Saturday, 30 April 2011

Brave or Stupid?

I got back from my trip last night at 10pm, and had a scan thing morning at 7.45am. Yuck! When I made the appointment I thought that my flight got in 2 hours earlier than it did. But hey, I'm up and awake and will hopefully be (semi) productive this morning.

Now to the other thing: we're cancelling the IUI this cycle. We're still going to try with timed intercourse (how romantic that sounds, my husband pointed out) but we're not going to go through a week of scans and $600 worth of treatment.

Here's why: I suspected, and was correct, that I'm responding to the Clomid even slower this time. I'm one day further in the cycle than last time, but it took the tech ages to find the follie on the right side, which was 1cm, and the left was 1.1cm. I then asked Dr K a series of questions I had prepared before hand (I get flustered sometimes and forget to ask things.)

Q: How am I responding?
A: Slowly, we need to wait more.

Q: Am I responding slower than last time?
A: Yes

Q: The thing is, the IUI is kind of expensive, so what do you think about waiting and trying timed intercourse this cycle, and then injections next time?
A: That is also an option...

Q: What was my husband's motility before treatment last time?
A: 60%, which is in the upper-normal range

We talked a bit more, and I decided to convert this to a medicated timed cycle, rather than the full IUI. As you can probably tell, I had been thinking about it this week while I was away. Given that the issue is probably my fallopian tubes, and my husband's motility is good without treatment, if I'm not really responding to the Clomid, it seems like a waste of time and money to go through all the hassle of an IUI this time around.

I mentioned this all to my husband last night, and he agreed with me. I wanted to wait and see how I had responded before making any real decisions, but I was determined to be brave rather than continue with an expensive cycle when the chances aren't really that much higher (or rather no one is able to tell me whether the chances are any higher) than Clomid with timed intercourse.

We're feeling good about this decision. While I'm not confident we'll get out bfp this way, I feel I've made the right decision financially. As Dr K said: 'cost-effective.'

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Awards Part 1

Thanks to both China Doll at Infertility in China and Krissi at Stress Free Infertility for giving me awards on the same day! I'm so pleased that people think of me!

The rules of the awards are a little bit complicated for me, and might take me a few days to do, so I'll do them part 1 and part 2!

Seven things about me.

1. I live outside of my country of birth by choice and currently have no plans to return. I have chosen a career that gives me the freedom to live abroad. And given the UK government's new student visa regulations, there may not be that many jobs in my field left in the UK soon!

2. I live in Seoul, South Korea with my husband of two years and our slightly agoraphobic cat, Patxi.

3. I'm currently addicted to audiobooks. They're so great for travelling around the city, cleaning the house, doing tedious things at work. I pay for all of my audio books and get them from

4. I'm an Aries, and I definitely am an Aries. Half the time I think zodiac signs are a load of rubbish, but then I look at Arien character traits and reconsider.

5. I love cooking, but haven't got much time at the moment to devote to it. I miss it.

6. I harbour ambitions as a fiction writer but I am currently lacking three things: focus (infertility is a b*tch), a work ethic, and an idea for a novel that I can maintain interest in. This blog is actually a way of keeping writing and trying to get my distracting infertility thoughts out of my mind so I can focus. So far not working too well.

7. I work as an EFL teacher for an incredibly serious school that takes up a lot of my time and energy (see number 5 and 6 on this list). I mostly like my job, but not the time it takes up. I'm working on my work-life-treatment balance right now.

I will do my blog links in the next post!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

IUI Number 2

I was super early to the clinic, as the traffic wasn't as bad as I had expected, and I was able to go in early - did I mention I love my clinic?

I adopted a new strategy with Dr K. Instead of telling him everything I was thinking, I just waited to see what he thought. He recommended another IUI, which is where I was leaning in the end as well. He did seriously remind me that my fallopian tubes might not be working correctly. I got the impression he's going to want to move on to IVF soon.

He wanted to move on to injectables this time, but I'm going away for a few days next week. Even though I could have got all the injections done here in Korea, I wouldn't have been able to go in for the scans. I thought, briefly, about cancelling my trip, but Dr K quickly said we can try again with Clomid this cycle. Also, I really didn't want to cancel my trip - I've been really, really stressed with treatments and work. I can take the Clomid while I'm away and then go in for a scan the day after I come back.

I know that I didn't respond fantastically to the Clomid last time, so I'm a little disappointed not to be moving on with this cycle. However weighing it all up I think it's best that I go on a break for a few days. I'm going with a friend, not my husband, so I can have a real break from fertility stuff.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Happy April ICLW!

Welcome to anyone stopping by from ICLW. If you leave a comment I will come and visit you as well.

In brief: TTC 3+ years. 1 ectopic March 2010, 1 misdiagnosis March 2010, 1 retest March 2011, IUI#1 April 2011 with clomid - BFN. For more details please see About and/or Timelines. You can also check out how much it has cost us, but I haven't gotten around to adding the IUI yet, so factor in another $600 or so!

