Clove’s Training and Fertility Treatment Log: Week 4, Cycle One

Random family photo from a couple years ago.  The Blackfords are hanging in there!
Random family photo from a couple years ago. The Blackfords are hanging in there!

Grrrrr.  That would sum up this week, though it appears to be on an upswing.

As soon as I started feeling better from the symptoms of the hcg shot, I got that cold.  As soon as the cold started to get a bit better, I found out I was going to have to do a “booster” shot of hcg.  The cold got worse again before it got better, I had a stressful work week, running is still not as joyous as I’d like it to be, and then I finally got the results of my progesterone check to confirm that I ovulated, and ….

Not so hot.

I’ll get into details below, but for a girl who had two massive follicles and a third one that looked likely, my pitiful 10.2 was a major disappointment.  Now, the nurses will stress that it doesn’t mean that I’m not pregnant and that they’ve seen it happen, but I went down that road with my 8 in a previous cycle, and it gets you nowhere.

So my period is due tomorrow, which throws one final wrench into plans.  The single trip that I have to take for work this month is at the end of next week and goes into the following week.  Assuming my period starts tomorrow or Sunday as expected, that means I’d be starting shots on Monday or Tuesday, which means I’d be out of town at the height of monitoring season – which means they won’t let me do shots.  So I’ll likely be on a more mild drug that comes in pill form called Femara, which requires less monitoring but isn’t as effective.  I’m allowed to do Femara even if I developed cysts from this cycle; that’s actually a small consolation, because we don’t have to take the month entirely off.  Oh, the joy.

Saturday, March 2:  OFF.  I didn’t plan it this way, but I was sick.  And since my week starts on a Saturday, I had the whole damn week to find a 21 mile run.  Still pregnant, but stopped taking pictures of the stick.  Figure you get the point now.  No energy whatsoever, but between the cold, my inability to breathe, and my general ick-ness, who knows what’s what?

Sunday, March 3:  OFF.  I actually woke up feeling worse, and was a little bit feverish.  DB kept me home from church, telling me God would forgive me and the childrens’ parents would kill me.  Alternated between sleeping, eating carbs and drinking grapefruit juice all day.  Finally broke a clammy sweat late in the day and was hopeful the germs were finally evacuating.

Monday, March 4:  7 indoor treadmill miles and a single spin class.  Still felt terrible, but worked from bed all day and really couldn’t go another day mentally without working out.  DB and I decided that running in a temperature controlled environment was safer, and the fact that I was willing to go seven on a treadmill proved I was ready to run again.  Stayed between 6.0 and 7.5 to keep from pushing too hard.  Early morning fun at the blood lab.  Had to go in for my 7 dpo progesterone draw.  Woke up still feeling sick as a dog and it took me forever to motivate.  Finally realized at the last minute that since I was only getting a blood draw and not an ultrasound, I didn’t have to shower.  Got there late, got a new tech who seemed to think the goal was to get the entire needle embedded in my vein, and didn’t confirm with me that the ID on the vial was correct (I peeked, but it ticks me off when there’s 20 freaking vials in the holder and they don’t check).  Came back home, went back to bed.  Yes, I did shower later in the day :)

But wait – there’s more!  I got to do something really really fun called a “booster” shot.  Yep.  2,500 iu’s more of hcg.  So this is basically a chemical trick on your body.  If a cycle looks good, they’ll sometimes have you give yourself a mini-dose of hcg one week after the original dose.  This reminds your body “hey, I’m pregnant,” so that if the problem with you actually getting pregnant has been that you don’t produce enough of the right chemicals quickly enough (i.e. you’re a weak starter or a slow starter), this gets your body doing all the stuff it should be doing to give the blastocyst a little extra time to set up shop and get moving of its own volition.  It also renders “testing out” moot, especially if you have a shorter luteal phase.  Mine is 12 days, plus my booster was a day late because you can’t do it until your progesterone is drawn, and mine was drawn a day late since I ovulated on a Sunday.  The bottom line:  it is entirely possible for me to get a positive pregnancy test Saturday morning (from residual hcg) and still start my period.  PS.  This shot managed to hurt like a b**ch and I’m all pregnant again.

Tuesday, March 5:  7 indoor treadmill miles and a single spin class.  Woke up to run with the Tuesday group and decided to bag it sometime around the 15th tissue.  Texted my Pilates/core teacher that I was out and went back to bed.  Yeah, the other reason I bagged the morning stuff was because the nausea was back.  Not testing (truly pointless waste of money now), but still pregnant. 

Wednesday, March 6:  8 hilly miles through the neighborhood.  Decided I was ready to run outside again.  Barely managed 10’s.  Between residual cold, chemical pregnancy and what is probably an obscene progesterone level due to the three follicles, I am not surprised.  I do note to myself that Wednesday runs of late have been futile, fruitless exercises of time.  Huge old painful welt in my right quad from the shot and double-sports bras for the battered boobies.  It’s kind of like the end of a marathon, when you can’t believe you paid to do this to yourself ;)

Thursday, March 7:  9.5 mid-day miles through the neighborhood due to beautiful forecast and a single spin class.  It is beautiful and I feel fantastic!  Best run I have had since Rocky.  I haven’t been getting caught up in pace, but it’s the first time my legs feel a little light and lose.  I’m only in a single long sleeve shirt and the sun in shining.  I take a mental note to remind Salty readers again that you can have great runs in the luteal phase.  Quad still sore, boobs still sore, and DB asks me the million dollar question:  “so, do you feel like you’re getting your period?”  I don’t know what I feel except for a sore quad and sore boobs.  This waiting thing is one of the worst parts – you have no idea at all what you’re feeling, but in the guy’s mind, at least you’re in the body that does or doesn’t have the baby, so can’t you tell ANYTHING? 

