The details- how we got pregnant!
How We Got Pregnant
by lezbemoms on February 9, 2012
So one of the things I’ve been wanting to do is to post a “how we did what we did” post. I know that when I was a newbie and looking for as much information as possible a year ago, the thing I was mainly looking for was how people were going about their inseminations, where they were getting their sperm from (cause let’s face it, sperm is a hot commodity in TTC-lesbo land!) and what exactly was involved in the process. I did find a few good posts that were incredibly helpful (I would link them if I remembered where I’d found them!), so I wanted to add our story to the collection to hopefully be available as a resource for anyone who needs it in the future. I know most of you already know most of what’s in this post, but for future readers, I’m going to post it here, and also sticky it as a permanent page at the top of this blog so that it will be easier to find in the future. So, without further ado, this is how we made a baby:
A Little Bit of Background
First off, I should note the basics for anyone who doesn’t know: we are a lesbian couple and chose to use a known sperm donor (NOT frozen sperm from a cryobank- fresh sperm). So this part of our process might be a little different from some of yours. =) Also, the cycle we got pregant was our first cycle on Clomid, 50mg, days 5-9. No progesterone, no ultrasound monitoring, and no trigger shot (but I’ll get to that in a minute).
Before starting Clomid, my cycles were all over the place. I had gone from having 29-38 day cycles the first part of last year, to having 60+ day cycles the second half (the last one was 82 days!!!!). There was no reason for it and I had no idea what was going on. We had tried to inseminated once with a kinda-positive OPK to go on, but that cycle not only failed, I didn’t get my period for another month and a half after that insemination! Clearly, something was wrong, but at the time, I didn’t have health insurance. I got a new job, and after I started a new job, I had to wait three months for my insurance to kick in, and once I did I went in to see a doctor- just a regular ObGyn- in December of last year. I was convinced I wasn’t ovulating (we weren’t temping at that point, but we were using OPKs out to about CD25 and had never gotten a positive during those long cycles). Much to my surprise, the OB disagreed with me, saying I had to be ovulating because otherwise I could not be having a period (her reasoning, not mine!). She that since the luteal phase (post ovulation) of your menstrual cycle is a set, constant length, it must have been my follicular phase that was varying so greatly- the phase leading up to ovulation. Therefore, she drew the conclusion that I was ovulating, but ovulating irregularly and very very late in my cycle- hence the reason we never detected ovulation with the OPKs.
Waiting to Ovulate
To correct this problem, she prescribed me 50mg of Clomid, to be taken days 5-9 of my cycle. I had no trigger shot, progesterone, or ultrasound monitoring because she wasn’t an RE, just a regular ObGyn. She basically gave me the pills and told me to go home and come back in three months. I was told that if I were going to ovulate on Clomid, I should expect ovulation anywhere from 5-9 days after taking the last Clomid pill. So I took the pills and waited. Started taking OPKs the day of my last pill, CD9. Kept taking OPKs all the way up through CD17, which was 8 days after the clomid was done, and still had no sign of a positive OPK (not even any darkening of the lines to indicate a positive was on its way!). Needless to say, we were very discouraged. Prior to starting the Clomid, we had been thinking of it as our “miracle pill.” I’m not sure why, but both of us had a really good feeling about Clomid working, and so when CD17 arrived and there was still no ovulation, we were very disappointed.
CD18 was the last day within the window of time we had been told I would ovulate. If it wasn’t positive then, it wouldn’t BE positive… supposedly. I took an internet cheapie OPK around 1pm that afternoon (like I had been doing all week) and was surprised to see it turn up positive! I quickly whipped out a smiley face OPK and peed on it, too, and after a few minutes a smiley face popped up- I was ovulating! I can’t even begin to describe to you the joy of that moment- we had never before gotten a smiley face on an OPK!- and I immediately rushed out of the bathroom to call our known donor and make arrangements for that night. He agreed to meet with us, and so after work around 6 I took another OPK- still positive, still smiley face!- and we met with our KD around 10:30 that night. He gave us our sample and left, and we proceeded to do our insemination around 11pm. I should tell you that, because Known Donor lives about 4 hours away from us, this was the one and only insemination we did this cycle.
