This week was a mixed bag. Amazing running in the Death Valley desert, but disappointment at last week’s events and the way cycle two is going. Just like we promised ourselves that we would treat the first month as a “practice round” so we didn’t get too disappointed, we are now reminding ourselves of how incredibly unlikely it is that we’ll get pregnant two months in a row. This is definitely as emotional a journey as a physical one; not emotional in the terms of crying and nail-biting, but just in having so many different emotions to manage.
Because I won’t be describing my treatments in as much detail this cycle since my protocol is basically the same as last month, I wanted to take some time to address the issue of my running and exercising during this process. As I’ve mentioned before, my doctor has treated a number of athletes, dancers and gymnasts, and is familiar with the athlete’s psychology. Even more interesting is his approach to an athlete’s metabolism: that if a woman’s body fat percentage is in the normal range, she’s accepted a realistic reduction of activity, and her tests as well as her spouse’s tests have revealed that exercise is not the core infertility issue, it is unwise to significantly alter her metabolism (i.e., weight gain or cessation of activity altogether). His feeling is that we’re confusing the body enough with high doses of foreign hormones, and the body is trying to work around that. Sudden metabolic changes would be a second shock to the body, and again, assuming the conditions above, an unnecessary one.
My doctor requested a 50% reduction in activity of me, and I have adhered to that. When training for a 100-miler, I run 90 – 100 miles per week, in addition to spinning, weight lifting and core work. I am now averaging 45 – 50 miles per week with less spinning. I have put on about two pounds over my Rocky Raccoon weight, weight that I am perfectly comfortable with for the time being. Long runs are permitted at present, provided I’m paying attention to perceived exertion and remembering that if I were pregnant, energy for the baby would come first.
When we lost the blastocyst last week, I flat out asked him if I had run the baby out of me. He looked me dead in the eye and said that there was nothing I could have done to cause this or to stop this. He said exercise is good – especially for you. Play by the rules, but keep exercising.
I have an ovulatory disorder. I may have a slight luteal phase defect. I have progesterone issues. We have male factor issues as well. Running is hardly the single culprit we’re facing. And to be perfectly frank and fair, we also can’t forget about the number of overweight women who undergo infertility treatments without losing weight prior to – or during – the process. It’s a knife that cuts both ways, and as I’ve stated many times now, we all hurt the same, regardless of the issues that brought us here. And we all wonder how the hell Snooki and Jenelle Evans can get pregnant (twice!!!) – yet we can’t.
Okay, off the Jersey Shore/Teen Mom rant and on to my reality.
Saturday, March 16: 3 easy miles with the team. 75 iu’s of Follistim.
Sunday, March 17: LA Marathon, 26.2 miles, pacing the 4:15 group. Felt amazing – nice, chill, long distance run. 100 iu’s of Follistim, and I finally got that carrot cake as a post-race treat.
Monday, March 18: 12 miles, up to (towards) the Whitney Portal and down, at altitude. We had hoped to go further, but the road was closed 8 miles up due to rock-slides and snow runoff, and we knew we didn’t have enough fluids. 100 iu’s of Follistim.
Tuesday, March 19: 10 miles through Stovepipe Wells and to the sand dunes. It was 92 degrees out!!! Got a little tired, but so did DB. 100 iu’s of Follistim – also pretty crazy dragging refrigerated drugs through Death Valley. We made a nice little “refrigerator” for them in the center console of the car (like where you would store CD’s), packed with ice.
Wednesday, March 20: OFF. Travel home from Vegas. Get off the plane and the cold makes my eyes water – WTF with the weather?!?! 100 iu’s of Follistim. Getting nervous as I feel no side effects whatsoever.
Thursday, March 21: 7 treadmill miles on a mild speed ladder. Running felt fine, head did not. First blood draw and scan this cycle. I got lucky – they were willing to adjust my initial dose and delay my scan a day so I could travel. Results are not good. The cyst on the right ovary is actually a little bit bigger, and because of the cyst, there’s nothing going on there. Left ovary has two follicles, but they’re only at 6 and 8 on day 9. Last month, we had four at 10 mm a day earlier. The doctor mentions we may have to sit this one out, but that they’ve usually been able to “get me to go” so he’ll discuss it with my doctor. I was pretty convinced they were going to cancel me, or worse, put me on birth control pills to shrink the cyst. Got the call from the nurse that afternoon though, and they’re giving me until Monday to see what happens. Four more days of 100 mg shots. This will be the most stimming I’ve ever done – and now I’m actually HOPING to get the drowsies and the sleepies, because I want this to work.
100 iu’s of Follistim. Also the day that last week really hurt. We learned about the chemical pregnancy and then immediately left for LA for work. My boss was at this event, so I had to suck it up for the weekend. Then we went to Death Valley, which is totally magical. DB stayed in Vegas for his annual boys’ trip for March Madness, so I came home alone. And sitting alone in my office, after that crappy scan, it just hit me like a brick. And it sucked. And hurt.
Friday, March 22: 5 easy miles on junior trail. 100 iu’s of Follistim and day ten (yes, ten) of my period. That’s right folks, still going. Because sometimes, Mother Nature likes to add insult to injury. Nice work, M. Nature.
Weekly totals: 63 miles, 675 iu’s of Follistim. Mileage a little high, but no spinning, lifting or Pilates due to traveling and instructor absence, so a fair trade.