Tag: clomid

IVF – Cycle 1

Whelp, we’re doing this.

January 18 – discontinue birth control (lol)
January 22 – initial u/s, start stim protocol
January 26 – monitoring
January 28 – monitoring
January 30 – monitoring
February 3* – retrieval, 2 days bed rest.
February 8* – transfer, 3 days bed rest, begin post retrieval protocol
February 18* – beta 1

*give or take a day, subject to change, pending no OHSS

So, there’s that.
Its scheduled.  We had our teaching session today in Jackson after our initial baseline assessments.  All the tests, all the poking.  Four shots a day pre-retrieval, 1-2 shots a day post transfer.  Lots of supplements, lots of pills.
My doctor paid me the nicest compliment today:

Your uterus is boring and warrants no comment.

That’s seriously the nicest thing anyone has ever said about my uterus.  I was thrilled.  Usually I get a lot of “hmms…”, “uh-ohs”, and “yikes!”  Is now a good time to plug excision surgery?  Who am I kidding.  Its always a good time to advocate for efficient and effective treatment of endometriosis.
Educate.  Empower.  Advocate.
I wore new socks I got from my #ttcmugexchange2015 buddy, and boy did they give my doc a giggle.
12277500_1729897413895727_1381902702_n

He didn’t see them until he was already in the middle of my exam.  Then he laughed so hard he had to stop what he was doing and get himself together.

You’re SO “gangsta”, Anna.

I KNOW, RIGHT?

As much as I hate the fact that I have to go to a fertility doctor to even have a chance at growing my family, I was reminded today what a rockstar team I have there.  My nurses both hugged me, gave me “real” advice (“you’re going to be emotional during all of this, because, well my God, look what it involves?  But the b**** factor of these meds is nothing like Clomid was…”), laughed with me, asked about my pups, and answered every question I had (all day… I’ve already emailed them twice since this morning).

As we’ve drawn closer and closer to appointments, and as we’ve started taking the first initial steps down the IVF road, my anxiety as skyrocketed to levels I didn’t even know I was capable.  The funny thing about my anxiety – its all somatic.  In my head, I’m totally fine.  I have NO freaking clue that I’m anxious.  But I’ll get off the phone with my clinic after scheduling and appointment or confirming a payment figure, and all of the sudden I can’t turn my head to the right, or its hard to breath, or I start to stutter, or I will talk 90 miles an hour.  After a somatic symptom pops up, I’ve learned (through some therapy) that I need to mentally recognize the fact that I am stressed, and take active measure of de-stressing, even though I don’t feel stressed.  Does that make sense?  Its been a weird couple of months.
I actually went to my GP about it after a severe stuttering episode, ready to seek a little pharmaceutical assistance.  I brag on my doctors all the time, and with good reason.  Doctors are so smart, so much smarter than me.  They know so much!  I have a fabulous team.  But they are exactly that – a team.  To get anything done, they all have to be in agreement.  My GP is not going to prescribe me anti-anxiety meds that maybe my FE has an issue with, or my OBGYN would not want me on while pregnant, or that could possible interfere with my migraine protocol my neurologist has given me. See what I mean?  Its like assembling the Avengers just to get some Zoloft.  This makes me Nick Fury, right?

SLJ

Turns out, not all of my Avengers saw eye-to-eye on this.  So yoga, the never ending grace of God, a new therapist, and a new coloring book it is.

Next week, Mister and I will celebrate our 4 year wedding anniversary.  Its a weird fact that we’ve been on this trying-to-conceive journey for 75% of that time.  My substitute hairstylist (long term stylist is on maternity leave, ironically) asked me last week if we had anything special planned for our anniversary, and before thinking about it too hard, I said,very excitedly:

Yes!  We’re doing IVF!

She paused, a little shocked I think, but to her credit her response was perfect.  Wow, congratulations, that’s huge, its a drag you have to do this but how exciting that you are able to, y’all must have been planning this for a while, etc.  PERFECT.  Stylists are like a special hybrid of therapists and sorority recruitment.  How many problems to they hear in a day?  They are NEVER short on small talk, they probably have dirt on half the town, all while balancing ridiculous expectations of “get the dead ends off” and “JUST a trim…”  I’m on a rabbit trail, I know, but clearly I’m comfortable in my salon, and clearly this woman is no stranger to weird answers to questions.
But yes.  IVF is our big anniversary present.  Its suppose to be the flowers and fruit anniversary, but we’re being modernly liberal about it, and going for “be fruitful and multiply.”

