24 October 2010

Fertility Drugs: Round One

After feeling like an ovulation failure, I had to make a decision: to start hormones, or give nature a little more time. I discussed it with my NP, thinking (or more so "hoping") she would encourage me to give nature a couple more months before making my internal reproductive organs dependent upon drugs.  After all, I had explained to her my desire to take teeny, tiny steps in this process, not wanting to feel like I jumped from nature to needle just to guarantee the chance at pregnancy.  At the end of our last phone conversation, she said she wanted to start Clomid (click here for drug info) on the 5th day of my next menstrual cycle.  I wouldn't have to come in for another test beforehand, but I would have to have more blood drawn later to test my progesterone levels again.


Since I started openly blogging and discussing our fertility situation, I have come across several women--friends, co-workers, even my yoga instructor--who have been through the same series of TTC events, but they tried for far longer than we have.  Some have been through far more traumatic TTC experiences, such as months of expensive hormone shots or multiple miscarriages.  While it's comforting to know we are far from alone in our situation, we haven't even had so much as a "pregnancy scare".  Michael and I committed to attempting parenthood roughly 16 months ago.  To compare it to the women who struggled with fertility for 3 or more years, I feel like we threw in the towel too early.  Maybe it's absurd--well, probably altogether senseless--to feel this way, but it's one I'm having difficulty shaking.

With all that said, I made the phone call.  They phoned in the prescription.  I picked it up from Kroger.  I waited until the 5th day to pop the first one.  Now I'm on my last pill for this cycle.  Sure, it has caused a couple of minor side effects (upset stomach, small mood swings),  but all the pep talks and pats on the back still leave me feeling like I should have waited just a little while longer.

Why does she torture herself with these thoughts? you might ask.  Isn't the whole point of all this to get pregnant?  Yes, of course it is.  But is it so wrong to wish that your body could do it on its own?  Shoot, Michael and I take medications so rarely, they end up expiring before we can empty their bottles.  Especially Michael…he has been sick ONCE since we met nearly 9 years ago.  I take cough syrup when I have a cold or pack Tylenol PM in my purse to help me sleep on a long flight, but we are rarely dependent on meds unless we feel they are absolutely necessary.  Even with my proneness to my "pulling a Vikki" accidents that end with a hole in my foot or a cut in my finger, I can't even finish a tube of Neosporin before it's out of date.  Antibiotics for a chest infection?  That's needed.  Hyomax for unbearable intestinal spasms?  Sure, if I want to keep my food down!  Have I reached the "point of needing medicinal intervention" in this fertility journey?  I just can't decide.

In the words of one of my friends from one of our back-and-forth Facebook messages: "Who knew getting pregnant could be so difficult?"
I certainly didn't know.  It seems so easy for many women I encounter on a daily basis: women with 6 kids under the age of 5, women who aren't in committed relationships, women who weren't trying, women who never wanted babies to begin with.

What I need to remember, though, is this: if there is the worry, the agonizing decision-making, the multiple doctor visits, the bonding with others in the same boat, the side effects of drugs you didn't want to take in the first place now…it will certainly be worth all the efforts when there is a healthy baby for Michael and me to call our own.

End of Round 1.  Ding.

1 comment:

A. Hab. said...

Hey Vik, I've been thinking the past couple of days about the "right" response to your post. Before I say anything, though, an obvious caveat: Robert and I haven't started trying, so I haven't been where you are; I'm not a doctor; I have absolutely zero experience in this.

That said, my immediate reaction to your questions about waiting more and going through what your other peers have gone through was: why torture yourself? Is it possible that you could have waited a little longer and gotten pregnant? Who knows? Maybe. Is it possible that waiting longer would only have resulted in further trauma? Who knows? Maybe. From where I'm sitting, I think taking the first round of drugs is only going to help.

I think you've paid your dues to the fertility gods. No, you may not have waited as long as some other women in your boat, but does that have to be a requirement? You and Michael want a baby now. You're ready now. Why not give yourselves the best chance now?

I'm actually excited for you, and I hope this is going to help you guys. :)


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