Tag Archives: follies

Can we be friends?

That’s what hubs and I say to each other as a way to make up after we’ve argued. Those words are code for, “I don’t want to be in a fight in more, let’s move on!” An olive branch, if you will.

I feel like that’s what I’m doing with blogging. I want to be friends with it again. Lately I’ve been focusing more on commenting and less on writing about myself because it was fueling my tendency to freak out, moan, weep, obsess, complain and feel jealous and angry and sorry for myself. There is a fine line between venting and enabling negativity. I am working hard to find the balance. I want blogging to be a healthy, therapeutic thing for me again.

I’m still trucking along with injections and monitoring for IUI 3.0 at Clinic #2. Dr. Awesome is using a similar protocol to Clinic #1’s, except instead of Luveris to help out my super-duper low LH, he asked me to begin inject low-dose HCG on my fifth night of stims and also to start Ganirelix (to prevent premature ovulation) on my seventh night of stims. I’ve “checked out” (well, more than usual) and I’ve been letting hubs do the Googling and cycle comparing when I get monitoring results. He has also been taking the pressure/stress off of me with injections. He preps them each night (mixing up the low dose HCG, dealing with the Ganirelix, setting up the Gonal-F pen), and then injects me while I look away. It’s amazing what a difference it makes to take all of my injections in the evening and to have someone else worry about them for me!

I’ve also been focusing on being more gentle with my body. I’ve been doing lots of yoga, and no running. I bought a meditation CD aimed at infertility and have actually been leaving my desk for a half hour every day at “lunch time” (we all eat at our desks) and listening to it on a park bench. I’ve been practicing the deep breathing I learned on that spa trip with my Mom in April. I have not managed to chillax into a blissful Yogi state by any means, but I am really trying to be more “okay” with everything. The good and the bad. The happy and the sad. Even Steven.

Honestly, I know that all of the hard work I’m doing on myself hangs in a fine balance….the moment my cycle goes off the rails, or a friend emails with baby news, or whatever, I could potentially melt down. It’s easy to be Zen when everything’s going okay. Still, it’s more pleasant than the alternative—being a crumpled mess of despair no matter HOW things are going.

I’m trying really hard to take this cycle day by day dear bloggies. I’m trying to find my sweet spot.

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Slow & steady

CD12 monitoring update! One rightie follie at 14mm and two lefties at 13mm. And a bunch of 10mm-ers have entered the scene. (Gulp! stay chill and let the leaders continue maturing, little ones!) My lining apparently got a big head from all the praise he received on Wednesday. (Yes, my lining is a “he.” I don’t know why either!) He’s up to 6.4mm, which isn’t much fluffing over two days….but it’s in the right direction and I will not be greedy about this. I am thankful for any lining at all.

My follies are taking their time, but I am very happy with their progress. Dr. C and Dr. K want me to be a slooow and steaaady stimmer and that’s exactly what’s happening. There a dozen cliched analogies I’ve considered that keep me positive about the way I’m being stimmed. You know, like how people who start out too fast in marathons are the ones who bonk and hit the wall at mile 17; it’s the folks who pace themselves carefully who arrive running through the finish line with smiles on their faces. Or how cookies that are baked in a too-hot oven are the ones that are burnt on the top and cold and squishy inside. Much better to cook them evenly and all the way through. Right? RIGHT!

Now that I have some follie action, I would really like to get to IUI land. There. I said it. (I hope that doesn’t jinx me.)

Okay, so even though I think about my uterine lining and ovaries nine out of every 10 minutes (can you imagine me if I ever manage to make it to a 2ww?!), there are other things happening in my world. Dinners with friends, a ton of cool projects at work, a cocktail party on Saturday night, errands this weekend (noooo freelancing, yip!), house stuff, yada yada. And here is my latest and most favorite distraction, my new background music while commuting:

I’ve mentioned before how hubs makes me two CDs filled with tunes and artists I don’t already know for Christmas every year. Josh Ritter is one of those artists that made it onto a CD a couple years ago, and he just came out with a new album, called So Runs the World Away. I am totally digging the song “Change of Time.” Buy it on iTunes, you will not be disappointed!

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Very very interesting

Remember how I wanted my estrogen to fall? It did not. It rose from 305 to 410. My LH is up a bit, too. And my lining grew from 3mm to 4mm since Friday.

Remember how I wanted my cyst to get smaller? It did not. It grew by 1mm.

Remember how I said this is the weirdest, lightest period of my entire life? Dr. K has a theory about that.

