Getting Back on Track

It’s hard to get back on the wagon when you’ve fallen off. That’s what I’ve done here with my blog and I really need to rectify it. It has been a challenging year thus far as you can imagine. And truth be told, I haven’t felt much like writing about it.

However, as a writer, it’s important to keep going. Keep strong. Keep at it. My Mom recently encouraged me to put hands to keyboard and start up again. (Thanks for the gentle nudge!) So here goes. . .

In January of this year we decided to take a break from all the “trying” we had done in 2011. We were not sure what our next move was going to be and it was nice to be able to just forget about what we were doing. In February we spoke with a fertility specialist and decided to go through with what’s called a “Clomid Challenge” test; basically a month of testing to see how your body responds to Clomid. They did a couple of ultrasounds and I was good to go.

In March we worked with the doctor to go through our first round of IUI – Intrauterine Insemination. Everything was timed. From the day I took medications to the day I went to the doctor’s office for ultrasounds to the day of the “insemination”. The two-week wait was agonizing for both of us. Each day of that wait I also took vaginal progesterone to make sure that my lining would be thick enough to support a pregnancy.

We were so hopeful that this procedure would work. The Clomid did its job – supplying me with three mature follicles. In fact, the doctor was quite pleased with the results and was also optimistic. Unfortunately, just like that, we learned our attempts were unsuccessful. I remember the day like it was yesterday. Eric left the office first and I stayed behind to thank the doctor and say goodby to the nurses. We’d be back next month I said with a smile. In the parking lot we looked at each other; promised each other it would be okay. We got into our cars and off to work we went.

I knew that we’d go forward with another round in April. We had heard that most success was had with people who did three consecutive rounds. It made sense. The more you play, the more chance you have to win. The process starts rather quickly after the previous cycle ends. On day 3 I went in for an ultrasound to make sure everything was okay and was given the okay to start the medication. I took 100 mg of Clomid days 5-9 and started Estridol on day 9. On day 12 I went back in for an ultrasound to see if I had any mature follicles. Much to the surprise of my doctor I had 6 huge follicles ready to release an egg. That evening I gave myself a trigger shot of HCG knowing that I would ovulate within 36 hours. The next day I went in to the doctor’s office, Eric’s sample in hand, ready for the insemination. Everything went as planned and just like that we were thrust into (no pun intended here) the two-week wait yet again.

The difference with this round was the number of follicles that had matured. We were pumped up about the idea of having six children. Well, not really but we knew we had a pretty good chance at one – maybe twins. The doctor asked me before the insemination if we would consider selective reduction if we ended up with more than three fertilized eggs. I didn’t really know how to answer it at the time. After all, how does someone decided who should be eliminated and who should not? In any case, she was concerned about the risk of multiples and had said she’d never seen anyone react to Clomid the way I did. Everything was looking up.

The two-week wait was enough to drive us both crazy. We tried not to think about it but truthfully, it was all I thought about. Morning, noon and night. Were we pregnant? Would we have twins, triplets? Maybe we’d have six and be just like Octomom. Eric said we’d sell some on e-bay if we had too many.

In all seriousness though we struggled. There is a mixture of hope and dismay in doing these treatments. I was hypersensitive to my body’s every feeling. On one end a cramp had me thinking I was experiencing implantation and the next hour I was convinced I was going to start my period again. To go back and forth like this is exhausting both physically and emotionally. Eric too was dealing with the stress in his own way. Fortunately we talked about it a lot. We have always supported each other and for that I am grateful.

At the end of the two weeks I made an appointment with the doctor. Just like the first time, I went in, peed on a stick and waited. Waited for the doctor to come in and tell us we were pregnant. Waited for her to deliver the bad news. In my heart I knew it was not true. I knew I wasn’t pregnant. When she confirmed it I felt a sense of relief. Just like the first round, the wait was over and we knew the answer. We at least KNEW.

The doctor talked to us about our options. We could go through another round of IUI in May but she didn’t want to see us waste our money. I had responded so well to the Clomid in April that she felt we should move on to IVF. This time, when we left the doctor’s office we said goodbye to the doctor indefinitely. I thanked the nurse and smiled at the accountant who took my money each month. She really was very nice. I met Eric in the parking lot and this time we cried. We cried for each other and for the loss of something we had only dreamt about. Eric got angry right away – an emotion he is most familiar with. I on the other hand convinced myself it was okay. Just meant to be.

May has come and gone with no success. However, this time we didn’t do anything but “try” at the right times. 🙂 No medication, no timing, no worrying about the two-week wait. It was the first time in a long time that I felt happy.

I am not sure where we go from here. Do we do IVF? If so, how? The cost is beyond what we can manage right now. I have begun to obsess again and I don’t feel good when I do that. I think a break is in order. A real break. Maybe a couple of months and a trip to Florida will do the trick. Even so, the idea of being a mom stays with me. No matter how much I try to relax. One day I think. One of these days it will be my turn . . .

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