Since this cycle was lost anyway, I decided to get another HSG to just make sure everything looks good in there. It was a little bit of a mess scheduling, but it worked out that I took this morning off and drove down to south Denver to have it today, CD8. The test went swimmingly, and the dye spilled out both Fallopian tubes almost immediately. There did not appear to be any fibroids or anything out of the ordinary in my uterus. I didn’t anticipate any problems, but I wanted the added certainty that everything is functioning normally, since I didn’t get success in two seemingly-perfect cycles. The HSG itself was uncomfortable, but nothing like natural childbirth, so I just breathed through it. I’ve had slight cramping the rest of the day. One other note, the radiologist commented that he was not surprised I had success after my last HSG, meaning he knows they can help. That made me happy.

The donor search continues. I’m still considering one of the previous donors that I looked at, but I eliminated the cute skin allergy guy who looks so much like our daughter. There are two new contenders. One is adorable, healthy and young, but doesn’t exactly have the most impressive intellect or education. Granted, he’s 19 at the time of the donation, but he’s not like some donors that blow you away with their minds. The other new contender is interesting in that he donated 10 years ago. He has 10 diblings on the donor registry, mostly born between 2009 and 2011. That would make our kid 8-10 years younger than his/her donor siblings. This donor looks great on paper – smart, handsome, athletic, kind. The only problem is there is only one baby photo available, and it’s from a distance. I’m considering paying $99 to join the sibling registry to see what I can learn from the existing recipients. I would be candid about my role/exploration with them.

How irresponsible would it be to just randomly pick one of the leaders? They all seem to have pros and cons, which is true of any human.

In parenting news, I ordered a slew of summer clothes. Perhaps a bit premature, but I like ordering kids clothes. She does not love the feeling of sandals between her toes, but hopefully after she runs through a sprinkler, she’ll change her mind.


We’re getting ready for summer over here.



I had my cyst check on Friday, which was CD2. I had a large cyst on my left ovary, measuring 30mm. Theoretically, the follicle ovulated, and then filled back up with fluid to start producing progesterone, because the follicle incorrectly believed I was pregnant. That means I sit this cycle out and hope it resolves on its own, which is what typically happens. I honestly wasn’t surprised about the cyst. With so many mature follicles, it seemed likely. I also continued to feel the effects of elevated progesterone even after my period started. I was really hot, had a sore throat, headache, and was cranky. Interestingly, it meant I didn’t have any cramps like with a normal period. Flow was normal, so I’m sure it was actually a period.

I asked the nurse if I can have an HSG this cycle, since I cannot try, and she said she was sure I could. I told her that my insurance covers it and she would need to call the order in to my provider. She said that I should schedule it first, call the doctor to let them know the date, and then the doctor would write the referral. Of course, I called the imaging department to schedule, and they won’t schedule without a referral. So, now I’m waiting for the nurses to return my call to send the order.

I’m honestly not too upset about the delay, for a couple of reasons. One is that this cycle would produce a Christmas baby. I’ve always felt bad for people who have to share their birthday with such a major holiday. Plus, my wife’s family has a LOT of late December birthdays, so it’s already a super busy/crowded time of year. A second reason I’m not too upset about the delay is that I’m still very unsettled about donors. We temporarily settled on one, mostly because his baby picture looks so much like our daughter. He’s very cute, and the staff description said he’s very handsome. However, there is only one picture of him available. He is smart and has a scientific mind. He also takes three medications – one for allergies, one for cold sores, and one for what I think are anxiety attacks. He said he takes that last one rarely, and he mentioned public speaking. I’m not really sure what to make of that. He says the allergy is to “deep cuts/abrasions” which I did not know was a thing. He says the result is hives. From my research, it sounds like he gets Urticaria triggered by scratching or abrasions. I have sensitive skin too, so I’m thinking it may not be a great idea to doom a kid to that kind of issue. BUT, we love him based on his baby pic, in large part because he looks so familiar. Potential Donor #2 has a sweet personality and a scientific mind. He has beautiful eyes in his baby picture, looks like a cute pre-teen in a second picture, and then there is this third picture at about 8 years old with some kind of face paint on. It really throws me. I don’t like not really being able to see what his real features are and what is painted on…it’s like he’s painted to look like an old man – very amateur, probably Halloween or something. He’s otherwise very healthy, and one of the most compelling factors for me is that he is donating because a friend asked him to be her donor and he learned about the process. I like that a person who knows him in real life likes him enough to ask. He was excited about the opportunity. SO, I think we’re leaning toward #2, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t scoured the registries dozens of times looking for the perfect fit. I’m happy to read your suggestions, if you have any!