I'm actually going in this afternoon to talk things over with the doctor to see what our next step should be as I am undecided at the moment.

I live in South Korea and work as an EFL teacher.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Bad Timing

As I mentioned earlier this week, I'm a teacher. Every six months, the parents are invited to come and watch their little darlings speak English together. It's stressful, everyone worries about it, and I had my observed classes yesterday and the day before.

Most of my classes are a little bit older, and well behaved. However I have one class of 6 and 7 year olds who have only been studying English for 6 weeks. There are 14 of them, they don't speak English yet, and I have difficulty controlling them (though they are slowly improving). I was really worried about this class observation.

Guess when I started spotting yesterday? Ten minutes before this class.

My plan had been to test with a cheapie every morning, so I could get used to negative results (if they were negative), so if AF turned up at work, I would be prepared and could handle it. As you can see from yesterday's post, I had already tested a few times and got a negative results, but I was still holding out hope. I was only at 11 days post IUI. My 2WW was only 11 days!

The next question is what to do next? Do we go for another IUI, or go for the big guns and try IVF? I'll discuss it with Dr K, but if we choose another IUI I'll have to go in in the next couple of days. I can't decide.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


Day 11 post IUI

My hpts arrived yesterday while I was at work, so after discussing it with my husband I did a cheapie last night. Negative. The plan was to just do a cheapie, but I was so upset that I used one of the First Response ones just to be sure (I'm not wholly confident about the cheapies, there is a reason they're so cheap). Also negative. Cheapie this morning with fmu: negative.

I don't feel too bad because I don't think I've given up yet. It's still 4/5 days to my AF due date, (though it might be 3/4 if I count from the date of the trigger/IUI) but according to the box blurb a First Response should show by now it I were pregnant.

I still have some of the symptoms, but I think realism has well and truly set in.

Monday, 18 April 2011


The big question: when to test? I haven't got my early hpts through the mail yet, and goodness knows really when they'll turn up. The pregnancy tests I've used here in Korea are all 25mIU, so it's far too early to use one of them yet. The clinic also said to wait to test if my period doesn't turn up. I know I ovulated on the 7th, so Thursday or Friday might be the big day.

The big problem: I'm a teacher. Once my day gets started, it's really difficult to get anyone to cover if you're suddenly 'ill' during the day. If AF turns up at work, I don't know how I will handle it. At some points I have a 15 minute break between classes, what if I discover it then?

If I had had no symptoms so far, I think it would have been fine. I wasn't expecting the IUI to work, so my period showing up would just be confirmation of what I already believed. However I have had symptoms. Every day. And they all point to the IUI working: breast changes, AF like cramping (a lot of it since day 5 post IUI, reducing now) my temp is up one degree (though as I suck at charting, this is based on very spotty data and I'm trying not to believe it too much)

At the moment, I believe the IUI has worked. But I'm also a realist who knows the stats, and has lost a pregnancy before. If AF comes, and I've had a chemical pregnancy, or if these symptoms are all in my head or unconnected coincidences, then I'm not sure how I'm going to handle it.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Let's Consult Dr. Google

This is what my 'recent searches' in Google shows today:

first response pregnancy test
How does a first response early pregnancy test work?
when does a 10 mIU test detect pregnancy?
grey's anatomy
cramping in early pregnancy
early cramping in pregnancy
downton abbey
nipples in pregnancy
nipples in early pregnancy
sore nipples in early pregnancy
sore nipples in pregnancy early pregnancy
hysterical pregnancy symptoms

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Symptom Spotting Part 1

Spring has finally come to Seoul, and with it I am dusting off my spring clothes. Yesterday I was wearing a top I haven't worn for about six months, which ties under the bust at the back, and therefore highlights the shape of my boobs.

At the beginning of the day I didn't notice it, but by the evening, I felt like a figurehead on a ship, walking around with my boobs leading me everywhere. I walked past a mirror suddenly, caught my reflection out of the corner of my eye and thought 'whoa! My boobs are bigger! I must be pregnant!'

The trouble is, am I imagining it? Did I become slightly aware of my boobs in that top, and then I noticed them more and think they were bigger, or were they actually bigger? Usually I would just assume that I had put on a little bit of weight, but actually I have lost a kilo over the last week. If I'm honest though, my bras are still fitting, and wearing my pyjamas now, I can't really see any difference.

I am still getting some cramping, but again that could be anything.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

2WW Day 5: Symptom Spotting

I think perhaps because suddenly nothing is happening I don't quite know what to do with myself. I don't have to go to the clinic, get probed, or take any medication. It's weird. Good weird, but weird.

Things I have done: ordered a bumper pack of cheapie pregnancy tests online. Who knows when they'll arrive but they are 10mIU. I hope they get here for next week. I have decided that even if we have a chemical pregnancy, I want to know, because then at least I will know my fallopian tubes are working in some way.

