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03-12-2014 03:14 PM
Twomommyfamily This thread is back around! I don't participate on the boards anymore, but I still read occasionally to see how everyone is doing. Here is my story:

I am currently 17 weeks along with fraternal twin boys. EDD is 8/20, but it seems they will be scheduling a c section for 8/6 (38 weeks) if the boys don't arrive sooner.

We started trying when I was 34 in January of 2013 with IUIs in the RE's office through Kaiser. We used exclusively frozen willing-to-be-known swimmers from CA Cryobank. I had extensive testing on my hormone levels and an HSG in December prior to any attempts. I ovulate predictably, had been temping for several months and always had a good temp switch at cd15, but my luteal phase was short- 8-9 days. Everything looked good on the hormone levels except for low/borderline AMH at .85 the first test and 1.4 the second. Low enough for them to say I had Diminished Ovarian Reserve. So we knew it might not be easy. As for the short luteal phase, the RE wasn't all that concerned, she just prescribed progesterone suppositories for after each insem.

Based on the AMH result I continually used supplements that supposedly improve egg quality throughout this process: CoQ10, L-Arginine, and royal jelly. The first try was a monitored natural cycle with trigger and progesterone, BFN. Second try was a monitored clomid cycle, BFP but a chemical pregnancy with super low betas. Third try with clomid again after 2 month break, BFN. Fourth try felt like perfection- clomid and two of the biggest follies ever for me at trigger time (22 and 24) and best SA ever (135 mil total motility), BFP followed by the highest betas ever, definitely in the twins or triplets range. Then a devastating early MC at 5.5 weeks. Two months later the RE begrudgingly did a 4th attempt with clomid, BFN. Five total IUI attempts. Sprinkled in there on my months off I did try a couple at home, unmedicated ICI attempts and we tried ICI at home twice with my DW, all BFN.

Through all 4 clomid attempts my uterine lining thinned repeatedly and required estrogen suppositories to thicken it up which never seemed quite right, like the quality of my lining was really suffering just so we could maybe have 2 follies instead of one each month. Not worth it.

After the 5th IUI was a BFN and I was sufficiently fed up with clomid we had a meeting with the RE to discuss next steps. We did more testing to look for clotting factors, genetic issues, and immune responses that might also cause repeat miscarriage and found nothing. I was feeling very done with clomid and I secretly blamed it for the losses because of my poor lining though I also knew it could also be a result of the low AMH and egg quality/DOR. The next cycle would be injectable with menopur.

The menopur cycle was interesting and short! It was right after I turned 35 (so feeling scared when I see on my kaiser paper work "advanced maternal age"). Started injecting 1.5 vials on cd2, went on cd7 for ultrasound, had 3 follies, all seemed too small still to me (I think it was 15, 14, 12). cd10 was going to be a holiday and the office would be closed so she said trigger the next morning (cd8!?) for an insem the morning of cd9. I have read that follies can be mature when they are smaller if using mentropins, but it was hard for me to believe anything could be mature at cd9, regardless. SA that morning was also just average, I think 35 mil total motility (which is actually high, but the numbers we've gotten from CA Cryobank had been extremely good and we got spoiled). And to top it off they thawed the sperm vial a full 3 hours before my IUI. I figured this was becoming the most expensive waste of time ever. We had picked up two vials of swimmers from the cryobank to also do an attempt at home later that night but the RE convinced us not to saying that IUI should cover me for ovulation. We ended up returning that vial.

Thank goodness we did, maybe later that vial can become baby number 3 when it's DW's turn! By 8dpo my breasts ached and my uterus felt sore and I knew it had worked. I didn't test till 15dpo because I hate testing but DW thought we should know for sure and it was BFP. No betas this time. They caused us so much stress and worry and even when my numbers doubled like crazy in the past, I still had a loss. We saw the two heartbeats at 7 weeks. Just last week we saw the two boy parts at my first level 2 ultrasound. They both look healthy, measuring on target, exactly the same size. Hopefully things continue to go well, it's been a wild ride!!
03-06-2014 12:40 AM
friederike Alright, so here's my experience. We started out with a couple of home insems with frozen donor sperm, all BFN. Those were all acompanied by an ultrasound and a trigger short for timing purposes and progesterone to help lengthen my 9 day luteal period. Otherwise my cycles were good and I had nice follicles and great lining every month. I tend to ovulate early, at day 12-13 usually.

Then we talked my regular gyn into doing IUIs at her office, also with trigger and progesterone. Got a BFP on our second try, but lost it shortly after. I then asked for an referal to an endocrinologist to check if there might be any issues. My TSH was 1.8, so not really a bad level, but also not perfect for conception. So they put me on thyroid meds. No immune anti-bodies were found thankfully. We also found a pretty bad vitamin D deficiency. Meanwhile we continued doing the IUIs. We had several tries with perfect timing, high sperm counts, but all BFN. It should have worked, but didn't. Since many studies show, that the cumulative pregnancy rate doesn't improve after 4-6 IUIs we decided to switch our approach again.
We weren't able to get accepted as patients in any of the 5 or so fertility clinics in our state, so we had to travel to the capital, Berlin, to find a doctor who was willing to treat me with IVF.

