Saturday, February 15, 2014

Batter Up!

In a few days, we'll be officially starting our first IUI cycle... "Batter up!"

Quick recap of the last few weeks, since my last post:

     We had our IUI consult with our fertility Dr., also referred to the RE. It was a rather quick meeting~ I had gone in with a whole page of questions in my notebook and literally within 5-10 minutes we were done. I kept thinking of things to ask, but technically she covered all the bases. 
We wait til day 1 of my next cycle (any day now), then I have to call and go in for baseline blood work, as well as an ultrasound. Then, they'll have me take Clomid for a few days. Clomid is a pill that "stimulates an increase in the amount of hormones that support the growth and release of a mature egg." Basically, it will amp up my ovaries and follicles to possibly produce a few eggs prior to ovulation. This part scares me a bit because this is how multiples can happen very easily (think Kate Gosselin~ eeek!! NO, THANK YOU!!), but fear not because the clinic won't go through with the procedure if there are more than 3 follicles. After taking Clomid for a few days, I'll go back in for ultrasounds to track my follicle growth and see how I'm responding to the medicine, and when I should be ready to ovulate. When they're at a good size (and hopefully less than 3 are present so we can proceed), they'll schedule the IUI procedure (i.e. artificial insemination) for probably 2 days later. I'll have one injection that night, 36 hours before the procedure, to help release the eggs and time everything perfectly for the procedure. In theory, this is the idea... then I go in for the procedure, wait 2 weeks, and take a pregnancy test. If negative (likely), we repeat the process all over again until we get a positive pregnancy test. 

HAHA~ too funny, I had to post!
     While at the clinic, I also needed a blood test to check for CMV, Cytomegalovirus. While this sounds rather frightening, it's "a common virus that can infect almost anyone. Most people don't even know they have it because it rarely causes symptoms. However, if you're pregnant or have a weakened immune system, CMV is cause for concern." The RE explained that all sperm donors are tested as part of their screening process, and even if they (or anyone else) is tested positive, it doesn't mean you currently have it, it just means you have been exposed to it in the past. Because we are using donor sperm, I needed to get tested as well, and be aware of the status of the donor because there would be a very small percentage that it could get passed on to me if I were negative, but not to worry. I wasn't totally comprehending (once I heard "we have to take your blood today", I kind of zoned out because of my fear of needles!)... but she said it's just a protocol they need to follow. So I got tested (ouch) and they said I'd get results in a few days, although I didn't really care what the outcome was because she kind of brushed it off like no big deal. 

    We pretty much saw almost every worker in the office that day~ the RE for the consult, the nurse to get blood taken, the patient coordinator to check in with us, and the financial person. We were excited to be switching to IUI in terms of money because it's way more affordable (it's way less invasive with procedures, protocol, etc.). We went in knowing the IUI plan was around $6 thousand for a total of 3 cycles. Big savings compared to the $12 thousand for ONE round of IVF... yep, one. So we were getting 3 cycles for half of that.... but after talking to the rep, we realized our insurance covers IUI!! SCORE!! Team Ricci- 1, Infertility- 0. Take that, sucka! We had forgotten this because we were told IVF was our only shot last year (assuming we would be using Scott), and so we blocked out any and all IUI info. I do now vaguely remember them saying my plan covers it, but a friend on the same plan was told that it didn't, and there were hidden costs. So we were hesitant and asked the rep probably 20 times if she was absolutely sure it was all covered, no hidden costs, and we don't. We have to pay copays, but I don't count that. We have to pay for all the donor sperm, shipping of it, thawing of it, and storage fees if we need more. We also have to pay for Clomid, but for the actual IUI procedures, process, etc, it's covered for unlimited attempts. We were so so soooooo thrilled by this, that we went out for dinner afterward to celebrate! This means we can keep saving for Baby Ricci, rather than putting it all towards the making of Baby Ricci. Yay! 

So, NOW... here's what we do:

*Wait for next cycle to start, and the process begins. 
*Meet with the therapist at the clinic. Now that we are using a donor, we need to have a mandatory meeting to check and see how we are, for support, etc. 
*That's kind of it!! Scott's picked out a donor that he's happy with (blond hair & blue eyes were at the top of the list!), and he ordered it the other day. I got the call that it was shipped yesterday, Valentine's Day... ha, weird.... and it'll arrive at the Norwalk, CT location of our clinic some time on Tuesday, where it'll be stored for the big day. 

Some common questions I've been getting:

*When will the actual IUI procedure happen? 
I don't know. My guess is somewhere in the first week of March, but I have no idea. It's not something we can schedule. It all depends on when my cycle starts, how I respond to Clomid, and when my follicles are a good size to be ready for ovulation. I likely will not know the exact date until 2 days before it happens. It could put a damper on school/social plans because I won't have a choice, but I can't and won't delay the process. We are so ready for this! 

*Could you have multiples?
It's a possibility, yes. Since Clomid can amp up extra egg follicles, it's possible!! I'm extremely nervous to have 3, for lots of health reasons on babies & mama. I would love twins, though! And obviously we would be beyond excited and grateful with one. I have faith that whatever that's meant to be, will be. :)

*How many tries will it take?
Who knows... but I am praying like mad that it happens within the first 3. The chances each try are only about 20%, which actually is the same for couples who don't need fertility assistance and can do it the "normal" way. I know plenty of stories of people conceiving on the first try, and that's all guessed timing. This is so scientifically timed that I will fight like mad for my 1/4 or 1/5 chances! I am so determined to make this happen quickly. 

So, we shall see what the next few months brings. Please send positive thoughts and prayers! 

Thank you for the support of everyone reading. We are extremely grateful!



  1. YAY!!!!! I am so excited for you guys!!! That positive pregnancy test is just around the corner now :-) xoxo

  2. Yay for getting started! So excited for Team Ricci!