The rationale side of my brain knew not to be too fussed over the details of my follicles or Husband's sperm count; as we all know, it only takes one. The more volatile emotional side of the brain oddly appreciated the lower count for helping to appropriately set expectations. I have been afraid to be hopeful. It was nearly a year ago that mid-luteal phase cramping convinced me that it was a surefire sign of implantation and my BFP was in sight. Maybe I was just more sensitive to my endogenous progesterone that cycle, but the ensuing arrival of AF was profoundly devastating. Inexplicably, I broke into a hysterical crying fit over that BFN, but didn't cry at all when I knew I was miscarrying. After receiving the news of Husband's semen analysis, I quickly accepted that it unlikely that we would conceive on our own, and went though each cycle with little faith that it would succeed. It was easier to face AF each month when I was anticipating her arrival, and thus wouldn't feel so disappointed.
This was the first time since the crashing letdown of the faux implantation cramping that I felt we had reason to be cautiously optimistic. We did the Advanced Placed version of timed intercourse with an IUI and we had an additional sense of encouragement from our spontaneous conception (an event that Husband often refers to as a "prick tease") Still, I was reluctant to reach out on that limb, knowing how painful the fall can be. The fragility of my emotions could be protected by taking a defensively pessimistic approach. Prepare for the worst, and possibly be surprised...
It's easier to gear up for the practical consequences of a BFN. I picked up my refill of Femara and made arrangements for my Ovidrel injection to be delivered. I started to look at my schedule to figure when would be best to coordinate my baseline scan. It's much harder to brace yourself for a negative result emotionally. No matter now many times I told myself, 'you're not pregnant', no matter how many times I imagined myself seeing only one line on the stick; as long as there is a slight possibility, the notion of a negative result just doesn't completely settle.
I joined a thread for April IUIs on the infertility forum, and I was encouraged early in my 2 ww when a woman reported that she got a BFP after her 5th IUI and her partner's count was only 5 million. I was actually managing to keep the upcoming test day on the back of my mind until a woman who had her insemination at the same exact time as me posted a picture of a faint second line on her stick 10 days past IUI. Now I was consumed with wondering if I could be pregnant. I refused to test early. Co-worker tested on 11 days past IUI and was negative and was only faint positive on day 14 (and it's a twin pregnancy). I didn't have any symptoms, but I didn't preceding my BFP. By the way, running 10 miles in the mid-day sun and becoming significantly dehydrated is a great way to mimic some signs.
My RE's office instructed me to test 13 days after IUI, which worked well as I didn't have swimming that morning, so Husband and I could be together to celebrate/mourn the results. My internal alarm clock wakes me up at 5 each morning, but I just laid in bed, bladder full and ready to burst, but still not ready to test. Finally, it was time to end the agony. I POAS, and walked out of the bathroom and into the kitchen to count out the three minutes. When I went back in, the familiar solitary line on the stick greeted me.
I simply climbed back in bed, I had about another hour before I was due to get up. Husband wrapped his arm around me. He didn't ask; the absence of any shrieks of joy told him the result. A [my cat] jumped on the bed and snuggled right next to my midsection. I love when he does this, as I can feel him shift or stretch and I wonder if it is similar to feeling a baby move inside you (silly, I know). No crying, just a heavy heart. So maybe you can prepare emotionally for a BFN. Maybe I'm still holding out to possibly be a late positive like Co-worker. Maybe it ain't over until the fat lady [AF] sings. Maybe it's just easier to feel strong when I'm literally sandwiched between such unconditional love and support. Maybe I just don't know what I might face in the course of the day that could trigger the tears.
Random Follow Up Note: I had a moment of achieving a sense of peace with my decision to decline Myrtle's offer to be a godparent to little Myrtle while I was shopping for a card to send her. On a selfish infertility related note, it would have been hard to participate in the ceremony after the BFN from IUI#1, and I now know that travelling to Connecticut for a few days would have conflicted with the start of my next cycle and would have forced us to sit out for a round. I do realise how self-centred that sounds, but as I ovulated the night I flew out for Myrtle's shower, it would have represented missing two opportunities to conceive for someone who succeeded on her second attempt merely by looking at her husband. Anyway, as I was looking through the card selection at Target, I found that I couldn't even stomach getting a card that had some religious sentiment or bible verse on it. "C'mon!" I thought to myself "This is California, they have to have cards for atheists to give their believer friends!" Well, ask and ye shall receive! Seek and ye shall find! I found a white card with the word 'christening' in silver letters on the front and the message inside simply read 'wishing you joy on this special day'. So perfectly generic!