Monday, September 11, 2006

History: From 2000 to Week 5

Start counting the weeks, because the due date should be May 7, 2007 -- if we can trust the online pregnancy calculator. We really have no reason NOT to trust the calculator, so we'll stick with May 7 for now. Even if the calculator were untrustworthy or incorrect, we could be certain about one date: August 14, the date of conception. That is because we have witnesses. A doctor and a nurse, in fact. Perhaps it would be helpful to provide a chronology that leads up to August 14, to account for the presence of the witnesses:

November 2000
- We are married. R has finished university but D still has 18 months left, so we decide to wait a bit before having kids. If only we knew.

May 2002
- Graduation and a new job out in Ottawa.

November 2002
- One afternoon, R asks D for his thoughts on beginning a family. D says something profound and memorable like, "Sounds great." D & R turn the dial from "no kids" to "kids" and begin to wait.

November 2003
- No luck so far. R finds it awkward when the subject comes up in conversation with friends. D remains optimistic, which is typical for him. Doctors say it can take 18 months to return to equilibrium after The Pill.

November 2004
- Disconcerting. Awkwardness/optimism continues as the 18-month mark comes and goes. Our doctor refers us to the Fertility Clinic.

May 2005
- The Clinic does some tests to find the problem. Both of us come through with a clean bill of health. In the past, couples like us were "unexplainable" cases.

July 2005
- After a closer look, The Clinic discovers that the problem is with D's manufacturing. Apparently, there are some inherent production flaws which greatly reduce the probability of success. Fortunately, there is a treatment option available with a 50 percent success rate. Unfortunately, this treatment (IVF) costs $10,000 and is explained using language like "superovulation" and "harvesting eggs." There's another, gentler option for only $750 (IUI), but its success rate is a modest 15 percent. We decide to give nature until Christmas to run its course.

January 2006
- After Christmas we give the green light for IUI, but are disappointed to hear that we'll have to wait another month, and then we may only get one chance at it before The Clinic moves into posh new premises, which will postpone all treatments by another month or two.

March 2006
- We have our first IUI treament, but the medications (needles!) that R must take do not have the desired effect and only one follicle develops to sufficient size to produce an egg. R does not allow herself to become too hopeful. D is prepared to buy a crib and teddy-bear wallpaper; however, the treatment is unsuccessful.

May 2006
- The Clinic is moving so we skip the IUI and just use Clomid pills. No dice. At least there were no needles or ultrasounds this time around.


August 2, 2006
- Another IUI treatment begins with greater dosages for R (more needles!).


August 11, 2006
- The ultrasound analysis shows only one large follicle developing, although there are two or three more small ones well back of the leader, jostling for second place. Since it doesn't look much better than the first IUI, we consider cancelling the procedure to save some of the $750 fee, but we decide to give it another day or two.

August 12, 2006
- The follicle runners-up are closing the gap on the leader. It's unclear if they will be big enough at ovulation, but the doctor is hopeful.

August 13, 2006
- A morning blood test shows R's LH levels are rising -- a sign of imminent ovulation. She takes a shot (another needle!) to trigger wholesale release from all developing follicles. R is cautiously optimistic. D has his head in the clouds.

August 14, 2006
- We go into The Clinic for the final procedure. Afterwards, the nurse and doctor depart, and tell us to call back in 17 days -- with good news or bad.


August 31, 2006
- The schedule suggests that R should call The Clinic today, but she is uncertain whether the treatment has been successful. She is feeling the usual symptoms that signal a failure to launch. She chooses to wait one more day, just in case. The thought has not occurred to either of us to try a home pregnancy test. We are idiots.

September 1, 2006
- R finally goes into The Clinic for a blood test. They promise to call by noon, but by 1pm she can't take it any longer and leaves to run errands. D (at work) gets impatient and calls her at 4pm. She replays the answering machine message from The Clinic: "Congratulations, you're pregnant." Both of us had become convinced that it hadn't worked. Both of us were completely overcome with emotion. A few hours later, we pick up D's younger brother at the airport, who is visiting from NY. It was wonderful to have family around to share in the news, although it is bittersweet for D's brother. He'll be the only sibling left without kids (which is understandable, because he is missing an essential spousal component).


September 4, 2006
- Week 5 is upon us and we realize that we are completely unprepared. We know everything about conception and nothing about pregnancy. Some online research reveals that the baby is approximately the size of a sesame seed during week 5 -- thus the name of the blog. Also, week 5 is typically accompanied by frequent trips to the washroom. This is comforting news.


September 11, 2006
- Blogging begins in earnest. Hopefully, this record will be interesting and informative for family and friends, and possibly even for complete strangers. Better yet, it will be reassuring for couples in our same situation who need to hear stories about beating the odds.


Doug Anderson said...

Love your detailed history R and D. from DTA in Naperville

Adriana RĂ­os said...

R and D!!!!! I feel so happy for you after reading this story. I mean I was very happy when I first knew you were pregnant and I kinda knew you wanted this baby for so long, but it is not the same when you read the whole story. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
your friend Adriana "the mexican"