I caved and bought a test on the way home from work, figuring that even if it was negative, I wanted to start processing options sooner rather than later. It was clearly negative. I started spotting about an hour later. I’m disappointed, a little surprised, and trying to decipher a lot of other feelings.

Last night I picked up my wife from work, we went out to dinner and I drank a beer, which made me buzzed, haha. Our daughter was kind of a pill, knocking over water, trying to climb onto the table, and pouring salt into the playdough I brought her to play with.

Partially as a coping mechanism, and partially to help us decide what to do next, after my daughter went to bed, we started browsing donors. My wife has offered that I can use the Last Vial, but I would prefer to save it for her, because I think it gives us a better shot of having a half-sibling to our daughter, since we’ll be doing IVF. We first spent $50 to browse the donors at our original bank, Manhattan Cryo. It just felt familiar, easy, and like a good first step. We’ve had fantastic service from them, and all of our vials were well over 20 million motile sperm. Unfortunately, we just didn’t connect with any of the donors. Next we turned to Seattle Sperm Bank…not sure why, but we love Seattle. We dropped another $50 to see their baby photos. The selection is a lot bigger, but the amount of information about each donor is much smaller. We have found a donor who looks like he could look a lot like our daughter. Similar features and face shape. Unfortunately, there is only one picture of him, which makes me a little wary. I’m caught between wanting to choose someone who will at least look a little similar, but also choosing someone who is a great donor for us…not just based on looks. I am well aware that the genetics can play out in a huge variety of ways, and there is no guarantee that they’ll look anything alike, which of course would be fine. I think it’s mostly an emotional reaction to look for something familiar, and maybe safe.

We’re going to spend the day pondering options. If we want to try this cycle, we’ll need to move fast, because we have to get the vial shipped next week.

If anyone who had to choose a second donor has any advice, I would be happy to hear it!


I’ll be honest, I think I’m losing hope. I don’t have any symptoms of pregnancy, but that’s not too concerning to me. Rather, I think I might be feeling my period starting. It’s hard to say, but for some reason I just don’t feel hopeful or optimistic at all, really. I kind of wish I had tested this morning just so I knew.

One of the things really bringing down my mood is exhaustion. My daughter has decided to flip daylight savings time. Because the clocks moved forward, she should want to go to bed later and wake up later, right? Well, Sunday she woke up an hour EARLY, which means two hours earlier than her normal wake-up. She compensated by taking a morning nap for FORTY-FIVE minutes, which caused her to skip her afternoon nap altogether. That’s about 90 minutes SHORT of what she needs on a good day. Monday night she raged until almost 9:00 p.m., and this morning, she woke up at 4:30 a.m., and refused to do anything but eat cheerios and watch Little Bear. I finally got her into the stroller to walk the dogs (after much raging), and she slept for about 30 minutes. So, I’ve been up since 4:30 today, and I really haven’t recovered from the long hours I spent holding and rocking her when she was sick last week. In summary, I’m running on about 10 days of really crappy sleep with no caffeine.

This brings me to my next point. If this cycle didn’t work, I’m seriously chewing on the possibility of being done. This was my last vial of our donor. We have one more reserved for my wife to try IVF, which we’re planning toward the end of this year. I never thought I would be in this position, but I’m contemplating the idea that maybe I don’t need to carry another baby. I’ve always really, really wanted to. And of course, if by some miracle I do, I’ll be thrilled. But, I’m also pretty grateful that I got to do it once, that I got to breastfeed, and that I get to parent my kid. I may just be moping, so I won’t be making a real decision anytime soon, but this is the first time I’ve sat with this possibility. One of the factors is the sperm. If we had more vials, I’m sure I’d try again. However, choosing a new donor feels like a whole lot of work that I may not have the energy to do. Secondly, the thought of NOT spending hundreds of dollars every month on TTC sounds pretty appealing right now. We’ve been spending money (lots of it) on TTC nearly every single month for a little over a year. I have no idea what the total is, but somewhere in the ballpark of $15,000, just trying for baby #2. The thought of not spending that money is very tempting…thoughts of vacations, home improvements, and new furniture dance in my mind.

