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.

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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!

Early Spotting and a Negative Pregnancy Test

I am 99.9% sure we are not pregnant.  I am 99.9% sure that we are out for this cycle.

I started spotting earlier today.  Which is very weird because….this is early for me.  My period isn’t due until Wednesday-Saturday of this week.

My cycles range anywhere from 28-31 days, and are usually 29 days.  If this is day#1 of my period, or if tomorrow is day #1 of my period, than that makes this cycle either 25 or 26 days.  Which is very short.  I never have cycles this short.

The spotting convinced me that my period was on its way, so just to rule it out I took a first response pregnancy test.  Sure enough…it was negative.  Very, very negative.  There wasn’t even the hint of a line.

I put on a pantyliner, and waited to start bleeding all day.  Waiting for a full on period, even though it’s 3-4 days early for my period to start.

My period never started.  I have had extremely light bleeding and spotting all day.  I’ve been home for nearly two hours now, and I haven’t bled even a drop in that time.

To make matters even weirder I don’t have 2-3 of my normal pre-period symptoms.  One of those symptoms is horrible acne around my jaw line.  I usually get horrible acne all over my jaw lines  right before my period.  The other normal pre-period symptom that is nonexistent are my horrible cramps.

Where are they? They aren’t here.  I usually get warning cramps a week before my period begins, and then warning cramps again 3-4 days before my period starts.  I haven’t had any cramping today, and I didn’t have any yesterday.

The only pre-period symptom I do have is a decreased appetite.  I get that every month before my period, and that started yesterday.

To make matters more confusing a really good friend of mine called to tell me that she got her period while she was pregnant with both of her sons.  She said to me “Maybe you’re not pregnant…but don’t discount it completely.  Your boobs have gotten huge over the last two weeks (she’s seen me twice) and I got my period with both of my boys.”

Confusing.

As of now, I am expecting to start a full-fledged period.  I’m counting us as “out” for this cycle.  I’m looking forward to attempt #2 next month.

I’m hoping to fully get my period later tonight or tomorrow.  The sooner I get my period, the sooner I finish my period, and then the sooner we can get going with attempt #2.

I called our donor on the way home from a client earlier, and the first thing he said to me was “Many women have spotting when they are pregnant.”

I love how knowledgable he is about pregnancy and periods.  I love how he always tries to be optimistic.  He’s a fantastic donor.  We got very lucky.

He understands that I am most likely getting my period, and he is game to start our second round of inseminations either late next week, next weekend, or early the following week.

Here’s to hoping I start a full on period soon.  I’m looking forward to attempt #2 next month.

This first month trying was downright crazy, and a rollercoaster.