They ran several tests first. Found a slightly deformed uterus and most importantly, that my AMH was at 0.24 which apparantly is the range of menopausal women. They think that this also signals that my eggs were probably low quality, even though I ovulated every month. There was no indication of anything being wrong before that, since I am 34, very fit (marathoner) and healthy. I really wish I had done that test earlier and gone right to IVF instead of paying thousands on sperm. Since low AMH patients tend to have low response and shouldn't take any meds that supress hormonal functions too much, they put me on an antagonist-protocol. We used Menopur, which has FSH and some LH. The LH helps improve egg quality. I injected 4 vials (300IE) a day and also used Q10 (might improve egg quality), Vit D, folic acid and the thyroid meds. Starting at day 5 I added the antagonist Cetrotide. We triggered in the evening of day 12 with Ovidrel and had the retrieval on day 14. Even with the high dose of stim meds, we only got 2 bigger follies and 2 smaller ones. It was a terrifying thought that we might end up with no embryos at all after all the costs and the ordeal of treatment. By the way, about the costs, we ordered our meds from abroad, a french pharmacy and they were much much cheaper. We paid about 1500€.
Luckily we got 3 eggs, fertlizied them by ICSI and all 3 developed. The expensive meds must have helped there. We took back 2 B-grade 4-cell embroys on day 2. A longer cultivation period was not possible because there was nothig to select from and with an early transfer we at least had a small chance (statistically about 28-35%). After transfer I took progesterone 3x2 a day. Our positive blood test was 15 days past retrieval, but I had already tested BFP on day 12 at home because I had gotten some dark bleeding on the day before. We thought it was my period but turned out to be left-over implantation bleeding. My hCG was very stable and the pregnancy developed very well. I was able to wean off the progesterone in week 7 and end it completely in week 10. Right now I am in week 19 and baby seems to be doing well.
10-14-2013 08:42 PM
granite Ditto! And good luck on the u/s... Hope to hear happy news from you in the Queer & Pregnant thread!
10-11-2013 02:12 PM
sotohana

Thank you for sharing, Beastie! <3

10-10-2013 08:46 AM
Beastie

Hi all,

 

I've been lying low on these forums since my BFP for this pregnancy, both out of superstitious anxiety and because of a very busy first trimester. Posting here seemed like a low-stakes way to catch up  a bit, plus, it helps me to remember, whatever happens in this pregnancy, how lucky I've been at TTC.

 

I've had three sequential one-hit-wonders. In fact, I have gotten pregnant every time I've tried. So I feel very very lucky about that. Here's how we did it:

 

[note: this turned out super long! the short story is 2 BFPs from unmedicated at-home ICI, using charting, CM and OPKs, 1 BFP from an unmedicated IUI cycle with U/S monitoring...]

 

1st pregnancy (trigger warning, this one ended with a hard loss): we began TTC in 2009. To prep, I leaned heavily on Brill's book. I did a few months of charting before we started (DP became an expert chart reader and predictor of O), and also used CM and OPKs to help with timing. We picked a donor and, at that time, felt open to switching donors at any point. We followed Brill's advice in terms of trying earlier rather than later, and we also made the pricey choice to use 3 ICI vials per cycle. We inseminated at home, with a needle-less syringe. We used one vial on the first try, in the evening, and then used the other two vials together for a second try the following night, which was the night before my temp spike. After the insem, I kept my hips elevated, did some rotisserie-style rolling about, and more or less stayed in bed until the following morning. I got a BFP at 12DPO.  It was a normal and healthy pregnancy, but a lucky/unlucky early ultrasound revealed that the fetus had a severe neural tube defect incompatible with life. It was extra rough because the fetus was still living, but had no chance at life. We decided to terminate the pregnancy, but lived in a state where our situation was an abortion grey area. I was ultimately able to have an abortion at 13 weeks at a local planned parenthood.

 

2nd pregnancy: Our first loss was very very difficult; not only was it emotionally devastating, but I felt physically wrecked as well. I'd been through a whole trimester, and after the termination my milk came in and I experienced some hard post-partum symptoms and feelings. Plus, though I didn't know it at the time, the pregnancy had activated a hyothyroid condition. So I felt sluggish and depressed and held on to all of the first pregnancy weight, and didn't realize that there was something medical going on. So we decided to wait a while to recover from all that. Plus, we wanted to get back on the academic baby-making schedule, which means ideal conception in the summer or fall. In the meantime, I surprised myself by feeling strongly committed to using the same donor again, even though that hadn't been our plan. It felt important to me that our hypothetical future baby be connected to the one we lost (genetic testing showed the defect was random, not related to me or the donor). It ended up being about a 6 month wait, from our termination in December 2009 until our next try in June 2110. The trying itself was about the same as the first time (plus a heavy prescription dose of folic acid for neural tube risk and a whole lot more fear and trepidation): charting, CM and OPKs, 3 ICI vials in two tries 24 hours apart in the two days before ovulation. And I got pregnant again! BFP at 13DPO. This was a healthy and happy pregnancy, and our daughter was born in March 2011.

