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The Fertility Diaries: 3 Friends, 3 Paths to Pregnancy

An Easy Pregnancy continued...

Her conversations with Jody and Jenny didn't revolve exclusively around babies, pregnancy, and fertility, either. "When we had lunch at Friday's right before the holidays, for example, most of our discussions were about things like Jody redoing her house and Jen getting ready to host Christmas," Carrie says. "We all ooh and aah over Nora because she's so happy and so much fun, but we're busy women with full lives, and we do have a lot to talk about other than pregnancy and babies."

Still, watching all the difficult experiences that her friends were going through definitely gave Carrie a new perspective on her pregnancy.

Carrie: I've learned a lot. Until you know someone who's gone through something like this and have seen how it affects them, you don't realize how it totally changes your life. I've had what might be considered an easy pregnancy, but for somebody who's normally a very active person, to not be able to do the things you normally do, or to sleep through the night, or to feel like yourself — it takes a toll. If I had a rough pregnancy, I know that Jen and Jody would be understanding and listen to me complain and give me suggestions to help. But as smoothly as things are going for me, I'd never complain about my pregnancy to them. When I get in a bad mood, knowing everything they've gone through reminds me how lucky I am.

Another Disappointment

In early November, Jody received some sad news: Her third round of insemination with medication had failed. "Jenny e-mailed me, saying, 'Did you get your baby yet? C'mon, tell me!'" Jody recalls. "I had to tell her no. But the truth is, I had always known that the chances weren't all that good with intrauterine insemination. You have a fairly small chance of getting pregnant when you're using that method."

Jody could have done three more cycles of insemination before using another fertility method, but she and Scott decided to try in vitro fertilization (IVF) immediately. This more invasive approach has a higher success rate. The type of treatment she'd receive is known as IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or IVF with ICSI.

Jody: My chances of getting pregnant with in vitro are anywhere between 45 percent and 65 percent. I like those odds. The drugs you take are mostly the same, so I'll still be getting all those shots in my butt, which Scotty will give me. Then they take all the mature eggs out with a laparoscopic needle and then find the best sperm under a microscope and inject it into the best eggs. Normally, they'd just mix all the eggs and sperm together, but in situations like ours, where there's male factor infertility, picking out the best sperm gives you a better chance of a successful pregnancy. I've been reading posts in online forums about so many people who have all the same issues we have — abnormal sperm, a blood clotting disorder — and have gotten pregnant with IVF. That gives me real hope, and I think the fact that we had already agreed that IVF would be our next step made it easier when we found out that the last round of insemination didn't work. I'm comforting myself with the thought that at least I can have beer and wine this month!

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