XIV. Pregnant?

Making Baby Mettler

Trigger warning: blood.

The week after we got a positive pregnancy test… there was blood. Not a little amount. I was sure I was having a miscarriage. I texted the three people I had told that it was positive that I was having a miscarriage and that I wasn’t ready to talk about it.

The next morning I called the doctors office and they told me to come in for a blood test and then again two days later to see if the pregnancy was progressing, or if I was having a miscarriage. The first blood test came back that I was still pregnant according to my HCG levels, but that that didn’t mean that they wouldn’t start to decline if the bleeding meant I was miscarrying. (This happened to Steph when we were trying with her, but her levels were way lower initially) We didn’t tell anyone anything at this point. We just holed up in bed and cried & pretty much wallowed in our sorrows for 2 days.

On Wednesday (3 days post bleeding), I went in for my second blood test at 8am, and then we waited around for that phone call to tell us what our next steps were going to be. That afternoon at 3:30pm, the phone rang, and we both just stared at it. We weren’t sure if we were ready to hear what they had to say. And then just before it went to voicemail, I answered the call. My numbers had beyond tripled. I was still VERY pregnant!

I asked about the blood and the doctor explained that that was way more common than most people know. She told me to double my progesterone to twice/day (oh joy) and that I would come back in exactly two weeks for my 7 week ultrasound. And as long as everything was good with that, they would release me to my gynecologist.

Those 2 weeks were EXCRUCIATING! There was spotting for a few more days, and I was paranoid to say the least. Every little twinge or cramp sent my brain everywhere. Not to mention, the Progesterone prevents you from showing signs of a miscarriage and actually keeps you from getting a period most of the time. Poor Steph, I of course filled her in about everything that happened throughout the day, which made her just as paranoid while she was trying to be as supportive as possible.

The night before the ultrasound, I didn’t sleep at all! I was so nervous that I’d get there, there wouldn’t be a heartbeat, and I’d be in there all alone when it happened. Covid SUCKS.

The morning of the ultrasound, we got in the car, and I tried to keep my head together and just keep from crying. I walked inside, laid down on the table, Facetimed Steph, Dr. Jaffe walked in and started my Ultrasound. The second it started, there was a loud and clear heartbeat on the screen and speakers. My heart about jumped out of my chest, and both of us sat there in amazement (Steph on Facetime) that this was our baby.

The phone service of course sucked, lol because that’s just how things go. While Dr. Jaffe was looking around in my uterus to make sure that everything was good, it turned out that there was another embryo (OMG TWO EMBRYOS), but before you get too excited, the second embryo stopped growing a week and a half prior (so at 5 and a half weeks), when I was bleeding.

She explained that more than likely, thats what all of my bleeding was from. I asked if I should be worried about this baby being effected by the embryo that had stopped growing. She told me that they refer to it as Vanishing twin syndrome and that I had nothing to worry about. She told me that by my next ultrasound, it should be absorbed and shouldn’t cause any problems. She released me to my OB/GYN, and told me to continue the progesterone until the end of my 12th week of pregnancy, and wished me the best of luck.

OMG We’re having a baby!

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II. Fertility testing during Coronavirus

Making Baby Mettler
oooooo Corona has been oh so fun ….. We were finally able to continue with this baby journey after sitting on our butts for a few months due to this lovely virus. We didn’t want to rush back into it not really knowing what we were getting into with the pandemic. It’s scary enough thinking about bringing a baby into this world without a global plague.. The next step was for me to get an HSG test (Hysterosalpingogram).  If you don’t remember what that is from however long ago that Steph had hers, basically its a test where they inject iodine through your cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes while they have an x-ray machine over you so that they can make sure everything is open, functioning, and in the right shape, literally. I scared myself before the test because I googled if it hurt and soooo many people were saying that they were cramping and about how unpleasant it was… I got to the surgery center prepared to feel like they were going to be ripping my insides out. I had to put on a gown, a cap, and the hospital socks that they told me I could keep as a souvenir (oh yay lol). See exhibit A (my selfie for Steph since she couldn’t be there in person – thanks again ‘Rona): They walked me back into an operating room and told me to climb up on this table and that I could cover up with the paper blanket and not to worry, that “you’ll be covered the whole time”. I laughed and told them that I am the furthest thing from modest and that I’m sure they see so many vaginas each day that I wasn’t worried about it. The nurse laughed and said that it wasn’t even noon and she had already seen more that morning than most people ever see. Turns out, the procedure wasn’t bad at all. It just felt like I reallllly had to pee, and couldn’t, and good news, everything is exactly as it’s supposed to be! There was definitely some serious cramping later that day but It wasn’t unbearable. Now our next step is to call and start meds on Cycle day 1! Baby Journey cost HSG out of pocket cost: $250 out of network fee for surgeon: $99 Total baby-making cost to date: $12,915.05

