My partner and I of 8 years have been TTC our first child together for about 18 months. Although we have tried many different things, we have not been successful. We were hoping that we could tell everyone here what we have tried and receive some much needed support and advice. Here goes...
Began BBT charting 4/08
First Cycle TTC 7/08
4 vials frozen donor sperm
3 faint BFPs on 12 DPO
2nd Cycle 8/08
Same as above
3rd Cycle 9/08
4th Cycle 10/08
Natural Progesterone cream
5th Cycle 11/08
6th Cycle 12/08
Visit with RE
50 mg Clomid days 3-7
7th Cycle 1/09
Natl. Prog. cream
100 mg Clomid days 3-7
8th Cycle 2/09
Same as above
9th Cycle 3/09
Same as above
10th Cycle 4/09
Right tube possibly blocked?
53 day cycle, Provera needed to bring on AF
11th Cycle 6/09
100 mg Clomid days 3-7
Cycle canceled, only 1 follicle on right side (blocked side)
12th Cycle 7/09
1 vial Dr. assisted IUI
Clomid 100 mg days 5-9
Monitored, 1 follicle on left side
13th Cycle 8/09
14th Cycle 9/09
Lap & HSG
All clear, right tube blockage seems to have cleared, no endo
15th Cycle 10/09
1 vial at home
1 vial Dr. assisted IUI
100 mg Clomid days 3-7
150 Menopur days 8-9
HCG trigger shot
Prometrium used vaginally
Monitored, multiple follicles, 2 mature, right and left
BFN 17 dpo, still waiting for AF
Thank you so much for reading. I'm sorry it's so long...as you can see, we have tried alot! In addition to what is listed above, we have changed donors many times, sperm banks twice, ate fresh pineapple (as much as I could stomach, yuck!), been on prenatal vitamins since 4/08, and of course, lots of positive thinking! We really don't know what the next step should be. My RE, although willing to try whatever we suggest, is not very big on actually telling us what to do. We are very heart-broken over all of this. Some ideas we are kicking around: trying Femara alone, trying Femara + Menopur, trying Clomid + Menopur again, ordering drugs from Canada (the cost is killing us), trying just Menopur, and trying 2-3 IUI per month instead of just 1. These are just some of our plans. I have been a lurker here for a while and it seems as though all of the posters are caring and knowledgeable. Any ideas, suggestions, comments, support, and success stories are welcome.
Looking forward to getting to know all of you,
Jess & Susan (DP)
I would defintely get a phone consult with Maia Midwifery (http://www.maiamidwifery.com) and have your ovulation charts and more specific insemination history sent over to them too.
I would also start talking about the possibility of trying to convice with the other partner. It seems like the two of you really want to have a baby, maybe switching who will be the gestational carrier might allow for it it happen a little sooner for you both.
After a very frustrating couple of years we got pregnant the first cycle after starting acupuncture. It doesn't work for everyone, but for us, I just know it made a big difference. (it also did wonders for morning sickness)
Best of luck to you!
Still madly in with jb after 10 years and chasing after my precocious toddler
I know after three or four frozen cycles, I really thought I'd be pregnant right away with fresh sperm. Fast forward through an entire year of trying. And now I'm on my third cycle with the second donor.
Right now, I'm pinning on my hopes on the high-powered meds, so clearly I have not learned my lesson.
The reality is that no matter how lively the sperm, if you're not getting enough eggs, you're not going to get pregnant. I hate to be a downer . . . it does sound like you do make eggs, and maybe you just need more of the drugs, and fresh sperm would definitely be a good idea...if you can find the right sperm and if you can get on board with it. It's a bit of switch from frozen in terms of working out the logistics and the legalities, etc. For me, it was definitely the decision I am most comfortable with in this entire process.
We have also talked about my partner being the biological mom. I really want to have a biological child of my own as she already has 4 biological kids. I want to experience being pregnant and having that "special" bond with a baby. It's not out of the picture for her to try if it comes down to it that I can never carry a baby.
I am going to look into having acupuncture as I have seen where it's helped a lot of people conceive. I also tend to be a little stressed out and a glass half empty person so I'm wondering if that plays a part in the whole process. My partner keeps trying to remind me that I am only 28 and have many years to have a baby.
Given that, do you have any other options for other REs? I feel like, after six cycles of Clomid not working, you should be moved to another level of intervention -- injectables, IVF, etc. Do you have coverage for those things, by any chance? I know that's hard to come by in many parts.
If you can't go to that level, I think you should do everything you can to continue with IUIs. They are so much more accurate in terms of getting the "goods" where they need to be. I think you've only done two. You might try two -- one at 12 or 24 hours past O and one at 36 hours past O. Potentially with a trigger shot.
