Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thanksgiving & Clomid Cycle

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!  We are back from a week-long trip to Boston that was mostly really enjoyable.  We saw a ton of friends and family and even did some city exploration, including one day where I had the day to myself in Boston with nothing to do and it was glorious.  You all know I love B more than anything in the world but man was six hours alone in a city so incredibly rejuvenating and fun.  I went shopping, had a quiet lunch, sipped coffee, walked, and just thought about... who knows what?!  I'm feeling like a bullet-point list is the way to go today to share more about my Clomid cycle and about life in general:

Fertility Update

  • I'm halfway into my first cycle on Clomid.  The Clomid didn't affect me at all. I was particularly worried because my father-in-law knows how to push my buttons and I didn't want to be emotionally a wreck around him but I actually felt quite good.  I'm very thankful for that knowing what some friends have experienced while taking Clomid.
  • Since we were traveling, I couldn't be monitored at all so I have no idea if it did any good and we couldn't draw day 3 labs.  Next cycle we will if that happens before we leave for our trip.
  • Dr. A did draw my AMH the last time I was in and it was 0.23.  I know this is still a terrible number, but mine has always been undetectable (which I am told means below 0.1) so I'm taking that as a positive sign, even if the improvement is infinitesimal.  We'll check FSH and do a follicle count with the next cycle.
  • I have no expectation that I'll get pregnant this cycle, but I'm feeling good, I had EWCM, and according to the OPKs, I ovulated.  
General Update
  • If I hadn't miscarried this spring, I'd be due now.  I'm having a harder time with this than I expected.
  • Every one of our friends in Boston seems to have just had a 2nd or 3rd baby, is pregnant with a 2nd or 3rd, or already has 3 children. When did 3 become the new 2?  
  • We had dinner with friends who we don't keep in touch with regularly who have a daughter 4 months younger than B.  They had trouble getting pregnant with #1 but she surprised us and is 6 months pregnant with #2.  I always thought of them as our friends who might, like us, just have one, and who understood what a struggle having a family could be.  I know two babies don't erase that struggle, but seeing her pregnant belly made me have a minor meltdown.  
  • I may finally be accepting that pregnancy will never be an easy topic for me and will always trigger jealousy and other unpleasant emotions and I probably just need to figure out how to manage and accept those feelings.  I thought I might feel differently after having B, but it isn't entirely true.

To end on a happy note, I LOVE the holiday season and B is SO excited about Christmas, the tree, snow, candy canes, stars, etc.  Even though we are running around like crazy trying to get everything ready to leave for a year, it is going to be a great holiday season.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Visit to the Reproductive Endocrinologist

Yesterday I visited with a RE for the first time since I was pregnant with Baby B.  I had an appointment with her in August, but then she switched practices so this was the first I could see her, which is a bummer since I now will only have one (maybe two) cycles before we leave for our trip.   I knew when we planned our trip that I was giving up pursuing aggressive fertility treatments and I just need to be at peace with that.

Back to the appointment.  Dr. A agreed that aggressive IVF is really not going to work for me since IVF is a numbers game and I'm not likely to get many eggs and the ones I get are likely to be poor quality.  I'm not really interested in IVF from a mental or physical perspective anyway.  What she was willing to try and thought was worth a shot (and is not that expensive, which is a nice bonus), is doing one cycle on Clomid and then one cycle on Clomid + injectibles depending on how I feel and respond the firs time around.  We leave for Thanksgiving on Friday for a week, so Clomid is my only option this cycle since I'll be in Boston and can't be monitored.  So, today is cycle day 1 and on Thursday I'll start taking Clomid.

I've heard terrible things about how it can make you feel, but my RE said the side effects are akin to menopausal symptoms.   For those of you who have taken Clomid, how did it make you feel?  Hopefully I'll be able to keep me s*it together while we are back east with family and friends.  

If I manage to have a normal-ish cycle after this one, I'll have one more chance before we leave to do a Clomid + injectibles cycle that is monitored and maybe do an IUI.

The odds of success are seriously low (less than 5%). I have to laugh at that because, seriously, that is  basically zero.  Not quite, but basically,  But here we go.  I know I won't regret trying but I will regret not trying (and am already regretting not making this appointment happen sooner).  

By the way, I love Dr. A (she just joined so new practice name and website are forthcoming - male Dr. A who works there is fantastic, too).  She sat down and talked with me for 45 minutes.  She came out to the lobby to meet me herself, which has *never* happened before.  She answered all of my questions.  She was thoughtful, compassionate, clear in her explanations, and realistic.  I cannot recommend her enough if you are in Colorado and I, literally, have been to every fertility clinic in the greater Denver area.      

For those of you (if there are any) who are reading this and still hoping, praying, yearning, and trying for your first baby, may I just say that I so vividly recall those feelings of desperation and returning to the RE brought them all flooding back.  I even commented to Dr. A how differently it felt being there with a living, breathing child at home but that the overwhelming sadness and hopelessness is a feeling I can always dredge up again.  My heart aches for another child, but there is no doubt that having B at home makes this process more bearable.  I really hope I'm not writing anything offensive or hurtful -- what I want to convey is that my heart just goes out to those still yearning for #1 because it is different.  There were two couples in the waiting room yesterday who had children with them and while I was able to smile and joke with them a bit, I noticed another couple sitting nearby and I thought the woman was going to burst into tears at any second.  I vividly recall being in RE waiting rooms and thinking HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THEY ALLOW PEOPLE TO BRING CHILDREN HERE?   It just seemed so cruel.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Time Marches On

How is it November?  October was filled with all the fun activities that one gets to attend when you have a small child who is mesmerized by all things Halloween.  Pumpkins!  Bats!  Ghosts!  Lights!  Seriously, I had no idea how much better fall would be with a toddler.  Plus, in my humble opinion, B seriously crushed it in the costume category.

Our trip is slowly coming together.  I find myself daydreaming of the beach and know that we'll be there before we know it, plus there is Christmas between now and then.  After Kauai, we'll head to Sydney and then to New Zealand where we'll stay for 6-8 weeks.  And then onto Japan!

On the fertility front, I don't have anything to report.  I've been feeling okay.  I've had wonky cycles, but all signs point to ovulating and I'm having cycles, so that is something.  But seriously - since my miscarriage, my cycles have been 27 days, 35 days, 18 days and 38 days.  What gives?!  I had decided to just leave without seeing a Reproductive Endocrinologist, but then I found out that the one I liked best is joining a new practice that I also liked, so I figured there was no harm in just seeing what she has to say.  I still want to know thoughts on trying HRT and then coming off of it (I've read this is how some have success) and if there is anything else I should be doing (although I doubt there is).  Some days I feel resigned to just having one child, giving away all of our baby stuff (we ARE decluttering), and moving on from this stage of my life.  It would be liberating to stop thinking about trying to get pregnant, which might be what happens naturally next year when we are traveling.  I'm so excited to quit my job and spend more time with B and R.

If you want to read a heavy but incredibly moving, poignant, heartbreaking piece about the death of a child, you must read "Children Don't Always Live." Maybe I should have led with this sad link and followed with the flamingo?  Oops.

Happy Fall to you all!