Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Very First Monitored Cycle

I keep feeling like this post is overshare, and I am a very firm believer in not oversharing. The whole purpose of this blog is to be completely open and educational, and help people understand what I, and thousands of other women like myself, go through when it comes to infertility. That includes treatments, tests, and what is involved with all of that. So perhaps I feel like this is overshare because it's getting really personal now. Perhaps I'm embarrassed to be putting it all out there. But since I feel like it's so important, and I try to be an advocate for the infertility community, I'll share. Like I have said before, please feel free to skip any posts that you are uncomfortable reading. But I promise that I try to keep it basic and definitely leave out the little, icky details.

I finally started my next cycle and could return to the specialist to begin treatment. (There was also some news regarding my blood test. Scroll down to the *** if you want to skip my new plan and just want to see the results.) I had to take Provera, which was a 10 day course of progesterone that simulated the hormones in a typical cycle, therefore making the body menstruate, since my body wasn't doing it on its own. It can take up to two weeks for menstruation to start after taking the last pill. So it took a while and I was getting impatient! My friends and I called it the Worst Two Week Wait Ever. (Typically, crazy women like me call the last two weeks after ovulation and before you can test for pregnancy the "two week wait," or abbreviated, TWW. But, I'll write another post about TTC jargon later. And you can understand what TTC is.)

I went in for a baseline appointment today (cycle day 2), where they just check everything out with an ultrasound to see if everything is quiet and ready for the new cycle. Everything looked good, so we spent the next 20 minutes going over everything I need to know for the next two weeks.

I started Clomid today and will take it till Saturday.

I'll start an ovulation predictor kit shortly after to look for a hormone surge. They will be monitoring with ultrasound, too, but I think the OPK is so I can monitor in case the surge comes unexpectedly and they can change the ultrasound dates around. I think... I'm not actually sure. I'm just doing it because they told me to.

I have another appointment next Wednesday for a water ultrasound (the test I talked about in number two on this list) to check for cysts and other similar fun stuff. At that time, the doctor will also look at and measure my follicles to see if the Clomid helped them grow. If they aren't mature, I go back two days later for another ultrasound to check again.

When they are big enough (measure at 18mm or larger), I will use an hCG trigger shot if I don't get a positive OPK. That trigger will release the eggs and force ovulation to occur. The only problem that we could see is if I have too many mature follicles, they would all release and have a very high chance of multiples. If there are three or more mature eggs that would release, we will not trigger and wait until the next cycle.

Two days after triggering, it's time to start the progesterone.

Then, it's just waiting. They are going to tell me to absolutely-do-not-under-any-circumstances test before my period is due if I use the hCG trigger. It's extremely easy to get a false positive and think you're pregnant when the test is just picking up residual trigger. That's going to be fun. Some women like to "test out the trigger." They will test early and watch the tests slowly turn negative as the trigger goes away, then continue to test to see if the test turns back positive. If you see a negative test and then the ones after are positive, you can be pretty sure it's a real positive. But a lot of women get their hopes up and disappoint themselves that way, or don't do it right and think a false positive is real.

***After a few hiccups on the lab's part, I finally got the results of the blood test I took to look for any sort of clotting disorders. The results came back borderline. That means that my blood clots faster than 95% of other people. There is an anti-coagulant medication that they put people on that combats it, but since I was just borderline, they instructed me to take a baby aspirin every day. That should help with keeping my blood thin.

I'll be keeping busy, and hopefully the time will go by quickly. I know this isn't anything close to what women do for an in-vitro cycle (those women go through A LOT), but it sure seems like a lot to me, especially since this is the first time that I've actually done some real treatment! I'm so grateful we were able to finally save up just enough for this!


Jules said...

That does sound like a lot! But it all sounds kind of exciting too...or maybe that's just me being excited for you? Either way, good luck!

Sean and Jennie said...

I agree, I think its exciting to get the medical help needed, even if its a little (or lot) intrusive. My mom says she always loved the ultrasounds to see if the follicles were growing. Good luck!!