Get call from the lab.  Progesterone comes back at the measly 10.2.  The good news is, over three means ovulation so
I definitely ovulated.  The bad news is:  on a medicated cycle, they like to see it >20.  I’ve had a 39 and 58, and
those are the times they think I had brief chemical pregnancies.  Another thing to note:  the progesterone read is
per follicle, meaning you should be pulling the peak for each follicle.  So I had these two follicles that were allegedly gang-busters and the third one that was likely to make a break for it – now we have to pray that ONE of the gang-busters went all out and pulled that 10.2, and that the piddly 10.2 isn’t divided over 2 or 3 follicles, dragging them all down to  3’s or 5’s.  But if that’s indeed the case, then it means that we only had one target – not the two or three we hoped for.  Good fun.  I never should have educated myself on all of this.  Sometimes I think ignorance might be bliss.

When DB hears the number, he says “well, that was fun.”

Friday, March 8:  5 easy miles on the bike path due to long run on Saturday.  Proud of myself that I didn’t force myself to “make up” last week’s missed long run and let myself get better.  I knew that if there was any chance I was pregnant, I shouldn’t be dividing my resources between “possible pregnancy,” really bad cold, and forced 21 mile run.  I’ve been nothing if not dedicated.  Beautiful weather again.  Boobs still obnoxiously sore – seriously, it’s been a month here.  Period due tomorrow – and round two begins.

Weekly totals:  36.5 miles (ugh, but with the scratched long run would have been mid-50’s, which is where I’m trying to stay); 3 hours of spinning; one blood draw; 1,500 iu’s of Pregnyl; weight all over the place.

 Clove’s Training and Fertility Treatment Log: Week 3, Cycle One

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

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. You need to print all these training logs out in a few years’ time and make your grumpy teenager read them so he/she can see just how hard you worked to have them and what a great Mum you’ve been since the beginning. Hang in there…that baby is coming!

  2. So why did I also have a nasty cold last week?

    I really appreciate this comment, because it possibly reflects the thoughts a lot of readers might have, but are afraid to say.

    I don’t want to speak for Clove, but I want to address something that I think this comment might be getting at and something I’ve seen a lot in following other pregnant runners over these last few years.

    When it comes to getting pregnant, pregnancy and motherhood we women all have an idea about what it will take, what’s right, etc. Many of us engage in very black and white thinking about the rights and wrongs when it comes to this stuff. But just as with everything else, what’s right for one woman, might not be right for the next and to judge what someone else is doing doesn’t really serve any of us. For instance, some women can run a lot of miles through their whole pregnancies. My mileage dropped off dramatically during all three of mine. Sometimes I had the impulse to assume that those women who were running tons and barely gaining weight didn’t value their pregnancies as highly as I did or were being reckless. Neither was probably true. When we make those kinds of judgments we’re assuming a lot about the person we’re judging – that she doesn’t care; that she doesn’t know what we know; that she isn’t communicating with her doctor; that she’s obsessed with running or whatever. And in the process we try to justify our own decisions or validate our own experiences. I’m not saying you are doing this – this is the internet and I’m not going to 100% assume that’s where you’re going with this even though it does “sound” like it. Please clarify if I am wrong!

    Maybe you feel that way about running – conception is out of your control, but running is. That’s good to know about yourself, but because that’s your experience doesn’t mean it’s someone else’s. And because someone wants to run doesn’t mean she forsakes everything else in the pursuit of that. Running is a lot of things for many of us and it’s not the bad guy here.

    Anyway, again, I just want to expand the conversation here and clear the air a little bit. If I’m wrong about what I’m reading into your comment please let me know.


  3. Why are you killing yourself to get these miles in? Running at the gym while sick (spreading illness to others), guilting yourself over not doing a 21-miler, plus obsessing over progesterone numbers. No wonder you caught a bad cold!

    I know how difficult it all is…I am going through it too. You wish you could control the infertility part and predict the future. Unfortunately the only thing you can control is the amount of distance you run. Except that you got a cold and couldn’t do that either.

    Take it easy!!

  4. At the risk of completely irritating you (sorry in advance) please try to be positive now even if it seems impossible. Put the illness and hard facts out of your mind (blow them up as I say to my young boys during races – hey, it works!). Breathe, dear Clove and give DB a big hug. This is HARD. It is a tough road and the hardest race for both of you. But you are okay. You are doing great. Stay the course…

  5. My fingers are so crossed that I think I might have broken one! I like to think you have a baby that just likes to do things on his/her own time and with his/her own numbers. A stubborn, unique little individual unlike anyone else I know :)

    1. Unique and little is fair, stubborn is not. I eat all forms of macaroni. Elbows, shells, fusilli, wheels, spirals, bowtie, farfalle …

      1. Considering running 21 miles when sick and undergoing a hormonal siege is pretty darn stubborn in my book :) And that’s cool. Remember, I’m a Taurus, so this is totally a pot/kettle moment.

  6. as weird as the following statement is going to be, i’m going to say it anyway. i’m DYING to know if you started your period!!! i’ve never been pregnant or tried to become pregnant so the only advice/encouragement i can offer is this: listen to your body, listen to your heart, have faith and hang in there!!! xoxoxox p.s. thanks again for sharing this with all of us!