Category Archives: Clomid take 4 – why is this taking so long? Or, Epic Clomid Fail

It was where we had left it

Day two of Medrohoojimaflipsterone, aka provera. Look at me, being all clever and delaying it a few days so I wouldn’t get my period while I spend next weekend with friends. Any bets on how badly that will backfire?

Clomid take 4 is officially over, thank Cripes and his little wingéd minions. Tether, end of, overtaken many weeks ago, I rather think.

*twiddles thumbs*

Meanwhile, H found the ladder to the hayloft, so I am a) sleeping better and b) offering to do laundry and make dinner, so well done him. I confess I burst into furious tears and told him I really resented people thinking it was me who had hidden the damn ladder, and I was trying to be nice and patient, especially with FIL’s surgery, dammit, but look! Miserable FAIL! Coming right atcha! Snivel snivel snarl! H, having, clearly, the oddest ideas about fore-play in the United Kingdom, promptly took me to bed.

I shall not dream of complaining. Even if the unwonted and vigorous exercise did my hip in and made me spend 24 hours limping about clutching at it. SMALL PRICE TO PAY, say I. My hip, by the way, is what I was clutching at. OK? OK. Stop smirking now, it’s undignified.

We are going back to see the Counsellor tomorrow evening. Dear God in Heaven, do you suppose we’ll have to talk about sex?


Through the medium of the Spaghetti Western reference

The Infertility and Loss Counsellor:

  • The Good – She lives just around the corner. H got up and bared his manly forearms and did all the phoning and organising appointments himself, and all I had to do was turn up, clutching his hand and looking frail and interesting. She made Useful and Interesting suggestions. I started crying piteously the moment I mentioned Pikaia and didn’t stop until the end of the session, and, you know, that was OK. Not only was it OK, she seemed to think it perfectly normal. And she had tissues with butterflies on. So. Nine months on, crying, to be expected. I am relieved.
  • The Bad – H and I have been rowing almost non-stop since the appointment. Mostly because every little thing H does makes me want to scream. And probably because we’ve spent nine months not dealing with each other’s reactions to the miscarriage, and going to the counsellor is making us deal. Which is the point. Which I am not dealing with.
  • The Ugly – My reaction to H’s latest attempt to explain that he compartmentalises his feelings and doesn’t express much emotion over these issues because he wants to ‘stay strong’ for me. I think I accused him of not so much ‘staying strong’ for me, as staying out of it for him. What’s worse, I am right, and H admits it. Fuck.

The consultation with Miss Consultant:

  • The Good – Miss Consultant was very sweet. She apologised for the 40 minute languish in the overheated waiting room, watching small children and little old ladies queue to get their hearing checked. She wants to do some more Clomid cycles. She wants to monitor the next one. She was pleased I had lost weight. She had checked my notes and decided the Fallopian Tube looked OK. There was no more talk of fibroids (see? I told you I didn’t have a fibroid).
  • The Bad – I completely forgot to grill her like a kebab over a) the impossibility of getting in touch with her by telephone, b) incidentally, why the fuck are my periods still so ungodly painful? and c) the incommunicado thing again. And then she said, as we were leaving, ‘stay in touch!’. I caught H’s eye. Ah hah hah hah.
  • The Ugly – She warned me that not only do my IVF clinic want you have a BMI of 30 or under before they treat you, they also want you to have been that way for six months. And then we looked at a BMI chart and worked out I have to lose 2 (two) (that’s one, and then a whole ‘nother one) stone, and then KEEP IT OFF for six months. At which point, praising me for the few pounds I have lost seemed a little like praising Moby Dick for only drowning most of the crew.

FIL:

  • The Good – he’s back home again at last.
  • The Bad – on Warfarin and with a pacemaker.
  • The Ugly – I don’t know if there is an ugly on this, and I bloody well hope there isn’t.

