Friday, June 28, 2013

Clomid Cycle #2

So here we are. . . Cycle one on 50mg earlier this month worked in the eyes of my doctor. The fact that my endometrium responded by building up a layer (and YES, shedding it leading to MY PERIOD on CD27) means my ovaries tried, but just didn't get enough oomph to ovulate. I was just as excited this month as I was last month (if not more) to get my period! No withdrawal meds either to start it!

Now fast forward to Monday, June 24th. We are on cycle day three (CD3) of my second cycle with Clomid. The difference this time is we increased my dose up to 100mg. Does this mean double the fun?  Double the side effects? Double the HOT FLASHES? Only time will tell. Here again, is my day to day experience while taking Clomid!

Day 1:
Monday, June 24th

Mood: Happy
Any tears today: No
Tired or energetic: Energetic
Love or hate husband: LOVE! He just came home from a 4 night Bachelor cruise and I've really missed him! Great timing on his part coming home on day one of this fun! haha
Headaches: No
Nausea: About an 1.5 hours after taking it my stomach started feeling achey/woozy
Hot Flashes: No. . .
Crazy dreams: No
Other symptoms: Excited and hopeful!

Day 2:
Tuesday, June 25th

Mood: Happy, but irritable throughout the day
Any tears today: Yes
Tired or energetic: Mostly energetic
Love or hate husband: Love..but easily annoyed by him (I'm sorry but I can't stand any man when they're not feeling about a boowho party)
Headaches: No
Nausea: No
Hot Flashes: Not last night, actually slept great the night before and actually felt cold a few times! But I am slightly sun burned so overall I feel like a hot flash.
Crazy dreams: I remember some weirdness but nothing crazy sticks out in my memory
Other symptoms:  My optimism has gone up and down all day...worried I won't even ovulate, worried what if I ovulate and can't get pregnant. Worried about how long we'll be down this road. Blah.

Day 3:
Wednesday, June 26th

Mood: Tired, grumpy
Any tears today: Yes
Tired or energetic: Tired
Love or hate husband: Love, but verrrrry easy irritated
Headaches: No
Nausea: No
Hot Flashes: Only a few throughout the night
Crazy dreams: No
Other symptoms: Very emotional, irritable, grumpy, fat.

A funny and educational book for Phil!

Day 4:
Thursday, June 27th

Mood: Ticking time bomb, happy one second, crying the next!
Any tears today: Yes
Tired or energetic: A little bit in between
Love or hate husband: Love, we had a nice day hanging out together!
Headaches: No
Nausea: No
Hot Flashes: One or two at night and maybe one in the day, very mild!
Crazy dreams: Yes, I had a dream I broke into our old house in Denver, haha
Other symptoms: Same crazy emotions, feeling fat.

Day 5:

Friday, June 28th

Mood: Exhausted, irritable
Any tears today: Just barely no
Tired or energetic: TIRRRREEEDDD, not sure how I made it through 12+ hours of work!
Love or hate husband: Love
Headaches: No
Nausea: No
Hot Flashes: No
Crazy dreams: Not
Other symptoms: Nothing new, happy to be DONE!


OH the irony..Struggling with infertility while working in Labor and Delivery

I am finally finished with my second cycle of Clomid. Phew, That. Was. EXHAUSTING! (By the way, is it just me or has June been the longest month ever!) I have never been such an emotional wreck in such magnitude in such a short period of time in my life! This round the hot flashes were not bad at all and at times nonexistent (Hallelujah)!  But my mood and emotions took a beating this round. Those who know me I think would agree that I'm usually a pretty happy, bubbly, energetic girl. I was the complete opposite this week. Moody. Grumpy. Whiney. Discouraged. Tired. Irritable. Depressed. Everything made me emotional yet at the same time I was indifferent to so many different situations and people. Very hard to describe. 

Through all the changes I must say (for the umpteenth time) the weight gain is the most upsetting and hard to deal with for me. I know getting pregnant will change a woman's body forever. But boy oh boy I was in no way at all prepared for it to change this much this soon! I eat healthy. I workout. I'm active. I'm doing everything right and I yet I feel like I'm getting bigger by the second! I've been the big girl, was her for the first 20 years of my life. I've worked my ass off (literally) these last 7 years to stay in shape and keep the weight off. Now, while doing all the same things, my efforts are futile. I will say I am one lucky lady to have a supportive husband who loves me through thick and thin, ups and downs, regardless what pant size I'm wearing or what the scale says. I certainly couldn't do this without out him and his encouragement and love. Thanks baum! 

I'm hoping the worst part is over, but I know it's not. In a few days will come daily (or more) OPK testing (hoping to ovulate), more blood tests, possible ultrasounds, and the worst, waiting. 

