Part of this whole process has been "waiting". The fact that I started thinking about becoming a mother more then three years ago surprisingly feels like yesterday. In order to get here I had to make a decision to leave a partner who didn't want the same things I wanted, seek medical advice and finally start preparing physically and mentally for this moment. Now that I am actually "in" the process of becoming a mother, all of a sudden the "wait" feels much longer. Waiting for my period to begin so I can start cycle monitoring, waiting for donor sperm to be delivered, waiting for insemination, waiting to see if I get my period and then starting the cycle monitoring all over again.
Cycle monitoring has replaced the method of taking your temperature to indicate when you're ovulating. On the first day of your period you call the "cycle monitoring" nurses desk, they will record this day as Day 1. On Day 3 you go to the clinic for blood work and an ultrasound. By monitoring your hormones levels through blood work and looking at your reproductive organs with ultrasounds, this process can pin point almost the exact time your egg will be released from your fallopian tube. On Day 10 you return for the same procedures. This continues everyday until your egg is about to release, then you're inseminated with a single unit of donor sperm and the day after your egg releases you're inseminated again with a single unit of donor sperm. You have the choice of course whether to use a single or both inseminations a cycle. It will cost twice as much to use two units however your chances of getting pregnant increases greatly.
Once inseminated then the "REAL" wait begins. Between the time of insemination and your expected period date (14 days after ovulation)can feel like a life time. It is recommended to wait the 14 days after your insemination before taking a pregnancy test. Immediately after my first insemination I went out and bought a pregnancy test. The latest brand, you pay a little more but it states that you can use it five days earlier. I put this test on my bathroom vanity as if it was part of a shrine to my journey, I couldn't wait to use it.
In my conception book it states that it takes seven days after conception before the egg is attached to the uterus and becomes an embryo, producing the hormone hCG that will appear in your urine which indicates whether you're pregnant or not. Perhaps if I hadn't have found IVF pregnancy tests at a dollar store the day after I bought the other pregnancy test, I may have waited the full two weeks. However, even though I cognitively knew that it was far too early to take a pregnancy test I couldn't stop myself. Every morning after my insemination I woke up with cheer in my heart praying as I took the test. Those few seconds after I dripped urine on the stick waiting for it to read "positive" was exciting, but when it read "negative", which it will until the embryo has started to produce enough hCG levels to indicate otherwise (or if you're not pregnant) it is disappointing. I strongly recommend saving your money and waiting the full two weeks.