Our Very First Round of Insems, and Two Week Wait!

Warning: This blog posts contains female body parts, and very personal information about a pregnancy attempt.  If any of the above will make you feel grossed out, or squeamish, I’d advise you to skip this post.

It’s happened.  It’s over.  Last week, I ovulated, and my wife and I did our very first round of artificial inseminations.

Our first positive ovulation test occurred on Sunday morning.  We had our primary donor couple come to us that afternoon for the first insemination, and then we did our second insemination Monday night, and our third on Valentine’s Day Tuesday.

I have mixed reviews of our first round went.  Something that shocked me to no end is that I had fun! Yes. I enjoyed being inseminated.  It was exciting.  It was thrilling.  I enjoyed getting together with our primary donor couple, because they are close friends of ours.

We did have some insemination drama with the menstrual cups the first night, and the third night of inseminations.  After our initial first night with that bit of drama I felt stupid, defeated, and like I had ruined every single sperm that was dispensed into my body.

I’m going to skip ahead to the craziness of how every single day has been since our first insemination.  I thought I was going crazy last week, or that we had done something wrong, and that something was wrong with my body.  I got very helpful news from a close friend yesterday, and after a full week of frequently browsing online pregnancy forums I no longer feel scared, and like something is wrong with my body.

I had symptoms and felt extremely off after the very first night that we inseminated.

That’s right.  How in the hell can that happen? It’s way too soon and too early to feel any conceiving or pregnancy symptoms.  So than the fear kicked in; I worried we had somehow done it wrong.

The first three days after our first insemination I woke up and my boobs and nipples hurt like never before.  Let me explain that tender or painful breasts is never a thing that happens to me. It doesn’t happen doing my awful periods, or ovulation time, or ever.  Not until we started dispensing sperm into my body.

I immediately started to google the affects of having sperm in your body for the very first time. It was not a fruitful search.  I also googled being allergic to sperm, because I know that that’s a thing.  That search gave me symptoms that I had none of, and also told me that it’s a fairly uncommon occurrence.  Perhaps one in a million women are allergic to sperm.

Aside from the my very painful and sensitive breasts, I had excessive thirst and dry mouth the first three days.  This might sound strange, but this is the first time I’ve ever experienced dry mouth in my entire life.  It felt like I couldn’t get enough water into my body.  I drank, and I drank, and still my body was thirsty as hell, specifically for water.

The third symptom I had the first three days, and the one that had me worried out of my mind was that I had pressure behind my ovaries.

I’ve never had any feeling in either of my ovaries besides cramps, which I get a few days before my period starts.  I have very heavy, and horrible periods, along with horrible cramps to go with it.  However, I have never experienced “pressure” in my ovaries, and I’ve also never experienced any sensation in my ovaries without being on, or near my period.

My initial thought was “It’s air, what else causes pressure besides air! We put air in my body!” I was shocked about this because my wife and I took every precaution to make sure there was no air inside of the syringe.  The second night I prepped the syringe, and my wife prepped it a second time after I did it.  The first and third night, I watched like a hawk as I watched my wife flicked, and pushed any air or air bubble  outside of the syringe.

My wife spent some time googling about accidentally putting air into your vagina with a syringe…and I had none of the symptoms that were listed.  I mean, none.  Zero.

My wife also read that if some air got in that way it’s really nothing to freak out about or be concerned about.  I calmed down a bit after that, and felt a bit better, but the pressure was constant, and I still worried a bit.

After the third day, the sore breasts and nipples, excessive thirst, and dry mouth symptoms went away.  The pressure, however, didn’t.  The pressure intensified for the following two days.  I also started to wake up with a metal taste in my mouth, and have moments during those days were I strongly tasted metal.  On day 5, I smelled metal for a while.

A few times on day 5, I had a moment of nausea here and there.  These moments only lasted a minute or two, and then went away.  I started to feel *a little* hopeful, at this point, that maybe these were definite symptoms, however the nausea was very fleeting, so I was still a bit worried.