As always, praying for strength, positivity and a miracle!  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

PCOS - 1 Ovulation - 0

Our first cycle of Clomid has come and gone. The last three weeks have been full of hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, irritability, OPK pee sticks, bumpin' & grindin', laughs, tears, alcohol, melt downs, hugs and kisses. However, the one thing it didn't bring. . . Ovulation.

This Sunday was Cycle Day 21 (CD21). I had blood drawn to look at my progesterone level. This was going to be the definitive answer on whether or not I ovulated. We wanted my progesterone at the very least >3, but we'd be thrilled if it was >10.
My progesterone level was 1.23 

I didn't ovulate

One of the many negative OPK tests...positive will be a smiley face

2nd blood draw in a week...lucky me I have garden hose veins!

I had been testing my urine with Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs) which measures the LH surge. After you have an LH surge, ovulation occurs within 24-36 hours. I had never had a positive OPK this cycle, so we pretty much assumed I didn't ovulate. However, seeing the stone cold proof in the lab value was a tough pill to swallow. Didn't help that I was at work that day. . .surrounded by mothers delivering babies. . . on Father's day.

So now what?!

After talking it over with my doctor, we decided before we know what the next step would be, we need to see what my endometrium (inside lining of the uterus) looks like. Prior to any medication, my uterus lining was paper thin, 1mm to be exact. That explains why I never got a period, there was no lining to shed. If my lining is still very thin, then we would most likely have to do TWO MORE MONTHS of priming/suppressing ovaries with estrogen and progesterone and then add Clomid back to the mix, but at a higher dose. If the lining is thick, then I should get a period, and I would just start 100mg (instead of 50mg) on day three of my cycle and do this all again. Option two is the optimal plan.

There's only one way to see what my uterus lining looks ultrasound. And of course it's not a good ole' fashion abdominal ultrasound, it has to be transvaginal. My doctor was able to get me into the outpatient services at the hospital I work at Monday evening to get this done. After waiting over an hour, I was finally taken back and had the procedure done.  The technician doing the ultrasound is not allowed to say or diagnosis anything she see. She was however able to tell me I am "very gassy" and my bowls kept getting in the way of viewing my ovaries. Talk about self esteem boosting while in a vulnerable position, haha.

The ultrasound machine

Patient husband waiting with me at Winnie

Winnie Palmer Hospital

We didn't have to wait for the results as my doctor was calling to find out asap. He called me before we made it home with the news. . . 12.3mm!
(By the way, am I the only one slightly freaked out that my progesterone was 1.23 and my lining was 12.3, what a difference a decimal point placement makes!) 
FINALLY, some reassuring news! All in all he says my endometrium responded to Clomid, I just didn't ovulate. I should now get a period within 1-1.5 weeks. If for some reason I don't, we will induce period with Progesterone. Either way, we start 100mg Clomid on day 3 of my next cycle. He is super optimistic about this round of Clomid.

So all in all, yes I was disappointed I didn't ovulate this month, but I too remain optimistic that I just need a little extra umph to kick these ovaries into gear.

A little humor goes a long way :)

Through out this journey, struggles and disappointment, I must say, I am starting to also see just how blessed I am and focus on what we do have in our lives. First and foremost I have hands down, the most supportive and helpful husband a girl could ask for. Sure we fight and have our moments, but throughout my "Clomid cray cray" he's been my solid rock, and I can't imagine anyone else fighting this battle by my side than him!

I also have been shocked at how many people actually take the time out of their busy day to read my blog. People I would never expect to see this have approached me and let me know they are thinking and praying for us. WOW. I can't put into words how much of a difference everyone's support, encouragement, stories and simple hugs at work have made in my life! Nothing about infertility struggles are easy, but the support we have makes the day by day struggle much easier to endure.

Lastly, I've been thinking a lot about timing and being in the right place at the right time. I believe I will be a mother. I believe God has the right time and plan for us. I believe God had planned for us to begin seeking fertility help after moving back home to Florida. I also believe he lead us into Dr. Chudgar's office for a reason. The care and genuine compassion Phil and I receive are beyond what I ever though we would get from a doctor. I've read horror stories of women being forced to wait over the weekend or holidays for procedures or results. Or calling 5 minutes too late to the office only to be told they'd have to call back during business hours. We have never had these issues. Day, night, weekend or holiday we can get in touch with Dr. Chudgar. I thank God everyday for guiding us to him and having him by our side through this struggle.

So to anyone reading this, or who has pulled me aside to say "I'm thinking about you", or has given me a simple hug when I really needed it. . .Thank you.

