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Early Pregnancy Symptoms and Big Fat Positives

BFP! Beginners luck with clomid + IUI

Like so many others, I never thought this day would come but we finally have our first ever BFP! I'm 33 and my husband is 35. We've been married for 7 years and decided last year that we are ready to start a family. When I stopped the pill in January 2015, I was sure that I would be pregnant in no time. We are both healthy, fit, eat well, no health issues, and all of our siblings had multiple children easily. So when 6 months went by and we still weren't pregnant, we decided to see an OB/GYN. I had started to have pre-period spotting every cycle for 2-5 days before AF, so I thought this could be an issue. I had the normal bloodwork done: FSH, Day 21 progesterone, prolactin, vaginal ultrasound, physical exam, etc. but all normal and no reason to explain the spotting. Anyways, we decided to get more serious and started BBT charting, using OPKs, pre-seed, I tried vitamin B6 and red raspberry leaf a few cycles for the spotting issue. I would get a smiley face on the CB Digital OPK or CBFM (I was using both at some point) around CD 11-13, followed by strong ovulation cramps the next day, and a temp rise the following day, and we nailed the BD timing cycle after cycle but still nothing.

Finally, we were referred to a RE who did further preliminary work. AMH (1.65), HSG, hysteroscopy, semen analysis. All normal with the exception of husband's SA which showed slightly low morphology although he was making up for it in numbers--count was 200+ million. RE said we fall into the unexplained infertility category. She recommended we start with 3 rounds of clomid, even though I ovulate on my own--multiple eggs could help increase our chances. We decided to try on our own for a few more cycles, but still nothing. Finally, we decided to try a first round of clomid. And in the meantime, we thought to have my husband rechecked to see if the morphology had changed since last time. I was devastated when his second SA came back terrible. Count was down to 60 million (which is still considered normal) but morphology was down to 2%. He was referred to a urologist who did some more testing and determined that he had slightly low testosterone and too many white blood cells in semen culture. Anyways, husband was put on clomid (25mg every other day) for low T and an antibiotic (3 week course) for the possible infection.

Clomid cycle #1
Clomid 50mg for 5 days (CD 4-8)
CD13 - follicle scan showed 2 follicles: 23mm and 25mm, uterine lining perfect.
CD13 afternooon - smiley face on OPK, BD that night
CD 14 - BD in AM and PM, strong ovulation cramps in afternoon through evening
1DPO - BD in the morning
No need to test as AF arrived right on time, even with my usual 3 days of pre-AF spotting.

Given the slight male factor issue and detrimental effects of continued clomid use (thin lining, no ewcm, etc.), we decided to skip another round of clomid only and move on to clomid + IUI.

Clomid + IUI cycle
Clomid 50mg for 5 days (CD 4-8) - BTW, I had heavily researched the difference between taking clomid cd3-7 or cd5-9 and I learned that taking clomid CD3-7 produces multiple eggs, while CD5-9 produces better quality egg(s) (but maybe not more than 1). As I already ovulate on my own, I opted for something in between (CD4-8) to hopefully produce multiple eggs but also healthy mature eggs.

CD12 follicle scan: 2 follicles, 1 on each side, each measuring 25mm. Uterine lining 10.6mm.
Nurse mentions that these follicles are pretty big but still good. She instructs me to trigger with Ovidrel shot that night and IUI is scheduled for 36 hours later. Of course, I researched ideal follicle size like crazy and everything I read said that 25mm may be over ripe, so I was already bummed out before we even did the IUI.
That afternoon I got a smiley face on my OPK and panicked! Do I still use the trigger shot if my body is already surging? Shouldn't we move up the IUI to tomorrow? I researched like crazy and everything I read said that if you have an LH surge, IUI should be the next day. I called the after-hours line and spoke with a nurse who was clueless and told me to stay on schedule, still trigger tonight and IUI in 36 hours. But that didn't feel right. After studying my last 20+ cycles, I know that I always ovulate the day after a positive OPK, which would be tomorrow. Anyways, I have a moment of calm and think maybe I should just listen to the specialists. My husband gives me the Ovidrel trigger at 9pm. BD tonight