Meeting Our Donor
Speaking of our KD, I thought I should insert just a quick blurb here about where and how we me our donor. There is a website out there called the free sperm donor registry- I’m not going to link it here, but if you google, you will find it. We found our donor off that registry. For us, that process looked like this: searching through the loads and loads of available donors in and around our area, ignoring some seedy-looking guys who contacted us, specifying that we were looking for ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION ONLY (as there are some on there who are willing to go the so-called “natural” way), and searching and searching and searching until we found someone who seemed like the perfect match. He had all the physical characteristics we wanted, he had a history of prior pregnancies (and first time successes!), and he was really nice and seemed to genuinely just want to help when we spoke with him. After extensively emailing, we met in person and drew up a contract that basically specified that he relinquished parental rights to any child produced from the inseminations, and that we had no right to sue him for child support. He also agreed to be available for contact once our kid turns 18, which was important to us, in case our child has questions. He also was thoroughly screened and tested (genetics and STDs) before any inseminations occurred.
For the insemination, we met the donor at a hotel that was convenient to him. We waited in the lobby, while he went upstairs and produced a specimen directly into an Instead Cup. He left, and we headed up to the room to do the insemination. When we inseminated, I was laying with my hips raised up on 3-4 pillows, while Shorty handled the syringe and the insemination. We used our needleless syringe to suck the specimen up out of the Cup and insert it (slowly) into me. It took about two times to get all of it. We did not use any preseed or other lubricants, in spite of the fact that I had very scant eggwhite/creamy CM (we actually had planned to use preseed, but had forgotten to get some and didn’t have time to stop and grab some before we had to go meet the donor). I then laid there, hips raised up, for about an hour or so. I did orgasm once in order to help suck the sperm up into my uterus.
After the O’ing, we inserted the Instead Cup, which I slept in overnight. I believe this was the key to our success, as it held the sperm close to my cervix and didn’t allow it to leak back out again. I removed the Instead Cup in the morning about 12 hours later, and although there was still some specimen left in the cup, much of it was gone- into my uterus, I hoped.
Although I had been temping all along up to this point (and indeed, my temperature dropped slightly on the day I got my positive OPKs), I was unable to temp the morning following insemination (CD19) because I had to wake up abnormally early for me, after getting very little sleep, and so my temperature that morning would’ve have been incredibly inaccurate. However, the morning of CD20, my temp shot up to well above coverline, and stayed there for the duration of the TWW. I believe I ovulated on CD19 (10 days after the last clomid pill) because by the evening of CD20 the OPK was still positive and the following morning my temp was raised. I continued temping throughout the TWW, and although I did have a dip that initially caused me to think we were out, I now believe this dip, at 9 and 10 DPO, was an implantation dip, as by 11 DPO my temp had shot right back up again. I got my first (very faint!) positive FRER 12 DPO (after getting negatives at 8, 9, 10, and 11 DPO!) and by 12DPO it was much, much darker.
You can see my whole chart from that cycle here: http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/Ace28
Symptoms during the TWW
Right from Day 0, I had these small, twinge-like cramps over my uterus. It felt like something was stretching or tugging in there, and I had it for most of the first few days of the cycle. Sometimes it felt more like just pressure than actual cramps. I felt bloated and “full” down there, and I even made a remark to my wife at 3 DPO that I just “felt” pregnant. Ironically enough, these symptoms continued until about 6DPO, when they died down, at which point I told my wife that I no longer felt pregnant! I had creamy CM the entire TWW (not thick, very watery), and towards the end of the TWW my boobs started to be noticeably sore. At the time, though, I couldn’t tell if they were sore because I was about the get my period or because I was pregnant. Finally, around 10-11 DPO, I started getting cramps that felt just like period cramps. These, coupled with my negative test results up until that point, had me convinced we were out of the running. Imagine my surprise when we got a positive test at 12 DPO!!!
So that’s about it. Now we just have to wait this pregnancy out and continue praying this kid sticks!