Love, Joleen: Taking Courage After a Failed IUI

Monday, May 28, 2018

Taking Courage After a Failed IUI

I don't know what brought you to this pagecuriosity or love for me or your own heartbreak or Google search, but I'm glad you're here. Yesterday was the end of another failed cycle. The difference is that I had my first IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) on Mother's Day, hopeful that the meaning of the day was a good sign of what was to come... and it didn't work. I want to share the specific details because I know through support groups, message threads, and forums, that we're all looking for information. Even though your doctor has told you not to look, you can't help but read everything and compare every symptom. And so, I want this to be a landing page for you, just as I'll do when we have good news to share someday.


My cycle looked like this: After a disappointing medicated cycle in March/April, AF started without meds, and the base ultrasound went well on CD3. I was prescribed 7.5mg Letrozole for CDs 3-7. My ultrasound on CD10 showed two follicles on the left ovary, measuring 16 mm and 13 mm. On CD12 the dominating follie was at 19 mm, so I was given the go ahead to do the Ovidrel trigger shot the following night. (The "trigger shot" triggers ovulation.) 36 hours later I had my IUI on CD15 with an ideal outlook.

Entire support groups are dedicated to the "2ww" aka Two Week Wait. It's the dreadful time after treatment where you wait to see if it worked or not, and accounts for me all but ghosting my social media accounts. Honestly, I'll never do it the same way again (I hope) because it pretty much consumed me. Every possible symptom was analyzed. Pulling/tugging/mild cramping (possible implantation?), headaches, weeping/emotional/funk, tender breasts, increased fatigue (pregnancy or period?). I was going to bed at 8 or 9 p.m., which is very early for this night owl. Having vivid dreams. All likely caused by the 600mg of Progesterone I was taking daily to support a potential early pregnancy. Instead of waiting for 14dpiui (days post IUI), I started testing on day 11. This is after I was fairly certain I wouldn't still receive a false positive from the trigger shot. I spent 5 days and about $35 in pregnancy tests, getting only BFNs (big fat negatives). Finally my doctor said to stop the Progesterone and we could try again next cycle.


I went to church with my family yesterday, gutted, but knowing that I needed to be there. The first worship song we walked into was "Take Courage" by Bethel Music featuring Kristene DiMarco. Grab a tissue and hit play. 


"Take courage, my heart, 
stay steadfast, my soul. 
He's in the waiting.
He's in the waiting."

As you can probably guess I was a mess; a puddle of tears between my husband and my sweet friend, Julia. 

"Hold on to your hope,
as your triumph unfolds.
He's never failing. 
He's never failing."

And it didn't stop there. The sermon was called, "The Reality of Faith" and asked, "How do you fill the gap between what is and what will be?" Pastor Steve talked about how often we fill that gap with fear, thinking our present reality will be our permanent reality. Instead, faith needs to fill the gap. Faith sees God early and seeks God earnestly. He said something else that really stuck out to me"The reward of faith is always worth the cost," and isn't that true? Hasn't God seen me through heartache and pain in the past? Hasn't He shown me time and again, His all-encompassing love and grace? Pain I never thought I'd see my way through, I not only survived but the harshness has faded through time. I know I'm going to look back on this season and recognize how God walked with me through it all. And in 5 years, 10 years, it will have been but a part of our beautiful story. 

I opened my bible to Hebrews 11 and my eyes lighted on a verse tucked between two highlighted verses: 

"Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise."
Hebrews 11:23

Photo by Abigail Keenan on Unsplash
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