigation, the internet confirmed for me that the soft cups are very different from the Diva Cups.

They are inserted into your body in a very different way…a much easier way.  They also sit differently inside your body, and sure enough, they sit right underneath the cervix.

I definitely had a bias against trying them because of my bad luck with the Diva Cup.  Even knowing that they are inserted differently, and sit inside the body differently, I was still cynical abut getting the hang of them.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I’m able to insert the soft cup right into my body.  Flawlessly.  Comfortably.  It feels comfortable once it’s inside my body, unlike the Diva cup.

For this cycle we are going to skip the syringe all together, and just have our donor donate directly into the soft cup. I will then just plop the soft cup with the sperm inside of it right into my body.  This pleases me greatly because more women in our TTC groups have been able to conceive at home doing this method, as oppose to using a syringe.

We are also going to have me eat pineapple core for a few days after I ovulate, because bromelain is said to help with implantation.  Many women in our TTC groups have done this, and many have had success.  Though of course none can say whether eating pineapple actually helped.

The whole pineapple thing seems very unlikely to me that it could make a difference in implantation.  I kind of feel like either you are going to get pregnant, or you aren’t.  But at the same time what can it hurt?! So alas, we will try it.

We will begin our inseminations for this cycle tonight!  Based on the OPKs, I am predicted to start surging tomorrow, so ovulation can happen anywhere between tomorrow and Saturday.  Our amazing and helpful donor has agreed to four inseminations this cycle.  Tonight, tomorrow night, Friday night, and sometime on Saturday.

Here we goooo!. Cycle #2.  Perhaps soft cups and pineapple will be the answer.  Only time will tell!

Gearing Up For Cycle #2 Amongst Being Too Busy

The last week has flown by incredibly fast.  I am already finished my normal seven day period, and pregnancy attempt #2 will begin later this week!

However, this won’t be a normal month of inseminations.  One of my closest friends will be coming into town to stay with us for three nights and four days.  She’ll be in town from NYC.  I shall pick her up from the bus stop Thursday night.

You may be wondering why I’ve scheduled a friend to visit us while we will need to be doing a cycle of inseminations.  The answer to this is simple: when I scheduled this visit months ago, it was originally during a time where I would be on the end of my period, thus not quite yet time to start a cycle of inseminations.

My period came five days early this month, therefore throwing off my normal period schedule, and probably my ovulation schedule as well.

The moment this period started early I reached out to my friend and warned her that her visit with us this time may be a little unusual.  Right away she told me to stop apologizing and assured me that she doesn’t mind at all.  She understands that are pregnancy attempts are time sensitive.

Thank gawd this friend is close enough to me that she already knew about all of this beforehand.  She already knew we had started our TTC journey, and that we were using a known donor.  She knew a lot about how we were conducting these artificial inseminations at home. She even knew that we try to do three inseminations per cycle.

Even with her assurance that she doesn’t mind, it’s still a crazy time to do round #2 of inseminations.  On top of that I have a very busy week of self-employment this week. I have four clients, one of them twice this week, and a long chair gig tomorrow.  My wife and I need to completely clean the house in preparation for our guest.  We have to host said guest and keep her occupied and happy, while also meeting with our donor couple to do inseminations.  I have to start tracking my ovulation today.  I also need to figure out how to use menstrual soft cups…

We bought these yesterday.  The women in our FB TTC groups say that these cups will hold the sperm closer to the cervix than an actual menstrual cup.  The difference between these soft cups and normal menstrual cups are that these cups are disposable; menstrual cups you wash and re-use for up to a year.

The only problem is that I haven’t even started to practice using these! I’m going to start after I finish this post.  Before I start getting ready to head to my first client of the week….

We were busy this entire weekend with friends and family.  We’ve been busy for the last five weekends or so.  We’ve been incredibly busy this year.

I need find some downtime after this week and weekend.  With all this craziness going on I’m already kind of expecting this cycle not to take…

EDIT:   I just flawlessly inserted the soft cup into my body and successfully took it out twice.  It is much, much, much easier than a menstrual cup.

We are going to have our donor donate directly into the soft cup, and I will just insert the soft cup with sperm inside of it into my body.  We will be skipping the syringe all together.

