Fast forward through another month of ultrasounds, blood work, an insemination and a negative pregnancy test. We have now inseminated a total of 4 times (that’s a lot of little swimmers) and still nothing. By this point we had been through every emotion imaginable. Anticipation, excitement, joy, hope, disappointment, grief, guilt, worry, skepticism; all while trying to stay positive for the next time. To be cliché, it was a roller coaster of emotions. Trying to grapple with two failed cycles (which in fertility time is really not long, but in the moment feels like a life time), Steph thought maybe we should switch donors. Maybe her body didn’t like this sperm and was trying to tell us something. You never know! Her gut feeling was to find another donor, so back to the “catalog” we go!
Our sole emphasis was put on their essay and the reason they chose to be a donor. This was a category the sperm back we were using had available back when we were looking, but I don’t believe it is something they still provide. We still wanted dark hair and dark eyes similar to me but those were the only physical characteristics we narrowed our search down to. Boom, boom, boom, we entered our search criteria and whamoo – 87 profiles! If I didn’t need reading glasses before going through these profile essays I would now! All of the messages begin with “I like to be called….” Whether this is their name or not; I don’t know?!? It could be fun having a new handle in the online world;
** “I like to be called Pablo Maria McKay!”**
Many essays talked about the donor’s upbringing, their life lessons thus far and advice to any potential offspring. Some were very interesting…
“My advice to you is to always be yourself. Do what makes you happy and everything else will come together for you. Treat others with respect and earn your respect. Always try to help others, even if in the smallest ways. Always become a leader and never a follower. I want to wish you the best of luck and hope everything turns out well for you. I know you will make your family very happy.”
“I grew up in the South where I was free to explore the ocean, beaches and estuaries. There I learned to love nature and discovered its beauty. I was an active youngster. Playing with my cousins outside, we had Super Soaker wars and rode our bikes off homemade ramps. I got my share of bruises and skinned knees, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
After reading through about 25 profiles we came across that one that was meant to be. All we needed to know was neatly wrapped up in one little sentence;
“I chose to become a donor because I want to give all families a chance at love.”
That was it; we had our new donor picked out!
With our new sperm we were off to the OB to start our third month of cycle tracking. This month something was different. During one of our ultrasounds the OB found what he suspected to be polyps in Steph’s uterus. Maybe this was the reason we were not able to get pregnant the first two attempts? We will never know. This discovery however, meant that Steph would need to undergo a dilation and curettage.
Having to undergo this procedure would mean we have to hold off on our next insemination for a couple months. This is to ensure Steph was completely healed. We were disappointed to be put on hold, but Steph’s health was our priority.
The morning of her surgery we were both a little anxious, albeit for different reasons. Steph was nervous about having to be put under anesthesia; she doesn’t fair out so well after the fact. It usually involves a lot of, shall we say power puking! It’s not a good scene. I however, was just generally worried about her having surgery; although this is a common procedure there are always risks. I didn’t want to see her in pain or feeling unwell.
When I meet her in the recovery room, she was feeling pretty good. The doctors said everything went well and the nurse went over a few little things to keep in mind for a speedy recovery. By the time we made it from recovery to the outside entrance of the hospital Steph was looking a little white! I mean, I know I’m no professional driver (she was in a wheelchair) but come on! Poor Steph, it was not pretty! We managed to make it home without too much of a mess in the Jeep (nothing a power washer couldn’t cure) and she hit the couch. Within a few days she was feeling much better and didn’t have any pain. She was a champ through it all!
A month later and after several follow up appointments we were on track for our next insemination. Through all of our “research” on conceiving (I quote research because we read not only legit medical articles through creditable sources, we also followed threads on baby center and other sites which people talk about their experiences and not medically proven facts.) we read that conception often occurs after a D and C is performed because the uterus is so fluffy and new. We were ready! Fresh uterus, new sperm in hand and trigger shot taken (with only one needle this time) our third insemination was happening.
** Note: the first two rounds of IUI we inseminated twice per cycle, 48 hrs apart, however this time we decided to do only one insemination. It only takes one little swimmer right?! **