Thursday, December 23, 2010

A New Cycle

AF arrived last night in full force. I barely slept at all. Terrible cramps - possibly the worst in my whole life. Is this a side effect from the Clomid? I'm not sure, but it hurts like hell. All day today, I have suffered from waves of nausea, headaches, cramps, backache, and dizziness. My skin feels tingly and my hands keep shaking. Very strange for a period, but I'm guessing it's a result of what my body has been through this cycle. All the new meds and the stress.

Now, on to a new cycle. I still have to go pick up my next round of Clomid from the pharmacy. I called the nurse this morning and she said that since I had success with CD1-5 Clomid last month, we'll try that again. I go in for my CD11 Ultrasound on January 2nd, which is a Sunday - and on a holiday weekend. I thought for sure they wouldn't actually be there, but she said they are dedicated to catching the ovaries when they are ready, regardless of the day. It makes me feel like I'm in good, caring hands. Hopefully there will be another one or two mature follicles this time around. Some people on the forums at baby center have mentioned having success one month with clomid, then not having mature follicles the next, like it just stopped working. Please, God, don't let that happen to me. I want to at least have the chance for the cycle to be a success.

It's so awful to have AF arrive when I was hoping for a pregnancy. Then, to feel like this on top of it is like adding insult to injury. It feels like being punished for not getting pregnant. I know that sounds ridiculous, but that's the way it feels. I am trying to stay positive and be hopeful for this next cycle. As far as TTC goes, we are still in the early stages. It's definitely not panic time or anything. I am hoping for a healthy cycle this month. And I'm also hoping this icky feeling from today is almost over!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Whew, having to wait two weeks to take a home pregnancy test is torture! TTC is such an emotional time. So many questions running through my head all the time like How long is it going to take? Will I be able to make a healthy baby? Will I be able to get pregnant? Will I ever have to go through a miscarriage? How will I handle that? Am I pregnant right now? It's crazy.

As I wrote earlier, I had a mature follicle on CD11 according to the ultrasound. The nurse gave me an HCG trigger shot. DH and I went home and baby danced on CD11, 12, 13, 14, and once again on CD15 for good measure. :) It was definitely fun to be with him so many nights in a row. I had a positive OPK on CD11 and 12. I have also been charting my temperature on Fertility Friend. According to my temps, I ovulated on CD12, which puts me at 13 days past ovulation today and 14 days past my trigger shot. It's completely possible that it's still too early to get a positive test, but I want to catch a pregnancy as early as possible in order to help prevent miscarriage.

Anyway, DH and I went to Dollar Tree a couple of days ago and bought 6 tests. I can't believe they are only a dollar! I figure if I get a positive on one of the cheapies, then I'll call the doctor and have it confirmed with a blood test (thank you $10 insurance copay, lol). This morning, I took my first pregnancy test. I sat down on the toilet and just stared at the test for at least five minutes, praying for even a tiny wisp of a line to show up. No line :( Big Fat Negative for me today. I have to admit, I even went back this afternoon and checked the test again. I know it says results aren't valid after 10 minutes, but I just had to look again. See what TTC does to me? Makes me crazy!

My husband isn't upset at all by the negative test. He says we haven't been trying long (and he's right) and that we'll just keep trying. No rush. Sounds simple, right? So why do I feel so damn depressed today? I've known all my adult life that making a baby was going to be tougher for me than a lot of other women. But there was a part of me that was hoping with the Clomid and the Glumetza and the charting and everything it might just happen on our first month with meds. I know I'm not out until Aunt Flow (AF) arrives, but I'm definitely cramping a lot today and feeling irritable - PMS. Just 4 days till Christmas and I really am not looking forward to cramps and a period for the holidays.

Feeling down today, but I'm trying to pull myself together and realize that it's still early and we're barely into the process yet. Even if it takes a couple of months, we still might have a baby by next year at Christmas! I won't give up hope. My plan at this point is to just keep testing every other day until my period arrives or I get a positive test. I'll write more when I know more.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cycle Day 11 Ultrasound - Mature Follicle!

Today we had good news! Our first round of Clomid did its job. We went in this morning to have an ultrasound done to check for follicles. My left ovary was nothing special, only small follicles (11 I think on one was the biggest). But on the right side, there was one really nice mature follicle that measured around 21 mm! She said that anything over a 20 was great, then suggested we go ahead with an HCG trigger shot. We had to run to the Walmart across the street and pick up the shot (not covered my insurance which is crazy since we're supposed to have a $22,000 fertility benefit), which cost $115. After we got the shot, we went back to the nurse and she mixed it and administered it into my left hip. It didn't hurt at all, but she warned me that I might experience some extra ovulation cramping in the next few days.

With the shot, I should ovulate within 12-36 hours! DH and I were planning to do an IUI this cycle, but after discussing it, we'd rather try naturally a few months with timed intercourse. There's just something beautiful about conceiving a child during the act of making love. I think we'd both be more willing to do the IUI if it turns out regular sex isn't doing the job, but we'll give it three or four cycles. I'm glad we came to this decision, and I'm looking forward to some intimate time over the next few days! I told him to be ready to go when he gets home tonight, haha.

So far, everything has gone just like clockwork. For most of my adult life, I have anticipated pregnancy being a tough road, so in a way, I keep expecting a more serious complication. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy there haven't been any, but what I mean is that I feel like I'm waiting for the bad news to come. I can only pray it never does.