 

3rd pregnancy: Even though I had become attached to the idea of using the same donor, if possible, for all of our hypothetical babies, we had never stockpiled vials from our donor; we just bought the three we used each cycle. Sometime in our daughter's first year, though, I discovered that our donor had retired and had only limited vials left. I became an obsessive sperm hoarder. I was able to buy the last 7 vials available, and then later scored an additional 3 as they were sold back to the bank (one unexpected but cool outcome of the donor's retirement is that it motivated a lot of connections among donor sibling families, and I think it helped us to form a cohesive group more easily than we might have otherwise). When we started thinking about TTC again, I was worried we wouldn't be successful at home again, because I was a) still nursing a toddler, though my magically regular cycles had resumed and I was sure I was ovulating just fine; b) having disrupted sleep because of said toddler; and c) often spending the last few hours of sleep in that toddler's bed, a setting not conducive to temping. Plus, I only had those 10 vials, and I didn't want to have to use three at a time for trying if I didn't have to. So we decided to go through an RE, mostly to improve our odds through IUIs and monitoring. We opted out of a medicated cycle, which made us an oddity at a clinic that didn't regularly see unmedicated ovulation. I did a baseline U/S on CD3, followed by one at CD 11 for monitoring. I used both fancy and regular OPKs at home, which together with the U/S info gave me a pretty good sense of ovulation timing even without charting. We did two IUIs at the RE's office, on two consecutive mornings. After the first one, I had a very lazy reclining day. After the second, I accompanied DD on a splashpad school trip; I'm pretty sure that first day was the luckier one. Anyway, pregnant again! I got a crazy-early BFP at 9DPO; when I called the RE they didn't believe me, so I also did a beta for confirmation on 10DPO. So far, everything seems ok with this pregnancy (I'm at 11 weeks); we saw a heartbeat on an early U/S at 8 weeks, but I'm holding my breath until the nuchal U/S next week. I'll let you all know what happens!

 

Phew! That was longer than I'd planned. I hope it will be helpful to others TTC, especially after loss. Love and fertile vibes to all of you.

08-26-2013 02:47 AM
lizbian

I have mild PCOS (and was 39) but it didn't seem to stop me O'ing.

 

The other problem we have where I live is that the island I live on doesn't offer IUI or IVF so you have to go off-island which is super expensive. Had three ICI tries at home with frozen sperm, BFN for all of them. Went to Denmark for IVF, on Gonal F.Everything went well until the syringe cracked on the plane so the O trigger didn't get into my system so when the doc retrieved the follies there were 16 follies & no eggs so cycle was a bust.

 

Second IVF attempt was 3 weeks later (the Gonal shortened my cycle considerably) had 12 eggs retrieved, 7 fertilised & after 5 days there were 2 morula/almost blasts. Transferred both, BFP!  Still waiting for U/S to tell how how many little beans there are!

04-24-2013 12:45 PM
CocoBird

Poiyt-- We got pregnant on the first try as well! It is easy to be paranoid in early pregnancy, I know I was. But stay positive! I hope the best for you :) And don't feel guilty, be thankful for the blessing. <3

04-23-2013 12:58 PM
pokeyac

Yeah!  We get the IVF question a lot.  I would think that sperm banks and such are part of general knowledge but many people don't seem to understand how people get pregnant.  I may be a lesbian but my parts still work like any other woman's. 

04-23-2013 12:37 PM
granite
Quote:
Originally Posted by pokeyAC View Post

granite-Your comments made me think about another reason why it's good to hear quick success stories.  They remind us that queer women are not (necessarily) infertile.  Sometimes we get treated that way by medical folks, but really we mostly need help getting the swimmers and putting them where they need to be.  It can be overwhelming to hear about how long it takes and all the medications and testing people are doing when you are just getting started and trying to learn.  It's good to be reminded that queers can get pregnant naturally and quickly just like non-queers.   

Exactly! I can't get over the number of friends who've assumed I've needed IVF... Even the doctor I saw to get my referral to the fertility centre thought that's what I was looking for. Now, as it turns out, I *did* need drugs to help me ovulate, but it was by no means a given!
04-23-2013 11:41 AM
pokeyac

granite-Your comments made me think about another reason why it's good to hear quick success stories.  They remind us that queer women are not (necessarily) infertile.  Sometimes we get treated that way by medical folks, but really we mostly need help getting the swimmers and putting them where they need to be.  It can be overwhelming to hear about how long it takes and all the medications and testing people are doing when you are just getting started and trying to learn.  It's good to be reminded that queers can get pregnant naturally and quickly just like non-queers.   

