Clove’s Training and Fertility Treatment Log: Week 2, Cycle Two

In lieu of a personal photo this week, I've chosen one that more accurately depicts my mood and attitude.
In lieu of a personal photo this week, I’ve chosen one that more accurately depicts my mood and attitude.

Sheer and utter frustration.  That would sum up this one.

Saturday, March 23:  19 easy road miles.  I actually meant to run with my neighborhood group, but was having misgivings since the follicles were growing so slowly.  Kind of felt like I should just be lying on the couch growing follicles.  But then my friend Scott said he was only doing part of the hard run, so that sounded like a good compromise.  Unfortunately, I ended up setting the alarm for 6 PM instead of 6 am.  Did my Pilates/core class at 11 am, then ran after that.  Felt great at first but run slowly went downhill from there.  Got a sore throat later that night and thought I was sick again.  100 iu’s of Follistim. 

Sunday, March 24:  OFF.  I intended to get some miles in, but ….  I got really, really exhausted and couldn’t even keep my eyes open!!!  I ended up taking a 3 hour nap!  Was thankful to God and the heavens above – FINALLY having some side effects.  100 iu’s of Follistim.

Monday, March 25:  Two back to back spinning classes.  Second blood draw and scan.  Results are just as pathetic as the first, and I get the “cold” doctor, which oddly enough is the only female in the practice.  I guess she is perfectly “nice,” but she has no real warmth or bedside manner.  She also uses enough lube on the ultrasound probe to get me through about four.

The cyst had reduced its size by about half, which is excellent.  The 6mm follicle has grown to 10mm, and the 8mm follicle is up to 13mm, but that has taken ten (10!) days of shots, and at least one of them still has to get to 17mm before they’ll even think about triggering ovulation.  I am left with disconcerting news:  at least three or four days of shots to go.  I get the call from the nurse later in the day; they are keeping at 100 units for another two days.  I am frustrated now – I know I’m not the doctor, but isn’t it time to bump the dose up here?  100 iu’s of Follistim.

Tuesday, March 26:  8 hilly mid-afternoon miles (beautiful weather!) and Pilates/core class.  Run felt fantastic, especially the wearing shorts part.  100 iu’s of Follistim.  This is shot number 12 – both legs are starting to get a little sore now.  Low grade headache, but who are we kidding?

Wednesday, March 27:  5 angry treadmill miles.  Third blood draw and scan.  Follicles are now stalling; the 10mm has gone to 11mm, and the 13mm one has gone to … 15.94.  Not even close to trigger size.  I ask the doctor two questions:  why is this cycle taking so long and if in her estimation (kill me now) – the IUI will be on Easter.  She tells me that some cycles just take longer than others (gee, thanks) and then ask if Easter is a “bad day.”  I mention that I teach Sunday School, my mom will be visiting from Florida, and we’re hosting my entire family for dinner, but we’ll make it work.  She just kind of says “hmmm,” and walks out.

Will my totally adorable Martha Stewart placeholders for Easter dinner be totally wasted?  Quite possibly.
Will my totally adorable Martha Stewart placeholders for Easter dinner be totally wasted? Quite possibly.

The truth is, it is NOT okay.  It is not, not, NOT okay.  My mother and I have a very strained relationship, and I know I will be under great stress during her visit.  In addition, she only knows about these treatments in the vaguest of manners; if she knew what was going on, she would want to come with me, be in the room with me, and likely know far more details than I am willing or comfortable sharing.  And while some women get an IUI and pop up like it was a pap smear, I tend to have pretty bad cramping for most of the day.  They just knock me out for some reason, and serving a holiday dinner around that will not be easy.

Oh, and the other thing?  The selfish thing?  Didn’t I JUST cancel a trip to Florida last month over this?  Why yes, I did.  I cancelled a trip to Florida (the reason, in fact, that my mother is visiting for Eater), and now this is going to get Easter too.  The IUI’s are at 9 am – and that is IT.  There is no compromising, no changing.  And it makes sense; it does.  The IUI is timed to ovulation; ovulation is timed to the trigger shot; the trigger shot is timed to the previous set of shots all done between 8 and 9 pm.  It’s very romantic.

Call from the nurses late that afternoon.  They’re keeping me on 100 units (shocking, right) for another two days, and back again on Friday.  Now I’m worried about money too, since these scans cost us $264 apiece, and we’re lucky if we get three minutes with the doctor during them.  Run to the specialty pharmacy at 4 pm to pick up another $600 vial of hormones, since they only called in 1200 total units at the start of my cycle.  Heh.  100 iu’s of Follistim, and they have to be administed in two shots to boot, since the first vial runs out.  And these two shots – they burn like holy hell.  Must have forgotten to shake the drop of medicine off the tip of the needle.  Totally awesome day.  Low grade headache marches on.

Thursday, March 28:  11 road miles.  100 iu’s of Follistim.  Shot #14 and both legs are getting pretty damn sore.

In irreverant, but much lighter news, I am getting ready for what may be a strange Easter holiday.  When reading notes on a project I am doing involving blown Easter eggs (they are hollow in the middle so they can be used for multiple years), the writer mentions that a syringe is actually a great tool for making no-mess blown eggs.  Well, Martha, I’ve got plenty of those.  PLENTY.