Everything else:

  • The Good – I have three new bras that fit. And that I bought with minimum inconvenience and sobbing, in the first retailer of undergarments that I entered. Admittedly, they are not lingerie, in that they are sturdy and beige (‘nude’, it says on the box), but then nothing I wear is lingerie. Every lingerie retailer I have lingered in has made it pretty clear to me that lingerie is mostly designed for those who do not need support or corralling.
  • The Bad – Insomnia. Work very tedious and dull right now. H and I have stopped having sex again, probably due to the FIL situation and the general pointlessness of this cycle, but just because I understand and can sympathise doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it (also, rows mentioned above? Lack of sex could be a factor, don’t you think? Or are only men allowed to be like that). The flat is damp.
  • The Ugly – My mood.

Ambivalence, I haz it.

So, you weren’t sure how on earth I was feeling on being given an appointment, an actual appointment, with the IVF clinic. To be honest, neither was I. Gob-smacked will do for now. I thought we wouldn’t reach the top of the list until September at the earliest.

But I can’t be all delighted about it. I simply can’t. I’m not done here yet.

As I was saying to my brand new infertility and loss counsellor this evening, I got pregnant on nothing but Clomid once before. The sperm works, the tube works, the lining works, all we need is an egg, and if we can get an egg and bang like a barn door in a twister, we will get pregnant again. Won’t we? I’ve only ovulated three times since Pikaia, so statistically it was Not Likely even if two of said ovulations hadn’t been very very late and therefore probably a bit manky. In any case, don’t we get to try it that way?

As for my body’s current rejection of all things Clomid, well, I was only on 50 mg an evening, and I hear of women taking 100, 150, mg routinely. I may very simply need a larger dose. In any case, don’t we get to try it that way?

And then, if Clomid really doesn’t work for me any more, there’s Femara. That induces ovulation in PCOS women, doesn’t it? And it doesn’t thin the uterine lining like Clomid can. Though I have heard Femara works less well on fatter women, so my arse might get in the way. In any case, don’t we get to try it that way?

And then, there’s the tube. I know I said it worked. Well, it worked for Pikaia. I don’t know if it works any more, what with That Infection. If it is Comprehensively Buggered, as the HSG lady likes to insist, they’ll probably want to remove it before doing IVF in case it is leaking Evil Fluids of Unspeakable Embryonic Doom back into the uterine cavity. Apparantly buggered fallopian tubes do this, the little bastards. If they do take the tube, it’s IVF or nothing. No hope of a Whoopsie Hello Miracle Baby. No hope of the Surprise! I didn’t downregulate! ultrasound. No making the child of our hearts in the first bed we bought together. And I’m going to have to process losing that chance, however miniscule it ever was going to have been.

And I feel all this giving up and moving on has been forced on me, by bureaucracy, by Miss Consultant’s lackadaisical attitude to her patients’ requests for advice, by this cycle being so stupid and long and doomed. And I am stubborn. I do not give up and move on easily. I will damn well master this level before I go on to the next.

And I do so want a real chance at conceiving our child in our bed. Even if it doesn’t work, I so very much want to have had that chance.


More stuff.

Item – I’m not over-keen on doing two ‘Item’ posts in a row, it makes me feel unimaginative, but Life Is Like That.

Item – FIL needs a pace-maker after all. This is not the NHS’s fault. Some hearts react badly to being poked with a knife. However, the NHS contracted his original surgery out to a private hospital (to keep to their time targets) and then, when said surgery needed follow-up, said private hospital washed their hands of him as they had NOT been contracted to do follow-up care, necessitating his transfer back to an NHS hospital, which didn’t have a clue when they could pace-maker him, leaving everyone in WTF limbo for a while, and we are talking about a man whose heart is refusing to beat properly here, no, I’m too cross to continue this sentence.

Item – I am a socialist and a very very firm believer in socialised medicine, and I have heard enough horror tales from the States to know that paying insurance and then up-front or co-pay for your medical care in no fucking way at all gets you any better care at all, and even if the NHS is shit sometimes at least it’s shit evenly across the board instead of saving its shit for the poor, the vulnerable, people with sick children, infertile people whose insurance doesn’t cover anything except viagra, and women with complicated obstetrics problems who find they are being charged for the privilege of bleeding half-to-death in hospital rather than bleeding totally-to-death at home, as prolonged hospital stays are not covered by their insurance. At least, if I want to collapse, the NHS can’t charge me extra for doing it when they weren’t expecting it.