She’s the attending doc, who’s on call for two weeks while Dr. C is on vaca. She thinks my body may not be ready to call this cycle off. I had a mini-consult with her during this morning’s ultrasound and spoke to her on the phone this afternoon after my blood work came back. She thinks this might be a viable follicle—a slow-grower leftover from the Clomid. She’s having me come back on Tuesday for more monitoring to see if my estrogen and LH continue to rise. If they do, she wants me to take the HCG trigger. And then IUI. And then take progesterone. She said this is extremely unusual. And that implantation would be a long shot with my thin lining (which the Provera didn’t help, but didn’t hurt much either). She wants to check it out.

She also has a theory on my thin lining….that I’m estrogen deficient and that it’s possibly due to endurance-level exercise in my past. (I have majorly chilled out on exercise after a decade of marathons and triathlons.) For that reason she might recommend a different injectable (Menopur instead of Gonal-F, since my LH is chronically low and Gonal-F is an FSH-only drug while Menopur has both FSH and LH). I asked her if it would make her or Dr. C uncomfortable if she looked at my medical and TTC history and met with me and hubs for a consult in April. She said it would be perfectly fine and she thinks it’s a great idea.

No matter what Tuesday brings, I think this is what we’d call, a bone. 🙂 Right my friends? A doctor who is looking at my case with fresh eyes. One who has a plan. And who thinks outside the box (potentially trigger on CD30 to salvage the wonkiest cycle ever?! Awesome!).

So, for 36 hours, I have hope again. (Is that okay? Am I setting myself up for another crash on Tuesday afternoon?) How amazing would it be if I could trigger and IUI for the first time? C’mon estrogen & LH….RISE!

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Throw me a bone! *updated*

Okay, so after Googling IF counselors and reading your extremely supportive and awesome comments yesterday afternoon (thank you!), I got a nice surprise. MY PERIOD! I almost posted right then but something told me not to count my chickens before they’d hatched. So to speak.

And that something turned out to be a big 22mm leftover follie/cyst at this morning’s baseline monitoring this morning. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? Can someone throw me a bone here, please? Please? PLEASE?!?!?!

My heart sank as the u/s tech measured it. I felt like shouting, Where the F- was that guy when I needed it, during my cycle? Geez. Also, if my ovaries were stagnant (remember, ZERO follies over 10mm) and the cycle was canceled on CD16 how the heck did I develop this big follicle? Is it possible I had a semi-mature one last week that was missed in the monitoring? I’m so confused. And frustrated. This is a final F-YOU to Clomid. I really tried to be your friend. We are finished, this is the last time you’ll hurt me!

I know what happens now. The nurse calls or leaves a message on the lab line at 2pm trying to gently explain that I have  a cyst and Dr. C (or whoever is on call) wants me to wait a month and she’ll call in my Provera Rx because she knows I don’t ovulate or get my period. And then I’ll call back and ask WTF is going on, how the heck do I have this cyst and she’ll say, “It happens. Cysts are a side effect of Clomid. I don’t know what else to tell you.”And then I’ll tell her I’m not taking my chances that it’s going to grow (like it did in January, sigh) and that I’m starting BCPs. And she’ll say, “Okaaaaaay. Bye hon.” BYE!

I should’ve been on the 100mg dose this past cycle. If I’m going to get a cyst anyways, why not actually give me a shot at ovulating? Every cycle I find things we should’ve done differently. I know, I know, hindsight is 20/20 or whatever, but seriously. I kept saying I thought we needed the 100mg dose. Whatever, it doesn’t matter: My lining sucked so regardless of ovulating the cycle was destined to be a bust. It just really blows that it also busted April.

So after the appointment I headed to the gym (monitoring was so early I had time to kill before work) and sweated on the StairClimber, lifted weights. Then I showered up and stopped into Starbucks, where I ordered a grande coffee and a calorie-bomb of a glazed donut. Because why the hell not? Now I’m hopped up on caffeine and sugar (groooooss, I’m regretting that horribly unhealthy breakfast) trying to think of all silver lining, because I can’t bear to leave you all with yet another DOWNER EGG post. There have been so many lately!

1. The cyst/follie is on my right ovary. First time I have EVER seen action from rightie. It’s nice to know she’s alive and well. I do wish she had not picked this moment to wake up, but this is my silver lining part of the post so I’m just going to be grateful she has the power to produce follies.

2. My lining was 3mm. This is still thin for most women, but considering my lining is usually in the 1-2mm range at baseline, I am impressed. However, today is only CD2 so perhaps I’m just catching it before it gets super thing from bleeding. Oh wait, this is silver lining time. Yay, that is a good number for me! If I can start there next time I have a better shot at a decently thick lining when I ovulate. (Yeah, I’m going to freaking ovulate next time I get to cycle. You have no choice in the matter, body. We are MOVING FORWARD.)

