This past Saturday I had my CD12 ultrasound. With my left unicornuate uterus, we were praying we’d see a large follicle on my left ovary, otherwise this cycle would be a bust. I told the ultrasound tech our situation and she said, “well, then let’s look at the right ovary first!” She found an 11mm follicle on that side, then panned to the left and I’m pretty sure I held my breath until she announced, “you have a juicy 19mm follicle on your left ovary!” YES! (A follicle over 17mm is considered mature; 20mm is the sweet spot.) She checked my lining next. It only measured at 6.5mm, and while they typically want to see a minimum of an 8mm lining to trigger for an IUI, she looked around a bit longer and told me that my lining was healthy and multi-layered so she didn’t see a reason not to proceed.
I was then escorted to a consult room and greeted by two nurses who got right to the point in telling me that we could go ahead and trigger, then come back in the following morning at 8:30 to do the IUI. I was totally shocked because in my pre-IUI consultation I was told that I’d probably be triggering on Saturday night & having the IUI done first thing Monday morning. Moving everything up a day was great as it meant we could do the IUI on Sunday morning and have the rest of the day to relax.
Per doctor’s orders, I’d brought my trigger shot to the office with me that morning (I triggered with Ovidrel, which is an hCG shot that causes your body to ovulate), and one of the nurses administered it into my stomach and sent us on our merry way.
Within just a few hours of the trigger shot & throughout the rest of Saturday I felt some mild cramping, predominantly on my left side, so I was anxious to see if my BBT (basal body temperature) would shoot up on Sunday morning. If it did, it would indicate that I had ovulated at some point on Saturday; if it didn’t, it would mean I hadn’t ovulated just yet. On Sunday morning my temperature hadn’t spiked yet, which I was VERY excited about: this meant that I hadn’t ovulated yet so by the time we would do the IUI at 9:30, we’d be within just a few hours of ovulation and it would be perfectly timed. So far, so good.
We were back at the fertility specialist by 8:30 on Sunday morning, and Kevin was whisked off to provide a sperm sample. After the sperm was collected it was sent off to the lab for a sperm wash. This process involves the sperm sample going through a centrifuge with a special medium that distills the best (most motile) sperm. We knew from two previous sperm analyses that Kevin’s sperm count and mobility were great, but that his morphology was ‘borderline’ so we were interested to see what the sperm sample that day yielded. The sperm wash took about 40 minutes, so as that was getting wrapped up in the lab Kevin and I were sent to a consult room where we had to sign some waivers for the IUI procedure.
The nurse doing the procedure was one of the gals we’d seen the day before and she was so fantastic. She told us Kevin’s raw sperm sample yield 300 million sperm and 60% motility. After the sperm wash we had 45 million sperm and 87% motility to play with – excellent results. Unfortunately, we were told they didn’t test morphology during the sperm wash, but even if Kevin’s morphology had stayed at the borderline 3% threshold that would still give us 3 million viable sperm.
From there, things moved fast. The nurse drew up the sperm sample into a thin, flexible catheter that was probably 14″ long. While laying down with my feet in stirrups, the nurse efficiently inserted a speculum then followed it with the catheter. I could feel it pass through my cervix and she gently prodded it until it hit the top of my uterus, then plunged in the sample and we were done. The whole thing took MAYBE 10 seconds and wasn’t painful at all…a stark contrast to the painful HSG I’d had done the month prior. Praise the Lord!
From there, the nurse tilted the medical table I was laying on up so that my hips were elevated. She set a timer for 12 minutes and told me to lay there for at least that long. I wound up laying down for 20 minutes total. Before we left the nurse told us that some cramping over the next 3-5 days was totally normal, as was some light spotting. She said that basically the only thing that wasn’t normal was heavy, period-like bleeding.
We rented a couple of movies and watched one mid-day and one in the evening. I spent the afternoon lounging and napping while Kevin cleaned up and mowed the backyard – he is just the best. It felt good to take it easy. I didn’t experience any spotting but I did have some mild cramping off and on throughout the evening.
The next morning, I went to my amazing fertility acupuncturist (she was able to squeeze me in, and I was so grateful since I was a little concerned about my 6.5mm uterine lining.) She worked specifically on my lining during the session and reminded me that it’ll take at least 3 days, but probably longer (6-12 days is typical) for implantation to happen, so we still have a little time to beef things up before the hopefully-fertilized egg nestles into my uterine lining.
So, what’s next?! I was prescribed some luteal phase support in the form of 1mL Pregnyl shots. On days 3, 6, and 9 post-IUI I’ll inject 1mL of Pregnyl into my abdomen. Pregnyl is hCG – the ‘pregnancy hormone’ – and by putting it into my system it will encourage my body to produce a steady supply of progesterone to support implantation. Since hCG is the pregnancy hormone detected in home pregnancy tests, I have to wait until 8 days after my final Pregnyl shot to do a pregnancy test as it will take that long for the synthetic hCG to finally leave my system; if I were to test before then I’d get a false positive.
This is going to be the longest two week wait of my life, guaranteed. But, I’m feeling super energetic, hopeful, and happy. I’m praying a lot and listening to my body. I’m ready to be pregnant, and I’m praying hard that God is ready for me to be, too. Kevin keeps saying that he thinks there’s “a little jellybean in there” and I have a sneaking suspicion that he is right.