I'll end this post with a song that I've enjoyed for years, but has recently taken a whole new meaning. The song is "Here" by Rascal Flatts. While it's about finding your true love, some of the lyrics have really spoken to me and I now hear it as overcoming infertility struggles. Below are some of my favorite lyrics. Regardless how you interpret it, it's a great song to add to your playlist!

It's amazing what I let my heart go through
To get me where it got me
In this moment here with you
And it passed me by
God knows how many times
I was so caught up in holding 
What I never thought I'd find
I know now, there's a million roads
I had to take to get me in your arms that way

And I wouldn't change a thing
I'd walk right back through the rain
Back to every broken heart
On the day that it was breakin'
And I'd relieve all the years 
And be thankful for the tears
I've cried with every stumbled step
That led to you and got me here, right here

In a love I never thought I'd get to get to
And it that's the road God made me take to be with you

OH, and "Stand" by Rascal Flatts is another good one I've been listing to recently!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Clomid Cycle #1

This is my first round taking 50mg Clomid for cycle day (CD) 3 through 7. I was told I could take it any time during the day, but to just be consistent. After reading about others experiences taking this medication I've opted for night time as I'm hoping to sleep through the roughest side effects. Here is my little "diary" of how each day went!

Day 1:
Wednesday, May 29th
CD 3

Mood: EXCITED! Actually haven't taken it yet so I'm in the early, hopeful, optimistic phase of fertility treatments!
Any tears today: Yes, my friend Jennifer stopped by to chat and we both cried a little after talking about and hearing the story how my childhood dog died happy eating sugar cookies
Tired or energetic today: Kinda in between, slept pretty good but it's only 5:30pm and I'm sleepy.
Love or hate husband: Love! He's been out of town since Monday so I'm missing him. . .and he's missed my period's arrival, which I'm sure he's ok with, haha
Headaches: Nope
Nausea: Nope
Hot flashes: Actually had some bad night sweats last night, which is funny because I've been off meds for 4 days.
Other symptoms: Nothing really (again haven't even taken it yet). . .but will say again how fat I feel since starting any of these meds, that unfortunately hasn't changed. . .


Day 2:
Thursday , May 30th
CD 4

Mood: Started off great, then Phil came home, lol. Guess I was doing better by myself. . .Still excited and optimistic overall.
Any tears today: No
Tired or energetic today: Same as yesterday, somewhat in between
Love or hate husband: ....debatable
Headaches: Yes
Nausea: No
Hot flashes: None during the day, plenty at night!
Other symptoms: Irritable around Phil


Day 3:
Friday, May 31st
CD 5

Mood: Pretty stable...happy to now be over the half way mark! Truly hasn't been as bad as I thought!Any tears today: Nope...but was on the verge at one point.
Tired or energetic today: More energetic than the last two days
Love or hate husband: Love, mostly ;)
Headaches: No
Nausea: No
Hot flashes: Consistently only at night...I'm cold all day long till night fall
Other symptoms: "I WANT CHOCOLATE!" That's the clomid talking, right?!


Day 4:
Saturday, June 1st
CD 6

Mood: Exhausted, whiney, irritable
Any tears today: Sitting in my car before work saw a picture of a police dog with a very moving story and broke down. I had to pull it together before walking into work, lol. Grab a tissue, here's the story!
Tired or energetic today: Tired
Love or hate husband: Love
Headaches: No
Nausea: No
Hot flashes: Yes
Other symptoms: Nope, none that I'm aware of at least, haha, might want to ask the people around me...


Day 5:
Sunday June 2nd
CD 7

Mood: Happy
Any tears today: Nope
Tired or energetic today: More energetic than I have been lately!
Love or hate husband: Love
Headaches: Nope
Nausea: Nope
Hot flashes: Night sweats
Other symptoms: Nope

A sweet reminder from my nephew Samson tonight 
of why we're doing all this in the first place!

Day five, DONE! Not sure if it's because I'm only taking 50mg (the lowest dose) or what but I did not have any of the horrible side effects I've heard about while taking Clomid. However, some do say they come a few days to week(s) after you STOP taking them. 

Now we (you guessed it), Wait. Wait to see if Clomid worked. Wait to see if I even ovulate, let alone get pregnant. Wait to see if I get the unwanted period, meaning I'm not pregnant. Ugh. Such a roller coaster of emotions to say the least.  We certainly aren't expecting to be "that couple" that gets pregnant on the first try. I am however, hoping that at the least I ovulate! (Testing using Ovulation predictor kits, or OPK). I'll also be having blood drawn on certain days in my cycle to check estrogen and progesterone levels. Typically a doctor will allow a woman to take Clomid no more than 3-6 month before looking into other means if it's not working. . .

Praying for strength, sanity, faith and courage to get Phil and I though these next few weeks (month, years. . .)

. . .a little something that made me laugh! After all, humor is the best medicine!