Category Archives: Clomid

Occupational Hazard

I started my Clomid last night, and today I was a bit of a wreck. I don’t have any physical side effects but after H’s less-than-subtle comments last cycle I’m was alert for mood changes. I had a rough day at work today, and to be fair I can’t really blame that on the Clomid, but it does seem to impede my ability to cope. Sometimes today, in an endeavour to distract myself from tears, I imagined Clomid as a balaclava-clad criminal who had hand-cuffed and hog-tied my usually resilient coping skills before locking them in the trunk of an abandoned car. I wanted to cry. I wanted to yell. I wanted a nap. And, dammit, I wanted the keys to that trunk!!

It’s not really the Clomid at fault though. To be truthful, it’s been a rough week at work. It’s busy, and we just don’t seem to be able to get on top of our workload. But that is only part of the problem.

At the moment I work on a psychiatric ward. Challenging work at best, and occasionally distressing. But this week I have found it difficult for a new reason. We have a patient on the ward who has been very unwell but who is thankfully getting better. I have been involved in several in-depth discussions with her this week. Just like all of us, she has many problems. One of her major issues is that she has been through 10 years of IVF treatment. She does have one child, but she has also suffered numerous failed attempts, side effects, and miscarriages. She’s undergone two laparoscopies. And recently, when it became clear that at 48 years old there would be no more pregnancies, she had to make the decision to destroy the last of her frozen embryos. She sobbed as she told me this. To her, these embryos were her child’s brothers and sisters.

I don’t want to suggest that infertility or IVF are the reason this woman is unwell. She had mental health problems for some years before she began fertility treatments. But it was clear listening to her that the whole experience has been hugely traumatic. She refused any blood tests when she was admitted to hospital because after so many blood tests and injections during IVF she now has a needle phobia. She has so much scar tissue in her abdomen from laparoscopies and a caesarean section that she developed a sub-acute bowel obstruction this week. Her marriage has slowly disintegrated while she focussed all her energy on IVF and her husband withdrew emotionally to avoid the pain and disappointment. They gave up on sex years before they finally gave up on IVF.

As if this story was not already too close to home, I soon discovered another commonality. She too had been diagnosed with a pituitary adenoma. She was treated with the exact same medication I was due to start before my Prolactin levels mysteriously normalised, much to my Endocrinologist’s amazement. This medication, Bromocriptine, seriously messes with the Dopamine levels in your brain and one of it’s more serious side-effects is psychosis. When my doctor discussed this drug he told H that he would need to be vigilant about monitoring my mental state. H, ever the jester, postulated aloud that Psychotic Tio probably wouldn’t be all that different from Everyday Tio. It might seem like a cheeky comment to make in a doctor’s office, but it made me smile. This comment reminded me that my darling H wouldn’t let me take things too seriously, and it told me that he wasn’t scared to face whatever might lie ahead.

But this woman, who already suffers from psychosis, needed to take a medication that causes psychosis in order to have a chance at conceiving. How much scarier can it get?

I tried to remind myself that to some degree, her story is one of success. She has a child that she adores. But I just couldn’t shake the horrible feeling that to some degree, this woman will never recover from the trauma of IVF.

It was confronting to sit and listen to this story. I wanted to reach out and hug this woman, but I could not. I wanted to cry, but I could not. I wanted to excuse myself from the room, run from the building, drive desperately home and give H a great big hug. But I could not.

I have had a sobering reminder this week of just how destructive infertility can be.  I am going to have to carefully assess my emotional state tomorrow before I decide if I can walk back into that interview room.

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Filed under Clomid, Infertility, Photos, Pituitary Adenoma

Day One, the Second Time Around

It’s CD1! I’m tired, and sore, and grumpy. Cramps woke me up out of a sound sleep at 3am this morning. But I don’t care, because tomorrow I get to start Clomid again, and that makes me happy and hopeful.

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Filed under Clomid, Infertility

Stef, this one is for you….

It seems like I’m not the only impatient one around here!