I'm wondering, also, if you have a sense of when exactly you O.....it could be very close to your positive OPK and you might be missing it by insemming too late? Just a thought....
Let us know what you decide in terms of next steps.
Thank you all for your responses. We have talked about using a fresh donor, and even had one last Christmas to donate. But, we looked into the legal side of it, and there are no laws that protect me and my partner from the donor coming back 2 years down the road and wanting visitation with our baby. I would have no choice but to give him visitation. My partner and I do not want the donor to have any type of relationship with the baby. We deal with my partner's ex having visitation and being in the picture with her kids. It is nothing but a BIG headache.
There recently was a case in Pennsylvania in which a known donor was sued for custody and the court upheld the agreement, even though it was only a verbal agreement.
Donor agreements have not really been tested in the courts, so you're right, it's not a surefire thing. However, you can do your best to protect yourself and your family with a donor agreement, and if you find the right donor, you all sign a written agreement, and then after the child is born, you go to court to have his parental rights severed. Then it would be irrevocable.
Perhaps I'm seeing this through rose-coloured glasses - like I said, the decision to find a KD is the one I am the most at peace with of every single decision I've made in the past three years - but I don't think you can compare the relationship of a KD to a parent with that of a parent to an ex who also the children's other parent. It's just not the same thing. It could be that having a KD is not the right choice for your family. But maybe something else is.
I think Megin's advice is good, and very helpful. One thing you could think about, if you do decide to switch to a different RE, is to find out who all the lesbians in town use. There are differences to working with fresh and frozen sperm, not so much technically, but in terms of balancing cost/risks/benefits.
I don't think you should give up yet - as far as getting help, you're kind of in the same place I am, and that's just getting started, which is at once encouraging and frustrating. There's at once a lot of new things to try and a long way to go.
Another thing to think about is whether you're willing to be an egg donor. This wasn't an option for me, because my eggs would be considered unsuitable, but there are ways to do IVF and get it mostly paid for by someone who has more money (or better insurance!) but needs eggs. The way it works is that you split the eggs that come out of the cycle.
Another option for you might be embryo donation, where you would get donated embryos from someone else who feels their family is complete and wants someone else to take the embryos. THis is sometimes called embryo "adoption" but I don't like the implicaitons of that term, so I don't use it.
None of this is to say that you can't get pregnant on your own, with Clomid and IUI, or with injectables or IVF, but it sometimes help to think about each option and figure out what's important to you. Is it the biological connection? Is it being pregnant and giving birth? Is it raising a baby from birth? Or a child from toddlerhood or preschool years?
If I were in your shoes and I had enough money, I would try IVF. Yes, its expensive, but if you have the money, the success rates are much higher. I personally think your spending way too much time and money trying low cost proceedures that aren't working for you. If your 35 and older, then your chances of getting pregnant are much slimmer as each month passes by.
Megincl, the re that I am seeing is the closest one on our insurances. She was more than willing to move to injectables. She even asked us which one we wanted to use. She's not that personable but I guess a lot of doctor's aren't. I guess that's my biggest problem with her. It's an extremely emotional process and I want some advice but she doesn't offer any. It's a lot different seeing her than when I see my midwife. Maybe I just need to get used to her. I have used ovidrel twice now and I seem to ovulate 36 hrs past that. My re does the insemination 36 hrs past trigger. My partner and I have been talking about doing 2 IUI's a month to see if that makes a difference. It's extremely frustrating as there seems to be nothing wrong with me. My uterus and tubes are fine. So I find myself asking many times why isn't it working?
FtMPapa, the thing that is most important to me is that the child is biologically mine. Otherwise, my partner would definitely be the one getting pregnant! I'm not looking forward to pushing a baby out but it will be worth it in the end. Thank you for all of your info/suggestions. I am willing to be an egg donor but I am a little overweight so I don't know if they would accept me for that or not. I am otherwise healthy. I keep going back and forth about using fresh.
I am thinking about trying Femara the next cycle. I don't know if I should add the Menopur to that or just try the Femara alone. Or if I should try other meds? I'm still waiting for af to arrive and we plan to take a month or two off so I guess I have time to figure it out.
Thanks for filling us in. I totally know how you feel about not knowing exactly where to go next in the process. I really believe that a good RE will be your guide in that. One of the biggest reliefs for me in our process (long and torrid) was changing from an OB to an RE. With the OB, we had to call the shots and make the decisions. The RE swept us off our feet and gave us all our options and his suggestions. Having the pressure of deciding what was right for us was a HUGE burden. I only fully came to understand that when we switched to the RE. So, if there's any way to even just have a consult with another RE, you might want to look into that. Getting someone who provides more guidance might be worth the extra drive.