04-23-2013 09:20 AM
lea2012

Poiyt and Granite - I had a similar couldn't-believe-my-luck BFP after a first-time insemination experience - unfortunately, that one ended in a miscarriage, so then I didn't feel so lucky after all. But, that being said, I still feel extremely fortunate for my TTC experience overall, and although there was a lot of grief to deal with, it was heartening to know that I COULD get pregnant.

 

So, here's my story:

A friend loaned me her copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility, which really helped me know where to begin. It isn't particularly queer-friendly, but the information is valuable nonetheless. I started charting - BBT, CM, and OPK.  DP and I had a consultation with an insemination specialist (referred to us by a friend who used to work with her). Our appointment with the specialist was lukewarm. She gave us lots of useful info, answered all our questions, and provided us with a list of tests we and our donor would need to complete in order to to an insemination at her clinic. BUT, she was very critical of our choice to use a KD and wanted us to still go through a sperm bank and quarantine process. She said she MIGHT be able to make an exception if we tried once at home first, because then he could be considered an "intimate partner," but then she lectured us a bit more about the risks of a KD. We left feeling pretty certain that we would not work with her, but we decided that both the KD and I would get the blood work she recommended done anyway, and that we would try at home once first and then decide the next step. 

 

So, 5 months after I started charting we flew our KD (he lives across the country from us) out to visit and did two inseminations - one the day before the positive OPK and one the day of, and we were all shocked when I got a bfp. As I mentioned, that pregnancy ended in miscarriage in week 9. 

 

After my system got back on track (mostly - I went from having clockwork cycles to not-such-clockwork cycles) we tried a couple times by mail using donor home delivery, but the first time our KD mailed it with the collection tube touching the ice pack (they are supposed to be separated by a layer of foam) and the second time my cycle was a day off and so it arrived a day after I really should have inseminated. So, the next month I decided I would fly to NY and try in-person again. Once again we tried two inseminations (again one the day before the positive OPK, one the day of). I could not believe it when we got the BFP after our second in-person insemination (our 4th try total).

 

I'm only 9 weeks now, and I'm haunted by that first miscarriage, but I've having more symptoms this time and had a good ultrasound a couple weeks ago, so I'm just hoping for the best. If anyone wants a copy of the list of tests the insemination specialist recommended, I'd be happy to share it (if I can find it - we just moved and everything is in disorder). Also, we have two shipping packs and two bottles of the test yolk buffer from Donor Home Delivery left - when I'm (fingers crossed) solidly out of my first trimester I'll post on Queer Conceptions to see if anyone wants/needs them!

 

I was so thankful for the support and positivity of everyone on the Queer Conceptions forum - it really helped me get out of my head and plan and make decisions and move forward.

 

Editing to add: I also, upon my (naturopath) Dr's suggestion was taking prenatal vitamins, vitamin d, fish oil, b complex, iron (I'm super iron deficient) and flax. The first pregnancy my progesterone was low and I took supplements, but this time my numbers are okay so I have not taken any.

 

Editing again (now March 2014): Sadly, that second pregnancy I wrote about above also ended in miscarriage in May 2013. It was physically and emotionally terrible. We waited a few months so we could regroup before trying again. Luckily, after a few months with the in-person method I got another bfp! This time I was going to acupuncture weekly and taking Chinese herbs to support fertility. I inseminated on CD 11 and CD 13, because my ovulation date moved from typically being CD 14-15 to between CD12-14. I got my OPK on CD 13, so the timing worked out well. I'm only 8 weeks...still a few weeks to go before I'm in the clear. I'm still going to acupuncture weekly and had some testing done and learned that I have a minor MTHFR mutation, so I'm taking a special type of folic acid to help with that. 

04-22-2013 08:28 PM
granite

Oh, poiyt, I know what you mean... We got knocked up just a week or so before you, also on the first insem!

 

To deal with the guilt, I do my best to remember exactly what Pokey says above: Stories like ours give others hope. I know that I for one definitely *needed* to read of these easy successes when I was still in the thinking-it-through phase of the TTC rollercoaster, because it seemed like there were just sooooo many blogs and forums full of queers who'd been trying for *years*. I have so much fierce love for those people, for their tenacity and unrelenting hope! And also gratitude for folks such as yourself and your DP, for sharing how it can sometimes be easy too.

 

I'm finding the DDC too busy and chaotic, and much prefer the cozier atmosphere at QP&P... Also, as I wrote in the DDC, I love hearing at the BTDT tidbits from queers who are already parenting, and like Pokey said, also getting the input from the NGPs who participate.  Thanks to their contributions, my own DP and I have had many long talks about what she's going through, which I don't think would have happened if I hadn't had a reason to think outside my own little pregnancy-focused brain.

04-22-2013 01:44 PM
pokeyac

poiyt-I understand what you mean, but you shouldn't feel guilty for being fortunate.  Sometimes it works the first time.  Those stories give us all hope.  Is your partner pregnant right now?  Feel free to join us in Queer, Pregnant and Parenting.  We have a few NGP's over there who post regularly.  Congratulations on building your family!