IUI number 6 – TWW & Results

Making Baby Mettler

Week one has been smooth sailing aside from the bit of nausea from the trigger shot. The first day of week 2 I started getting some cramps and throughout the week getting a little nauseous. I was laying in bed 2 days into week 2 and felt so gross. My hunger has been all over the place, one day I’m starving, the next I’ll eat a snack and pick through dinner. I was hardcore craving popcorn, but that could’ve just been me being hungry, lol. I’ve been freezing also, but the weather in Florida has been in the 40’s and 50’s so that may be why. Symptoms into week 2 are mostly nausea that comes and goes, but nothing else out of the ordinary.

In other news: We bought a new mattress (woohoo adulting!) and I slept like a baby on a cloud! We also got new bedroom furniture which is beautiful and sooo much lighter than the 600 lb solid oak dressers we had in there before.

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Day 14 came around without too much trouble. I think that means we are getting better at being patient? We got up at 5:30am – Sam couldn’t sleep anyway, but I have my calculus class super early. I used the last pregnancy test we had from last month and set a timer for 3 minutes. When the timer went off, I picked it back up and… it wasn’t positive… but it wasn’t quite negative either… The last few tests we’ve taken have been all different brands. This one was + for positive – for negative. There was the faintest little vertical line accompanying the horizontal.

All the other tests had been very solidly negative, like we could look from all directions and shine a light around it and there was NO indication of a positive result. This one is a bit hazy, and it was our last test, so we scheduled an appointment for a blood test after my class, which was actually cheaper than buying a new pregnancy test so win-win! Now we wait until they call us this afternoon. Still trying not to get our hopes up, but we looked up other people’s pregnancy tests online and there’s a big chance we could be pregnant based on that information. This waiting game is serious.

– – –

The blood test came back pretty much inconclusive, but we MIGHT be pregnant! My HCG level was 22.5 and a 25 is “for sure pregnant because you made it past the 5 days thing” whereas anything less than 5 is a no-go. It’s still early which could be the reason for the low level, but we go back on Thursday for another blood test to see if it’s gone up and doubled like it’s supposed to!

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It’s Thursday. I’ve been cramping and I’ve been nauseous to the point where I put a trash bin by the bed just in case. It’s crazy how one day I could go from being an adult to being a mom! It still hasn’t hit me too hard yet. I’ve been super thirsty and bloated, which is normal. Just waiting for the test results is KILLER.

– – –

Blood test results came back and my HCG level is 9. We’re not pregnant. The doctor is qualifying it as a miscarriage since we technically did get pregnant. There’s also a chance that my HCG level could’ve been higher than 22.5 before we took our initial test, but had already started to decline.

Basically what this means was that my egg got fertilized and implanted, but didn’t continue developing. With IVF (we did IUI), after they inject the egg with the sperm, there’s a 5 day waiting period to see which ones turn into viable blastocysts before they transfer the fertilized embryos back into the Uterus. In our case, if we had been doing IVF, this one probably wouldn’t have gotten to that stage. There’s no answer as to why, but this was the first positive pregnancy test we’ve gotten, which means my eggs aren’t broken. It just sucks that it didn’t stick. We were both so excited at the thought of us becoming moms and knowing how close we were. For 2 days we were hardcore preparing to be moms. Today is REALLY rough! Now it’s back to the drawing board.

We have a lot to decide on… Idk if I’m going to try again with me. I really want to sit and think about it and talk to the doctor a bit more.

Baby Journey Cost:

Co-pay for bloodwork: $5 

Total baby-making cost to date: $10,868.38

Making a baby, IUI 3 – Results and plans

Making Baby Mettler

My period decided to come 4 days early so that’s another BFN (big fat negative) attempt. It’s all just really emotionally exhausting. My logical brain can’t comprehend why it’s not working.

We have another appointment coming up with the fertility doctor at Brown so we can do a follow-up appointment to see what our options are and what the cost may or may not be. We also have a second opinion appointment with another Fertility clinic to see if they have other suggestions or options that maybe we haven’t heard from Brown.

So basically, we have some options. I’d love to say we have more options than a straight couple since we are two women, but we’re 0 for 3 so I can’t say how accurate that really is, lol.

