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 like...an 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