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It’s Stork OTC Time!

If you follow me on Instagram (AdorkablyHappy), then you saw this pic on the 2nd-Positive OPKs! 

That means Stork OTC time!!! In my last post, I shared with y’all how someone from Rinovum…the makers of the Stork OTC…contacted me about my previous review. And how happy & grateful I am that they contacted me. 

***Full disclosure: This review is made possible by a free Stork OTC that was sent to me. I am not being paid for this review. And I was not asked to give anything other than my honest opinion, once again, on the product.***

So the first thing I noticed right away was that the design on the box changed. There’s now a baby bump greeting us. (And when I shared this pic on my Facebook wall…it was immediately noticed by some of my fellow TTC buddies. lol) But, after all, that is the goal, right?! So I kinda like it. 

Another thing I noticed…I don’t remember the old box having this, if it did…The side of the box has some helpful information about the use of the Stork OTC. Which is kinda neat. It helps to give you an idea going into it of what is involved. I don’t know if it’s like this for anyone else, but I know the first time seeing the box and not knowing a whole lot about what was inside or what was involved was a little overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, I was very excited & I had read several reviews. But the Stork OTC isn’t cheap, and I was worried I was gonna mess something up. 

Again, I got a giggle out of the warning that the Stork OTC is NOT intended for contraceptive use. That makes me laugh EVERY time. I mean, every time! 

So, y’all know I’ve told you that I am a tad strange. That I think/worry/obsess over things that most people don’t. There was a slight hold up in the delivery of my package. And the temperatures were crazy high that week. I worried about what the heat might do to the Conceptacle sitting in a hot vehicle for half a week or being out in the heat if the package was simply dropped off inside my property fence. (I live in the country, my driveway is long & bumpy, they don’t always come to the house for deliveries.) But my mind was eased when I saw that you could store the Stork OTC in temperatures between -22 and 130 degrees F. 

Once you open up the box, everything stayed the same. You’ve got instructions in both English & Spanish. There’s an insert thanking you for choosing the Stork OTC on one side & a code for the Glow app on the other. The applicator with the cervical cap holder inside & the Conceptacle which contains the cervical cap are in a plastic enclosure thing that keeps them separated. I think it is important to note, the Stork OTC is not a sterile device. Wash your hands before handling the Conceptacle at all stages of use. 

If you haven’t already watched the “how to” video, you can watch it here. I highly recommend watching it at least once. It’s very basic, but helpful in getting to know all the parts of the Stork OTC. Because it is a single use device…you can really never be too prepared. 

Putting the Conceptacle on was a little bit easier this time around. Although, it still wasn’t quick and simple. You need to pinch the tip to remove air, just like with a condom and unroll it on to an erect penis. And because it takes a little work to get it on…continued stimulation for him may help keep him happy-therefore making it easier to go on. It may look like a condom, but it’s very different. It’s not made with natural rubber latex, it’s silicone. It is definitely seems thicker than a condom. According to hubby, it seems to have a tighter fit than a condom. And there’s no form of lubricant on it. So it’s “dry” for lack of a better word, and that makes it a little fumbly putting it on. (In my last review I referred y’all to the condom/banana scene in the movie “Never Been Kissed”. That is still a very fitting visual aid. Nothing popped off, but it took a minute to get a handle on it.)

So don’t get frustrated if it’s less than romantic getting the Conceptacle on. You’ll get it. No pressure, don’t stress…just roll with it. Stay patient and in the moment. Keep the mood as light as possible. 

Because I didn’t noticed that much EWCM, I decided to use a small amount of PreSeed. Last time we didn’t use any because in the how to video when it talks about insertion of the applicator, it said not to use lubricant. I understood that to mean no lubricant at all during the process. But after following  the Stork OTC (storkotc) on Instagram and reading more about it, we felt like using PreSeed…a TTC friendly lubricant while we did our thing…was ok. (The FAQ section of the website, storkotc.com also addresses it.)

I don’t normally use PreSeed, but I am glad I decided to use it for this. It definitely made the Conceptacle less noticeable for me. Still knew it was there…but that may have more to do with the fact that the hubby and I have been together 15 years and the only time we’ve used anything “condom like” is when we’ve used the Stork OTC. So there is definitely a different sensation & reaction to it. 

If you decide to use a lubricant with your Stork OTC, be sure that it is TTC friendly! PreSeed is what we chose. But AstroGlide makes a TTC friendly one as well. Just be sure that you’re getting the one designed for TTC The reason for this…most lubricants are not sperm friendly. That is the complete opposite of what we want. So double check to be safe!!!