04-22-2013 01:33 PM
poiyt

Hey everyone!

 

I dont feel comfortable posting in the DDC as I am the NGP but here seams like a good place to start!

 

We got pregnant so easily that I am paranoid something is going to happen. We did 1 try (OMG!) with a known donor and a syringe and it took. We did do months of charting to figure out when she was ovulating, but it shouldnt have happened to easily. We almost feel, well, do feel, guilty that it was so easy for us, and so much harder for other people.

04-09-2013 05:42 PM
Sphinxy

Good luck, lovestreet! I'm so glad we all can be of help and hope for you. I know I speak for lots of people here when I say, if we can help with any questions at all please feel free to ask away! I also read your post on the QC thread - at-home insems rock! You can do it! thumbsup.gif

04-09-2013 04:56 PM
lovestreet13

Oh wow, Sphinxy, thank you so much for recommending this thread!  I'm sitting here sniffling with tears on my cheeks-- reading these stories was so inspiring and lovely and exciting!  Especially hearing the stories of the people who were in the forums with me when I was trying.  My heart is just bursting for all of you!  I can't believe Cananny is having triplets!!  And PokeyC is preggo, too!  I'm beyond excited for you all. 

 

Since I have to start trying at home, it's really encouraging to hear your success stories.  And also get all these wonderful tips!!  I won't feel so "lost in the wilderness" maybe, if I feel like I'm following in your successful footsteps.

 

Congratulations on all your beautiful babies, ladies!!

joy.gif   joy.gif   joy.gif

03-27-2013 01:33 PM
sotohana

Here’s a bit of history about what it took for me to get pregnant: this was my 4th try, but my wife’s and my 7th try total. When we first began this journey (2 years and 2 weeks to the day prior to getting our BFP), my wife was going to be the first to carry. The decision was simple for us- she’s older by 7 years, so it only made sense. However, she tried three times with clomid and had no luck. We were still going to try more times with her, but last year was really, really rough. Both her father and eldest sister passed exactly three months apart. After all that grief her period totally stopped. She went back to the doctor about three months ago and they put her on progesterone to kick start her cycle again, but since that period she hasn’t gotten one again. In the midst of all that, she told me that she wanted me to start trying. I was very hesitant as I really didn’t want to steal the spotlight. We’d been so focused on trying with her that her request made me fear that she would never have a baby like she’s always dreamed of. I had never dreamt of being in this position- with a wife that wanted to be pregnant- but I very strongly wanted her to have what she’d always dreamt of. Wrapping my mind and heart around this was really, really tough. Eventually I was able to accept this change, though.  My first try was in August 2012. It was unmedicated, but I did chart that month. We did our insem using frozen WTBK donor sperm from OHSU andrology at Alma Midwifery and Insemination Clinic.

 

My second try was January at home (ICI) using frozen WTBK donor sperm from NW Cryobank- unmedicated as well.

 

My third try I moved on to Oregon Reproductive Medicine just to have some suspicions confirmed or denied. From tracking my temp, I was pretty sure that my luteal phase was too short and that I had a weak ovulation because of a stair step temp rise after O. The NP did a vaginal ultrasound on CD12 and prescribed a trigger shot. Progesterone was tested on CD7 and it was super low, so she put me on suppositories immediately. BFN.

 

Finally, my fourth try we got lucky! I was able to start 50mg of clomid at my NPs suggestion. She did test my AMH, but I started the clomid before getting the results. Turns out it was a good decision to take the clomid because my AMH was .16 and it should have been above 1.0. I took it on cycle days 5-9. CD12 ultrasound showed two almost mature follicles- one on each ovary and a third one on the right ovary that was almost mature. Trigger on CD 13 and insem CD15 with the same WTBK donor from the last two tries. Afterward I rolled onto each side for 15 minutes. Immediately I started worrying and that worry didn’t let up until we got the results of the blood test on 11DPI. Also, I started taking the progesterone on 1DPI.

 

I’d gone in that morning and asked the phlebotomist not to call me until the end of the day. My wife was out of town and didn’t get home till 6:45. She called and left a message anyway at 3:45. Those three hours were pure hell. I couldn’t turn off my phone because my sister was on the verge of going into labor and she needed to be able to reach me. Somehow I survived until she walked in the door. She actually had the audacity to ask if she could take a shower before we listened to the vm. Lol. Of course I didn’t let her.

That moment that we heard the news was soooo surreal. I remember pumping my fist in the air and screaming at the top of my lungs. Then I just collapsed in sobs- the ugly cry for sure. Ha ha J After I’d calmed down a bit I looked over at my wife and she was crying too J It was so amazing. My beta that morning was 18.77, so I took an HPT at 7:30 and it read the most amazing word ever: pregnant! Beta on 14DPI was 114. 