Multi-tasking (and irreverance) at its very best.
Multi-tasking (and irreverance) at its very best.

Almost cry talking to my friend Maggie at church (Maundy Thursday).  Somehow, the idea that after all we’ve gone through thus far, I may not even get to see my surrogate/Sunday School kids in their Easter outfits becomes too much to bear.  Geez, world, we just wanted a kid.  But I also just want to be normal.

Friday, March 29:  8 very angry road miles.  Third blood draw and scan this week, and let me tell you, it’s a pisser.  First up, we are told by the nurses to get our bloods drawn between 7:30 and 8 am, and then to head next door for our scans.  I’m usually up to run, but I like to be early anyhow, as you can get stuck behind a line of up to two dozen women all having this done on the same day.  Look, I sat in the front row of all my lectures in undergrad too, it’s just how I am.  Well, imagine my surprise when I walk in at 7:32 am and see that eight (8!) women have already signed in, starting as early as 7 am.  So I ask the tech when the actually start taking bloods, and he says 7.  Hmpf.  Off to a great start.

I get ready for my scan, and as luck would have it, I have my “favorite” doctor again.  She comes in, and I’m determined to hold it together.  We get going on the slip and slide ultrasound, and right away I see a ridiculously huge follicle.  “Yep,” I say sarcastically.  “It’s going to be Sunday.”

“Why?” she says.  “Is Sunday a bad day?”

Salties, I have now had it.  HAD.  IT.  We have paid no less than $792 THIS WEEK for less than 10 minutes of this woman’s time, and she can’t remember a simple detail or conversation we had less than 48 hours ago?  Really?  At $79 A MINUTE, I’d really like to be a person instead of a chart number, but I digress.

But wait!  There’s more!  I run through the Easter/Sunday School/mother/dinner for ten thing again, half answering her question and half just making conversation.  And guess what she says?  Come on, guess!

“Welcome to parenthood.  It’s not up to us, it’s up to them.”

Yep.  Here I am, having paid her practice tens of thousands of dollars over the past three years (admittedly by choice) to help me get pregnant, and not yet a mother.  Here she is, with her three children already borne, and my money contributing to their well-being.  (Again, by choice.)  Maybe not the best time to welcome me to her illustrious and evasive club.

Listen.  I understand the spirit in which the comment was made, and I understand that I am sensitive and emotional due to my state.  Nevertheless.  I was not a happy camper.  Not at all.

This particular doctor is the only one who doesn’t even share the size of the follicles with me, but as I sneak a peek at the report on the screen, I see a small glimmer of hope.  Ms. 15.94 looks big on the screen, but has barely grown a full millimeter.  I don’t get a read on the runner up, but we haven’t broken 17 mm yet.  I get the call from the nurses when I am literally in the cell phone lot at the airport to pick up my mother, and they confirm my suspicions – we have managed to stave this thing off until Monday.  I also confirm that one of my preferred doctors will be doing the insemination – I’m just not ready to face the other one again quite yet.

100 iu’s of Follstim.  Shot number 15.  Bruises abound.

Weekly totals:  51 road miles, 2 hours of spinning, 700 iu’s of Follistim (a new record!) and a very bad attitude.  I’m sorry I was such a brat this week – I’ll try harder next week 🙂

Trail and adventure enthusiast. Girl who swears like a sailor but not when she's teaching Sunday School. Survived infertility without a successful pregnancy. Self-employed, primarily working for Clif Bar and Company. Thirteen 100-mile race finishes with seven top 3 placements. An original Saltine.

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  1. I am amazed at your restraint with that doctor. I would have unleashed on her for sure 🙂 That or gotten so mad I had a cry fest right there (no clue why but when I am really mad I cry, which goes against the whole image one wants when they are really pissed). Here’s hopes that Monday the follicles were ready and waiting with a much better doc.

  2. This is why I hate Dr’s they just don’t seem to give a rats ass about patients and it pisses me off to no end. Thumbs up to you for not going off on her because I probably would have. Thinking good thoughts for you today!

  3. Clove, you have the strength of 10 thousand woman. I cannot imagine the challenges that you and your husband have been through. I have been following you with these posts and I got so excited for you on the last one with the glimmer of hope in the possible pregnancy. I know how hard it is to change practices. I had an awful experience with a reproductive endocrinologist (who happens to be female) through the Cleveland Clinic. I am curious if it just may be the same woman. I left her office in tears, sobbing, each time I saw her. I have no valiant advice or words of wisdom, other than I did complain about her and I have no idea if it made on bit of difference. I think you should rip this doctor a new one. She needs to be told how insensitive she really is, in a field, where sensitivity is a must. For the amount of money that you and many, many other couples pay, she needs to be doing her job in a way that doesn’t make the blows of these scans and reports that much harder. Ugh. I am so pissed for you right now.

  4. I love reading these posts – I know that’s the wrong phrase and I would give anything to never read one of these posts again because you’re successful. But you write so beautifully and bravely. Fight on…we’re all with you.