CD13 - I woke up feeling like we were making a ($1000) mistake by waiting until the following morning for the IUI. I was sure that we'd miss the eggs. I know my body and I will ovulate today. So I called the RE's office and insisted that my IUI be done that day (one day early) and after several painful phone calls and lobbying for myself, they gave us an IUI appt. at 12pm. Hubby's count was 70 million with 98% motile! After the IUI, I stayed laying on the table for 30mins (I read a study that showed laying down for 15+ mins after IUI is more successful). About 3 hours after the IUI, I started having my usual ovulation pains, twinges, cramps. I feel like we nailed the timing. :) BTW--washed sperm only lives for 12-24 hours max or they swim right out of the fallopian tubes in about 6 hours, so IUI timing is really critical.

1dpo - BD in AM; slight cramping in AM probably from IUI or last night's ovulation.
2dpo - nothing noticeable
3dpo - nothing noticeable
4dpo - we travel to Mexico to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary :) My husband mentioned how sweet it would be if it worked and we're pregnant. I smile and agree, but start having my usual doubts. Were my 25mm eggs to ripe? Should I have listened to the RE's office and not insisted on the IUI a day earlier? I start planning for the next IUI...
5dpo - insomnia! Cannot sleep, maybe it's this hotel bed? Have to pee 3 times in the night, side effect of trigger?
6dpo - slight twinges and pulling feelings in lower abdomen. Still can't sleep at night. Sex tonight feels strange like my cervix is aching or vibrating.
7dpo - ewcm, major acne breakout, which is pretty normal pre-AF for me but this was something else. I woke up with 7 new zits along my chin and cheeks! more twinges in lower abdomen. Frequent urination but I'm also enjoying many beverages in Mexico. :) Still can't sleep!
8dpo - wake up with sore throat, complain to husband that A/C was too cold last night. boobs starting to feel tender which is normal leading up to AF, more twinges and pings in lower abdomen, still can't sleep
9dpo - noticeable cramps in AM that I have to breath through. Sudden diarrhea. Feeling tired but that's probably because I haven't slept in several days, sore boobs, still can't sleep through the night, vivid dreams
10dpo - sore boobs, feeling tired, still can't sleep
11dpo - symptoms vanish, no sore boobs, no pre-af bloating. Full of energy and feel good. Tell husband that I think we're out this cycle because all of my symptoms usually vanish the day before AF arrives. Feeling sad and mentally move on to the next cycle waiting for AF to arrive. But it's strange, no pre-af spotting yet. Still can't sleep
12dpo - sore boobs are back, more light twinges and pulling feelings in lower abdomen. Still no pre-af spotting. Still can't sleep.
13dpo - boobs are becoming more tender, more twinges and pulling sensation in uterus and ovary areas. Still no pre-af spotting. Still can't sleep.
14dpo - FRER in AM and first ever BFP! In shock! Take a CB digital and it reads "Pregnant". :) First beta HCG is 136. Tender boobs and more pulling, stretching, and twinges in lower abdomen.
16dpo - Second beta HCG is 256

Long post but I hope it's helpful, I loved obsessively reading your stories! The main signs for me were insomnia, frequent urination, no pre-AF spotting and lack of PMS symptoms (no bloating, no heavy cramping, etc.) This TTC journey has truly been humbling. But I also learned that when it comes to our healthcare, we must be our own advocate. Learning my body and being persistent on our course of treatment helped us get here. Would I be pregnant if we continued trying clomid alone? Would I be pregnant if I waited to do the IUI a day later as the RE's office insisted? We will never know. But don't be afraid to speak up for yourself and do what you feel is right for you.

Good luck and baby dust to all of you! :)

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