Single Mum By Choice: Preparing For Insemination (IUI)

Preparing for insemination – it doesn’t conjure up the most beautiful of images does it? I’m sure most of us have had different ‘preparation’ experiences over the years. I can just about remember my first time fumbling around on my boyfriends bed. Then there was the easy rolling over in the morning ‘preparations’ which were always my favourite. The big nights out took the most ‘preparation’ – waxing and preening, choosing the outfit – the preparations were nearly as fun as the act itself. Preparing for insemination via IUI is a whole different ball game though; charts, measurements, tests and scans, all trying to pinpoint the very best time for the deed to be done – it’s not quite as fun as it used to be.

A few days after I know ‘the package‘ has arrived safely at the clinic I am here again, waiting for my scan. Hopefully the last one before the big day. As usual I arrived nice and early, parted with my hard earned cash and sat in the ever familiar waiting room. I’ve realised it’s quite beneficial having a toddler who’s going through a crap sleep week, it means I don’t have time to overthink and panic, instead I’m dealing with meltdowns at 2am over the ballet teacher not having given the class stickers this week. I try to silence the internal doubts about whether I really know what I’m letting myself in for doing all this again.

The scan wasn’t great news, there wasn’t a follicle jumping out at them and my womb lining was a little on the thin side. I’m not too worried as this happened last month at the first scan and was fine by the time of the later scan. It just means I need to come back on Monday for another scan. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for an appointment at the end of next week to actually try this thing. I was told to start using the ovulation tests from Sunday morning. I figured they were just being cautious and there was no way I’d be starting that early. Cue Sunday morning and a massive sense of ‘arrgghh’ when I dipped the little savers stick in my wee only to see a very faint line appear. Now I know with pregnancy tests that a faint line is a line and still means you’re pregnant. But when it’s measuring if you’re about to ovulate I’m not so clear on the meaning. I was sure the dates didn’t add up though. I called the clinic as I’d been instructed but of course no-one answered, I left a message but was glad no-one called back. I didn’t want to end up wasting all that very expensive sperm by using it too early. Come Monday morning when I tried with the tests again there was no line this time, no matter how hard I looked. Maybe I’d imagined the one before. I headed off for my scan as planned.

The benefit of coming for weekly scans is that you get so used to it all there’s no room for embarrassment or nerves. I sat impatiently in the waiting room just wanting to get on with this thing, ‘come on people’, I thought, ‘I have places to be and people to see’. I knew once I was in the nurse’s’ room I’d be lying there with my legs splayed chatting about the weather with not a care in the world. And I was, until she pushed so far in I feared it might rupture some internal organ. I suddenly realised I had no idea how it all worked down there, I really should find out I thought to myself absentmindedly.

There was good news, the follicle had grown to 17mm. As the nurse told me I couldn’t help but picture this expanding follicle in the middle of the sports hall running for a slam dunk, everyone standing on the sidelines cheering it on. Come on follicle, you can do this. Just a few more days of growing and then – POP. The egg will be released. Let’s hope we can time this shit to perfection and blow that IUI success rate out of the water.

The nurse informs me that I need to just go home, keep doing the ovulation tests and phone as soon as I get a positive result. They will then *try* to book me in within 24 hours (that’s the window of opportunity to do this). I’m a little concerned at how uncertain this sounds, what if there isn’t an appointment available? And why does she keep saying it depends when I get the positive test result? I’ve been told to test in the morning so of course the test will show positive in the morning, regardless of when my hormone surge actually starts. I try not to let it stress me too much, only I can’t help but be a little concerned that, whilst they are experts, they are also overworked. Isn’t there a chance that they don’t focus their energies on working out the most optimal time for me and I end up missing out? When I get home I start to google follicle sizes and IUI treatment times. It’s a bad idea, there is story after story of bad timed IUI attempts and that’s with stimulation – I’m really starting to wonder if I have any chance with this thing working. I can’t dwell on that though. I just have a few more days to get through before I can do no more and just need to lie back and think of England.

Tuesday morning I woke early, the nerves were starting to set in, each morning I did this the closer I got to actually doing this. I diligently peed into my little pot and dipped the test in, it was negative as I expected. Only I could feel the disappointment this time, the longer this goes on the more the anticipation builds up. Tomorrow or the next day I’m sure to get a positive and then it will be all systems go.

It seems each day this week I wake earlier and earlier with nerves wondering if today will be the day. Well today was. The ovulation strip showed two little pink lines. I was too nervous and excited to sleep. Tomorrow would be the day. Actually wait, shit, I’d tested positive so early in the morning the 24 hour window period would be gone by tomorrow morning. Maybe they’d call me in today. I wasn’t sure if that was better or worse. Only a couple of hours till they opened the office so I could call them to arrange. I went back to bed to try and sleep, it was pointless I was too on edge about it all. God I hope this works I thought. Mainly because I don’t think I can take the pressure of all this tension for another month.

If you are interested in this story of contemplating becoming a single mum by choice then you can follow my blog on facebook. Just go to my page here and give me a like to stay up to date with my latest blogs.  And follow me on twitter @EllamentalMama I’ll be writing more about this in the coming months

This is part of my single mum by choice series. You can read all about it here:

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