So, that’s where I am today. I don’t think my period will arrive today, as it would be early. I think it’s possible that it will start tomorrow or Friday. I still don’t think I’ll test unless it hasn’t arrived by Saturday.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer this morning…I think I’ll go get a breakfast sandwich so I can sniff the coffee fumes.


I’m holding strong at 11DPO without testing. I haven’t had really any obvious symptoms either way, but I don’t think I really had any symptoms with my last pregnancy either. If I’m stretching, I’ll say that I have had a few bouts of very mild nausea or uneasiness that passes quickly in the mid morning the last two days. I was really only sort of nauseous at 6 weeks last pregnancy, and it literally passed in two days. I’m pretty skeptical that it could be pregnancy related, because even if it worked, the hormone levels would still be pretty low. I can chalk it up to the fact that I spent a lot of time painting door trim this weekend, so I was standing up, looking up, for long stretches of time. The other symptom I *might* be having is by throat and sinuses feel sort of stuffy when I wake up. My kid and wife have been SUPER sick with a head cold, so it’s possible that my symptoms are related to that, but it feels a little different than a cold. I remember it during my last pregnancy (again, further into pregnancy) that I would feel like I couldn’t quite breathe effectively through my nose when lying down. It’s not that it’s stuffed, it’s that the sinuses or tissues feel like they’re getting in the way of the air. So, that could be a symptom or it could be absolutely nothing.

I still don’t have any tests at home, which I think is good for me. I also haven’t been tempted to test. I really don’t want to see a negative. I’d rather see blood if that’s where things are headed. I’m still thinking of testing Saturday morning, because it is the day after my period is supposed to show up.


The front door work-in-progress and someone waiting patiently to go outside and play. She stood this way for several minutes.

Outside of TTC, we spent the weekend finishing painting all of our interior doors and most of the trim. When we purchased our condo, the previous owner had painted ALL the wood a dark, dark brown. It was so awful. We live in the garden level, meaning we need as much light and space as we can get, and the dark brown just sucked away the light. We’ve always planned to do it, but never found the time until now. We took Friday off of work and left our daughter in play school so that we could work uninterrupted. We finished painting all the panel doors, which took most of last weekend and half of this weekend. We spent Saturday and part of Sunday painting the trim and door frames. Now, we need to paint three more door frames and install all of the doors. It has been a looooong project, but the result feels so worth it. I didn’t truly appreciate how much I hated the brown until it was gone. I’ll try to remember to post some pictures when we’re finished.


Bossing around the chickens at my parents’ house while her moms work work work

Waiting and Illness

We’re trucking through the TWW, on 6DPO right now. The first 3-4 days always go quickly for me. Then during days 6-9 I think a LOT about implantation. It’s after day 9 that gets really bad for me and I fluctuate wildly between optimism and pessimism, resolve not to test and moments of weakness in which I pee on a stick.

I’m not experiencing any symptoms, as the trigger shot has worn off. One thing I have learned from being pregnant once is that the trigger shot REALLY makes you feel like you’re pregnant. I know this is obvious, because it a big shot of the pregnancy hormone, but it’s striking to me how it can make you feel bloated, slightly nauseated, exhausted, and famished, just like pregnancy does. Before being pregnant, I was not really aware of those symptoms from the shot.

