The Bitch Is Back

July 3, 2010

Aunt Flow showed up on my doorstep yesterday quite unexpectedly. With a suitcase full of giant cramps. I thought it was 10-11 DPO. I had thought the spotting the night before was implantation bleeding. I stupidly allowed myself to hope a little more than usual. When will I learn?

Let’s recap Cycle 2:
First of all I can’t believe this is only Cycle 2. It feels like forever. In fact it has been 8 months now since my diagnosis. We waited a few months on HRT to see what my body might do on its own. Right Guy and I were officially “trying” but my my body wasn’t cooperating. So I eventually tried Clomid not thinking I would get much response. POF/POIers don’t typically respond well to Clomid. My response was beautiful for Cycle 1. I got a BFN but I was ecstatic that a $10 drug worked. Until it gave me a cyst. So I had to wait for Cycle 2.

Nothing about Cycle 2 has gone right. When I went in for my CD12 ultrasound I had 2 follicles – neither mature. I was kind of expecting that news since I had been fairly crampy the first time around and this time not. So we canceled the plan for the Ovidrel trigger shot and just waited to see if my body would finish the job on its own. Meanwhile, my morning temperatures were a little erratic. Which was another clue that things weren’t going right. When I started to feel crampy I told Right Guy we should go for it even thought the OPKs were saying no. So we did for a few days. Then I sort of gave up when the OPKs kept coming back negative. My temps were just a wee bit higher but still not high enough to indicate I had ovulated. Or so I thought. Then the OPKs started coming up positive. So we went back to trying. And a couple of days later the temps went up – but again, only slightly. But it was technically up enough to indicate ovulation. I still wasn’t sure so I went in and got my progesterone tested. 14.4. An outstanding progesterone level. I thought things were looking up.

Since the Clomid hadn’t worked as planned, the new plan was to make sure I primed with estrogen before each cycle – no matter what protocol we use (Clomid or injectibles). So I had put my estrogen patch back on as soon as I thought I had probably ovulated. I reasoned that the Estrogen was the reason my temps were low. They never went above 98. This whole cycle my temps were in the 97s (with one dip to 96.9). But I chose to ignore the temps. I was trying to focus on the positive – I had ovulated!
Aunt Flo
So now that Aunt Flo has shown up I’m wondering whether she is indeed early. Or did she show up right on time? Did I ovulate before the + OPKs? If that’s the case my body is screwed up. Or did I ovulate when I think I did and she’s early? In which case my body is screwed up. Why am I surprised that my body would be screwed up? We already knew that. I guess I was just hoping that it was only screwed up in the one way we already know about.

And what’s with Aunt Flo’s suitcase full of cramps? Do I have another cyst? Is it the endometriosis? All I know is that it is not fun. I’m not doubled over in pain just yet. But I don’t feel too far from that point.

This Week’s ReCap

June 18, 2010

It’s been an eventful week and I’ve been posting a lot. So I decided to post a much shorter version of it all with links back to the long versions in case you want more info.

In the past week:

So I saw my RE yesterday and we came up with a new plan. I feel better just having a plan. Although, I’m not particularly convinced it’s going to work but… I’ve got to try. But I suppose I also feel better about it not working since Right Guy and I discussed our other options the other night. You can read about that here if you want. I just need to have a plan. I’m fine with plans changing but I need to have one.

I had the option of trying the clomid again (with an estrogen primer) but I chose to be more aggressive. The clock is ticking. Regardless of what protocol I use in the future this failed Clomid cycle proves that I absolutely HAVE to have an estrogen primer. When I’m off the estrogen for too long nothing is going to help: not Clomid, not injectibles. They all work in roughly the same manner: they raise your FSH. My FSH is already high so it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the problem there. And my reserve is abysmal so all the treatments in the world can’t coax out an egg that doesn’t exist.

So the plan is to use a cocktail of FSH and LH. I have to go take a class to learn how to mix them up. I did go to bartending school once upon a blue moon so I think I can handle mixing my hormones. But this protocol means more shots and more monitoring ultrasounds. Gonna be interesting. I’m not sure what would come after this if it doesn’t work. She just said we could keep going until I’m either pregnant or my body proves it’s definitively not going to cooperate.

I didn’t even ask about IVF. I just don’t see how it’s possible. I know there are some die hard POFers out there who say not to give up on the idea of IVF but if I don’t have the eggs, I don’t have the eggs. The RE did briefly mention Donor Eggs but we’re not there yet and she knows that. I did ask about IUI. Everyone I encounter in this virtual infertility world seems to do them. But it doesn’t appear that I need it. Right Guy’s sperm is good and I don’t have any other issues (that we know about) so she said it wouldn’t really help us any.

So I took my 100 mg of Clomid on cycles days 3-5 as instructed. Today is CD12. And I had my ultrasound this morning. I’ve been a little worried all week that it wasn’t working since I didn’t really have much cramping this time. Geez, I hate being right sometimes! I was hoping I was just being paranoid. But no. It’s official. The Clomid did not work this month. I have 2 follies (one on each ovary) and neither are mature. So no Ovidrel this month. The current plan is to just use OPKs next week to see if I O on my own. As usual, I saw the fellow this morning, so I’m waiting on a call back from my doc to see what the plan is for next month. Even though I knew this was probably coming I’m still kind of… well… almost devastated. I just don’t see how this is ever going to happen for me.

I’m pretty sure I know why it worked last time and didn’t work this time. It’s something I suspected might happen even before I took the Clomid this month. But I was trying to remain positive. Maybe sometimes I shouldn’t do that and I should bring up these concerns with the doc. Since I was freaking right. I could kick myself. I really should have asked her what the chances were of it working without the estrogen primer. Anyway, enough of that here’s the explanation.

My FSH is high because my egg supply is low. When I don’t produce eggs/ovulate my body just produces more and more FSH to try and grow and release a follie. That’s pretty much what Clomid does too. So, given that my body is already unsuccessfully doing essentially the same thing as Clomid I was leary of it to begin with. BUT. The estrogen patch I was on before lowered my FSH. And I think that’s why the Clomid worked before. It’s been 3 months since I’ve been on the estrogen patch so I assume my FSH went back up. And that’s why the Clomid didn’t work this time. I really need that estrogen patch. But I can’t be on it while I’m on fertility drugs. But without it the fertility drugs don’t work. Such a Catch-22.

No babies of my own. Maybe I’ll get lucky but I think my odds of that are on par with winning the lottery. Maybe I should start buying tickets. Maybe I’ll win the lottery and then be able to afford adoption. 😛