Over the weekend, the “pressure” in my ovaries became full on cramps.  They felt like period cramps.  It felt like I was about to get my period, based on the level of cramping I had, even though they felt a bit different from period cramps.

The “slight” nausea I had the day before turned into mild nausea.  On Saturday I had about a total of one hour nausea.  Yesterday? I had about three hours of nausea.

This nauseated periods over the weekend could be defined as “mild”. It definitely wasn’t slight nausea, but it definitely was not severe.  I also started to get headaches, which is just completely strange for me.  I get about 1-2 headaches a year.  I’ve never had a migraine in my life, or anything close to a migraine.

The symptom of cramps had me freaked out again.  Even though several woman report having cramps during the implantation phase of their successful cycles, I was still freaked.  Even one of my period tracking apps told me many women have cramping with implantation, and I still felt freaked.  I kept hoping it would die down, and simply go back to pressure, but it didn’t.  These two days were 6-7 days from our first insemination, and probable ovulation day, which is a perfect time for implantation to occur.  For some reason, that didn’t help.  I was still freaked.

I had cramps as I fell asleep last night, and anytime I woke up during the course of the night.  But I’m very happy to report that since stepping out bed this morning and going about my day, the cramps have lessened! They have simply returned back to pressure.

I was quite nauseous this morning.  More nauseous than I was this weekend, or last week.  This lasted for about 45 minutes, and then went away.  And then it’s come and gone today, about four times since.

I still have pressure in my ovaries, and it’s very bearable, unlike the cramps this weekend.  I am no longer feeling concerned or worried that we did something wrong.  This weekend was 6-7 days post ovulation, so my wife and I are both hopeful that perhaps it was implantation cramping that I was having.  The continued nausea, and pressure in my ovaries, has me a bit hopeful as well.

Last night I massaged a very close friend of mine, who is also a massage therapist.  I told her everything that I’ve been feeling since last week, and she had some helpful news.  Apparently a woman that we both worked with for a year could tell right away when she had conceived and gotten pregnant.

She would call my friend and say “I just got pregnant earlier today!”,  or “I just got pregnant last night!” She had this happen three times in her life, and she was rightfully pregnant all three times.  (She has two sons, and had a miscarriage in between them.)

Both my wife and I have been googling like crazy, and while they are few and far in between, we’ve found other women out there.  Women who say they knew right away, or the next day.  I’ve even found woman who had sore boobs and nipples immediately, and I felt much better.

It feels good to no longer be worrying that we did something wrong, or that some new illness was happening to my body at the same time as our first pregnancy attempt.

I am, of course, still scared.  I’m scared of these symptoms disappearing all of a sudden.  I’m afraid that the pressure I was so scared of at first in my ovaries will disappear.

I’m nervous to start taking pregnancy tests next week, despite all of this craziness.

As I type this long post I am nauseous.  I have a headache.  I have pressure in my ovaries.

But only time will tell as we finally start testing next week.  Here’s to hoping….this is all still very shocking, and I am a whirlwind of emotions, as I’m sure you can tell.

Fingers crossed and babydust to all my TTC Mommas following this blog, as well as to myself.

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.

It’s here; CD1 of Our First Month of Insems

It’s begun; I got my period today.  I don’t know if I’ve ever been so excited to get my period before.

It’s such a strange feeling, because while I was happy to get it I also know that this will be the last month that I’ll be happy to see my period!

In a few weeks my wife and I will start our very first round of inseminations! After this period ends, I will began tracking of my ovulation once again, and then we will meet with our primary donor couple three different days, to do three artificial inseminations.

Since my last post, all the materials that I ordered have arrived right to our doorstep.  This includes the medical cups (for our donor to donate in), the menstrual cups (I’ll insert these to help hold the sperm inside my body) as well as the pre-seed, which is sperm friendly lubricant. (Most lubricants are harmful to sperm!)

As for the syringes we went in person to a CVS pharmacy.  I went up to the counter, and, trying not to seem too awkward, asked for 5 cc baby syringes.

