Our IUIs on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning were uneventful enough. Although I suppose it’s spectacularly crazy to describe having 47 million sperm shoved through your cervix as uneventful. I should say instead that it was without complication.
Our thawed sperm count on Saturday morning was 34 million, which is the highest we’ve seen so far. Our previous samples have been in the range of 14-18 million (Friday was 17), so Saturday pretty much blew them all out of the water.
As Catch and I were sitting at breakfast on Saturday after the procedure, I mentioned that it’s totally surreal to think that there are 34 million little somethings floating around inside my body and that I cannot feel them at all. I mean, I suppose straight women deal with this all the time—and in larger numbers than 34 million, but still—how do you not feel 34 million things that are moving around inside of you? (Rhetorical question—I understand the science, I just find it bizarre nonetheless.)
This round of IUIs was our first with our actual doctor, and it was a very different experience. First off, I had significant cramping for about 6-8 hours after all of our previous IUIs until this round. This time, there was some slight cramping during the procedure, but when she was finished I felt absolutely nothing. No pain at all. I also had MUCH less spotting afterward than I have on all of our previous attempts.
She did the IUIs differently than the others. She really took her time and was very precise. She got the catheter in so it was just through my cervix, and then she used the ultrasound wand so she could watch exactly where she was placing the sperm in my uterus. It was amazing to be able to watch them floating around on the screen. That was a whole new experience for us. (Also a new experience for my poor lady parts—a speculum, a catheter AND the dildocam simultaneously. Wow.)
I’m assuming that the reason for the lack of cramping afterward was just how careful she was with that catheter once she was inside my uterus. It was so reassuring to experience the difference between her level of expertise (and caution) and that of the previous nurse practitioners.
Anyway, I am still excited about this cycle, but the doubts have started creeping in. I’m finding every possible reason to be paranoid. The prime anxiety is timing. Generally, I have some pain around ovulation time, and this time I had no pain until late yesterday afternoon—about 8 hours after our IUI. The pain (isolated on my right side, which is where our mature follicles were) continued this morning for a while, too. I’m just afraid that we missed our window. I’m afraid our inseminations were too early. I’m afraid I ovulated either too close to the end of the life of our sperm or beyond it.
I promised Catch that I’d be positive this time around, so I’m really trying hard. Every time I start to feel the anxiety settle in, I try to change up what I’m doing. It’s why I’m sitting here writing about it. I’m hoping that if I get it out, I can let go of it for a while.
Catch likes to take pictures when we’re in the room for the inseminations, so here I am with my knees up waiting for the little sperm timer to let us know that I can put my pants back on. I printed out that little picture for us to bring into the room this time. It’s my mantra this cycle.
Please, let this work.