One thing that is keeping me distracted from the TWW is my daughter’s awful cold. She had a slight fever on Thursday of last week, and she was whiny, clingy, and not herself. She was drooling a ton, so I assumed maybe she was getting some molars. She seemed okay on Friday and Saturday. Sunday, she was sneezing a little. On Sunday night, the wheels came off. She was congested, crying, coughing, and begging to be held. We kept her home from playschool and I took the day off work. Monday night was the same, and we juggled to cover childcare while splitting the day on Tuesday. It’s very likely just a bad head cold, but when they are so little and so ineffective at blowing their noses, it’s miserable. She coughs, which wakes her up and hurts her throat, periodically during the night. Then she makes the saddest, most exhausted cry. For two nights I basically slept with her, letting her sleep on top of me while I propped up on pillows. She really prefers to have her face pressed up against or in close proximity of mine, so I get to experience the raspy, sticky, mouth breathing up close and personal. I made her endure a serious Nose Frida-ing this morning, which she equates to murder, but I got a lot of thick mucus out, hopefully helping her breathe better. She’s back at playschool today, and we haven’t gotten a call to pick her up, so I’m hoping she’s on the mend.

Eight-ish more days to go for us to find out if any of the 4 (5?) follicles met their match and floated on the right current to the uterus. I haven’t decided when to test, but it won’t be before Wednesday, 3/14. I don’t want to test on the Ides of March, so it may be Friday, 3/16. Unfortunately, that would mean I have to wait all weekend for my betas. But, I won’t put the cart before the horse. I’ll just keep repeating my mantra this cycle, “All you have to do is keep moving forward.”


Equipped herself for an adventure. (Before sickness) And we’re hoping we get new baseboard/trim this weekend!


Enjoying nachos with her farm animals on the patio of the local brewery. Not sure why she wanted to put her helmet back on. Safety first?

Minor Change of Plans and Data Update

I took an OPK yesterday morning when I woke up, or rather, when my kid woke me up yelling “boob!” “mama!” Anyway, that was at 4:30 a.m. It was the open circle. Low fertility. Typically I get a few days of flashing smile (high fertility) before I get the solid smiley (peak fertility).

At the follicle check yesterday, the nurse asked me if my LH was surging. I said I tested in the morning and it was not. We both contemplated that my eggs were very ripe, my lining was thick, and I really should be surging. She offered to do a $150 blood test to check, but I said nah. I really thought there was no chance it was positive, since I hadn’t even gotten a flasher yet. We discussed the pros and cons of inseminating on Thursday or Friday, but because I wasn’t surging, we ended up with Friday morning and a trigger shot Wednesday night.

I went home yesterday afternoon at 3:00. Not sure why, but I took an OPK. Solid Smiley. It really threw me for a loop. I began to panic, knowing that 36 hours after my surge (whether it started at 8:00 a.m. or 3:00 p.m.) was when the clinic is closed. Out of curiosity, I took a second CBE Advanced Digital…and with pee that I’d only been holding for about 30 minutes, it also read Solid Smiley. I was a terrible parent to my daughter while I scoured Google for reassurance; I let her play in the dog food bin and then tried to convince her to watch Sesame Street. Eventually I dumped a bag of rice into a pie plate to let her play with measuring cups. I left a message at the clinic to ask what I should do, then repeatedly texted my wife.

Our nurse called back at 5:00. She agreed we should inseminate Thursday, because Friday would probably be too late. Unfortunately, the latest time they could offer me on Thursday was 11:00 a.m. I really, really hoped for 4:00 or 5:00 p.m., but they almost never do inseminations that late.

After much stress, my brain reached the place of knowing that 11:00 a.m. is FINE. Assuming I started surging sometime yesterday between 5:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., the insemination should be roughly 20-30 hours after surge. Most women ovulate between 24 and 36 hours after the surge, so if both egg and sperm can live for 12+ hours in there, they SHOULD be able to meet up! The logical side of me was fine. The emotional side of me was thrown for a major loop. I like plans. I hate surprises. (Do I sound like a control freak? Don’t answer that.) I really felt a lot of anxiety last night and a little bit this morning, MERELY FOR THE CHANGED PLANS. Let it gooooo, let it goooooooo! Frozen always helps.

So, the end of the story is that I went ahead and used the trigger shot at about 5:00 yesterday. I’m clearly ovulating today (based on cervical mucus). I’m hopeful that at least one of those follicles cracks at just the right time.

Thank you for all of your crossed fingers and toes!

And for my own peace of mind, here’s the updated data:
IUI #4 (February 2018)
CD 3-9: 150 mg Clomid
CD 12: 18.5 on right, 16.8, 16.1, 15, 14 on left, Estrace 2x/day vaginally
CD 14: 22 on right, 21, 20, 18 on left (with possibly another hidden). Lining was 9 mm.
+OPK at 3:00 p.m., Trigger at 5:00 p.m.
CD 15: Insem at 11:00 a.m.

