Today we had our first IUI. It was awful. I’d gotten the call yesterday that my LH levels had surged. I was so relieved, they’d given me a prescription for an injection in case this didn’t happen. I’d had a bad week and I just thought of course it’ll be my luck that I need to take this freaky injection. But my body was doing what it was supposed to! I was pumped.

Then this morning as I was getting ready, I got really nervous and emotional. This was our first attempt at Artificial Insemination. We’d both taken drugs before, but at least then, conception would have happened from a place of love. We were now going forward with the possible creation of new life in the most contrived manner – on a sterile clinic table. The doctor told us there was a 15% chance of conception – so an 85% chance that it wouldn’t work. Still, it was possible that today would be the day we gave birth to the embryo that would become our child. It felt like a big deal. I actually felt nervous the way I did the morning of our wedding – that I realized I was doing something sacred, something truly important that would change my life forever.

We got to the clinic and I changed into the lap coat while they retrieved the sperm sample. That’s when things started to go downhill. The nurse said that she had consulted with the doctor about whether to go ahead with the IUI since “the quality wasn’t as great as we’d like”. If was a fraction of what they recommend but she assured us “you only need one sperm”. We had already paid our $500 and I was already in the robe so we went ahead with it. It was much more painful than I expected. They had described the pain as being similar to a pap test but for me, this felt way worse. I was glad I’d asked Husband to stay on the other side of the door so he couldn’t hear my yelps. He said he still did hear some.

Husband rushed back to work and I called in sick for the rest of the day. When I came home, I just cried and cried. I don’t know how to describe what I was crying about. I just felt so vulnerable. They had poked and prodded at me all week during the monitoring. I had managed to go to all the morning appointments and keep up with work all while jetlagged. I had felt like I was actually rocking this – like I could keep all these balls in the air. But then, lying on the table in pain only to receive a “subpar” sample – it was just too much. I felt like I was getting kicked while I was down. It just felt as cold and lonely as I suspected it might.

My therapist has recommended that I think long term so that “I don’t get caught up in the details”. Long term, I have every reason to believe we will be able to conceive eventually either through IUI or IVF. We don’t have a black and white prognosis, we both have problems that are fixable. When I reassure myself that it will happen eventually, it does make me feel better. However, getting there could be a very long journey. This was just one try. One try with a small chance of working. I barely survived the emotions of doing this once, nevermind several times, then maybe IVF. I don’t know how to shield myself from the ups and downs. I just keep on feeling – whether anxious, scared, lonely or hurt – I want a break from the emotions. I just want things to be easy for a while.