Operation Make Baby Neuhaus-Sonne: Round 3 (Clomid 150mg)
On Thursday, June 12th I woke up feeling nauseous. I was 3 days late (technically late, but I’m irregular so it isn’t too significant). I was thrilled to be feeling so horrible! I thought it was my first sign that it was finally my month!! I didn’t get overly optimistic, however. The very next day my monthly visitor showed up, as if my body was intentionally (and spitefully) scolding me for even entertaining the idea I could ever be pregnant. How rude?! I was out for the month. Not my turn.
The next day I had a scheduled consult with my reproductive endocrinologist. We talked about my progress (or lack-thereof) and the possibilities of future steps. I was reminded not to get ahead of myself, to take things one day at a time, and to NOT STRESS. Easier said than done. I don’t have tens of thousands of dollars laying around, so the idea of possibly having to go through IVF has me tied up in knots. The doc told me to relax, “We might not have to go down that road” he said.
I had a baseline ultrasound done to see if things were looking as they should. They were. They always are. Everything always looks good (but this means nothing, apparently). We then planned out the next few weeks. I was to take 150mg of Clomid starting on day 5. Yippee.
The idea of taking MORE Clomid than last month was troublesome. During the last round I had anxiety, mood swings (the understatement of the century), and RAGE. What the hell was going to happen on three pills per day, instead of two? I planned to warn those around me to steer clear. I had a strange feeling I was going to be on the news, handcuffed, and charged with triple homicide.
2 days after my consult I had a baby shower to attend. Of course I am happy for my friends (of course I am!!), but it is so difficult to NOT think of my own current situation while seeing all the happy faces of family and friends who are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their new, precious miracle! There is no resentment or jealousy—it’s not like I wish it were me instead. It’s more like when will I also be experiencing this joy? Will it ever happen? It’s much more of an empty feeling. And this makes me feel guilty. I’d love to be able to go to such a happy occasion without the emptiness and guilt.
When the presents were being opened I had a moment of panic. The proud papa-to-be opened a gift. It was the tiniest little Blackhawks jersey with the baby’s name on the back. I thought about Jacob. I thought about my dad. I thought about the idea of never giving Jacob a son, of never giving my dad a grandson. It was as if a whole imaginary life flashed before my eyes, the whole life of a son I’ve only dreamed about. I imagined my dad throwing around the ball in the back yard with his grandson, proud as can be. I saw Jacob coaching his son’s little league team. I imagined my son’s first jersey with his name on the back (apparently my boy is going to love baseball).
I had to take a deep breath, turn around in my chair (as if I were digging around in my purse for something), and dab away the tears forming in the corners of my eyes. Thank goodness all other eyes were on the new parents opening their gifts. I don’t think I was caught, and I was glad for it. I wouldn’t want to be the weeping, childless, barren woman at a baby shower…. Oh, wait….
Hormones aside, the day was lovely, though. I was able to see lots of family and friends and celebrate a happy occasion! Seriously, some of the best people I know were in that room. I am happy for their happiness.
So, my first couple days on Clomid were a breeze. Nothing like the last time. I was maybe even more chipper than usual. No side effects, no crankiness, no mood swings, no rage. Easy peasy.
Day 3 of Clomid came, and it seemed all was well again. 8 pm rolled around and, like a hurricane, symptoms just crashed in demolishing all hope of an easy cycle. Nausea, headache, whininess, crankiness, brain fog, and blurred vision. I should have gone to sleep, but my mind was racing. I couldn’t.
The day after I took my last pills was the toughest. I really felt sick to my stomach and was nervous about OHSS. I thought my right ovary might explode. I was having what I assume to be a panic attack, although I never had one before Clomid, so I don’t really know. Whatever I was feeling wasn’t normal and it was a tad worrisome.
Then came the testing days. Peeing on a stick…. constantly. That’s fun (I love how urine dictates my life as of late). No positives on the ovulation tests yet….
On cycle day 13, I went in to see if my follicles grew. They didn’t. I was told to come back in a few days, but to page the doctor if I received a positive ovulation test. I was SUPER cranky this day. I was mad we were without power for 3 days. I was mad at the SCOTUS for their ridiculous ruling. I was mad about not getting any job prospects. I was mad my body doesn’t work like it should. I was just mad at the world. It was a rough day and I cried several times. Hormones are lovely.
The holiday weekend was rough. I’m not sure if it was the Clomid’s effects still lingering in my body or if I was just plain old emotional, but I spent a lot of time brooding or crying. Last summer, around the 4th, I actually thought I was finally pregnant. I was extremely late (I had been having regular monthly periods at that time) and I had a [faint] positive on a pregnancy test. I got my hopes up. I went to the doctor and it was bad news as usual. Early miscarriage or chemical pregnancy or false positive. We will never know… It has been a whole year since I thought FINALLY, after seven months of trying, I was going to be a mommy. The memories of that, plus the fact it’s been another whole year, was just crappy to think about.
Cycle day 18 came around and I was due for another ultrasound. Nothing grew…. as far as they could tell. There was a slight chance I ovulated between CD 13 and CD 18, but it wasn’t likely. They took my blood to be sure. My doctor called me later in the afternoon to deliver the news. I didn’t ovulate.
I still have a few more days before I’m completely out. If I get a positive ovulation test I use the hCG trigger shot and keep my fingers crossed. It doesn’t seem likely at this stage of the cycle, but it’s not over until it’s over.
The doctor added that if and when we scrap this cycle, I will be moving on to injectable medications. Scary, but at least I have an idea of where we head now.
For the moment, I try to remain positive and hope ovulation happens. If it does happen, I have another two-week-wait before knowing of any success or failure. If it doesn’t happen, well, we try again.