Go Time.

I had a follow-up ultrasound today to see what the follicles were doing. Since my last appointment, I’ve been diligently placing tiny blue pills into my vagina (Estrace) to try to slow the growth of the follicles with the added benefit of thickening my lining.

The good news is, IT WORKED. I previously had 5 follicles that they considered “fertile.” At my clinic, anything over 14mm at the time of trigger is considered fertile, because they consider that the trigger could bump it up to 16/17, which is when it *could* hold a viable egg. BUT, a follicle that is 14 or more is NOT considered viable if it has stopped growing.

So, back to the current cycle. On Monday (CD 12) I had 18.5 on my right, 16.8, 16.1, 15, 14 on my left. Plus some other little ones on each side. I went back today to check whether any of them stopped growing, because if less than 5 were over 14 OR stopped growing, they would give me the green light. Today (drumroll please) I have a 22 on my right, 21, 20, 18 on my left. The rest are all under 14, which is perfect. My lining was 9mm.

I had my favorite ultrasound tech today – the one who did ultrasound guidance when my daughter was conceived. And because she knows and likes us, I could not help but wonder whether she skipped one of the follicles on my left side. It’s so hard to tell when they scan through the follicles which one is which. For example, she’ll find one, freeze, measure it, and then roll back through to pick another one to measure. Sometimes I can see the one she measured first, and other times THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME. So, she knew I needed the number to be four instead of five, and a big part of me thought I saw four big follicles on that left side. And frankly, I hope she did me that favor! Let’s be honest, the chances of all four (or five?) eggs fertilizing is minute. I’m not even slightly concerned about it.

So, thinking I had four great follicles (three of which are on the left…always the left), I went to meet with our nurse. She walked in the room and smiled. I said, “We did it!” and she said, “But!” I thought OF COURSE there is a but. She pointed out to me that on both sides, there were follicles that appear to have grown quite a bit in the last 48 hours. On the right, there is one that went from 11 to 13. On the left there is one that went from 6.5 to 11. She said she is concerned that they may continue to grow, so she needed to speak with the doctor.

Now let’s talk logistics. Neither ultrasound tech measured ALL the follicles – they never do! They measure the big ones and then one or two small ones for reference. I firmly believe that the 6.5 didn’t grow to 11…they are different follicles. The 11 could have been the 13 and it shrunk! Who knows?

Cutting to the chase, the nurse called an hour later and let me know that the doctor said we could go ahead. This was after she insisted we have a real heart-to-heart about whether we really want to try, because anything could happen. I assured her that we are prepared for any outcome. She told me she has seen a woman with 11 viable follicles that did NOT get pregnant, and she has seen a woman with 2 who had twins. She started to tell me about another woman who I assume must have gotten pregnant with higher order multiples, but she stopped herself.

I’ll trigger tonight at 9:00 p.m. and Friday morning is our insem. We’re both feeling hopeful and optimistic, but I generally feel that way most cycles. Wish us luck if you have any to spare!


Wearing alllll the stripes on the dog walk.


Gettin’ fancy with mama’s necklace and shoes.


Data and a follicle update

Because I love tracking stuff…

IUI #1 (September 2015)
CD 4-8: 100 mg Clomid
CD 10: 16, 14, 12 mm follies
CD 12: 21, 16, 13 mm follies
CD 13: Trigger at 1:00 a.m.
CD 14: Insem (1:00 p.m.)

IUI #2 (October 2015 – Pregnancy)
CD 3-9: 100 mg Clomid
CD 12: 18, 17 on left, 17 on right
CD 13: Trigger at 10:00 p.m.
CD 15: Insem (10:00 a.m.)

Cancelled Cycle (December 2017)
CD 3-9: 100 mg Clomid
CD 12: 12 on right
CD 14: 14
CD 17: 17 (Cancelled)

IUI #3 (January 2018)
CD 3-9: 150 mg Clomid
CD 11: 13(?) on left with trailers
CD 14: 21, 18, 14.5 on left
CD 14: Trigger at 9:00 p.m. (Early, maybe a mistake)
CD 16: Insem at 11:00 a.m.