03-22-2013 10:18 AM
granite WTBK = Willing To Be Known
At the bank I chose, all this means is that he checked off a box indicating that he'd be theoretically willing to meet future offspring; there's no current framework to facilitate this or otherwise reveal his identity.
03-22-2013 09:16 AM
CocoBird

granite, what is WTBK?
 

03-22-2013 09:07 AM
CocoBird

I got pregnant three years ago after our first try with at-home insemination, but miscarried after one month. We took a break for maybe four months before trying again because I was so heartbroken. We only tried a few more months and then decided to stop trying. The timing was not right for us. I was depressed. Had only gotten off psych meds a month before I got pregnant that time, and I think I needed time to find more stability. After a couple years, I began trying to accept the idea that we might not try again, and I was trying to be okay with the idea--my wife's youngest daughter has accepted me as her second mama and we have a wonderful relationship, so I was already a mom. But after Casey and I had a wedding, she began to talk about trying again--just a few times, she said, and if it's meant to be it will be. I can tell you I was super excited to try again!

 

We used a known-donor--a good friend of mine--but we are trying to keep that quiet. I started tracking my cycle in July--which is pretty easy for me, because I can usually feel when I am ovulating, and I've had a pretty regular 23 day cycle for years. I didn't do anything fancy this time to help with fertility and neither did he. Well, he stopped smoking weed a few months ahead. I've been clean and sober for nearly five years, and off of psychiatric meds for three years, so I didn't have anything that needed to be cleaned out of my system this time. I did drink some herbal infusions--raspberry leaf, nettles, oatstraw--that I continued to drink after conceiving. We tried in September and boom! First try again, it worked. :) Our donor friend would come over to our house, do his business in the bathroom while we watched TV on the other side of the house, then exit with a high five and "good luck" so we could try right away. We had specimen cups for our donor to use and we used a syringe. My wife and I would make love just enough so that I was significantly aroused--I've read that for some people having an orgasm works best for some just getting aroused, and some people don't make love at all just do the insemination. We didn't want the sperm to wait around too long, so we were pretty quick. wink1.gif I did stick my legs up in the air afterward, felt pretty silly but we don't mind being silly. And then laid with a pillow under my butt. We actually tried two days in a row during the same ovulation period, so I can't be sure if it was 16th or 17th that we conceived. But we DID! And now we're 28 weeks along! thumbsup.gif

03-21-2013 01:07 PM
granite

I've been referring to my current pregnancy as our "one-hit wonder", because it was our first insem, but my DP keeps reminding me how inaccurate that is, as I did *a lot* of prep work in the year and a half leading up to that insem. So, without further ado, here's how we got our BFP:

  • ACUPUNCTURE. Lots and lots of it, for a long time. I started in the autumn of 2011, going to my local community acupuncture clinic (find one near you) weekly at $10-20 a pop. I took a break through the autumn of 2012, then in winter began seeing a private acupuncturist who specializes in fertility, at $50/treatment. The BFP cycle, I saw her 2x week, including the evening of insem day and two days later to encourage implantation. She also did a lot of moxabustion on me, and had me do it on myself every night. She was the first to tell me I was pregnant, at 8 DPO! She made me look at my face in the mirror, giggling over how puffy it was and how I kept coming up with non-pregnancy reasons, LOL. I adore her.
  • BREAST MASSAGE. Heh heh... But no, really, I'm serious! Leading up to O, at my acupuncturist's suggestion, I had my DP massage my breasts for 10-20 minutes each night. They were too sore by the day before O, so it was maybe 4 sessions. I don't know if this helped, but it was fun.
  • DIET. Starting in the spring of 2012, I mostly cut gluten from my diet, though realistically still ate some every week at some point. Then the week of the insem, I was eating a doughnut a day! Still, maybe it was good for all the prep my body needed to do in the months before that. Also, I saw a naturopath a couple times, and she told me that one of the best things one can do for fertility is to maintain a steady blood-sugar level, as it sends the body the message that all is well: I tried my best to keep that in mind, and always have healthy snacks on hand so that I never get hungry. For the record, I still drank a couple glasses of wine every couple days right up to the insem. However, I did stop drinking caffeinated coffee in 2011, and stuck to one cup green and one cup black tea a day.
  • SUPPLEMENTS. I take Vitamin D & C, a B-complex, iron, fish oil, selenium, and folic acid every day, and have for a couple years. For about 8 months (spring-summer 2012) I also took Pregnancy Prep too, but it didn't seem to have any effect on my crazy cycles and I discontinued using it.
  • HERBS. I drank a lot of an herbal tea blend made from red raspberry leaves, red clover, etc... All the usual suspects. It was from a local herbal dispensary, and I just made a big batch of it every couple days and kept it in the fridge.
  • EXERCISE. I have a very active job (electrician), in which I'm constantly carrying very heavy items and climbing stairs/scaffolds/ladders. So, I didn't do anything extra for TTC, nor did I cut back on the strain my body is usually under.
  • MEDITATION. I listened to the free guided fertility meditation from Anji, as well as other guided relaxation meditations, during most of my acupuncture sessions. I actually didn't do this in the BFP cycle, but by then I'd memorized most of the words, and it's become habit to go to that place of peace when I'm getting needled. I also went infrequently to yin yoga classes, which focused on slowing the mind: I think these were all very helpful in preparing my body for conception, because I am otherwise a loud, fast, and boisterous personality.
  • HSG. I had a hysterosalpingogram in July of 2012, which was crazily painful and caused awful cramping. It showed that my left tube was blocked, but the doc suggested that this was likely a false positive due to the spasms... I guess he was right, cuz my BFP egg came from my left side!
  • DRUGS. Due to PCOS, I took 100mg of clomiphene every day for seven days starting on the 3rd day of my cycle. This helped me to produce one big follicle.
  • MONITORING. I had ultrasound monitoring of my cycle at the local fertility clinic. My first was on CD14, which showed the follie at 18mm, then again on CD16, when the follie was at 22mm. I was doing OPKs as well, but mostly for fun.
  • SPERM. We chose our donor because he was WTBK and because his reason for donating was a family experience with infertility. Nice guy, hey? Also, he has a daughter, which seemed like a good sign. The sample's post-thaw motility was 77%, which was high enough to incite a reaction from the doc and the assisting nurse at the clinic... They both said it was a really good sample. I don't remember what the sperm count was.
  • IUI. In Canada, our only option for using donor sperm from a bank is to go through a fertility clinic, which must do the insem. So, we had an IUI performed by a doctor who specializes in getting people pregnant. The day of the insem (CD17), I had an orgasm early in the morning, then had the IUI at the clinic (they'd thawed and washed the sample right beforehand), where I lay around for about 20 minutes afterwards. I went to work an hour later, after texting DP "I'm all full of sperm!", LOL. (She couldn't make it due to work commitments.)