Item – Nevertheless, contracting out to private hospitals was a remarkably stupid idea for just this reason, and I’d like to get hold of the politico whose idea it was and contract out his appendix removal but, crucially, not the stitching of the incision, and see how he likes it.

Item – At which point, it’s only fair to let you know FIL got his pace-maker this afternoon, and what with it being a nice simple operation, he’s going to be allowed home this weekend.

Item – Phew.

Item – H and I are veering between being the most loved-up couple, floating in a cloud of pink hearts and blue-birds and feeding each other chocolate truffles, and scratching each-other’s eyes out.

Item – Roll on the counselling on Monday.

Item – I still haven’t a) ovulated or b) got my period. Heigh ho.


Where’s my head at?

Item – No news about H’s Dad. Which is good.

Item – No sleep either. Which is bad.

Item – H (yes, H) has booked us (yes, us) and appointment with a counsellor. One who specialises in infertility and loss. On Monday. Shout out to HFF, who recommended the counsellor.

Item – Christ, I’m tired.

Item – My boss actually dragged me aside to have a word with me about the amount of sick-days I’ve taken recently. She was very sweet and understanding, and just wanted to be sure I was managing at work and that I was seeking proper medical attention for the recurrent migraine thing. Yes, said I. The hospital appointment next Wednesday, right? said she. Errrr, said I, before bottling it completely and nodding. Because, suddenly, the idea of saying, no, the Wednesday appointment is to try and poach six month’s wages off you for no work while I spawn, did not appeal.

Item – Mostly because we all know the chances of me spawning at current rate of progress are somewhere between laughable and abysmal.

Item – And anyway, I need to save that conversation for when (if, dammit, you pessimistic eejit, if) we start the IUI/IVF gallop.

Item – Did I mention I was tired? Being tired and sleep-deprived is the best way I know to trigger a migraine in myself. And just now, I feel too paranoid to deal with that. I shall have to haul ass into work anyway and spend the day sobbing and drooling and walking into bookshelves there.

Item – I hate being a migraine sufferer so very, very much.


Scream if you want to go faster

Miss Consultant’s poor benighted secretary, a cross between an angel, a slave and wikipedia, got back to me yesterday. Guess what Miss Consultant wants me to do?

Wait.

Because I’m seeing her on the 25th and what’s two more weeks?

Well, for starters, if she’d got back to me when I first asked, it’d’ve been four weeks and pretty much enough time for another whole cycle, but never mind. It’s not like I’ve spent the two weeks I’ve been begging for her attention filling in IVF paperwork or any other little thing like that that concentrates the mind WONDERFULLY.

It’s not that I want to not do IVF, not that I’m hugely keen on needles and bloating. But I did want to give Clomid a proper actual try, you know, with several goes and a possibility of it working properly on account of my actually ovulating, before I jogged on to the next task in this giant game of Myst, Infertile Island Edition.

Because Clomid worked before (Hah. See? These infertility doctors are infecting me with their jargon. ‘Worked’ indeed). And if all the matter is, is I can’t ovulate or, at least, can’t ovulate in a timely fashion and before the given egg has been boiled hard in a soup of estrogen and LH, then surely Clomid is the answer. Therefore the thing to do is get me to ovulate before the end of the third week of the cycle, several cycles in a row. And then panic and bring on the needles. Surely. And all this fucking about waiting for clinic appointments because my consultant ‘doesn’t do’ calling back, is a complete waste of time.

Incidentally, H was on an IVF message board earlier this week (no, I had no idea, this was his own spontaneous action, and I was so startled at the information I think I forgot to be touched and delighted), and Miss Consultant apparantly has rather a reputation for being inaccessible and not answering her patients’ calls.

Dear Christ in heaven, why me?

—————————————————

In other Fairly Major News, my FIL had open-heart surgery today. He seems to have come through it fine, and they didn’t have to replace anything with metal or pig-parts, which was a worry and is a bonus (I mean, my MIL is an insomniac as it is – imagine asking the poor woman to sleep next to a man who clanks all night). He’s still sedated in Intensive Care (normal after a heart op), so we have to wait, wait, waitwaitwaitwaitwait, until tomorrow to get a proper update. H is like a cat in a rocking-chair factory, poor lamb. Think happy thoughts for H’s Dad, and H’s Mum, and grandparents, and brother, and for H too, please, dear internets.