3. We have an out of town wedding the weekend of April 10. I was getting nervous about squeezing in an IUI before hubs leaves town. I guess we will not have to worry about that now. Unfortunately, there is another wedding the weekend of April 30. I have already calculated what three weeks of BCPs does to my timeline and it isn’t pretty. I’ll probably have to stay on them longer to ensure we’re not in the middle of injects when we go to NYC at the end of April. But, silver lining, I can control my period better with BCPs than I can with Provera.

4. Back to the lining. I guess this gives my body more time to clear Evil Clomid out of its system. That can only be good.

I think that’s about it. Whew. I will take my bone any time now….is someone up there listening?

**********Update************

A different nurse called me this afternoon. A really nice one. The news was not nice: Estrogen-producing cyst. Typical! I hate to say it, but I was pretty sure that’s how the convo would go. She has no explanation for why I grew a big follie in a canceled cycle. BUT, because I only started bleeding late yesterday, they are going to re-test my Estrogen level on Sunday morning. My level is currently a sky-high 305. They want it to be 75-ish or lower. And if it goes down, they’ll let me cycle through this. I guess there’s a chance it could be artificially high because it was too early to test me. I don’t know. This period is pretty weird. I’s EVEN lighter than it has been since I went off the Pill. Like, I’m bleeding, but so little that I don’t even need a pad. Or a panty-liner. And as I’ve remarked a few times to hubs since last night at 7pm, I have no cramping. None. It’s unusual. (He chalks it up to my daily dose of Vitamin E supps, which would be a nifty side-effect of that supplement!) But still, I’m bleeding…so it’s my period, right? Right, said the nurse.

I really can’t decide how I feel about this. I guess perked up just a bit to have some hope for the next 36 hours. But really you guys, you have seen my body’s history (look to the Long & Short Of It sidebar to the right), it has an amazing ability to develop all of the worst side effects of fertility meds. Right now, so frustrated, I feel like I watch people get good news or at least green-light news month after month, while I sit here spinning my wheels and switching between cheering everyone else on and shouting for help. (I do love cheering you guys on, I hope you know that!)

Sunday would be a GREAT time for that bone…

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A Poem About Monitoring Day

Yesterday during the 10 hours I spent traveling home, I had visions of writing a recap post of my amazing trip to the snowy, beautiful mountains of Mammoth Lakes, California. With a kicker about how my follies and ovaries kicked ass today at CD11 monitoring.

Instead, I left the RE’s office in tears. Monitoring was a bust. My lining only thickened to 3.5mm (about one millimeter growth despite 1mg of Estrogen for the past three nights). And I have no follies (zero! zilch! nada!) over 10mm…the tech didn’t even bother measuring them, she just counted them up (10 tiny guys on the right, 11 tiny guys on the left). Dudes, my body is totally stagnant. 😦 I call the lab line to hear a nurse’s message recapping Dr. C’s thoughts late this afternoon. I don’t need to hear a message to know this cycle isn’t my cycle. And I’m not gonna lie, it hurts. Sayanora, Clomid. Thanks for the memories! (haha)

Back in my cubicle, I’ve just been trying to hold it together. I’m so frustrated! After all of these months of waiting….another bust month. Then a message from my hubs popped into my inbox. I started crying again, but this time in a good way. I’m pasting what he wrote below. Is he the best Egg or what?

A Poem About Monitoring Day

I know you are sad, it’s not a good day.
the ultrasound tech had nothing good to say.
you feel its your fault, more drugs could have helped.
but you can’t second guess the cards you’ve been dealt.
it’s not a perfect science, trial and error.
the good news is, your parts are all there!
who knows? maybe this cycle isn’t a waste
but even if it is, you’ve been in a worse place.
you’ve spent months at a time, trying to stay sane,
waiting patiently to take your clomiphene.
next month you can cycle, and try something new.
you are healthy and young, and have a hubs who loves you.
It must be a struggle to try and be zen,
you feel it is useless to take more estrogen.
But you can be treated with a larger dose
It might be that simple! you could be so close!
There are other orals, or even injectables,
maybe our future holds the potential for multiples!?!?
Patience! I know it feels you are facing an eternity,
but maybe this is fate, prepping you for maternity.
I love you so much, I hate when you are sad.
It makes my heart hurt, I can’t help but feel bad.
I know you can’t help it, there is nothing I can say.
I just hope this poem somewhat brightens your day.