There are two sets of eggs between us and two uteri. My eggs are slim pickings basically, and haven’t been super awesome thus far, but we may be able to use them for IVF. That would only make sense if the sperm hasn’t been able to fertilize my eggs. The other thing that could be happening is that they’re getting fertilized, but not implanting, and another could be that they’re just not great eggs and aren’t turning into viable blastocysts (balls of cells that turn into a fetus). IVF would make sure that the eggs are fertilized before implanting them back into me. I’m not sure that there are any tests they can run to see where in this process my eggs aren’t doing what they need to do.. I would also assume that if we try IVF and they can’t fertilize my eggs, then we’ve found the problem, but then do we still have to pay the $20k for the whole process? (end of thought vomit paragraph)

Our other options include using Sam’s eggs and doing IVF with our donor and then having me carry, OR we can try IUI with Sam.

Our appointments are later this month so we will see what they both have to say and what they think the best options for us would be. We are not against trying IUI one more time either, but that’s another bunch of money and I don’t want to keep spending money on this without changing something because clearly there’s some reason why it’s not working.

We can’t control everything.

I still have an A in college physics so there’s that. LOL.

Cost:

Total baby-making cost to date: $5233.71

Making a baby, IUI 2 – Part 3

Making Baby Mettler

We went in Friday for our final ultrasound For this round.  I had a 17mm and a 14mm follicle and the Doctor decided to have us come back on Monday (today) with the hopes that I would have two mature follicles. We were stressing about having to have the sperm delivered to our house because we would’ve had to pay an extra $100 between weekend + home delivery since this fertility office is closed on the weekends. Our nurse, who we LOVE, suggested that we could choose another sperm bank that’s actually only 20 min from our house (and also one of the largest in the country..) and we would pick it up before our appt Monday. (Come to find out, Sperm is cheaper, and we don’t have to pay the $280 for shipping, or the extra $100 for weekend delivery. YAY!)

After the appt on Friday, I had to race to my physics class and Sam was sending me screenshots of some of the donors. I fell in love with the second one she showed me and while we were sort of attached to our other donor, we’re more interested in making a baby and being able to afford it. Ordering from this sperm bank was actually a few hundred cheaper, so that was a huge upside.


This morning, Monday, insemination day, we went to the sperm bank, picked up our giant yellow box of sperm, buckled it into the seatbelt, and headed to the fertility clinic. Once we got there, we had to wait for the sample to thaw (20 min) and got called back into the procedure room. Our nurse came in and let us know that the sample we got wasn’t as motile as it should’ve been (basically less than 30% of them were swimming) So we got on the phone with the company. They said that this refund process can take a couple of days to be approved…. We decided that since everything is super time-sensitive, we would go ahead with the insemination anyways and not waste the cycle. It only takes 1 good swimmer to make this thing work, after all….

So we are dealing with that this morning. I really hope this time works – I think my excitement has faded into impatience, which I’m working on.

Fingers crossed!

Cost:
$250 for Ultrasound number 3 this go-round!
$787 for sperm plus $50 pickup fee through Cryos International
$500 Insemination

Total baby-making cost to date: $4794.10

Our Fertility Journey

Making Baby Mettler

This has been quite the journey for us and #sorrynotsorry for the lack of social interaction, responses, blog posts, etc. Trying to make a baby has pretty much consumed our lives since January 2019 when we started going to doctor appointments. I’ve been documenting our journey via blog posts including costs and our experiences. We had initially planned to post-date all of our blog posts until we got a positive pregnancy, but that hasn’t turned out the way we were expecting.

We’ve been going to the fertility clinic here in Orlando and we recently got a negative result for our third attempt with IUI, or intrauterine insemination, which is artificial insemination via a catheter using a sperm donor. This might be a surprise to most of you since we had been keeping it hush-hush. It’s not very fun to be “the girl who cried wolf” on top of the pressure of having people ask us “are you pregnant yet!?”. It has taken quite a toll on both of us emotionally and physically and it’s only gotten worse each time we’ve tried. 

I think it’s important that we (Samantha and I) share our experiences with the public eye simply because this is a real issue. Being two women doesn’t necessarily increase our chances of becoming pregnant with a donor. I don’t have anything physically/biologically wrong on paper, and honestly, I thought this would go much smoother than it’s been going. We aren’t looking for sympathy or anything like that.. I just want whoever is reading this who may be struggling with infertility to know that you’re not alone.

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Around September of 2018, we did a bunch of research and decided that IUI was the best option for us. We chose a sperm donor that resembled Sam’s characteristics since the baby will already be getting half of my genetics. We went to a bunch of fertility appointments over the course of a few months (Dec 2018 – Feb 2019) and I got poked and prodded and tested and we finally went through 3 cycles of IUI over the course of 4 months (March 2019, May 2019, and June 2019)

Honestly, the last 8 months have been quite a whirlwind. We have a lot more to go through, but I’ll be posting our past blogs for everyone to read. I hope our journey can help others going through similar experiences, whether it be a same sex couple, someone struggling with infertility, or a single mom doing this by herself.

Thank you all so much for the support and love. ❤