 

With all the recent BFPs over in QC, I'm stoked to hear more about what others have done too!

03-01-2013 10:23 AM
southernfriedkarma

I ate lots of pineapple, too.  It was summer, and the fresh pineapple from our local international farmers market was divine.

03-01-2013 09:23 AM
carmen358

I did the fresh pineapple thing most months but not the last 2 tries....I still got pregnant but I always file it under 'can't hurt, might help' so it's worth a try :)

03-01-2013 08:11 AM
esenbee2

I heard about the pineapple thing for after insemination.  I was already drinking pineapple juice for more alkaline CM for a boy sway, so I continued to drink the pineapple juice after the insemination.  Wasn't sure if it would help in the same way that a pineapple core/slice would, but figured that at least some of what is said to help would be there in the juice too...

02-28-2013 08:56 PM
planet

Oh yeah, and one more thing.  Have you guys heard about the pineapple thing?  Eat a slice of fresh piña every day for five (?) days starting with the day of insemination.  Who knows if this truly helped or not, but I did that with the cycle that worked for us.  Even if it didn't really help, it was yummy.

02-28-2013 08:53 PM
planet

I think this is such a cool space to share our various stories!  It's inspiring to see all the different experiences out there.

 

We got our BFP on our 2nd cycle trying, natural IUI with frozen donor sperm.  The IUI was performed by our naturopath.  We did two insems that cycle (we only did one the previous cycle).  We didn't start our IUIs until after about 7 months of temping, charting, acupuncture and Chinese medicine to help regulate my cycle and identify ovulation.  Along with temping, I used digital OPKs to help pinpoint ovulation.  I also quit caffeine, started drinking green smoothies, and took a billion supplements as recommended by my ND: fish oil, prenatal vitamin, vitamin D...I know there were more but I am having a hard time remembering what they all are right now!  I also drank "fertility tea" every day: nettles, rose hips, oat straw, red clover, raspberry leaf, and some other herbs (I can dig up the exact blend if anyone is interested, just let me know).  Of course, it's hard to know if all of these herbs and supplements were truly necessary, but they obviously didn't hurt! 

 

looking back, I feel the acupuncture and Chinese herbs were probably the most helpful preparation that I did.  It helped me learn about my cycle, and my charts truly started to regulate after a few months (nothing was wrong, but my charts looked nothing like the charts in the books when I first started, there were no high and low periods, it was just all over the place.  After a few months of acupuncture, my charts looked like they were "supposed" to look).  Also crucial was telling/reminding myself that I am fertile, that just because I am queer does not mean I am less fertile or will have a harder time getting pregnant than a straight woman.  This was truly important and necessary for me, because the more I read about ovulation and OPKs and charting and this and that, the more lost and overwhelmed I felt.  I tried to just trust my gut and my body.  Finally, Stephanie Brill's book about conception was an awesome resource.

