After 18 months of trying to conceive we have finally done it. I'd like to say that it all took place the good old fashion way after a night of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries but the reality is we had help. After a year of not being able to get pregnant I found a reproductive endocrinologist via a referral from a few different people and had tests done (on both myself and my husband) to show Intrauterine Insemination might help increase our odds of getting pregnant. Shocking that we conceived our son without help but secondary infertility is not something brand new to see happen. For those not completely familiar with IUI it is basically where the man's sperm is put into a machine where it is washed and filtered to get the best quality swimmers and then inserted into the woman via a catheter up to her cervix right around the time of ovulation.
We tried 3 rounds of IUI with the first attempt ending in miscarriage but the third attempt being a success. I will admit getting blood draws, ultrasounds, taking progestone and clomid, and having my husband stick me with a needle of ovidrel were not on my To Do List of ways to conceive but the medical world is so advanced and getting more and more precise in helping couples who have fertility issues. I also made my husband start taking 500mg of Vitamin C and a supplement called FertiliAid and I think the perfect storm of right timing, fertility meds, and him taking vitamins all helped us achieve our goal of getting pregnant.
I'll also tell you that after my miscarriage I felt desperate and read up on other more natural approaches to help increase fertility and a vegan diet and juice cleanse were both steps I took that I think ended up helping me. The idea is that meat and other processed foods increase a woman's estrogen levels which can cause a hormone imbalance and reduce the length of your luteal phase, or the window of time for implantation after ovulation. Even though my hormones were not believed to be causing our infertility I wanted to give my body a chance to provide the perfect environment for fertilization.
While IUI is considered the "less expensive" route for infertility it also isn't cheap. Especially when you factor in all the doctor visits for monitoring of hormone levels, sonograms to check follicle size (which is believed to relate directly to egg quality and quantity), and medicine. I'll estimate just the relatively short amount of time we were under the care of our RE we spent well over $3,000 out of pocket which was not covered under our insurance. But knowing IVF attempts start around $10,000 we shouldn't complain.
As I type this I'm extremely nauseous and tired, but so very thankful for modern medicine and this little bean growing inside of me. If everything continues to go well our son will have a brother or sister come early December...or earlier if this one is anything like him.