Saturday, March 1, 2014

Clomid Roller Coaster

Day 3 of Clomid... already a roller coaster ride... (*sigh)

Let's just say I'm thankful it's Saturday and I don't have to be at work, around people, or feel like I have to do much. This drug is kicking my butt and I have 2 more pills... ahhh!!! 

I've found tons of hysterical ecard jokes about Clomid and fertility drugs  (& 1 fav about IUI) in general, and they're making me feel a little more sane, and making me laugh. So that's all good! I'm overloading today's post with them so you can get an idea of what I'm experiencing. 

Ok, let's backtrack a bit...

This month's cycle was THE MOST anticipated ever, in my whole life. We spent many months waiting for my period and hoping it wouldn't show, as a sign of pregnancy (back in the naive days, before we found out Scott is infertile). Last week was quite the opposite~ I wanted it to show up and was anxiously awaiting it and stressing over it. As soon as it showed up it meant we were officially starting IUI cycle #1~ on with the show!! Let's go Mother Nature, c'mon!! I was off from school all last week so it would have been convenient for it to show up then, as I could have gone to the clinic without having to rush to work after, but nope, Aunt Flo loves to mess with people... especially me. She decided to wait a few days longer than normal, making one of my longest cycles in a few months. Of course. When I went to acupuncture last Friday, it was already a few days late, so she amped up the treatment and it was pretty intense. I could feel the needle spots still that night in certain areas (my feet and wrists) and it was giving me a mini panic attack because I couldn't stop "feeling" the sensation of it and it kept freaking me out. Usually when I leave there, I'm fine. Well, whatever spots she pinpointed, it worked because the next day we were in the clear and my cycle had begun. SOOO weird that I'm writing this online for everyone to read, but whatever, it's life, and it's an essential part in baby-making, so here we go! I know it was bound to arrive soon anyway but I really do think acupuncture gave it an extra boost. 

Never have I ever had to tell so many people that my cycle had started... wow. I had to let my acupuncturist know so she could plan out my next appointment. I had to tell the clinic so I could schedule my baseline monitoring day. I had to tell a few friends who were anxiously awaiting it like I was (so funny!). One friend joked that I should get a shirt that said "I have my period!!". LOL. Everyone all up in my business but for good reason. I have never been so thrilled to get it before, and I literally cheered when it finally arrived. Wahoo! 

On with the show, let's make a baby!! Screw the old-fashioned way, we're all like Superheroes up in here... fertility drugs, acupuncture, Doctors, blood draws, ultrasounds, more fertility drugs, a catheter, some donor sperm... that's way more interesting and romantic. 

Truth~ it really is no joke. Catheter to be exact, but same idea. HA!
I could go to the clinic on day 3 or 4 for monitoring. I wanted to go on day 3, but had to choose day 4 and here's why....

Monitoring MUST occur between 7 and 8 am at the clinic. It's a walk-in, first come, first serve style. The clinic is an hour away from school. This means that even if I am first, I will be arriving late to school, walking in after the kids. Ok, maybe not a big deal to the avg person, and yes my school/staff/principal know everything because I'm so open about all of this and it makes it easier. I also have an aide in the classroom with me for the first hour and a half... BUT I am super neurotic and get all wigged out about showing up even 5 mins late. I love to be there a good 10 mins before the kids, and that's late to me. I try to be there 20-30 mins before them, so walking in at 8:15 with the kids, or later, makes me all crazy and throws off the day. Now throw in the fact that we were just off for 11 days (February break was 9 but we had 2 surprise snow days in the beginning), and my room wasn't set up for after break, plans weren't ready, and I hadn't realized the cleaning crew cleaned and moved furniture, so I had to fix a few things. I wasn't thrilled with starting the week like that. I know that having our baby is WAY more important than my job, but I also knew if I had a little wiggle room, going on Tuesday would be way more ideal. The office said Tuesday was fine, so Tuesday it was... day 4. Sigh of relief!

Tuesday was also easier because I was scheduled to go to a math workshop that day, not be at school. The workshop didn't start til 8:30, and people often arrive late all the time. So I emailed the instructor and said I may be late~ she wasn't a bit worried and said not to stress or rush. I hadn't realized the workshop location was actually so close to the clinic, so I arrived early and beat a few of my coworkers there even! Phew!

