Thursday, November 11, 2010

So, did you know?

Conversations about how we got pregnant often start something like that. People want to know and want to ask but are too afraid or shy to ask outright. Honestly, sometimes I just forget that it's not common knowledge so I don't intentionally not explain things. This was reminded to me the other night. My friend, Caitriona, said that I should write an entry explaining how we got pregnant. Brilliant idea, my Irish friend. Why didn't I think of that?!

Our journey started out last September. We decided to work with a fertility centre. Some couples opt to work with the sperm bank directly. The benefit of working with the fertility centre is that they are extremely thorough. If there was any tiny, little reason that I may have trouble getting pregnant, they would find it. We had a long chat with the doctor and then they took 12 vials of blood from me. They test for a variety of diseases, look at standard info like CBC and test for thyroid function. We then went through one month of cycle monitoring to ensure that everything was happening the way it should. This involved going into the clinic almost every day at 7am for a blood test and an ultrasound to track follicle growth and size and hormone levels. After one month of cycle monitoring, it was up to us to decide when we wanted to begin the process of trying to make a baby. 

Ok, so the process continues...follicles hold the eggs. "Healthy" women usually have quite a few (ie. 5-8) follicles in each ovary at the beginning of a cycle. Fortunately, I was one of these people. As the cycle progresses, one follicle breaks away from the rest. The little champ becomes the dominant follicle. This follicle is monitored closely because it will be the one that will ovulate the egg. Meanwhile, blood work is done to test the levels of estrogen, progesterone and luteinizing hormone (LH). When the follicle size and the blood work levels are just right, they schedule the insemination for the next day. 

Once the insemination is complete, the waiting game begins, just like every other couple! The clinic schedules a blood test for exactly two weeks to the day of the insemination. You always know before that though. On the most recent (successful!) cycle, I tested on day 12 and received a faint positive. If implantation occurs (ie. the ridiculously good looking egg and sperm meet and bond, travel down the fallopian tube and attach onto the uterine wall), it usually happens around day 6-12. It takes another few days for that "change" to show up in a pregnancy test. 

But, sometimes, if you're rrrrreally lucky, your body decides to create TWO dominant follicles! So, on this most recent cycle, we were fortunate enough to watch two little follicles compete for that top position. Instead, we had a tie. With this being said, getting preggo with twins is not a given. Sometimes only one egg ovulates, despite the two follicles and sometimes both ovulate but only one gets fertilized. 

And there you have it...our journey into parenthood! If I've left some thing out or confused you even more, let me know.

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