After we did our thing, getting the Conceptacle off was easier than getting it on. It is easier to take off from a still erect penis, you just roll it back down. You do have to be careful getting the cervical cap out of the Conceptacle. Keep it upright, and only touch the sides of the cervical cap. Don’t put your fingers inside the cervical cap when you’re trying to get the Conceptacle off from around it. 

It was so much easier to place the cervical cap on the petals of the applicator this time. It wasn’t hard the first time, but everything is easier the second and third time around.  The purple thing is part of the cervical cap holder, there’s one on the other side too. The petals are the white pieces that are on either side of the yellow tab. You remove the yellow tab and set the cervical cap evenly on those petals. Once you’ve got the cervical cap on the petals, you click the two purple pieces of the cervical cap holder in place, keep the applicator upright, and pull back the plunger on the bottom of the applicator. That closes the petals around the cervical cap. 

I let hubby hold the applicator while I got my pillows propped up so that I could lean back in the proper position comfortably. And I got situated. Just like last time, insertion was no problem. No issues there. There was a little pressure, nothing too bad, I wouldn’t even classify it as uncomfortable-simply noticeable, once it was placed against my cervix. 

The first time I used the Stork OTC, when I pushed the button with the two dots to release the plunger, that plunger released quickly. This time, I knew not to let my thumb get caught. lol There was a little bit more pressure, just temporarily, when the plunger depressed. I made sure it felt comfortable and then clicked the button with the theee dots to release the cervical cap holder from the applicator. Then I removed the applicator and had hubby throw it away. 

We chose, just like last time, to leave the cervical cap in for the full 6 hours. (It can stay in 4-6 hours.) Since we used this one around bedtime, I set an alarm on my phone to make sure that I didn’t sleep through the 6 hour mark. 

I know you can get up and move around as soon as you remove the wand. But I have to admit, I laid in bed, scrolling on my phone while binging “Friends” on Netflix as background noise for about an hour and a half. Then I got up, finished up some laundry while doing a face mask…there is always laundry to finish up it seems…and then went to sleep. I could feel the presence of the cervical cap holder. It wasn’t uncomfortable, again simply noticeable. No big deal. Once my alarm went off, I got up went to the bathroom and removed the cervical cap & holder by pulling on the pull string. Easy peasy! 

Here’s a pic from the last review showing you what the cervical cap, holder & pull string look like once you remove it. So now we wait. Hopefully I won’t go too stir crazy during this TWW. 

While there is more effort into using the Stork OTC over Soft Cups & PreSeed…I definitely think that the Stork OTC is the one to use. I’ve tried both, I prefer the Stork OTC. TTC is just not what Soft Cups are designed for. Yes, it’s more expensive and maybe I’m overthinking it and relying on a label too much. But seriously, sometimes store brand biscuits aren’t as good Pilsbury. 

I love the Stork OTC. I love that it’s designed for couple like my husband & I. We have male factor issues thrown into the mix. And having the ability to do cycles at home, medicated or non-medicated, either in between IUI cycles, in place of an IUI cycle, or even in conjunction with an IUI cycle…is amazing. It gives us more options. And when you’re looking at a $1200 IUI cycle, gratefully we only pay half that after insurance (but still), you need options! 

For less than $100 (I paid $79.99 plus tax and shipping for my first Stork OTC using my Walgreen’s app), you get a little extra help for the swimmers. When you have motility concerns, that’s a big deal to be able to do. Our swimmers like to freestyle it during the backstroke competition & they apparently get lost easy…they need all the help they can get! 

One of the things that I have enjoyed the most about this experience is the customer service. Since getting in touch with them, the people at the Stork OTC/Rinovum have been the absolute best! You can contact them through email at: support@rinovum.com 

*Again, my only connection to this company is as a consumer. I, nor anyone in my family, is employed by them. I am not receiving any financial compensation from them. They sent me this Stork OTC based on my previous review. They did not ask that I give anything other than my honest opinion.*

I’ve Missed Y’all! 

Once again, I have to accept the “Bad Blog Owner” Award! I know it’s been MONTHS since my last post. My blogging mojo took a long vacation. 

So much has happened since my last post. We’ve had an attempt at IUI that had to be cancelled the day of. We’ve done an IUI cycle that left us heartbrokenly devastated. We had VBS at our church…I was the director. (One of the scariest things I’ve ever done and I’m so proud of how it went!) We’ve had to say goodbye to one of our fur babies. Friends moved away. And I’ve been working on my very first October 15th Wave of Life event. 

It’s just been a very crazy, very emotional, very hectic few months. So I hope you forgive me for being absent. 