So for monitoring days, I have to get up at 5am. Normally I'm up around 6:20/6:30... but the clinic isn't only an hour from work, it's an hour from home. And I wanted to be there early to be in as quickly as poss. I left at 6am and got there just about 7. I was the second person and was called back for blood work almost immediately. That went super smoothly (yay! I drank like 2 glasses of water on the way there.. had to stop to pee at a gas station and then almost peed my pants before arriving at the clinic too but I just wanted to be there and not stop again! LOL). I went in for my ultrasound (had a few hiccups, like the fact that my Dr confused me with a different patient/who I was/reason I was there, and didn't seem to recognize me... but as long as the next ones run better, it's all good), got info on my drug protocol and next steps, and was back on the road by 7:30.

Now comes the fun part... Clomid. If you don't know, and according to Wed MD, Clomid "is used to treat infertility in women. It works by stimulating an increase in the amount of hormones that support growth and release of a mature egg (ovulation)." Even though I am not infertile (as far as we know!), it's usually taken in IUI cycles to help make a stronger ovulation, more predictable ovulation, and also possibly increase the number of follicles that develop and mature. This means I could potentially develop a few strong follicles, rather than the 1 that I release every month. And yes, this is where the chance of multiples comes in to play. Chances of twins or triplets is a bit higher when on Clomid. It's not a high % but it is increased. If too many follicles are developed (more than 3), the Dr will cancel the cycle and try again next month to hope for less. We don't want me turning into Octo-Mom or Kate plus 8... no offense, ladies. I could not handle that. I want to be a mom to 1 or 2 babies, not have to home school any more than that. I get paid to teach a room full of kids, I don't want that many at home.

I got my Rx for Clomid and was set to start on cycle day 5, which was Wednesday. I got 5 pills (50mg each- low dose) and need to take one a day for 5 days (cycle days 5-9). I read (and got advice from a dear friend with experience) to take them at night so that if any side effects came, I would sleep through them, like nausea or anything. She, along with a few others, said that they didn't experience any of the crazy side effects and were good to go, so hopefully I would too. Here's how my last few days have been, and I've only taken 3 so far...

Day 1:
I took the first pill Wed night around 8:30 and went to bed around 10, so I was fine. Thursday at school I felt mostly okay, just really tired. Maybe slightly irritable, but wasn't sure if it was in my head. I went for coffee with a great friend/coworker after, and was feeling mostly ok then too, just sleepy. But it's winter, and it was mid-week. So I didn't know if it was me, the pill, or something else. I went to a basketball game at school with another friend/coworker and was fine there, took my pill on the way home (same timing) and got home around 9:30, went right to bed. I got a great night's sleep because I wasn't up late by any means.

Day 2:
Woke up instantly in a bad mood. Super cranky and SOOO tired. I did not want to get out of bed. At all... I contemplated swapping schedules with Scott for the day. Kept thinking "It's Friday! Yay... I should be in a great mood... It'll pass". It didn't. Usually I snap out of the sleepy fog after I shower, or at least by the time I come downstairs for breakfast. Nope. Wasn't going away. I was cranky. Whiney. Exhausted. In a bad mood the whole way to school, even though I tried to snap out of it and think of reasons to smile~ It's Friday. The sun is shining. It's Friday. I don't have to do much today (so many crazy events at school in our schedule that there was lots of "fun stuff/specials" so I didn't have to physically teach much yesterday. It didn't help. I just felt off. And it continued through the day. Most of the morning I wasn't so cranky but was just so sleepy. The kids were tired too and I joked with a few that we could just have nap time all day. At lunch I had to put my head on the table and just kept saying I just felt blah. The afternoon it got progressively worse, and I just was on edge, although I kept fighting to show it. I'm one of the happy/cheery/energetic/always-smiling and chipper people at school. The second that's off, I have a lot of explaining to do and I just didn't wanna do anything or deal with anything. I wanted to be home, in bed, and not have to talk to anyone.

I managed to get through the school day but my day wasn't over. I had another acu appt and dinner plans with one of my oldest childhood friends. In theory, both things should make me feel better and happy, but I didn't want to do either of them and felt myself getting more emotional. I got to acu and she always starts by asking how my week is. That's when I burst into tears and just lost it. I felt stupid. I felt crazy. I felt embarrassed. I felt off. I felt like someone else, or like I didn't have control over myself. I kept thinking if it was still in my head, since so many others experienced nothing. I just couldn't stop crying and couldn't make sense. I was also dreading the appt because of how last week's left me imagining those certain points. I was just a hot mess, simply put. Total psycho. Not me in any shape or form. And feeling like I can't possibly go through this every month, over and over again, until it works. Wow. Melissa calmed me down, didn't judge (well, I hope not), grabbed me a tissue, and gave me tips for calming down. She assured me I am going through A LOT and it's ok, and I need some fun distractions.