The pharmacist asked me what I needed the syringes for….and I was completely honest.  I told her we needed them to perform artificial insemination at home to try to conceive a baby.

She asked what size we would need, and both my wife and I told her we weren’t sure.  So she handed me a bag with six syringes inside of it, two each of three different sizes-free of charge!!

ALL TTC supplies

This is what all the supplies looks like that we will be using for the artificial inseminations.  Donation cups, syringes, menstrual cups, pre-seed, and ovulation prediction kits.

We’ve got all our materials, and our primary donor couple are ready to go later this month.  We went out with them Saturday night to celebrate our donor’s birthday, and it was a blast and a half.

This past Sunday we sat down with our secondary donor couple to have “the talk” about all the fine details.  As with our primary donor couple the talk went well, and all four of us are also on the same page.

Our secondary donor even asked about future kids/pregnancies, and if we would need a donor in the future! He blew my mind away when he asked this question.

For now we are only focusing on this pregnancy, and this first kid, but the knowledge that we may have a donor for a second pregnancy two, three, or even five years from now fills me with so much optimism and security.

My wife and I are so excited!! I have a feeling this period is going to last forever.  And then of course, after this first round of inseminations we’ll be in our very first two week wait…which I’m sure will last forever and a half.

Cheers to February, our first month trying to conceive; it’s likely that Valentine’s Day will be one of our insemination nights!

We Officially Begin Our Pregnancy Attempts NEXT MONTH!

This morning my wife and I had our initial appointment with my new OBGYN.  Very early into the appointment I disclosed the real reason we’d schedule the pap smear. (Sure, I was due for one, but we wanted to discuss family planning and let my new doctor know that I’d be trying at home for a pregnancy.)

The appointment went very well.  The doctor was friendly, optimistic, and helpful, and invited me to ask her any and all  questions I had about fertility, and the process of artificial insemination at home.

She asked where we were getting the sperm from, and I told her we had found a known donor.
She asked how regular my periods were, and I answered her. (29-31 days, always)
She asked me how I was tracking my ovulation. I told her via fertility apps and OPKs.

And then I asked her advice on the timing of inseminations after my positive OPKs each month. I asked her about the possibility of using two different donors for the same period cycle.  I asked her any thing I could think of, and she didn’t begin the pap smear or examination until I couldn’t think of anything else to ask her.

I disclosed to her that I was worried that I had fibroids. I asked her if she’d me able to feel fibroids if I have them, and she thought very seriously for a moment before answering me with “most likely.”

She then checked and prodded me, and took her time doing so.  I really appreciated that she seemed to do “extra prodding and feeling”, given the journey my wife and I are about to embark on.

She said “you have no fibroids, and I also feel no masses or lumps. I’d like for you to try for six months at home, and then if none of those attempts take, come back and see me for a referral.”

We are hoping like hell that one of our first six attempts is successful.  Her referral would be to the #1 fertility clinic in the entire country, which you would think would excite us, but it doesn’t because, they are incredibly expensive.

We are excited as hell to start next month.  I texted our primary donor couple as we walked out of the building.  They confirmed that they are ready to start next month, and to proceed with donations every month from February until July.

I feel very relieved at hearing the news that I don’t have any suspected fibroids, cysts, or polyps standing in the way of a sperm meeting my egg.

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When we got home, I ordered all of the materials needed for our at home inseminations, except the syringe.  We decided to purchase the syringe in a store, so we can be certain of the tip, and the size of the syringe.

I bought:

  • 100 donation cups (for our donor to donate into) for less than $4
  • Two reusable menstrual cups (to help hold the sperm in place after inseminations) for $4
  • A bottle of pre seed, which is lubricant that isn’t harmful to sperm (most are!) for $10

The most beautiful thing about these purchases is that I had an Amex gift card that more than covered them.

I’m ecstatic.  I’m nervous. I’m amazed and dazed.  I’m living in small cloud of surrealism.

I can’t believe that we are going to finally start trying next month! Here’s to hoping the best for the next six months. I know they’re going to be a wild roller coaster ride that I will never forget.