IUI #4 (February 2018)
CD 3-9: 150 mg Clomid
CD 12: 18.5 on right, 16.8, 16.1, 15, 14 on left

If you’re following along, that’s too many follicles… It’s technically 5 viable follies, but there are a few more trailing behind that could continue growing. I’m waiting to hear from the clinic whether they will let me move forward. I know they have a pretty hard line at 5, but even then, I don’t know if they let you try. I know with cycles when I had 3 follicles, they showed a tiny bit of hesitation.

I’m betting that they will want to ultrasound again tomorrow to see if any stopped growing, which would be ideal. If 6 or more end up being viable, I’m sure they’ll cancel the cycle. If one or two taper off, I think they’ll let me move forward.


Blogging Bandwagon

I’ve fallen off! Two weeks ago, I resigned to the fact that I just really don’t get onto social media on the weekends (except for occasional facebook scrolling on my phone). Instead of pushing myself to log on and make a blog post on the weekends, I decided to adjust my blogging goal to every *week* day in February. That felt like a fair balance. I’ve gotten really stingy with my weekend time now that we have a kid. In the past, weekday evenings could be more productive (and less recuperative), we were better rested, and we tackled a lot of projects, adventures, and social gatherings nearly every weekend. Now, I get one invitation to a two year-old’s birthday and I’m bitter that I’ll need to spend my Saturday shopping for a gift, getting 3 of us dressed and presentable, and attending the party. All working around naptime. Add any commute over 15 minutes to that, and I’m just nasty. So I decided not to push myself to get online on Saturdays and Sundays to post, and I slept well at night (metaphorically).

This week I’ve been in emotional re-boot after a failed cycle and I dove straight into the next round of Clomid (crazy pills). I’ve lacked enthusiasm for any interesting posts or topics. I’m mostly working on staying relaxed, feeling gratitude for the wonderful things I have in my life, and hoping for the next cycle.

Another interesting feature of this week is that our kid has slept until at least 4:30 alone in her bed twice this week. One additional night she made it to 6:45 when I gently woke her up so I could say goodbye before leaving for work. I really think this is just the developmental stage, and I’m glad she’s finally here, but also sad to lose all the midnight snuggles. She does still wake up and squawk in the night, but she pretty quickly drifts back off to sleep. This means that I am having a pretty light sleep in my room, listening for any noises. It’s easy to hear her in her room, since it’s just next door, but my mom instincts seem to really be keeping me alert to her in her room. As for nursing, I’m still letting her nurse to sleep at bedtime. She’s not getting much milk, but she loves it, so I let her. Then I’ve let her nurse one more time in the morning. Again, just for comfort really. Last night I learned (again) the hard way that I should not intervene unless she really needs me. At 3:45 she cried out. She started saying “mama!” “nooooo” “mama!” and a few other semi-coherent words, and she sounded like she was getting more awake instead of self-soothing. I went in, she was delighted, climbed all over me, nursed for 45-60 minutes in her dream haze, and eventually told me “Away” which means she was ready for me to leave. That made me laugh, and I’m glad she’s feeling some bed autonomy. The lesson I learned is not to go in, because she just wants to latch and soothe for HOURS. If I had stayed in my room, I think she probably would have gone back to sleep much quicker.

One of the tools that has made this sleep development possible is the stainless Miracle 360 cup by munchkin. It’s like a coffee mug, in that it will keep things cold for a long time. I always bring one to bed with her, and I can sometimes coax her to drink the milk after she has nursed for awhile. I use Ripple pea milk, and I add one ice cube to keep it cold. It’s always still fine in the morning. The cup just floats around in her bed, and sometimes she’s able to find it in the night (or I can put it into her sleeping hand) and she soothes that way. I liked the cup so much that I bought two, so I keep them ready and filled in the refrigerator. I’m sure it’s bad for her teeth to be drinking after she brushed her teeth, but sanity, you know?


The aquarium is the HIGHLIGHT of her library trips. We contemplated for 3 seconds getting her one for home, then slapped ourselves.


She chose that book off the shelf on her own and sat down at the mini table to read it. I died.