I told her I was freaked out about the treatment spots today, and also torn. I want to do whatever we can to amp up the chances of IUI working, so whatever the cost, I want to do it. But I also am a huge baby and don't want it to hurt, so it's a fine line, but we need to do what we need to do. She wanted to see me ideally near cycle days 6, 7, or 8, and it just happened by chance that she could see me on Friday (she's only in this office 2x a week) and Friday was day 7. So even tho AF took forever to arrive, it suddenly is meshing kind of well with the schedule, how weird. Maybe this really is all happening for a reason, as part of a bigger plan. ;) So, day 7 it was, perfect. She said it was a pretty prescribed protocol yesterday, with 5 specific points (some bilateral), but she wanted to throw in an extra spot that's a calming spot, to help me out. That spot was inside the ear (weirrrrrd!!). I laughed and cringed but whatever, let's get going I guess.

She did 2 inside each year... weird weird feeling, different than the squishy parts of your skin, since it is cartilage... but woa. Not AS bad as I was freaking about, just different. Kind of like piercing your ears in a sense, but in the harder part. Eeek. Oh well... all for my well-being.

The 5 specific points for yesterday were:
1. Foot, between big toe and second (both feet)
2. Leg, inside of shin, below the knee (both sides)
3. Above the knee (both sides)
4. Ovaries (both sides)
5. Below belly button (just 1)

No hands, no scary foot spot... PHEW! I was feeling good. Ironically, after the first leg one, I told her I liked that one because it doesn't typically hurt and I just like it... and she said that one has a direct connect to the ovaries. How funny of all I happened to mention.

While laying there, I closed my eyes and started to relax. But I started to feel like I was spinning in a spiral. As if I had wayyyyyy too much to drink, but obv this had not been the case. I felt as if half my body was spiraling clockwise and the other half was spinning counter-clockwise. Woa. Super weird, but if I opened my eyes it stopped. I figured I just needed to breathe and it was energy starting to flow. I already felt so crazy so I didn't tell Melissa because I didn't want to sound more insane than I know I already was, although I normally would have. Around that time, I know she was still nearby and she said she wanted to put a 3rd in each ear if I was up for it. I wasn't too thrilled with it but whatever, so I said ok. As soon as she had those points, the spinning stopped. Talk about magic. I'm so so so intrigued by the science and magic of it all. It's really powerful, and I am super sensitive and receptive to it all, so wow. Needless to say, I felt a million times better when I left, and almost like myself. I could breathe calmly and I was feeling better. I gave her a big squeeze of a hug and thanked her, and I was ready for dinner! Boy was I glad I hadn't canceled dinner plans!

I went out with Kortney for din and we happened upon a super cute cafe for dinner. It was just a cute cozy local place we hadn't tried yet, and it was perfect. We split an order of fried pickles (YUMMM!), mussels in a tomato, garlic, wine, and chorizo sauce, and each got burgers. It was all amazing and I felt more like me by the end of the night. I was still super tired but glad I got out, and glad it's the weekend.

Day 3:
Being Saturday, I'm just so glad I am not at work. If I had to take Clomid all through a week of school, I would be an emotional basket case. Hot mess. Major psycho status. I did wake up with a headache today and it's not going away, so I'm thinking that's my side effect today. I normally get these headaches during my period because of hormone dips, but it's long gone. Also get them when I don't exercise and that has been on a low all week too. So, prob a combo of no exercise and Clomid. Scott was so supportive this morning~ he let me vent about all my crazy symptoms yesterday, and helped me feel like I'm not crazy and it's out of my control. 2 more pills to go, and then done for this month (I would love for this month to work and be done. But we'll see what's meant to be).

Sorry, Scott!! :(
So now,  I finish the last 2 pills tonight and tomorrow... then I have the week off until Friday. Friday is cycle day 14 and when the clinic said to come back in for monitoring. They will do more blood work and a repeat ultrasound. They'll check how many follicles are ready and what size they are. If there are more than 3, the cycle will be canceled, so we don't want that. Friday will determine a lot, like if I will need the IUI procedure next weekend, or if I will go back a few days later for more monitoring, until my body is ready. Then we'll schedule the IUI and then wait the longest 2 weeks of my life to see if fertilization occurred and if I'm pregnant or not.

Til next time!!!


  1. I am so so so excited for you and this cycle!!! I just love reading your posts - it's like we are sitting and chatting over a coffee :) Can't wait for another update!

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