On Friday afternoon, in the midst of a hive breakout barely held at bay by Benadryl, I got a positive OPK after being super-religious about not peeing for 4 hours! I even had the coveted EWCM that day AND the next day, something I was never able to detect previously. Although the positive kit did take me somewhat by surprise a few days early, I was thrilled to prove the genuine falsehood of the earlier false positive and put the wheels in motion for IUI #3.
I called in my positive result to Nurse Olga, who congratulated me 🙂 and scheduled my IUI for 12:30 on Saturday. She also said that her hunch about the hives was that I was having an allergic reaction to the dye of the HSG test. After our call, I got an email containing my instructions:
Your IUI is tomorrow at 12:30pm with Dr. Rinaudo. Please call the thaw hotline tomorrow morning. Have a great weekend Katie!
§ SPERM THAW: The MORNING OF YOUR INSEMINATION please call the thaw hotline BEFORE 8:30am at 353-3039. The sperm will not be thawed unless you call. Please leave:
1) Full Name
3) Donor Name and Number
4) IUI Appointment Time
That’s right: if you do not call the “thaw hotline” the morning-of, your sperm will NOT be thawed for your IUI–way to hold the patients accountable! This actually struck me as kind of absurd, but I’m sure the policy was developed after expensive (?) thawing and no-show ladies. I did get stuck on the “Donor Name”–what’s his name again? Oh right, I never knew it. I suppose they’re referring to known donors in that case, but mine is anonymous. I’ve been calling him McPiercy but I do know his number by heart.
On Saturday morning, the hives were back in full force! I took 2 Benadryl and called the thaw hotline at around 7am. Then I spent part of the morning assembling all my baby project paperwork, creating a spreadsheet of all my cycle charting data, and adding up my expenses thus far. For the record, my average cycle lasts around 26 days, my average LH surge is on Day 13/14, my average (estimated) ovulation day is Day 14/15, my temp spike happens on Day 16, and my luteal phase is about 12/13 days. Crunching the numbers helps me feel a teensy bit in control.
I also tallied the amount I’ve spent at PRS: $3,860 for: 1 intro consultation, 4 vials, 2 IUIs, 2 ultrasounds, plus accoutrements (and a partridge in a pear tree). I could send these expenses in to be reimbursed now through my insurance but I’m holding off since I just transferred over to UCSF where all I’ve paid thus far for an RE consult, ultrasound, psychiatric evaluation, sperm transfer, and HSG test is one little $40 copay–they seamlessly bill my insurance directly. So I’m loathe to file a bunch of individual claims for PRS until I get pregnant; then I’ll cash in my chips.
While this is an expensive process, I know all too well that what I’m really paying for is the right to be a full-on solo parent with no one swooping in at the 11th hour to cause complications. I’m really paying for the right to have no man legally connected to this child (until I’m ready to connect one).
At 12:30, I entered the quiet Saturday halls of UCSF for the IUI, which was pretty much exactly the same drill as at PRS. It wasn’t Dr. Rinaudo after all, but a woman named Dr. P–nice to keep the continuity of possibly getting knocked up by a woman as long as it couldn’t be Ingrid. Dr. P. was very sympathetic about the hives and said it sounds very likely an allergy to the dye, considering that if they were stress hives they would have come and gone long ago. She also said I should stop taking Benadryl now since it could possibly interfere with implantation. Darn.
At the moment of truth, when Ingrid would have said, “I’m sending you blessings and love,” Dr. P. said, “OK, the specimen is going in.” 8 million of McPiercy’s swimmers with “excellent motility” were deployed in my uterus. I just smiled, and Mojo winked at me from where his head was poking out of my purse.
On the way home, I picked up the healthiest lunch I could think of: kale salad, rice and beans, and a carrot/ginger/lime juice from Herbivore. Then I took a long nap on the couch. I took a nap on my couch today too (and hopefully tomorrow!). The weekend has been so restful and I am grateful for one more day, which will include a SMC brunch and a date with a real-life guy (i.e. not from the internet) who asked me out for dinner.
Tonight, I accomplished one item on the weekend to-do list which was to begin looking at new places to live. I really do like my apartment (of 6 years!) and it’s fine for me right now…it’s a studio, probably 600 square feet, with south-facing bay windows, pretty views, old-school charm (read: nothing has ever been updated. I have an icebox), nice hardwood floors, great neighborhood, centrally located in the Lower Haight. But when I consider bringing a tiny roommate in here, I worry that it’s also a fourth-floor walkup with shared coin-op laundry. To me, the laundry is the dealbreaker, even if I was able to convert the walk-in closet to a baby room.
After searching around on Craig’s List for an hour or so, I started feeling my hives get itchier (I still have a few!)… The rental market is at its peak. The real estate market is ridiculous. The share situations are sketchy. Anything vaguely affordable is in a bad area. I went in circles until I remembered that I don’t have to do anything yet.
All I have to do now is get pregnant. I have faith that the rest will work itself out, whether that’s leaving the Bay Area to become a park ranger or joining a single mom co-op or getting someone to buy me a condo with no strings attached or falling into some other unlikely-but-perfect scenario I couldn’t have dreamed up ahead of time. I just try to remember how many women have done it with less.