Tag Archive | clomid

I’m not giving in to the infertility blues!

As I begin a new cycle, I’m tempted to go to that dark place where despair, inadequacy, frustration, and doubt lurk.  Like many women living with infertility, I’ve been there a few times before; regardless of how many times I’ve been there, it’s not a place I’m going today.

despair

There’s no magic reason, no drug or therapist that is responsible for this choice, it’s just me.  As I look at my situation, I have much to be thankful for. Thanks to a NaproTechnology, we have the best chances we’ve ever had!  For the first time that I’m aware of, my body reached the optimum zone for fertility: my estradiol level hit 399 before peak day, optimum ovulation requires it be between 300 and 400; my peak plus seven estradiol level was 116 and my progesterone was 28.  I couldn’t ask for more in terms of chemistry.

And yet I’m not pregnant.  Wish I knew why!  There are some things we’re not meant to know and of course, everything comes in God’s time.  I may very well be like my grandmother (and her mother before her) and give birth after 40.  Who knows what God has planned for me?

baby steps to big dreams

It’s tempting to allow the thought that God does not have motherhood in his plan for me, but I’m not going there, not till I have to.  I will enjoy every beautiful day that is filled with my husband, Frank, and our four beautiful fur babies.  I will appreciate my students for all the joy and richness they bring to my life.  I will appreciate the irony that I have more young women without mothers in my class than ever before, I will be the confidant they need because it gives me purpose on this journey.

I’m not out of hope yet.  My doctor defines that as completing 12 cycles at optimum levels without conceiving.  One down eleven to go.  That’s eleven more tries, eleven more months for my body to get healthy enough to nourish another life.   I feel that I owe it to my body, mind, and soul to give this all I’ve got.

This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.  I’m not going to quit or even entertain the thought that motherhood is not in my future.  Why?  Because I’m surrounded by an amazing supportive network of friends, coworkers, church family, even some biological relatives, and of course my amazing husband.  They’ve been my cheerleaders, carried me when I couldn’t get through on my own, and offered innumerable prayers on my behalf.  Their encouragement keeps me going.

friend meme

It would be so easy for them to focus on their own tiny circles and just inquire now and then.  Yet their support is steadfast.  I am blessed to have them in my corner.  During those times I have ended up giving in to despair and allowing myself to feel the letdown of a new cycle, they’ve pulled me out and reminded me what I’m working towards.

Knowing the effects of stress and negativity on the body, I’m not giving in to them.  I refuse to do anything that could make me less healthy.  I’ve given up grains, dyes, artificial foods, changed my lifestyle, and I can see the physical manifestations of these changes.  The evidence that my treatment is working increases by the day.  I won’t do anything to jeopardize that.   I firmly believe that I am on my way towards motherhood and better health.  Nothing, not doubt, stress, negativity, nor despair will jeopardize that.

After a year of trying…

We hit the twelve month mark.  Twelve months of trying to conceive made it official; we were dealing with infertility.   I felt broken, like something was wrong with my body.  This was truly the first time in my life I had not been able to achieve a goal.  I had no answers to why we couldn’t get pregnant, why I was still gaining weight, and why my pain kept getting worse.  I had always taken care of myself, followed doctors’ orders, I had always eaten good food, why was this happening to me?  My husband and I couldn’t do this without some help, so like it or not, it was back to the ObGyn.

After extensive panels of tests, they pronounced that I was normal and found one slight abnormality with my husband’s sperm.  The doctors wouldn’t say that it was definitely the cause of our infertility, but  there was a strong possibility that was it.  We were told that IUI, intrauterine insemination, would help us bypass this difficulty, and that the procedure was most often effective within three cycles.    We were given a quick overview of the procedure: I would take a drug to help me ovulate, undergo an ultrasound, then get a hormone injection of a drug called HCG, and a few days after the injection we would collect my husband’s sperm and perform the insemination.  In our desperation to become parents, we decided to go through with the procedure.

I was told that mood swings could be a side effect of the ovulation drugs; that was quite an understatement.  In fairness, ovulation drugs don’t affect most women the way they affected me, many women go on to conceive successfully without any side effects.  In my case, the fertility drugs took over my body.  One Saturday afternoon, while tidying up our bedroom, I noticed that my husband had left his socks on the floor.  In my head I thought, “I should tell Frank to pick up his socks.”  However, something different came out of my mouth.  The next thing I knew I was screaming, “ Damn it Frank! Why the heck are you always leaving your things around the house! Why can’t you ever pick up your socks!” I was completely shocked by what came out of my mouth.  I’m usually not the type to get angry over socks on the floor, especially since there is usually a pair of mine lying around somewhere.  But in that moment I was angry in a way that I have never before been angry with my husband, and my normal voice disappeared and was replaced by that of a screaming banshee.  I should have taken that as a sign that fertility treatments weren’t going to work for me, but I thought they were my only alternative and I was willing to put with to conceive a child.

The first round of treatments didn’t work, and round two was no better.  My doctor’s answer to the first failed cycle was an increased dose of the drugs which made me unbelievably ill in the first cycle.  I had acne from my chin to my forehead, I was nauseous, and in pain.  Once again I called the doctor’s office and was told that people sometimes have bad reactions to the treatment.  I can tolerate a lot and was willing to put up with all the negative side effects if it meant conceiving a child. When it was time for the ultrasound, the doctor said he thought we had a good chance of conceiving. Unfortunately, despite our good chances we still were not successful.  The doctor suggested that we try again.

Half way through round three I reached my breaking point.  I had taken the pills which the doctor prescribed but they didn’t have the desired effect, so the doctor prescribed even more of the fertility drugs.  Taking the extra dose in my 3rd cycle of fertility treatments meant that I was taking four times the dose which was initially prescribed for me in the first cycle.  I felt terrible, I was irritable, tired, cranky, bloated, puffy, and sore everywhere.  The thought of taking the last injection and completing the cycle made me even more ill.  Each time I had taken the injection I got unbelievably ill, I experienced hot flashes, moodiness, cravings, and unbelievable pain; all of this was on top of the irritability and moodiness from the pills.  As much as I wanted to be pregnant and become a mother I knew in my heart that making myself ill wasn’t the way to make it happen.