I feel a lot better, and more confident about this cycle now! =)

Fertility Stones and Yoga Classes to Help Prepare My Body

As a massage therapist, a certified yoga instructor, and a certified Reiki Master, crystals and gemstones are my jam.  I have a beautiful collection that I keep on my dresser, sometimes use, hold, and constantly google to learn more information on.

I’ve known for a good few weeks that I have at least seven fertility stones, with two of them being repeats.  What I discovered this morning, to my huge surprise, is that I have a total of ten fertility stones! My Mom is going to buy me more tomorrow at a shop near her work. No crystal shops are anywhere close to my own home.

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The fertility stones that I have are two rose quartz, two tigers eyes, two moonstones, unakite, carnelian, adventurine, and a Shiva Lingam stone.

I slept with one of the rose quartz under my pillow last night, my hand wrapped around it for most of the night.  I think I’ll sleep with a different fertility stone under my pillow tonight.  Under the full moon this coming Friday I plan on making five jars of fertility Reiki water, with different fertility stones in each one.

I’d also like to start carrying some of them in my pockets throughout the day, which is a popular way to use gemstones; just one that I’ve never tried before.

This afternoon I took a Bikram yoga class with our primary donor couple.  They invited me to this class last week.

I originally thought I was taking this Bikram yoga class to do something with our donors the week before we start inseminations.  We will be seeing them three nights next week for three inseminations, and seeing them this week for a physical activity just sounded like a good idea in my book.

About ten or fifteen minutes into the yoga class I realized I was there for myself.

I was there to bend, to breathe, and to let go of worry and doubts as my wife and I truly begin actually trying for a pregnancy next week.

I took a yoga class last week as well, and I took several classes in January.  I’m hoping I may be able to fit in a second class later this week, before we start our inseminations about a week from now.

Will yoga help? Will crystals and gemstones help? Will fertility water help increase my chances of being fertile at all?

I’ll never know.  But I do know this: These things help me feel better, more relaxed, and more confident, and so in my book they help.

Here’s to hoping we may conceive a baby next week, even though this is only our first month trying.

Christmas Eve With Our New Donor Couple

My wife and I were invited to spend Christmas Eve with our very newly secured donor couple this year.  When I say “very newly” secured I mean that I sat down with them both just a week ago today, separately, and asked if they would be a donor couple for us.

We made an apple pie and brought it over to their home. I had offered to after our donor’s girlfriend told us that she planned on buying one after all the dinner they were cooking. At the time that I had offered, via text message, she seemed very warmed and happy that I had offered.

The evening was fun and warm, and full of secret glances and smiles.  A short while after we had arrived, our donor followed me into their kitchen.

He greeted me with a laugh as he said “Hey Baby Mama!,” and I, comfortable in our level of friendship and years of knowing each other, plunged right in with “so you are truly on board with all of this?”

For a moment he looked somewhat hurt at the thought that maybe I wasn’t fully trusting that he was 100% willing to be our donor.  But, this was the first time seeing him since I had sat him down and asked.  My heart was too afraid to accept several text message confirmations as truly being on board.

He instantly reassured me with “How could I deny you this happiness? My only concern was that (insert his girlfriend’s name) was on board, and with her blessing, I am fully in.”

So then I plunged right along, and asked if he would be willing to possibly start earlier than we had originally discussed.  He looked me squarely in the eye and told me that he’s on my schedule, and that he’s ready to start donations whenever I am.

I later relayed this conversation privately to my wife, and it made her night as much as it made mine.

We got home that night and we opened a new bottle of sparkling cider that had been given to us to celebrate officially having donors. (We had both had enough alcohol by this point in the night.)

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Christmas with my family this year was a blast and a half.  We ate too much food, watched the movie Willow, and spent the entire day together.

We got many gifts, but honestly, they were a background in my mind.  The gift of having a solid donor couple, and of having a donor, is more than I could have asked for this year.

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These pride mugs from my brother and sister-in-law definitely made me happy though.  =)

I hope anyone who read this had a fantastic holiday this year.  I’m very excited to be heading towards 2017.  We have a doctor’s appointment, we have secured donors, and I’m excited for the journey ahead.