In which I scream very crossly indeed for quite some minutes.

Do you know what? I’m actually glad that I’ll be doing NHS IVF at a different Health Care Trust. Because I have had it to here with this lot. No, I still haven’t heard from Miss Consultant. Of course I haven’t. I’ve only been calling for three weeks now. Why on earth should she get back to me in three weeks? It’s not urgent. I’m not dying. Since when does she give a monkeys’ either way if I do or do not respond to 50mg of Clomid? I left another message on her Secretary’s answerphone today. Secretary did not get back to me.

I think homicide is sometimes justifiable. I read that somewhere.

To all American readers now completely freaked out about socialised medicine, don’t be. I am fairly sure that my clinic are abnormally negligent, because I live in an area renowned, fucking RENOWNED, people, for the absolute shiteness of its NHS Trust, expecially with regard to gynecology and obstetrics. Nearly all the other ones are better. I promise.

But I can’t move house because each Trust starts you off at the bottom of the list again.

Anyway, I have an appointment with Miss Consultant on the 25th of February, and Words Will Be Said about this. About how I could be half-way through cycle 5 by now if she’d only responded the first time I tried to get some kind of guidance as to what to do next. About how amazingly frustrating it is to spend so much time in limbo when your 34th birthday is charging you down like a rhino and then it will be a year, a whole year, since you’ve been pregnant. About what is the point of being someone’s fertility consultant if you never ever answer calls and queries – are we trying to get people pregnant here, or just fannying about? Word chosen advisedly, before you ask.

Do consultants take the blindest notice of Words Said? Or Written? Would there be any point above and beyond venting?

(I had a grouchy little fantasy, this week, in which I was freakin’ hospitalised with something Unmonitored Clomid related. And then I sued her. And won. Hah hah).

Would it be pointless and stupid to take the provera anyway, and try another round of 50mg of Clomid, with or without Miss Consultant’s input? Because if on the 25th she asks me ‘why have you only done one round of Clomid since I last saw you?’ I will scream and cry and carry on. I will. And I will get written off as a neurotic hysteric and it won’t help anything in the slightest.


Let us be positive

Positive OPK Saturday morning.

Why?

(And also, I told you so. I did not ovulate last week. For the record, I am also right about international politics, how to hang laundry, and spelling. Do not argue).

Of course, we shall have no idea as to whether this was a real positive OPK or a ‘ha ha ha you’ve got PCOS’ OPK for a few more days, and I’m betting on the latter, because it’s a good, safe bet that’s unlikely to lose us wads of cash – except, wait, IVF! That’s expensive! – and I’d rather spend my wads of cash on books, coffee and yarn (no, not yarn. H and I have had words about the amount of yarn strewn over the flat. Not yarn, sweetie, I promise). What the hell am I drivelling about?

Tomorrow, I phone Miss Consultant and her Secretary again, and I will Say Things, very politely, about handing out prescription medications with known side-effects and then going incommunicado.

Because I just want this cycle over. OH. VER. Please. Moving swiftly on. Case closed. Filed. Done.

And I shall call the next Clomid cycle something incredibly buoyant and perky; clomid 5 – It’s fabulous!, or – Every day in every way, I am getting better and better! or even – Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!


Oh, come now. Make sense.

Item – My fertility chart thinks I might have ovulated on Monday.

Item – I don’t.

Item – I have now called Miss Consultant, or, rather, Miss Consultant’s Secretary, four times to ask what the buggery hey is going on with this cycle and what should I be doing about it. Provera? Wait until I see her on the 25th? And if I do bleed, all by myself or not, should I try another round of Clomid? Or, as I said, wait? What? Secretary has taken notes and promised to put them and my files on Miss Consultant’s desk and ask Miss Consultant to call me, or at least give Secretary a message to pass on to me. And Miss Consultant and her Secretary have called me back with advice and recommendations exactly no (nada, none) times.

Item – Dear Internets, what do I do now?

Item – And I’ll tell you why it’s urgent. I’m spotting. I feel a little crampy. The Cute Ute appears to have had quite enough of all this shilly-shallying and may be preparing to jettison lining. Which is why I don’t really think I ovulated on Monday. So, I suppose, I might need to know about Clomid Take 5 in the next, oh, 24 to 36 hours?