He was of the sweetest creatures. We miss him terribly. This picture was taken just a few weeks before he passed. He loved that blanket. I washed it that morning and he was just absolutely lost the entire time it was off the bed. About two seconds after I threw it on the corner of the bed, he was on it & passed out. 

On to the amazing and happy things…VBS at First Baptist Church of Murchison was amazing! We had two children accept Christ! I was beyond blessed to have the chance to be a part of it. (Normally I wouldn’t post pictures of other people’s children, but we were given permission to photograph & share during registration.)

October 15th, I will be hosting a Wave of Light event at my church from 7pm-8pm. My hope is to have enough Mason/Ball/Kerr jars to honor at least 100 angels. October 15th is such an important date during Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness month. I’ve been thinking about doing this for years, and I’m so excited to finally have a game plan for it. If you’re interested in having your angel honored during this event, please contact me. You can either join the event here, leave a comment on this post, or email me at love.echoes.forever@gmail.com 

And finally, one of the neatest things came across my messages the other day…This absolutely made my day. So, keep an eye for a follow up review! And a possible announcement involving The Stork OTC Ambassador Program! I won’t know if I’ve been selected until later this month, possibly early next month. But I am very excited for this opportunity! 

The Stork OTC Review

As promised, here’s my review of The Stork OTC. Again, I was not paid to do this review…nor was the product given to me in order to do this review. We paid for The Stork OTC and I’m doing this review because several women in my TTC after loss group & followers on Instgram (I’m AdorkablyHappy, you can follow me by clicking on the “Instagram Love” section on the right hand side of the blog) asked me to let them know what I thought of it.

 I ordered my Stork through the Walgreen’s mobile app. It was $79.99 with free shipping. (But, I did get over 10,000 points on the purchase…so yay!) And it came to just over $86 with tax. So not terribly pricey. And if you follow The Stork OTC on Instagram, you can find out when they’re having specials on the pricing.

It comes with instructions in both English and Spanish. I giggled at the, “This device is not intended for contraceptive use”. But also noticed where it said the device is non-sterile. So washing your hands is important throughout the process. 

I watched the how-to video on YouTube. You’ll find it here. And then I watched it again, had hubby watch it, and then I watched it again. I also kept my phone handy so we could watch it as we were attempting to use it. There’s a lot of details to pay attention to when it comes to pulling back the plunger, push this button, then use this button to release. And since it was almost $90 and it’s a single use thing…I didn’t want to mess anything up. And it definitely is a single use kit. There is no way around it. I think I may have gone overboard in the preparation, but I tend to be a little crazy in that aspect in general. 

Here’s the applicator and the Conceptacle still in the packaging. I took no pictures during use. (We stayed focused on the using it part. Not “I’m gonna review it” part. lol) Inside the Conceptacle…the condom thing on the right…is the cervical cap.  

So, after reading some reviews online…I pretty much knew this was going to be the least sexiest thing you could possibly do at home. But timed intercourse rarely is. 

My husband doesn’t care for condoms, as I’m assuming most men don’t. I was concerned that we wouldn’t be able to use the Conceptacle the way it was intended to be used. We discussed removing the cervical cap from the Conceptacle and simply use manual stimulation instead of natural intercourse. But we finally decided to at least attempt it. And go from there. Thankfully, natural intercousre was all that was needed. 

It was clumsy putting the Conceptacle on. There is no lubricant, and while the video only mentioned not using lubricant during the application of the cervical cap, we didn’t take the risk of using PreSeed. But we finally fumbled through it.  (Not sexy at all. And yet, not the least sexiest part of the experience.)

After intercourse, he needs to wash his hands, and roll the Conceptacle off…being careful to keep to cervical cap in an upright position. Taking it off was ok. Trying to get the cervical cap out, while keeping everything upright & not losing any of the swimmers…not as easy. If you’ve ever seen “Never Been Kissed”, think about the condom being applied to the banana scene. If it was someone else, it would have been comical. lol And I don’t think it will be as hard to do again. I think it was just new and different.

After getting the cervical cap on the petals properly and closing the cervical cap holder…I got ready for placement. Insertion was not bad at all. There was some pressure, a little uncomfortable. But nothing bad at all, and absolutely no pain. I will say that when we pushed the button with the two raised dots to release the plunger…the plunger released quickly and actually hit my thumb, and startled me a little. We pulled the applicator out and the removal string was visible. 

You can leave the cervical cap in for 4-6 hours. We went with the full 6 hours. You can get up and go about your day. The only limitation that they tell you about, as far as activities go, you’re suppose to remove the cervical cap before having sex again. That’s kind of right up there with the whole…this product is not for contraceptive use, but I’m sure someone out there needs to be told. 