Where should I start to get a better handle on all the preparations needed?? We have read the Brill & Toevs book, and are sometimes charting well, sometimes not. We jumped the gun this month and I think inseminated too early (based on a LH positive, but only one other fertility sign) so we really have no idea if we are dpo or not!
In any case, we are looking for support and friendship here as we begin our (hopefully) parenting journey
HalfGiggle - one thing to think about with your RE, I'm not sure how yours practices, but I don't expect I'll be seeing mine that often. My RE is two+ hours away, so I get my ultrasounds and bloodwork done here locally at an OBGYN clinic that is a "satellite monitoring" center for the fertility/IVF clinic, and then the clinic calls me in the afternoon with the results.
I actually prefer it this way than to going into the clinic, getting an ultrasound, getting blood, and waiting for the doc every morning, which is what I did at my first clinic. This is much faster for me, and much easier and more convenient than I could have possibly hoped for - I live in a small town, the OBGYN is a five minute drive, the closest fertility clinic is 35 minutes +. This is WAY better for me.
So, even if you RE was two or three or four hours away but you only have to make the drive every couple of months, or less often, it could be worth it.
I had a midwife do my IUI last month, it was an amazingly good experience. It's slightly less convenient when I have to schedule things, but the nuisance of scheduling the ultrasound at the clinic, then to the hospital for blood work, then to the midwife for an insem, and getting mail-order meds, etc, means that I get the best RE available, in the middle of nowhere.
Basically, we drove for our initial consult (me and my partner in babymaking/KD) and we planned to drive for my IUI, and then didn't. And if we do IVF, we'll have to drive twice - once for egg retrieval and fertilization, and once for egg transfer, and that's it. Technically, KD will only have to come (HA!) for the first one, and we'll get a friend to drive since I won't be able to and he generally doesn't, and I'll likely drive myself or with a friend for the second.
My rather long-winded point is that you might only have to make the trip once for an initial consult, and then only for procedures, so it might end up being very little travelling. It might also make it possible for you to shop around a bit.
Finally, I'd encourage you both to join us on the Queer TTC thread for December. At least in part, we keep the thread to avoid taking over the forum with TTC questions since the same things come up so often and we are the most active members, it seems, and primarily, to build community. Come join us!
mtnlisa, my partner does most of the research and I ask her the same questions constantly. Sometimes she tells me, "I answered that question 5 times already!" I will have her respond with books and things that she has read. I know that she has gotten a lot of books from the library. Good luck to you in your journey.
I then took a 3 month break and I felt that I was at a crossroads. Do more medical intervention, or do some of my own research, and try to get healthy on my own? I decided to give going natural and getting healthy a try. I started acupuncture 1-2 times a wk, took a combination of chinese and western herbs. Took a bunch of supplements including royal jelly, evening primrose oil, prenatal, xtra folic acid, L-carnitine, L-arginine. I also cut all sugar, white flour, and processed foods from my diet. I also cut out coffee, and added green tea (up to 4 to 5 cups a day), and limited alcohol to less than 2 drinks a week. I ate gogi, and acai berries, and tons of fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, and pomegranates.
I recommend the book The Tao of Fertilty and The Infertility Cure. But esp. the first one. It gave me the kick in the butt I needed, I read it daily and followed his recommendations as much as I could. The book also talks a lot about how trying to conceive really taxes the body, and that the body needs to be nourished to carry a baby.
After making these changes I became pregnant the first try. I am now at 12 weeks. Good luck to you.
Me (34) Partner (30) Parents to DS born at home (6/2010). We are TTC #2.
Thank you for all of your tips/advice. I will look into getting those books and trying some of those herbs/supplements. I don't know if I can cut sugar out of my diet though! But if it needs to be done, it needs to be done! Congrats on your pregnancy!
So, with much irony, DP and I decided that seeking someone with healthy young eggs was our best option. First try with an egg donor, BFP, started out with triplets (!) but lost one baby around 10 weeks. Two beautiful little girls who, even though they are not genetically related to us, I was able to carry and breastfeed, etc. We are now pg (first try) with one child using another egg donor.
It sounds like such a short story here, but in reality it was 4 years of heartbreak and a lot of soul searching about what our priorities were. I was offered the option of continuing to do the monitored IUIs, but I couldn't emotionally handle the hope followed by the despair anymore. This was the best decision for us. Everyone's road is different. Do what feels right, but don't be afraid to consider all of the options. And best of luck to you on the road to motherhood.
Mommy to girls 9/2005, our angel babies 2004 and 2005, and our intact, ebf 4/29/2010.