Long conception story w/ answer to Lynsey's question
Lynsey - not a stupid question AT ALL!
How would we ever learn if we didn't ask questions? (At least that's the way my dental hygienist put it when she quizzed me about my whole quest to parent! I swear, we spent more time talking about babies than my teeth...)
It actually isn't just the freezing alone - it's the combination of frozen sperm and intrauterine insemination (IUI). I think most of us know that xx (girl) sperm are stronger in the long run (or perhaps the long swim?), whereas xy (boy) sperm swim faster but are weaker and die quicker. The combination of freezing and then IUI deals the sperm a really difficult situation. #1, because of the freezing, their life span is cut to a max of 24 hours. #2, because you bypass the protective cervical fluids during IUI and dump the sperm directly into the uterus, which is a hostile environment, it shortens their life span even more - to an average of 8 hours total. I don't know if IUI with fresh sperm has this short short life span - I don't think that it does.
The 8-hour window really makes the long-term swimming strength of the xx sperm moot. If you've got that little time, the fastest swimmers are going to be the ones who get to the egg before dying. And... voila! Your chances of a boy increase exponentially.
I was very lucky on the Dec. insem - I think it was more than luck, though. I had had a hard time getting into the fertility/ttc "state of mind" - wasn't taking my prenatals, was having a glass of wine with dinner every night, all that good stuff they tell you to avoid to improve your fertility... and worst of all, I was totally forgetting to check my pee for an LH surge! With my HMO you have to call in by 1:30 the day of your surge to have an insem the next morning. On 09 Dec I totally spaced and remembered that I hadn't checked at about 2:15, which was too late. I thought in the evening I should check to be sure I hadn't missed it and got the darkest LH surge line I had ever seen. My insem was on 11 Dec which was a minimum of 36 hours after I surged... you're supposed to ovulate 12-40 hours after a surge with a supposed "average" of 24. So I thought my chances were slim to none of conceiving, but the sperm was at the clinic, so I figured we should at least try.
Now keep the quote "coincidence? I think not." in your head. The morning of my insem I:
Woke up w/o alarm clock with plenty of time to have a relaxing morning before driving to my 8AM insem. I usually hit snooze several times and ended up running crazy and late.
Found $2 in the front of my wallet that I didn't know I had, so I didn't have to raid the change jar for parking money at the clinic. Normally I woke Jo up doing this.
There was gorgeous mist coming off of Lake Calhoun, a lake I pass on my way to the clinic. It really soothed my mind.
I found a parking spot immediately - first time ever!
I was calm and relaxed with *warm hands* which was totally out of the ordinary.
I was having Mittelschmerz (ovulation sensation) on my left side when I got there.
I think that the baby was messing with my head to get me to forget to check my pee so that he/she could be conceived! It was try #5.
And that, my dears, is a terribly long post about the trials and tribulations of ttc with frozen sperm and iui. If you've been through it, thank God you're here, and if you haven't, I hope you never have to! It's so hit or miss. Glad we finally hit!!