I've also been obsessively noticing cramping. I definitely have tenderness, but, as I keep obsessively reminding myself, it could be anything at this stage.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Clomid plus Trigger equals Headache!

I have had a massive headache for the last two days. One of those headaches that you suddenly realise you've had for a while and that doesn't respond to anything. One of those headaches that is still there when you're asleep and when you wake-up. I know it's a response to the clomid and the trigger, but that doesn't make it go away. It's exhausting to be in pain all day, and tonight I work til 10 o'clock.

I was just cleaning up the kitchen - my husband cooked last night which I appreciate, but I don't appreciate the mess he leaves the kitchen in - when I turned around and slammed my head into an open cupboard door. I just started hysterically crying and shouting at my husband that it was his fault because he hadn't cleaned the kitchen.

Oh dear.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Details. 2WW Day 1

In order to reassure myself, I have been browsing blogs and looking at other people's measurements and such when they got bfps with IUI. So here are ours all in one place:

Clomid 100mg. 2 follicles at 14mm and 22mm. Lining at 10mm Sperm count: ? Motility 99%

Which all looks good, so of course now I'm worried about things being good, and it still not working.

In other news, I've been having some cramping this morning, which I've read is normal. I also found this link to CafePress's infertility line of T-shirts and other things which are awesome over on Mutemockingbird's site.

Right, must take the cat to the vet later today - why should I be the only one getting poked and probed all the time?

Friday, 8 April 2011

IUI complete

I went to the clinic twice today. Once early this morning with my husband when he gave his sample (only fair as he came with me to a 7.45 last Saturday) and then I went back this afternoon to have the IUI. I had to come back in between as we had workmen coming in to fix various things in the apartment. So I've been across the city and back twice today, but it's a nice day so it hasn't been too horrible. No radioactive rain from Japan today!

I was really, really nervous on the way there and while getting changed for the pre-procedure ultrasound. It started with nerves about the procedure, then shifted to nerves about whether I would cry in front of the doctor if it doesn't work, then shifted to other things about pregnancy/ectopics/no heartbeats.

However while I waited for my ultrasound I realised I should only worry about one thing at once, that I should worry about things in order, and at that moment the worst thing that could happen would be that we wouldn't proceed with the procedure. I had prepared myself already for this possibility, so I just focused on the fact that if that happened we would just go again next cycle.

Feeling calmer, I proceeded to Dr K, who told me that I had ovulated, and that before the cleaning my husband's motility was 60%, and after was a fantastic 99%! Can't remember how much there was, but he didn't seem worried about it. Also, my lining was at 1cm.

The procedure went as I'm sure most of these procedures go. It took probably less than a minute, was uncomfortable but not terrible (a walk in the park after the HSG), and then I just had to wait ten minutes. The only thing that was a little unnerving was that it wasn't a private room. It was separated by curtains and there was another woman on the other side of the curtain. Dr K did my IUI, then just pulled the curtain at the end of my bed, and shifted over to the next woman. Of course, I didn't understand anything being said to her, and probably vice-versa, so patient confidentiality was being protected I guess!

So now I'm at home, ready to start asking Dr Google about success rates with our factors. Of course, there won't be data on open but possibly knackered fallopian tubes in the bargain, but I think it's necessary to feel hope, rather than pessimism.

Fingers and everything else crossed.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


Really long day today, starting at 9.30 at the clinic. Super quick ultrasound, she only measured ovaries and not the lining, then on to Dr K. Good news, right side at 2.2cm. Left still at 1.4. Had my trigger shot this morning, going for the IUI on Friday afternoon. I'm relieved to have got to this point. I'm also looking forward to a day tomorrow where I don't have to go to the clinic before work!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Third Scan

Progress. One follie at 1.7 and one at 1.4. Back tomorrow for another scan. I asked about my response and he said that while it was a little slow, more than one follicle was developing so it was successful. IUI probably Friday or Saturday

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Second Scan

Wow, the clinic was so quiet at 7.45am. Went in to ultrasound really quickly, had the good tech again (or maybe I'm just getting used to it). Got a free coffee from the machine and then when I went over to Dr K's office the nurse was standing in the doorway waiting for me and ushered me in immediately.

Now the not so good news. Dr K says that now I'm slow to respond and come back on Tuesday to measure again. From looking at the tech screen and at his notes I seem to now have one at 1.1cm and one at 1.2cm. I'm a little confused as 2 days ago I had a good size follie. Has it shrunk again, or has it popped already? Dr K can be a little difficult to ask questions to, but knowing that answer wouldn't change anything in this cycle anyway, would it? The information only serves going into the next round of treatment, and I'm sure Dr K has taken note of it.

The timing actually works better this way. Tuesday is a big day at work with our big-big boss visiting, so I didn't want to have the IUI in the morning and then go into quite a tense day. I'm actually hoping to be able to take my classes off that day if possible, but if we're having an important visit there would be no way without causing problems for everyone.

I'm disappointed to be responding slowly, but it's a long road yet and I don't want to get upset at every small setback.