To save Stef over at Baby Blakely too much more angst, I’ve logged in to give you a quick update.

As of waking up this morning, my period has not arrived, although yesterday I felt sure it was just around the corner. I dutifully peed on a stick and got one lonely little line.  I ‘celebrated’ by having a cup of coffee on my way to work this morning.

I feel fine. I was honestly expecting a negative test, so much so that I had a couple of glasses of wine on Saturday night (which went straight to my head – I’m very out of practice at drinking alcohol!).

I expect to be starting my second round of Clomid on Wednesday, or Thursday at a push. I feel positive. To be honest, this part is much easier for me than the 2WW was – I almost lost my mind during that time. I just can’t handle the stagnation, the feeling of helplessness. I feel much better when I can do something proactive, even if it is only popping one tiny pill every night.

The good news is that I’m pretty sure I ovulated on only 50mg of Clomid, and I didn’t get many troubling side effects. It’s hard to complain about a result like that. I should be getting the results of my Progesterone level back today to confirm that I did ovulate.

I spoke to my Mum on the phone last night. She lives overseas. Rather, I live overseas, she lives in our native country. Next month or early March she will either be coming to visit for the weekend or I’ll go home to see her. She wants us to go through some of my baby items that she saved and select something for me to keep at home to give to our baby when it arrives. She is so excited. Isn’t this a lovely idea? Even though I’m her youngest child this will be her first grandchild.

Okay girls, I hope this update has done it’s job! I’ll let you know once I get my Progesterone level back.

Have a happy Monday!

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Filed under 2WW, Clomid, Infertility

I may have spoken too soon…

Last night my husband and I were sitting down after dinner and I was chatting away about a few things and mentioned how pleased I was that I hadn’t had any side effects from the Provera and Clomid. H gave me a sideways glance and asked what the SEs are. I mumbled something vague about mood swings etc etc, and noticed H trying to hide a smile.

“Why are you laughing?! Do you think I’m having MOOD SWINGS?!!!”

Ah , oops. I really wasn’t intending on yelling at him. I guess there’s my answer.

After H recovered from his fits of laughter he was able to convey that yes, perhaps my mood has seemed a little labile of late. I don’t know if it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, but a couple of times at work today I had to fight back tears. Things are pretty stressful there at the moment because my colleague is away on leave and because of the holidays I’m trying to cram 5 days of work into 3 days. On top of that I’m distracted by all my personal medical shenanigans. We don’t get mobile phone reception at work so I have to run around the corridors in my spare moments or wait until there’s no one around to make medical appointments and get results. And unfortunately my boss – who’s lovely – just hasn’t been very effectual this week. He works much better at a slow pace than a fast one! I pushed and pushed this morning to get some important tasks done, but somehow we still ended up spending our time on tasks that to me seem much less urgent. And I know what that means… tomorrow will be even worse than today.

This situation just reminded me so much of this time last year. It was a couple of weeks before Christmas 2008 that my pituitary tumour and PCOS were diagnosed, and I was upset and stressed trying to organise all my medical reviews and scans, all the while dealing with a very disorganised and unsympathetic senior staff member. I was working a particularly stressful job at that time and unfortunately my off-sider was off on extended compassionate leave. Luckily my seniors’  manager was fabulous and when I confided in him he really helped facilitate things for me. There certainly were some tears at work last year though, so feeling teary today just brought all those feelings flooding back.

Okay, my whinge is over! Now it’s time to hunker down to some Indian takeaway with H. It’s a particular treat that we love to indulge in from time-to-time (ie frequently), and although a 38 C day doesn’t seem like the best timing to eat hot Indian food, neither of us wanted to cook!

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Filed under Clomid, Infertility, PCOS, Pituitary Adenoma, Provera

An Apology, a Holiday, and an Update

First, an apology

I signed up to ICLW for the first time this month. I had the best intentions but H and I have been away for the last 2 days and I haven’t commented at all during that time. I didn’t even log in! However I did manage to make my quota on the other days, and I ‘met’ some nice new bloggers, so I’m really pleased I took part. 