 

Good luck to all of you who are  TTCing!!!!!!  May you soon find yourself bouncing a swaddled newborn on a yoga ball while playing a You Tube video of white noise at 4 in the morning. ;-)

02-18-2013 09:09 AM
southernfriedkarma

I got pregnant on our second IUI with frozen sperm.  That seems so short when you don't consider the fact that we spent almost a year working on my underlying health/hormone issues before we were given the clear to actually inseminate.  I was on a vegetarian, whole foods diet (kind of like the PCOS diet even though I don't have a PCOS dx) and wasn't eating any sugar substitutes, soda, highly processed foods, etc.  I was doing yoga and getting thai massage and chiropractic care and working out 3-4 times per week.  I was still overweight by BMI standards, though.  I took a high quality whole foods prenatal, Floradix, vitamin D, Vitex, B complex, metformin, and a low dose aspirin.  Because I have Cushing's Disease, we were high intervention from the start.  With both IUI cycles, I did femara, bravelle, and hcg trigger with ultrasound monitoring.  Progesterone after insem for a month.  

 

During the insemination itself I used a mixture of breathing and meditation techniques . . . and I turned on the Indigo Girls just to help start our little gayby off on the right foot :)  

02-06-2013 08:05 AM
RStelle

My DW got pregnant on the 4th try, we did a self insemination with  a friend as our donor. She ended up having miscarriage at 20 months, and then 3 months later I got pregnant on the first try. I wasn't charting my ovulation or anything. It was kind of spur of the moment because we had always planed of DW to be the one to get prego, but she felt like she wouldn't be ready to try again for a while. We were in the same state as our donor, and we just figured we'd give it a try. We stopped buy his house and he did his thing into a shot glass and passed it off to us, and voila. I was shocked when it worked, I spent the first 5 months freaking out and feeling like we weren't ready, but it all worked out in the end.   

01-28-2013 01:17 PM
Sphinxy

Got a BFP during our fourth cycle trying (earlier cycles were not as well timed). On day 2 of my cycle I started drinking raspberry leaf tea (both Yogi and Traditional Medicinals brands) and continued 3 times a day during menstruation, and tapered off to once a day for the following week, then none right before ovulation. This was my first time trying any herbs. I had already been taking Naturemade Prenatal Multivitamins with DHA for the previous three months. We did not use any medical or natural interventions such as medications, triggers, acupuncture, or massage. I have always had good general health, regular cycles, and a decent diet/exercise routine - cardio workouts 2-3 times per week, lots of organic vegetables and dairy, limited processed foods and refined carbohydrates. I do eat moderate amounts of meat and fish most days, usually pasture raised and/or organic. I'm 31 years old at the time of conception.

 

The week of Ovulation:

 

CD18 - In the evening, small amounts of EWCM arrived, and cervix was high and soft. 

 

CD19 - I got almost positive OPKs at both 11am and 2:30pm, followed by lots of EWCM at 2:30pm. I got positive OPKs at 5:15pm (with both the cheap internet type and the ClearBlue digital), cervix was high and soft. I went for a workout (about an hour of heavy cardio), and then did the first insemination around 7:30pm. 

 

CD20 - Lots of EWCM throughout the day. Second insemination around 6:00pm. Lots of emotion/mood swings around 8pm that I attributed to the wave of progesterone post ovulation. FF later confirmed ovulation for CD20.

 

Each insemination was done via IVI at home using a syringe with a 1cc raw/unwashed vial of frozen sperm, 46 million motile swimmers. I had orgasms both immediately before and after each insemination. I then spent 15 minutes lying on my back with my hips elevated, followed by 5 minutes lying on each side, and then five minutes lying on my stomach. After that, I stayed in bed for a couple more hours with hips elevated before using the toilet and going to sleep. 

 

Starting on the day of ovulation this cycle, I decided to switch my prenatals to some thing more natural, so during the TWW I was instead taking Rainbow Light Prenatal One multivitamins and the Nordic Naturals DHA supplement. I completely abstained from caffeine during the TWW (never consumed much before anyway) and I had a couple glasses of wine on occasion, but no alcohol after 6DPO.

 

Here is a link to my FF chart: http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/3d8708 

01-21-2013 07:34 PM
cordelia15

Before trying, I cut back on caffeine, started eating/drinking whole fat dairy products (which supposedly helps regulate Ovulation) and went to a fertility acupuncturist.  I am on my 2nd pregnancy and did this both times.  I also took chinese herbs twice a day.  I think my acupunturist is a miracle worker so if anyone is in the NYC area and needs a reference, let me know!  I went once a week except for the week it worked when I went twice, including the day of O.  And then once a week for the next two months too. 

 

This pregnancy I got pregnant on the 3rd try, using shipped sperm from a KD.  I tracked using ovulation strips (the smiley ones and the CBEFM which someone gave me)  I also did temping to make sure the Ovulation indicators were matching up.  We did two insems each cycle, one on the day of surge and one day of O (since were using fresh this seemed to be a good timing)  I sat in bed for at least an hour after, and lay on each side.  (My cervic is really high up and far back so I had read in the Brill book this could help to coat the cervix)  Who knows?  I usually had an O after the first 15-30 minutes.  

 

I think that's it! 

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