Through all of this, I’ve been shown time and time again the beautiful relationship between God’s sovereignty and modern medicine/science.  Its is absolutely ridiculous to me when we try to separate the two, only accepting one or the other.  God has revealed Himself so much to me through research and finding wonderful physicians and healers who work miracles under a microscope.  Another thing we’ve learned is how common this problem is, how many other families are hurting.  After some discussion with one of our pastors, Mister and I will be leading a co-ed “Fertility Care” group at our church.  This is meant to be a place for families struggling growing their family (infertility, secondary infertility, infant loss, miscarriage, etc.) to come and find peace and understanding in Christ.  Our goal this entire journey has been to bring glory to The Almighty, whatever His answers may be.  By investing in other families and shedding the shame and stigma that comes with infertility, particularly in the deep south, I think we can bring comfort and encouragement to others.  If you’re in South Mississippi and interested in a biblically based support group, shoot me an email at southernfertility@gmail.com; let’s talk.

We covet your prayers as we continue this winter.  Its going to be a surreal journey, one I’m looking forward to chronicling.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus, throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen!
Ephesians 3:20, 21

Advertisements

Every story has a beginning…

My fertility story starts at puberty. I just didn’t know it yet.

Endometriosis plays a very large role in our fertility problems. The starring role. Really, it’s a solo act. I’ll cover more on my disease(s) later, along with importance of early diagnosis and adequate treatment.

As soon as my Mister and I promised to love each other forever and ever, my doctor here in Hattiesburg started encouraging us to “go ahead and start a family.”
Slow your roll, Doc! We just got back from the honeymoon! Don’t we get some “just us” time?
No. Not really.
As a side note, I love my Doc here. Can’t say enough good things about him. He’s quite literally seen me (as a person and as a collection of malfunctioning parts) at my worst, and he doesn’t run the other way when he sees me coming. Neither do his nurses. They’re all on our Christmas card list. We’re that close.

I opted for the DepoProvera shot as a last ditch effort to control my endometriosis and buy us some “just us” time. It was a nightmare. It may work for some people, but I’m not one of those people. I cried at every.single. Olympic medal ceremony, regardless of whether or not the USA was anywhere involved. My endometriosis also continued to spread. I lasted 6 months.

In November of 2013, we decided we’d listen to our doc, and go ahead and try for our family. We’ve always wanted a really big one, might as well get a jump start on things, right? It was also a “do it now, or you may not be able to do it ever” kind of thing. Scar tissue and endometriosis is no joke. No pressure.

January of 2012, we officially started “trying.” My body basically flipped me a very unladylike like middle finger. I went 6 months without a regular cycle. No amount of added hormones to “force” one worked. It was finally a change in diet, a few natural supplements, a full moon, and a whole lot of prayer that got me back on the regular track.

We started Clomid in the summer of 2012. It is the first drug most docs will try, as it works on most people.
I am not most people.
I maxed out my dosage with horrible hormone results. We never even got close to the right number, much less made it to a pregnancy test. We discovered that I had completely stopped ovulating.

Clomid check.

Next cam Framara. Originally used as a drug to treat women with estrogen based breast cancer. As it turns out, you can use it on the right days, and with most people, it will trigger ovulation. No where close.
I am not most people.

Framara check

Now Doc adds Metformin, a Type II diabetes medication that regulates sugar absorption and insulin production.
Side note: I’m hypoglycemic.
Keeping my blood sugar above an 80 became a serious chore, but I did it. No one judge me for my stash of M&Ms in my nightstand. And purse. And office desk. Back off. On that combination of drugs, most people see a leveling of hormones. Restores them to a zen place, if you will.
I am not most people.
My system went bonkers. Scratch that cycle. Doc called a mulligan. Re-do! My hormone numbers came back almost in the negative. That’s almost not possible. Almost.

My sweet, wonderful, smart, and patient Doc finally threw up his hands. He made a few phone calls, and sent me to Jackson, MS, as that is the closest Fertility Endocrinologist to Hattiesburg.

At this point, I’ve been on estrogen-blockers for over six months. Guess what thrives on estrogen?
Hair follicles.
My hair thinned so badly, I had to cut about 7 inches off. I now wear my hair shorter than I’ve ever had it since a very unfortunate haircut in middle school. My stylist is fantastic, and didn’t even give me time to cry about it. No time for that.
Now, I have “sprouts” all over my scalp. Baby hairs everywhere. I have to pluck my eyebrows again. I can’t skip a whole week of shaving. It’s coming back, slowly but surely, and no longer falling out in very scary chunks.

We’ll continue our journey in Jackson…