Progesterone (suppositories) are one of the meanest tricks I’ve encountered lately. My body and my brain have spent the past week entangled in a rather epic battle. My brain told my body that the side effects of progesterone mimic those of pregnancy and I was probably just feeling those side effects (not because Dr. D warned me of this, mind you, but because I googled it as usual). My body told my brain “Shut up. Listen, I’ve been pregnant twice before – I know exactly how it feels and this is it.” Yesterday, as you’ve gathered from the title of this post, when I finally took a pregnancy test, my brain won. Despite the breast tenderness. Despite the fatigue. Despite the consistently higher-than-usual body temperature. Despite the fact that I’ve been waking up to pee in the middle of the night. Despite the moodiness.
I’ve been on Clomid before. When I was (seemingly) misdiagnosed with PCOS, our first RE prescribed it to straighten out my cycles and I got pregnant in the second month. Last time, my Clomid prescription was pretty casual: wait for your period, start taking Clomid on cycle day five (for five days), have sex every other day around the time you expect to ovulate, wait to get your period again; if you get your period, repeat the process and if you don’t, take a pregnancy test. Pretty simple. And it worked.
This time, Clomid and “timed intercourse” are much more complicated:
- Come in between 7:30 am and 8:30 am on day 2-5 of your period to start Clomid (this involves a blood test to make sure you’re not pregnant among other things and an ultrasound to see how things look)
- If you don’t hear from the doctor’s office later that day to tell you there’s a problem with your bloodwork, take the first pill that evening (regardless of what cycle day it is)
- Take Clomid for 5 days
- On cycle day 11(ish), come in between 7:30 am and 8:30 am for an ultrasound and receive instructions for when to test for ovulation, when to have sex, and when to start progesterone
- Test for ovulation as directed and when you don’t get a positive (because you have never gotten a positive result with an ovulation predictor kit), give yourself (or make your husband give you) a $99 shot of Ovidrel to force ovulation
- Have sex as directed
- Start progesterone as directed
- Wait 14 days
- Don’t test for pregnancy too early, because the Ovidrel shot will cause a false positive (learn this on the Internet, because doctor doesn’t warn you)
- Don’t wait around for your period, because you won’t get it while you’re on progesterone (again, thanks to the Internet)
- Take a pregnancy test; if negative, start over
And did I mention that our RE’s office is two hours away? And that whole “come in between 7:30 am and 8:30 am” thing is not at all flexible? Yep. That sums up my past month. And now apparently we’re getting ready to do it all again. If I don’t get pregnant after three months of this, we’ll move on to IUI. And I’m exhausted. And I don’t really trust the process. We know I ovulate. I’ve been pregnant twice and I’ve never gotten a positive result on an OPK. Why do I need to take the Ovidrel shot? I feel like it might be screwing with things that seem to work on their own, no matter what the doctor says.
Thank you, Stirrup Queens, for describing exactly how I feel here.
Here we are, not pregnant again. Afraid of being pregnant, because my pregnancies (so far) don’t last. Even more afraid of not getting pregnant. I’ll take recurrent pregnancy loss or I’ll take infertility; I’m really fucking sick of the combination.
Filed under Infertility, RPL
Apparently I’m not going to do this every Friday….. just randomly, as the mood strikes. I should have known better…..
So here’s why I’m grateful today:
- I don’t know for sure that I’m not pregnant right now. I mean, I’m probably not, but it’s possible, though unlikely. And I’m allowing myself to hope…. just a tiny bit.
- J and I are going to the movies tonight. Sure, Friends with Kids is probably a terrible choice for me at the moment, but I want to see it anyway.
- We’re in the house! We may not own it and it may still be a mess of half-empty boxes, but we are no longer sharing walls (or ceilings or floors or anything) with anyone.
- This fake spring weather has been wonderful! I’m enjoying it very guiltily (I know it’s a bad sign that flip-flops have been a possibility in March, but I’m not going to lie and say it’s not pleasant).
February, 20, 2012 was the estimated due date of my first pregnancy. You know, the one we finally achieved after more than a year of trying, during my second Clomid cycle. J planned a vacation, so that at least we’d be busy sunning ourselves in a tropical location while the date passed. And the date itself didn’t affect me as much as I expected. I’ve been living with this particular kind of grief for more than half a year now. February 20 came and went. As we were killing several hours in the airport, waiting to return from the aforementioned vacation, it did occur to me that if everything had been different, we might be bringing a baby home from the hospital right then, instead of eating gross fast food breakfast items in the airport food court. But I held it together.
And I continue to hold it together. There was a particularly bad moment, when I signed into Baby Center for the first time since we lost the first pregnancy. You’re wondering why on earth I would do such a thing, but I’ve recently discovered that there are some really helpful groups on that site of women in similar situations to mine, so I wanted to join them (and I’ve since connected with one very kind woman who is in her 30th week of a healthy pregnancy(!) after two early losses similar to mine). However, even before I could worry about dodging the baby photos and searching for the relevant discussion groups, I was hit with my own profile, which announced that I was the mother of a one-week-old baby…. and offered me tips on breast-feeding. It took me a solid five minutes to figure out how to delete the “living children” portion of my profile. But still, I held it together.
And in general, I am. Holding it together, that is. I’m ok. Sad, overwhelmed, filled with anxiety about the future. But ok for now. What scares me most is the not knowing. If I could know, without a doubt, that one day I would have a pregnancy that lasts and that J and I would bring home a baby, I think I could get through almost anything at this point. Maybe even another miscarriage, though typing those words is pretty terrifying. It’s the not knowing that is responsible for my darkest moments.
Meanwhile, I’ve decided to start a weekly list (maybe on Fridays) of things I’m grateful for at the moment…. since it’s been a struggle to remember those things lately. I’ve seen this done on some blogs (entirely outside of the ALI sphere, of course), where it seems that their sole purpose is to broadcast the details of the writers’ awesomer-than-yours lives. There’s probably no way that my lists could come across that way even if I wanted them to, but just in case, that is not at all my intent. I’m just looking for a concrete way to remember the things I have to be grateful for, at a time when my natural inclination is to rail against all of the things in my life for which I am least grateful. I imagine that there will be just one or two items on this list some weeks, but I’ll do my best.
Filed under Future, Life, RPL