Second, I thought I’d give you a quick run down on our little holiday

H had to work Christmas this year but when we found out that we were both off work for the following three days we decided to make the most of such a rare occurrence and head out of the city for some R&R. I was able to find a B&B with a vacancy in a seaside town we have previously visited on a day trip. The town Sorrento is located on a peninsula so we were literally surrounded by beaches. 

The B&B was a beautiful quaint cottage from the 1800s and it had been beautifully restored. Check out the photos – particularly the huge bath tub! 

                                                    

It would have been a great place for some serious baby-making but the timing meant we had to find other ways to occupy our time. Not difficult! 

On Day One we relaxed, had a beer at the local pub, ate dinner outside in the lovely garden, and fell asleep before the sun went down! 

Day Two consisted of a visit to the rough beaches on the eastern side, a coffee with the view of the ocean (well, chai latte for me since I’m avoiding caffeine), and a short walk up to an observation point. Then we headed down the road to the next town where we had been told there was an amazing pub. We found the pub, and sat in the fabulous back garden with a view of the ocean. I read my book and H did the crossword with the help of a beer. The rest of the day consisted of some quality time with my towel and my book at the inner beach followed by dinner at a local restaurant. 

I had a little ‘IF moment’ while lying on the beach. There were lots of families on the beach, and there was one particular family nearby with two aborable toddlers. I was watching them play in the sea, and I was struck (as I often am) by how much genuine enjoyment children get out of life. These kids were ecstatically happy splashing in the water while mum and dad looked on. And I so badly wanted to see our kids doing that. I wanted to be like all those other families at the beach. I got a bit teary and H noticed and without having to ask he knew why I was upset. He quickly got me smiling and some time later – stating he’d had too much sun for one day – he took himself off for a walk in town. Later that day when we were back in our room, H presented me with a white box. I opened it to find the most adorable little baby shirt. He’s bought it on his walk so that I had something tangible to remind me that we will have a child.

                                                             

On Day Three we headed checked out of the B&B at about 10am, and toured around the peninsula for the day. We stopped at a boutique brewery so H could try the beer (are you sensing a theme here?) and then had a picnic lunch before heading back to the city. 

                                                 

The highlights? The croissants at the B&B – as good as any I’ve had in France; and the Pizza at the local restaurant – better than any I’ve ever had in Italy!    

Third, a TTC update

I’m thinking about my ovaries. In fact, I think about them quite a lot. I wonder if, after so many months – perhaps years – of sitting dormant, they will know what to do in response to the Clomid. Can old ovaries learn new tricks? Or is it a case of ‘once a dumb ovary, always a dumb ovary’? Hm, I can just picture my lumpy little ovary sitting sullenly in the corner of my pelvis wearing a dunce cap on his lumpy little head. (I’m not sure why I picture my ovaries as male, it seems counter-intuitive. Maybe because I think a well-raised female ovary would have the good manners to ovulate on time, as scheduled).    

Today is CD5 and so far my body hasn’t dared to utter the slightest complaint about the 50mg of Clomid I have been consuming every night. Maybe my body hasn’t even noticed. Long may it continue, I say, just as long as I actually ovulate.    

In good news, the long and frustrating 8 day wait for CD1 after stopping Provera has actually worked out quite nicely, thank you. It means that my MRI scan is scheduled for CD11, and even if  my body turns into an overachiever and I manage to both ovulate and fertilise by CD11, there’s no way in hell that the little blastocyst will have implanted. This means I can get my shot of MRI contrast without fretting about giving birth to a two-headed baby with a voice like Fran Drescher. Thank God, because I really wasn’t looking forward to those nightmares.

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Filed under Blogging, Clomid, Infertility, Non-IF Stuff, Photos

Merry Christmas, Blogosphere

Today is great for two reasons.

One: it is Christmas. I love Christmas, and any other celebration for that matter.

Two: tonight I take my very first Clomid.

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Filed under Clomid, Non-IF Stuff, Photos