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RE consult. Done.

Yay! This morning’s appointment was good! I still heart Dr. C, it was not just HSG-relief–prompted affection. 🙂 I love my hubs for coming with me and meeting the doc who is trying to change our lives. I love hubs for asking good questions and making me laugh and keeping us on task.

We are forging ahead with 50mg Clomid + Estrogen + Ovidrel + IUI as soon as I get a clean, cyst-free baseline. (Please let that happen next week. Please. Please. Please.) Dr. C thinks that I’ll respond well to Estrogen. Ideally, my lining is 10mm as I approach triggering. (Ha! it’s hard to imagine going from a 3.2 to a 10.0, but if I can get anywhere close to that neighborhood, I’ll be thrilled. Also, sidenote: WTH is up with him actually caring about lining? The nurse made it sound like lining was not even on his radar last cycle. That was FALSE. He totally cares about lining.) Ideally, I have two follies that are at least 18mm and then he has me trigger. And if alllllllll of that goes according to plan, we will finally have a shot at this. YES!

After that, it sort of turns into a choose-your-own-adventure. If I respond well (lining-wise) to 50mg + Estrogen BUT I don’t get pregnant THEN we’ll continue with that protocol. For a few more cycles. We do not move onto injects hastily, as I thought we might. We stay the course with Clomid.

If my lining still sucks with 50mg + Estrogen, THEN he’ll possibly try Femara. My follies seem to like Clomid though, so he’d rather hone in on my lining this way.

If my lining blows on both Clomid AND Femara OR I don’t get preggo from either in another few cycles, THEN we’ll talk injects. Although, at that point, he sometimes counsels his patients to do IVF. It all depends. We’d have another consult. I’m hoping with all of my poor racing heart that it doesn’t come to that.

So, it was a lot of “but, if’s, what’s and THEN’s.” As you know I am pretty much plan-of-action–obsessed, so this was good. Hubs was there so I even if I forget something we talked about today in a haze of hormones or whatever, he can remind me what Dr. C said. We’re all on the same page.

We also talked about the random little questions that have been nagging me. Let’s just get to the bottom of this once and for all: Am I exercising too much with my thrice weekly jogs? (Nope. Just don’t start training for a marathon.) Did I do this to myself with 10 years of BC? (Nope, BC just masked a problem.) If I sat around for a year, would I ovulate on my own/will I be able to ovulate on my own EVER? (Nope, probably not.) Should hubs and I abstain from sex the day before we IUI? (Nope, he counsels his patients to have lots and lots and lots of sex.) Should I not exercise or run during the 2ww? (Nope, exercise is, again, fine. Especially because it keeps me sane.)

So that’s the news with me! Now I just count down the Provera pills and then wait around for AF and try to find a Zen place through it all where I’m not hyper-aware of my left ovary (where the cyst was). I aim to channel all of the awesomely positive energy BasicGirl has been showing lately, and face whatever is in front of us with grace and optimism. 🙂 See? Smile. Done.

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Oh well (CD4 update)

I have a 20mm follie spewing out 210 Estrogen levels on my left ovary. So I’m sitting out a month. Wah wah wah.

I actually got to talk to the attending doctor a few minutes ago (he called with results instead of leaving them as a message on the lab line). He said there’s a chance that there’s an egg in that follie/cyst, so hubs and I should cover our bases in case I release it. Ha! I must admit I find it hard to believe that I will suddenly and magically ovulate on my own. (Anyone heard of ovulating this early in a cycle? Anyone who couldn’t ovulate before Clomid suddenly have luck on an off cycle???) Plus, my lining is a very thin 1.3mm, so there’s not much of a chance of anything implanting (the doc agreed). (Side note: I’m going to temp to see what happens….if I can actually ovulate on my own then there is NO POINT to all of this RE drama. I’m so confused!) Hubs and I will have fun covering bases, just in case.

I asked the doc if he thought Clomid was the best course of action for me at this point, given my lining and cyst reaction. Perhaps I should try Femara? It sounds like they don’t do Femara in this RE group. They move on to injectibles. He said if I were his patient, that would be on the table. I don’t know if that’s an option financially, but I will ask for an appointment or phone call with Dr. C to see what he thinks. I’m guessing he wants to give Clomid it’s third go ’round, and that’s fine…I just figure a Clomid cycle takes 60-ish days for me with the month-on/month-off, so I’d of course prefer the most efficient and effective treatment

I’m disappointed, but I can’t say I didn’t see it coming.

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