Will the first time be a charm?

My first cycle was happening and I was excited! I could soon be a single mom. I wasn't sure it was going to work though. Would my follicles get big enough so I could inseminate? Read on to find out!

So with the donor sperm waiting for me at the clinic, the only thing left to do was to ovulate. Haha. 3 days after my period I started my first cycle. I went daily or every other day to get tested (blood and ultrasound). They checked how big my follicles were getting and eventually let me know when I would surge (when my luteinizing hormone (LH) rises to start ovulation) so then I could be inseminated and become a single mom!

My first month was unmedicated like I wanted, but it didn’t go so great.  I took notes every appointment, here is what this cycle looked like for me:

First cycle

Day 3 – June 29
Lining – 4mm
Follicle – 12mm
Estrogen -173

Day 5 – July 1
Lining – 6mm
Follicle – 14mm
Estrogen – 403
LH – 15

Day 7 – July 3
Lining – 6mm
Follicle – 14 mm (no change! sad!)
Estrogen – 709 (at least my estrogen isn’t broken!)
LH – 30

Day 9 – July 4
Lining – hyper 6mm
Follicle – 14mm

Apparently, my follicle will only grow to 14mm.  This is not ideal. It should be between 17-22mm in order to be viable or to have a better chance at being fertilized.

This was disappointing news, it meant that I would not be having the procedure.  Good news, I did surge on my own. So I took that as a win.

Going to a medicated round

I was pretty disappointed but wanted to immediately start meds for my next round.

I was, however, informed that before I can start taking the meds I will need to see a doctor.  And the next available appointment was 11 days after my next period started.

This was not great news, I didn’t want to wait for another cycle before I could try again! Needless to say, I was very disappointed but left with that appointment booked.

If you are trying to get pregnant without a medicated round, but, like me, think you might need meds to get pregnant, don’t do what I did and wait until the first time fails. Or fails to happen as in my case. Book that doctor’s appointment for after your first round, but before your next period so you can hopefully get the meds for your second round.

Doctor visit

So on July 28th, 11 days after my period, I went in to see my doctor. I had been going daily to get checked again (in case my egg decided to grow) and it hadn’t. The doctor said that because I was showing like a day 3, we could go ahead and try the drugs this round!

WOOHOO!!

I was so incredibly pumped.

The doctor and I spoke about what the drugs were and how to administer them. We also spoke about the risk of multiples. Using the drugs means that I would have a 15-20% chance risk of having twins.  I had always wanted to have twins, however doing this on my own meant that 1 child would be ideal. 😀

I went to the pharmacy in the clinic and was given the drugs. If you’ll remember, I am not a huge fan of needles, and now I had to give myself needles… twice a day……ug.

If you have gone through this process, what was your least favourite part? If you are just starting out, what are you nervous about?

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Early appointments, blood tests, results, oh my!

Wondering what it takes to become a single mom? Lots of early appointments and blood tests to start! Read on to find out what is involved in becoming a Single Mom By Choice. After that first appointment, I was excited! I couldn’t wait for it all to happen and I have zero patience for waiting for things I want, so this entire process seemed like it would take forever!!!

There are many doctors appointments. And mine were all in the morning. I am so NOT a morning person. Getting up extra early, to be at an appointment for 7 am, when I am usually not even up at 7 am, was hard for me (even with the excitement of what I was doing). I would LOVE to say I got used to it, and waking up got easier and was a delight, but no. It sucked. The whole time. Yes, I loved it because it was going to make me a mom.  But early mornings are not my jam. (Yes the irony of me hating to get up in the morning and wanting a baby that gets up in the morning is not lost on me.)

The first few appointments are all about asking questions, finding out what you need, why you are doing it, and getting referrals for blood work. A lot of blood work. I don’t like needles so this was a treat. I also had to make an appointment with one of their counsellors on staff to talk about what I was doing, to see what my support network would be like (spoiler alert – it’s awesome). Bring something to take notes. If you can, bring someone with you to these appointments (other than the counsellor one for obvious reasons). It helps to have someone there when the doctor is talking to you about everything. My mom came to a few appointments, but I wish she was able to come to more.

I was told that having insemination is the same as having regular sex, in that the chance of pregnancy is the same. This I found very interesting. I kind of thought it would be higher because it is by passing a lot of swim space and getting straight into the uterus. That and they wash the sperm so all the little not so great guys don’t make it!

So with this new information I went and got my blood work done STI tests and I paid to get my AMH test done. Typically they don’t do this test until you are close to or over 40.  But my with my family history of fertility and early menopause, I asked for this test anyway.

Good thing I did.

I suggest EVERYONE should get this test. Push for it if they say you don’t need it. Say you want to cover all your bases, that you want to know everything about your fertility right away. Pay for the test.

Basically, this test tells you how many eggs you have. Now it isn’t going to tell you that you have 5 left, but it gives you a number range.  If I remember correctly,

40-60 (I have no idea what the unit of measure is…) is Excellent

21-40 is Satisfactory

0-21 is low.

Well, I was 8.

Yes, single digit, lucky number 8. (Literally.This is my lucky number….)

This was disheartening of course.

However, I did come back STI free! (not that there was a concern) but I had to celebrate something right?

So in April when I got my results, my doctor and I spoke about what would be best for me.  Now remember, I was older, 36, and had low fertility. I had hoped to start the process sometime in September and asked if I could wait to start. The doctor said, and I quote,

“You could wait a few months, but I wouldn’t wait a year.”

Well with news like that, waiting went out the window.

I decided to try an unmedicated round first, and then I would do medication after if that didn’t work.

So it was time for me to go home and find a donor.

 

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