Everything pretty much worked out for the IUI this past weekend. My appointment on Thursday morning showed a number of growing follicles - one 15mm, one 14mm, three 13mm, and one 12mm. My estrogen levels had risen to 673, just over triple my previous levels from Tuesday. I knew from the size of the follicles that I wasn't quite ready to trigger yet, and I suspected that Dr. Owlish would want me to come in again on Friday. So before I received my instructions, I went ahead and made a preemptive phone call to the clinic to say that I would be attending my grandpa's funeral on Friday and would be unable to make any appointments that day. The nurse who called back reported that they could work around my schedule and gave me instructions to take a lower dose of Follistim that night, to trigger Friday morning, and to schedule an IUI for Saturday morning. I had a few questions about the protocol (why was I triggering in the morning if I should have had a monitoring appointment that day? why was the IUI only 24 hours after the trigger shot rather than the usual 36?), but after playing phone tag for the whole afternoon, I gave up and decided to just follow orders without getting more information. The HCG shot was not too hard to mix up and take, although I did have a reaction at the injection sight (a quarter-sized red welt) and I felt some unpleasant side-effects for a couple days (slight queasiness, tenderness, etc.). The nurse said that next time, if there is a next time, we can dilute the shot more. The IUI itself was a piece of cake. Since this clinic is so close to our apartment, we could relax at home instead of killing time in the waiting area between dropping of the sperm to be washed and the actual procedure. The nurse who performed the IUI was very gentle; I didn't have any cramping when she inserted the catheter. Then, she actually let Aaron push the plunger to send the sperm on through to the uterus; that was a little strange but also made the whole thing feel a bit more personal and less clinical. (The first word that came to my mind for that sentence was "sterile" instead of "clinical" - but it seems somehow wrong to use that word when describing our attempts to overcome infertility!) So now we're in the waiting stage. I only have one check-up between now and the pregnancy test at the end of the month. With everything surrounding my grandfather's death and funeral (which I'll write more about later), I haven't taken much time to think about the IUI or look ahead to what the results might be. I am asking that this will be the time when the Lord removes the thorn of infertility from us, but for the sake of Christ I am content with these hardships for now.
P.S. Thank you to all of the family members we saw over the weekend who expressed that you are praying for us to have children; it means more than you know to be so surrounded by support.