Friday, 10 April 2009

First Clomiphene cycle report

Well, it's been a bit of a rollercoaster.

After getting over the initial hurdle of being prescribed an anti-psychotic rather than an ovulation enhancer - a 'mistake' at which all of my mates, to a woman, have chuckled a little too warmly - I got on with dutifully taking the five pills every evening upon arriving home from work.

The side effects started at the end of day two with a stinker of a headache, but that was a) nothing I couldn't handle and b) not entirely unexpected, as I used to suffer dreadfully from migraine while I was on the Pill. It was one of those headaches that sits just behind one temple, and that evening found me lying on the couch with a cooling gel strip plastered to my forehead looking not unlike a lunatic.

By day three I was feeling queasy, with certain smells - like coffee - making it worse, in a what I felt was an unnecessarily cruel simulation of pregnancy symptoms. I usually drink several coffees a day at work but have completely gone off it this month, switching to peppermint tea. I'm not sure whether it's because I know caffeine would be bad for any baby or babies that might result from this course of medication or whether I genuinely have developed a hormonal aversion to the smell, but for whatever reason I can't stand the thought of it.

Day three - Wednesday - was actually my worst day as I had some low cramping plus general nausea all day, and then the headache returned in the late afternoon. I got a bit worried then in case things got progressively worse, but actually days four and five were OK - still slightly headachey and out of sorts, but nothing dramatic. By the time I took the last pill on the evening of Friday 27 March, I felt quite positive that I'd got through it without too many negative side effects.

By a stroke of luck I took a trip to London that weekend with my friends - a belated birthday present to go to Wembley Stadium and watch England play Slovakia. It was something I'd always wanted to do before I was 30, and I'm glad to have achieved it. Now if I can just have that baby...

Going away for the weekend was great as it took my mind off the residual nausea that was still lurking somewhere deep in the pit of my stomach. When I returned on the Sunday night I felt refreshed, focused and ready to get busy with hubby.

We'd made our first foray into the newly chemical-pumped recesses of my reproductive system before I departed on Saturday morning, and having both booked the Monday off work, we were able to get down to it then too. I'd guessed that ovulation would probably occur last weekend, which coincided with days 14 and 15 of my cycle, but I felt there was no harm in making an early start.

Then last weekend I definitely ovulated. I mean, I felt it. I'll look like a fool if my bloodwork on Tuesday shows that I haven't, but I was sitting at another football match last Saturday when I became aware of a stabbing, twisting sort of pain very low down on one side of my lower abdomen. It went on all day and got progressively worse.

I had to work immediately after the football but completed what I needed to do as soon as I could and then rushed home, threw open the front door and yelled something along the loving, enticing lines of: "I think I'm ovulating. Start taking your clothes off."

Still in pain as I was, our efforts were memorable for all the wrong reasons. I've probably never had sex mid-ovulation before - certainly not mid-Clomiphene-induced-ovulation - and it hurt. It hurt like hell. Not the sex, but the pressure the (ahem) thrusting put on my aching ovary. For context, it hurt almost as much as the HSG. At one point I had to bite my hand to keep from crying out - again, for all the wrong reasons! I knew if I told hubby I was suffering it'd put him off and he'd insist on stopping, so I just went with it and didn't say anything till afterward. But regardless of how sore it was, I felt hopeful that we'd tried at the right sort of time.

Then we hit some problems. Even though I was pretty sure the pain indicated ovulation had happened on Saturday, I'd read that it can hurt for two or three days and the egg can be released at any point during that time, so naturally I wanted to have another go on Sunday when I woke to find the pain still there. And herein lies the problem. I am like a woman possessed when I think I am ovulating. I honestly could not give the remotest fuck about hubby's enjoyment of the act, and I certainly don't get anything out of it myself. It becomes a dogged, almost workmanlike act, and all I care about is getting sperm into the right place, then lying still for as long as I can.

Hubby has trouble with this, which in my kinder moments I can see is fair enough. I should probably be thankful that he hasn't left me for a twentysomething sex kitten who is interested in sex for reasons other than the end product. But then in other moments I think it is fair for me to feel that way after everything I have been through to get us to this stage. It's a tricky one and I've referred to it before as the opposite of sex.

The upshot is there was no money shot that night. He couldn't do it. As you might imagine, this did not make me happy. My reaction did not make him happy and we had a nasty, nasty fight before he retreated into the spare room - from where it is notoriously difficult to make a baby.

On Monday I phoned the clinic and told them about the pain over the weekend - seeking reassurance, I guess - and the nurse said it definitely sounded like ovulation, that it might last another day or two, and that my bloodwork on Tuesday 14th would likely show elevated progesterone levels and therefore a good response to the lowest dosage of clomiphene.

So now it's limbo. I have to wait till Tuesday for my blood test, then wait for results which will tell me whether I'm right and it worked or I am a psychosomatic freak. If it's the latter at least they know they can always prescribe me that anti-psychotic.

And here's the kicker. If my blood results show that it did work, I'll have to go back for another blood test a week or two later to see if I'm pregnant or not. My period is due, insofar as mine are ever due, next Saturday, the 19th. My mum thinks I should "break the cycle" this time round and not succumb to the temptation of a pregnancy test.

It's so weird to think that right now, I probably have a better chance than I've had all these long three years of there being a tiny cluster of cells working its way into my womb. I really hope, if there are, that my little cluster finds it a warm and welcoming environment, somewhere it can hang on tight.


paisley said...

starting my first clomid cycle. tonight's dose will be day 3. next week is blood tests, ultrasounds, and then injection. this sucks but hopefully it will happen sooner rather than later. its a relief knowing someone else is dealing with this and sex can be fun again!

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