This post is going to be pretty much all over the place.
I have pretty much made up my mind that I am not doing any more IUIs. As one of my anonymous commenters pointed out on my post on this subject, there really isn't that much of a difference in success rate between our TTC on our own and doing IUI with injectables--5% per cycle vs. 10-15% per cycle.
(Oh, and as for doing just medications with timed intercourse, medications and monitoring are the more expensive part of our IUI cycles. I wouldn't feel comfortable at all doing medicated cycles without monitoring; too afraid of unintended side effects like high order multiples, cysts, or ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.)
As commenter gingerandlime correctly sagely (and correctly) pointed out, I am not locked in to this decision. But at the moment, I don't think it's worth the time, effort, or most importantly, the money we would spend on more IUIs.
I am still on the fence about the DE IVF option. MM is fully on board, but in my opinion, his desire to proceed with DE IVF is due to the high success rate which will give him a realistic chance of having a child who is genetically related to him and is primarily emotionally driven. I, on the other hand, am thinking about all the other issues that go along with this. . . . such as how we will feel, and what we will do next, if we are in the unlucky 20% for whom the procedure does not result in a live birth. (I have never been more pregnant than 5 weeks, so who's to say my body is up to the task? I just don't know.)
I gently suggested we consider adoption before sinking so much money into a DE IVF cycle, and MM was not very receptive. He said he was willing to "learn more about it," but went on to say that he wouldn't consider it as an option until/unless we did a DE IVF cycle which failed. To which I had to respond that, if we spend $30K+ on DE IVF and it doesn't work, we won't be able to afford to pursue adoption.
I hate, hate, hate the idea of paying off a loan of over $10K--which is the least we will have to borrow to do DE IVF--while still childless. Frankly, I'm not too keen on the idea of paying off a loan of that size while simultaneously paying for a new baby (or two) either.
I also have a lot of issues with "what if it does work." Like what I will tell people, including my parents, about how we conceived. MM believes my parents have "a right to know" that the child would not be genetically related to them. I'm not sure I agree, but a lot of the reading I have done seems to indicate that it is better for a child conceived through the use of donor gametes to know this from an early age, so that it won't seem like a horrible or weird thing. I can't very well tell my child and not tell other people. . . . that just won't work.
I am also still wrestling with guilt. I know, many of you previously commented that you think I shouldn't feel guilty, but I do. The reasons are many and varied. To name just a few. . . .I feel guilty for considering depriving my husband of his (likely) only opportunity to have a child of his own by declining to pursue ART, but I also feel guilty for considering DE IVF as an option. I feel guilty for being unable to conceive on my own and feel strongly that it is my own fault for waiting until 37 to TTC. (Yes, I know, plenty of women conceive at that age and older. Intellectually, I know this is true.)
So even though I have made up my mind to be done with IUIs, I am still in the "thinking it over" stage in regard to what we will do next, if anything.
Also, I am beginning to wonder if, in fact, I am still ovulating normally. (Although another part of my brain says "What difference does that make? Even when you know you've ovulated, it never gets you anywhere!") I didn't use OPKs my last two cycles, and I gave up BBT charting long ago. . . . but my last two cycles were only 25 days and 22 days long. Definitely abnormal, not only for me specifically, but in general.
Now this cycle, I never had a truly positive OPK. I had clearly negative OPKs on CD 10, CD 11, and CD 13. On CD 12, I had an OPK where the test line was ALMOST as dark as the control, but not quite. (On the other hand, in looking at the OPK photo gallery on fertilityfriend, my OPK from CD 12 looked pretty much the same as most of the other positive OPKs of that brand posted there. Example: http://www.fertilityfriend.com/tg/gallery/f5b987f651af078fd01c86c85c24fc5f/image_7479.jpg?)
I never had a problem with OPKs before; when I've tested daily and not forgotten, I've always gotten at least one positive. (Hell, I've even had positive OPKs in treatment cycles when I didn't want/need them!) So now I am wondering if perhaps I am not even ovulating anymore.
One little anecdote I want to share. . . . this past Saturday, I was hanging out with my BFF and realized I was out of OPKs. Saturday was CD 12, a day when I have often had a + OPK, so I didn't want to skip testing. We stopped in a Walgreen's in an, um, unsavory part of town on our way back from lunch to buy the OPKs.
When I took my box of OPKs to the counter (the last box on the shelf, I might add), the cashier ringing me up appeared to be under 25 and was visibly pregnant, probably between 6 and 8 months along. I was glad my BFF was with me to witness the fact that it is NOT just my imagination that I see pregnant women everywhere! See, even here at the ghetto Walgreen's, I've run into a pregnant woman!
I noticed the cashier looking at my purchase and, as I am inclined to do, thought to make light of the situation with humor. I said, smiling, "You don't need those; you've already accomplished that goal." At which point the cashier told me "Yeah, but I used seven pregnancy tests when I first found out because I couldn't believe it was true after over two years of trying."
Bam! Here I had (wrongly) assumed that, because this woman was young and likely not financially well-off, she had conceived readily and without thought. . . . and it turned out that she (at least on some level) knew my pain. Huh.