I felt something the entire time I had it in though. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but it was noticeable. And after removing it, I figured out what I was feeling. It was the cervical cap holder. And that’s what the removal string is attached to. Removing was easy. You pull on the removal string and the cervical cap comes right out.  

I guess it should have dawned on me that the cervical cap holder would hold the cervical cap…but, I’m slow sometimes. That also explains why it’s a single use kit. 

All in all, it wasn’t bad. We fumbled through it some. But now that we are familiar with it, I really don’t think there will be any issues using it in the future. Except maybe putting the Conceptacle on. I don’t foresee that getting any easier. 

I definitely recommend it, especially if you’re considering IUI. And we will definitely use it again, if this cycle is unsuccessful and we are waiting to get started with the IUI process. Just be sure to watch the video, and read the instructions. 

I saw several other reviews that said to just use PreSeed and Soft Cups and save your money. And we have tried that. Even with all the fumbling and uncertainty, I still prefer The Stork OTC. I felt like it was definitely made for TTC, while using Soft Cups is a make due kinda attempt. 

I hope this has been helpful. It’s my first product review. I’ll answer any question I can and welcome feedback. 

What A Week 

To say I’m glad this week is done, is an understatement. Wednesday I got a call from my RE’s office. I was CD7 (cycle day 7), one day left of Clomid, Ovidrel trigger shot already ordered and in my refrigerator…and they tell me that my insurance coverage had changed and that I no longer have coverage for fertility treatments. It would be $200 for my appointment on Thursday, and there are no payment plans. I totally lose it. It made no sense to me. I had already seen him twice last month and started this cycle without being told any of this. AND…during the enrollment period we were told our policy had no coverage changes.

I was so blindsided. Totally broken. Not enough Xanax in my house. Because we didn’t have $200 to cover that appointment. And if I no longer had any coverage, we were absolutely done. I mean, we could keep trying on our own. But, we’ve been doing that for more than a decade with only heartache. 

We talk to the insurance company, we’re told again that there was no coverage change. That they still cover everything up to the point of insemination…so no IUI, GIFT, ZIFT, or IVF coverage. But, we already knew that.

So I call my RE’s office back, become very close to the billing department manager…and finally get to keep my appointment for Thursday-covered by insurance & only having to pay my copay. Don’t know what happened…I just know that I will only speak to the billing office manager from now on when it comes to anything to do with billing. I trust no one else there anymore. 

All of this came a week after we sat down with our RE and had THE discussion. You know the one where he tells you medicated cycles alone aren’t going to be enough and we need to discuss the progression of our treatments. We decided to go with one last round of Clomid and timed intercourse while we figure it out. IUI is really our only option financially. And we can only do a few rounds, and only because of our tax return…when that finally gets here. 

So, here’s our plan for this cycle:We are doing Clomid, the Ovidrel trigger shot, gonna use PreSeed along with The Stork OTC, and got a box…getting more though, cause you know me and tests…of First Response Early Results. If this doesn’t work, we’ll wait until our tax return comes in and try IUI. 

So, Thursday comes around and we find out that I’ve got 6…SIX…follicles that were worthy of being measured. I’m hoping that when we go back Tuesday…and only pay our copay…for our next follicle scan that at least 3 are mature. We’ll most likely trigger Tuesday as well. *fingers crossed* this works. 

Then yesterday, I had my surgery follow up procedure. Last November, I had a stent placed to open up a collapsed/blocked vein that was keeping my spinal fluid from circulating properly…causing the build in my brain, which gave me the extremely rare cause of having Pseudotumor Cerebri. There is normally not a reason that doctors can pinpoint why someone develops PTC. So, just finding the blockage was a miracle in itself. The stent worked! I’m officially *cured* of PTC! 

The hard part of yesterday is that I react very badly to the contrast dye used. So, I’m still in some pain and sick to my stomach. But…I don’t have PTC anymore, so I’m beyond blessed. Thank the Lord!!!

Unfortunately, the stent did not allow the CSF (cerebral spinal fluid) leak to correct itself. It was a long shot that it would, but we were hopeful. So now my pressure can become too low and cause some issues. So, I will have to have the scary ass craniotomy to fix that. But, I’m not even kinda prepared for that. lol So, we will most likely hold off for a bit on that one. Cause I’m a weany!!! No shame in admitting that either. 

Keep an eye out for a review of The Stork OTC. A lot of my friends have asked me about it. So once we use it, I’ll write something up. It will be an unpaid/unsolicited review. We bought The Stork OTC and no one from the company has asked us for our opinion on it.