Here we are fourteen months in, and I feel like it’s time to write a summative post. We have original followers who have messaged me all along the way, but we’ve also picked up some new support lately.
I’m adding my personal experience/reaction to all the medications and procedures because if you’re anything like me, you like to know what to expect going in. No one’s story is exactly the same, but a girl needs a heads up. Always.
Clomid 1/2018-6/2018 We took May off, so I took Clomid for a total of five months. My doctor did not want to extend it past six months because there are some major side effects with prolonged use. I wish I journaled more during this time because it seems so far away now. Overall what I remember is the headaches. Clomid gave me a migraine each month I took it. I was definitely emotional too. I was at home without a job for the entire six months, so I was able to manage pretty well.
In July of 2018, we had our first IUI. I reached out to many women asking about the procedure, and all of them assured me it was quick and painless. My experience was anything but. I supposedly peaked on a weekend, so an on call doctor who I had never seen before met us at the clinic. There was no ultrasound. Instead the clinic relied on the at home ovulation tests I had been doing for several months. Looking back, I now know what a waste of time, money, and medication this IUI was. Without confirming my cycle via ultrasound, they were doing guesswork. Did I need a trigger shot? It wasn’t even considered.
They collected a sample, and we walked over to the hospital cafeteria to waste some time. When we returned, we were taken into the room for the IUI. Thank god John stayed in the room. There was an initial pinch, and the doctor commented that my cervix was “angry.” John tells me there was quite a bit of blood, but I didn’t pay attention because I was in so much pain. She finished and left the room. I was told I may experience some slight cramping, but what I actually experienced was severe cramping for no less that half an hour. John held my hand as I repositioned over and over. If you’re a local girl and need more details, reach out to me. It’s not my intention to ruin a business. I honestly just think they lack the knowledge and technology to offer fertility treatments.
The IUI failed.
9/2018 We made the call and transferred my medical records to Arkansas Fertility in Little Rock.
In October of 2018, I had an HSG test which checks for blockages in your tubes. This was the first step they recommended to me as a new patient. My previous doctor had stated that it was an expensive test, and we would wait until it was necessary. The HSG was quick and painless which is odd because I was warned this one would hurt a little. If you’ve been to Arkansas Fertility, you probably know that the doctors alternate weeks. This was the first day I met Batres. What a way to meet.
There were no blockages.
I took Letrozole for the first time in December and into January. It wasn’t bad at all. I don’t know if a trip to NYC or the holidays clouded my symptoms, but I really don’t remember having anything besides a slight headache. Because of the holidays and timing, the clinic just wanted to do a natural cycle with the medication.
This month (2/19) I took Letrozole again. Day one was okay. Days two and three I had a horrible headache. Days four and five I would cry at the drop of a hat. I’m not sure what was so different about this round, but I was counting down the hours until that stuff left my system.
2/7/2019 We did our first trigger shot. It was $180. My husband, who probably has felt helpless through most of these appointments, injected the medication into my stomach. I’m forever thankful he took the lead on that because I really don’t know if I could have. Some day I may get the nerve, but there was something about him stepping in during that moment. It was supposed to happen that way.
2/9/2019 Our second IUI-and this one really was painless and easy. They showed us how much stronger and potent they had made the collection, and then they did the procedure. I stayed in the room for fifteen minutes, and we were back in the office consulting with our doctor shortly after. The anxiety I had felt on the drive was unwarranted. This was how it was supposed to go.
Now I’m on Prometrium which is gross, but I have not experienced any side effects. I take it right before bed which I’m sure helps curb them if there are any. Basically this medication will increase my progesterone which is needed to sustain a pregnancy. It’s weird because I started it a week after my IUI which makes me feel like I’m giving this embryo, which may or may not exist what it needs. And then a week later, I’ll determine if there’s an embryo or not. If there is, I’ll continue taking it. If not, it’s back to Letrozole to repeat the entire cycle.
And we are waiting.
I had a huge cry fest/mental breakdown this weekend. I didn’t want to take the meds. I didn’t want to have this body that doesn’t work properly. I didn’t want this responsibility to stay positive and share my story. Sometimes I worry about how all this ends and how it affects those invested in our story. I think about becoming pregnant and how frustrating and heartbreaking that could be to so many others. I think about never having an end to write about, this journey simply left in limbo.
I wish I could tell you the stories of others. Sincere. Strong. Steadfast. Amazing women all fighting the same battle in different ways. If this journey never brings me a baby, it has brought me you, and I needed you.
A teacher. A businesswoman. A mom seeking help for her daughter. A friend wondering how to offer support. I message some of these girls weekly, and although we’ve never met face to face, I consider them friends. I hope to attend their baby showers some day.
My friend Trisha checks in on me every week. This weekend she sent me this message.
“Everything will happen for you all of the sudden, and you will be thankful you didn’t give up.”
I’m not ready to give up yet.