The Clomid was surprisingly side-effect free. I took it from CD1-5 and the only thing I experienced was some extra sleepiness. The Glumetza (Metformin) has been the most difficult part by far. It's been very hard to find food that I can eat without having to run to the bathroom every five minutes or feel like I'm sick all day. The nurse said that after another week or so, I should be well enough adjusted that I won't get that sick feeling as much. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cycle Day 1 - Clomid Begins!

Today is my first day of full flow period, which means it's my first day of Clomid! I've noticed on the baby center forums that most women are taking their Clomid on CD 3-7 or 5-9. No one seems to be CD 1-5, but that's what the instructions from the nurse say, so that's what I'm doing! I have been taking Provera for 7 days, so now that AF is here, I am off the provera and on to the Clomid!

I am a little nervous about the possible side-effects. Some women have reported having terrible mood swings and cramping and just feeling super tired. So far, I feel fine (considering I'm on my period, haha). Nothing beyond the normal period cramps and bloating and slight back pain. I hope it stays that way! I'm taking 2 50mg pills of Clomid each day for 5 days, then will start taking OPK's every 12 hours starting on CD11. I bought 14 test strips off Amazon for about $5. I have no idea how long it will take or how many tests I will need, but I'm hoping they aren't too hard to read! I might also go to walmart or CVS and pick up the digital OPK with the smiley face, just in case I can't read these others very well.

I feel so nervous that I will make a mistake and ruin my chance of getting PG this cycle. I want everything to go smoothly!

A word about Glumetza: For the first 7 days of taking 2000 mg Glumetza (metformin), I was sick as a dog. Diarrhea, throwing up, constant upset stomach, tired as hell, etc. Thank GOD I am feeling better now. If you are taking any form of Metformin and struggling through it, keep going! Don't give up! This drug has amazing results when it comes to pregnancy success with PCOS as well as helping to prevent miscarriage. It's worth a week or two of feeling like shit! Plus, you WILL come through it. The most important thing, I think, is to eat right. At first, I had a hard time keeping anything down at all. Now, though, I am adding things like eggs and vegetables and fruit into the mix. All I could eat before was plain oatmeal (no sugar) or saltines, lol. The nausea seems to have passed now and as long as I keep my sugar intake relatively low and stay away from things like potatoes and greasy, fried foods, I should feel good from here on out!

I feel so excited to be starting my cycle. There's no way to tell if getting pg will be easy or very difficult, but at least I can know that we're doing everything we can to be successful and healthy.

An Intro to My Story

In 1997, as a junior in college, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). At the time, no one could really properly explain what that meant. All the doctor really told me was that there were cysts in my ovaries that had been causing the problems I'd had such as acne, sudden weight gain, hair growth on my face, and missed periods. He also told me that PCOS would make it difficult, if not impossible, for me to someday have children. His only solution was to put me on a hormone blocker to block extra testosterone and to put me on birth control pills. That was it.

For many years, I mostly tried to ignore my PCOS. Humiliated by the growth of hair in strange places on my body, I took to daily shaving. I even tried electrolysis, which ended up being super painful, expensive, and a big fat failure. I gained weight and went from a healthy and thin 135 that junior year to a larger and much less energetic 200 pounds by the time I was 30. Between the PCOS and a husband that was verbally abusive and not at all interested in sex, my self-esteem plummeted to the very deepest depths.

On my 30th birthday, however, I picked myself up, filed for divorce, and vowed to make some changes in my life. I deserve to be happy. Everyone does! But you can't sit around and wait for something or someone to come along and make you happy. You have to take life into your own hands and make some changes in order to make your life better.

Less than a year later, I moved in with the man of my dreams. We met playing an online game called Everquest 2 (yes, we're geeks and we're proud!) and became close friends long before we ever met in person. Once we did finally get together, it was instant love! I had been teaching school at the time, but when I moved, my love told me I should work toward my lifetime dream of becoming a published writer. He supported me and put up with self-esteem issues and told me daily that I was beautiful. I went to Sona Medspa and had laser hair removal treatments, which meant goodbye to shaving and embarrassment forever (highly recommended by the way!). I started writing and finding my goals and passion again.

On December 19, 2009, I married the most amazing man in the world. I have always dreamed of having a baby, but the time has never been right... until now! In October of 2010, we officially decided to start trying to conceive. I am currently 33 years old and will be 34 in January. With my PCOS and my advanced age (fertility-wise), I knew we should talk to a specialist right away. We went to see a doctor at a local fertility center and he helped us put together a plan:
  • 2000 mg of Glumetza (metformin) a day
  • 100 mg Clomid
  • CD 11 u/s to check for follicles
  • OPK's every 12 hours after CD 11 to detect surge
  • Sperm analysis and IUI as soon as ovulation is detected
  • (possible HCG trigger shot if needed)
I have decided to write about our TTC journey and what it's like to be a woman in her 30's TTC with PCOS. For me, it's a type of therapy. If anyone ends up reading this, I hope that it will help you find hope and help you to know that you are not alone. Sometimes, there might be some TMI, but I hope you will keep reading and reserve judgment on the decisions I've made or the path I've taken. This is a place where I want to be honest about my feelings and my journey toward making my dream of having a baby come true.