Item – I hope Miss Consultant feels guilty about me all weekend. I really do.


I am intolerable. Please beat me with sticks

There’s a stereotype, isn’t there. The Bitter And Deranged Infertile Lady (Bitter McTwisted!). The one who cries at the sight of babies and wants to push pregnant ladies under buses, who owns too many cats and possibly a life-size doll in a hand-knitted layette.

Yes, well, anyway. That aitn’t me.

Yet.

We’re not allowed pets in this rented flat, you see.

So, I went to this family wedding, and it was great. Really great. From the dear old git making a complete hash of the The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba on the church organ (H and I had the Queen of Sheba. On CD. Unmangled. Thank you), to the last soppy, silly, cute, hilarious dance. From the flower-girls skipping and prancing like ponies down the aisle to fending off the Drunk and Inappropriate uncle (there’s one at every wedding). H even got up and dragged me to the dance floor, an Event which last happened at some point shortly before the Bronze Age. It was splendid.

But I had, I just had to have, a Bitter McTwisted Moment. My Sister-in-Law has a grown-up daughter by her previous marriage, and this daughter is apparently a great example to me and a general encouragement to my hopefulness, apparently, because she had a miscarriage. And then went on to have three children in four years. So, umm, not exactly infertile at all, but that’s such a technicality, don’t you think? Anyway, baby number three is due any moment, is, in fact, a little overdue, so naturally SIL was all excited and had her mobile phone on the table infront of her throughout the wedding dinner and of course had to corner me and tell me how excited she was and how happy she was and how awkward three kids under four was going to be for her daughter (who, is, yes, younger than me, logically enough), (also, my heart freakin’ bleeds already), and so on and so on, and eventually I excused myself and went to find a deserted corridor to lurk in and a cold brick wall to press my forehead against. You-all know why.

H came to find me after a little while, and we hugged, and I went back to the party, and by that time the band was playing and conversation was no longer an unavoidable social duty.

Gah. I really hate myself for letting someone else’s happiness and excitement get to me like that. As if it’s anything to do with me. As if I need to let it in and play Compare and Contrast with my own fortunes.

Bitter McTwisted has been having all too many outings recently. For another example, I have another Internet site I hang out at – it is absolutely nothing to do with Infertility and my involvement with it predates my attempts on Citadel Baby by some years – and the people I’ve met through it are lovely and fantastic and we all share our lives and anecdotes and support each other and I have been avoiding the place for weeks, now, and I miss them and I am beating myself up about it regularly, and why? Because I feel so very uncomfortable there now. Because I am absolutely fucking miserable, and can’t share it there. Because there are pregnant women. Because there are people who hate babies and shit like that. Because there are family people whose families just turned up as and when. And because they have said things like ‘I’m sure it’ll all work out for you,’ and ‘you just need to be patient,’ and then gone straight back to complaining about how the fact they had one previous caesarian and then a second healthy pregnancy and birth means they are ‘rubbish’ at having children (um… two healthy babies in the same time-scale that I had surgery, two HSGs, three rounds of clomid, a miscarriage, more surgery, an infection, and now no longer respond to Clomid and am filling out IVF paper-work and SHE’S rubbish at having babies?). And because I have tried to talk about how miserable I feel there recently and been completely blanked, and I don’t know if people just can’t think of what to say, or don’t really know what I’m talking about because my troubles are not important enough for them to keep up with, or think I need to hush up and get over it already so are refusing to indulge me, or because my role is Funny Lady and I do not earn my existance there by being boring and miserable. And because I am skinned raw and have no patience or emotional elasticity left and need to be treated with kid gloves. And the longer I stay away, the harder it is for me to go back.

And I most certainly AM self-aware and intelligent enough to realise that it’s all nothing whatsoever to do with me. It’s not a competition, other people’s lives do not and cannot stop just because mine’s gone all crappy, their sorrows and joys are exactly and absolutely as hugely important as mine if not massively more so, and the reason I am not getting all the support I want is almost certainly because I am being a complete fucking wimp at asking for it.

But Bitter McTwisted is having a field-day and I can’t seem to rein her in just now.


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