*December of 2007, when I was at my annual physical, I told my doctor that I'd like to try to start a family. She referred me to a local fertility clinic that would be covered by my insurance.
*Jan 2008, I have an appointment at the clinic for a consultation. I am hoping to get a bit more information at this point, find out about the possibility of using a known donor, yada yada yada. The doctor tries to give me catalogs and have me choose a donor that day. We are not ready for that. We had hoped to start trying in the summer, so that the baby would be born AFTER Elizabeth finished her PhD. We are paired up with a nurse at the clinic who tells us that all we have to do is come in the morning after we get a positive OPK.
*Feb-March 2008, we complete bloodwork, HSG, and all of that other fun testing.
*April 2008, we are still waiting to hear from the potential known donor we asked a few months ago. He's the only known donor we're considering.
*May 2008, potential known donor says he's unable to be our donor. He's a very private guy, so we don't ask questions or press the issue.
*June-Sept 2008, we look at lots of profiles and find a donor we like. We start temping, doing OPKs taking prenatal vitamins, and waiting for the perfect time to start.
*Sept 2008, my OPK is about to turn positive, so we place our first order for sperm. We go to the local (satellite office) clinic to have a follicle ultrasound. The doctor confirms that everything looks great, and tells us we can do the shot, and head to the main clinic for our IUI. Shot we ask, what shot? It turns out that the procedure at the clinic is not quite as simple as "get a positive OPK, then come in for your IUI". Somewhere along the way, someone was supposed to give us a prescription for o.vidrel. No problem, one of the nurses has some extra o.vidrel in her office, so she injects me and we're on our way.
We drive an hour to the main clinic, and I am greeted by the receptionist who asks "signingoffonlabels?" I look confused so she repeats herself. I still have the deer in headlights look, so she asks again, slowly this time "are. you. signing. off. on. labels." No, I tell her, I'm here for an IUI. She smirks in a way that tells me she LOVES confusing the first-timers who don't know the lingo. She explains in an annoyed tone that before I can do the IUI, I have to go to the andrology department and sign off on sperm, bloodwork, etc.
After the signing off is dealt with, I wait about an hour and then am called in to the exam room for the IUI. There are barfing butterflies in my stomach. The doctor who performs the IUI does not speak a word to me. After he removes the catheter, he literally slams my legs back together and tells me to leave the door open when I'm done lying down for 15 min. I am amazed at how unremarkable the procedure seems, and how tiny the vial of sperm was. Still, Elizabeth and I are hopeful and optimistic.
When we go to the front desk to sign out and confirm our next appointment, the receptionist tells us that the financial coordinator wants to speak to us. The financial coordinator informs us that there was a slight change to our insurance, and now we have absolutely no coverage for their services because I have no proven infertility. She tells us we're going to have to pay $3,000. I am silent, and almost start to cry. The financial coordinator then realizes that we did not have a medicated / monitored cycle, so we're only going to owe $800. This is a bit better, but still hits us hard.
The next day I go in for IUI number 2. It's pretty much the same as the first, but now I know about signing off on labels. I also have to sit in the waiting room for 3 hours.
We were so hopeful after that first round of inseminations. TV and movies had me prepared to be puking the very next morning. I kept looking for other symptoms to appear. Since most people report breast tenderness as one of the first signs, I kept folding my arms across my chest when I was at work in a sneaky attempt to see if I was sore yet. I was convinced that smells were much stronger than they'd ever been. The progesterone suppositories gave me a slight woozieness that left me even more convinced that it had worked. The inseminations were all I could think about or talk about.
Around the 2 week point, I get my period so I call the clinic to let them know I won't need to come in for the pregnancy test. The woman on the phone mentions something about the 4 extra vials of sperm we have frozen there. We're confused, since we only ordered enough for 2 inseminations. We call the sperm bank to find out what is going on. It turns out that there were instructions with our tank, the tank that was shipped directly to the andrology department, that said to use THREE VIALS PER INSEMINATION with that particular donor since his count was a little low. So the idiots at andrology didn't pay attention, and used only 1/3 of the sperm they were supposed to.
Fortunately, since that time we've gotten better about making sure there is communication between the sperm bank and the clinic. We're better about staying in touch with our nurse and asking questions. And six failed attempts have made me a little less hopeful, but far more patient during the dreaded two week wait.