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Thursday, 24 February 2011

The Simmering

Cycle number: 9
Cycle day: 11
Meds: Met
Outlook: -_-

So two weekends ago we went to visit Bubble's mum for the day and decided to tell her we are ttc and about my fertility problems. We did this for a few reasons:
  • so that if/when I do get pregnant, it is not a total shock
  • so that we have additional support through the whole thing (particularly since my mum made it clear we can't get it from her...)
  • so that she would feel included from the beginning
  • to prevent unsolicited familial comments such as "so when are you two gonna have one then?"
Since my sister got pregnant, I realised one of the things I was most sad about was that I don't get to produce my parents' first grandchild. I had seen it as a rite of passage for them that I was totally excluded from, but being the older child, I felt that it should've been mine to provide. Instead, I thought, we will at least produce Bubble's mum's first grandchild. She was thrilled to bits for us when we told her, and interested and concerned to hear about the fertility issues. We made it clear that it could be several years before we get a baby (if we get one at all). I talked to her about the treatments I'd had and may have in the future, and how Bubble would be going for a second semen analysis to rule out any problems his "end".
Flash forward 5 days, and it didn't help my severe Clo.mid side effects to hear that my soon to be sister-in-law is randomly, unexpectedly pregnant. Big shock, not least because she and Bubble's brother have only just got back together after a six month long split. She's two months gone, and apparently confident that it's his. It was a final straw for me. Officially, everyone I know is pregnant; all friends, all family of reproductive age, co-workers or their spouses. There is now no refuge from pregnancy, anywhere I turn someone with a particular glow is there smiling back at me.

On top of this we found out that Bubble's mum had been spilling the beans about US ttc. She told Bubble's brother and his pregnant girlfriend not only that we were ttc, but about my problems too. I felt ever so slightly betrayed by this - as we had told her in confidence and I didn't expect within days it would be a general discussion topic.

Bubble's mum had also spilled the beans to her sister and mother (i.e. Bubble's aunt and grandma) that we are ttc (but nothing about my problems). I couldn't work out if this was better or somehow worse - my privacy has been kept, but telling family we are ttc like we have no problems means that in six months if nothing has happened people are going to start asking questions. Or generally think that it's ok to bring up the topic of us trying to reproduce when we are at family gatherings.

This was all too much and I admit I howled for hours. We took it for granted she would keep it quiet given the situation, but I now realise I need to spell it out for people - the more people that know, the greater the pressure of expectation on something that could take years to happen. I know she was just happy and excited for us, and meant us no harm, but it's all come at a bad time. I'm now left kind of wishing that we had just kept it to ourselves.

This weekend I have to meet up with an ex-colleague who is about 4 months pregnant. It's the first time I'll have seen her since it happened. She's been pushing and pushing for us to meet up, even though we weren't particularly good friends (though she did know about us ttc) and now I can't help but think that she just wants to show off her bump and talk non-stop about baby stuff. I'm dreading it.

And then the same night I am going out for a birthday meal with my parents, and Bubble's mum, brother and his pregnant girlfriend. What a happy little party that is going to be.....NOT. I have already told Bubble that if the conversation hovers on pregnancy or babies for longer than a picosecond I am getting up and walking out.

And then Sunday is my 28th birthday. And 4 years since I first started ttc. And 1 year since I started ttc with Bubble.

I hate that I've become such a bitter person when it comes to other people being pregnant and other people involving themselves in my fertility issues, but I don't know how else to be. I can't help it if I get upset about these things, or feel angry, or both. And I try hard not to let people see how I feel because I don't want them to feel hurt or think badly of me. So I have to just let it simmer

One down..

Cycle number: 9
Cycle day: 11
Meds: Met
Outlook: Strangely calm

So I am Clo.mid-resistant. I found out yesterday when I went in for my first monitoring scan. I was upped to 100mg this cycle, CD 3-7, and I felt hopeful that I would have some kind of response, but apparently my follicles just aren't bothered. I was worried this would happen when I didn't ovulate last month, but I had read of people who didn't respond straight away but did later on a higher dose. If it was my choice I would probably try one more cycle with 150mg just to be sure that I just don't need a much higher dose than most people, but I have been told it's the end of the line for me and Clo.mid.

The good news is I will be moving on to Meno.pur, which contains human gonadotrophin extracted from the urine of postmenopausal women. No that wasn't a typing error. It's an injectable made up of follicular stimulating hormone and lutenizing hormone, which hopefully assists the eggs on their route to maturity. I don't know all the details yet but I do know I will be injecting myself in the abdomen with this tasty concoction, a scary thought in itself. I may even be able to start in a couple of weeks if my lining remains thin, rather than have to wait for my period or take Pro.vera again, which is also good news.

But in general it does seem like pretty bad news. I had always heard that Clo.mid was pretty much a wonder drug, people getting pregnant on their first cycle, people taking it for a couple of cycles and then stopping only to get their BFP, and when I was getting ready for my first Clo.mid cycle I really thought "At last I have a shot" - to at least ovulate if not get knocked up. And Clo.mid always seemed like the most obvious answer, like anything else was a last resort and it would be time to panic. I always assumed I would have the full 6 cycles (the maximum allowed) and only then if it still hadn't worked I would move on to something new. 

I'm left with mixed feelings - on the one hand, it would've been frustrating to sit through cycle after unsuccessful cycle with no ovulation and therefore no chance of pregnancy. But on the other I've now ticked off one of the most potent treatments from my list of options, a list that will only get smaller as time goes on.

I've tried to make myself feel better by telling myself it's clearly a sign that my body is too intelligent - Clo.mid works by fooling your brain into thinking that there is no estrogen in your system, so that your brain produces more and this should (in theory) be the kick start the follicles need to get ready for ovulation. But my brain isn't having any of it. I should've known better than to try self deception.

The Meno.pur, however, simply supplements the hormones you already have; it's a much more straight-down-the-line drug, no trickery. And reassuringly my consultant said that just because I haven't responded to Clo.mid, it doesn't mean I am less likely to respond to anything else. I go back for a scan next week but I'm confident there will be no change, and then I will just have to wait about 10 more days before starting the new treatment (they like to leave at least 4 weeks between treatments).

The Clo.mid did wreak havoc with my emotions though. On my second day of it, I was almost in tears for much of the day (stress at work) and then I broke down in the evening (for reasons I will expand on in a separate post). Let's hope the next one's not so bad...