Waffling & Worrying

It’s hard to describe the place I’m in right now, but it’s not good. The beginning of this new year has really thrown me for a loop. I waffle between despair and limited hope on a minute-to-minute basis. On New Year’s Day, it occurred to me that I have little to look forward to in 2013 at this point, only a whole long list of things to dread: my sister’s baby shower, the birth of my niece or nephew, the birth of my cousin’s little guy, endless months of fertility treatments and BFNs. So many people I know have so much to be excited about this year, but not me. Realizing that sent me sobbing into my husband’s chest as he was trying to sleep until I finally fell asleep myself. I’ve been feeling emotional and heavy-hearted ever since. 2013 terrifies me because it feels like a make-or-break kind of year. By the next New Year’s Eve, we will either have a baby, be expecting one, or be quitting fertility treatments. I don’t want to face that.

In other news, we now have a plan for my next cycle. If I haven’t ovulated by CD35 (it’s CD27 today), I am to call the nurse to let her know and then begin Provera (well — my cheapie generic kind of progesterone) to induce a period. I really want to start this tomorrow because I don’t think I’ll be ovulating any time soon and I just want to move forward, so I may just do that. And in two weeks, when my period comes, I’ll then call and not bother to mention that I took the Provera before I was supposed to.

My RE is willing to switch me to Femara for my next cycle and try that for two cycles before adding injectables, but I have spent the last week (as I waited for a damn callback from the medical assistant) thinking all of this over. As I struggle with the concept that this year will really be the beginning or the end for us, I feel a strong urge to take action. I’m tired of standing still, or of doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. I have pondered it, and prayed over it, intensely and I feel like the right answer is to move full-steam ahead, at least for now. We know that my body can and often does respond to Clomid. We don’t know how it will respond to Femara, and I don’t want to waste time trying to figure it out. Not now. So with that being said, we’ll try Clomid (I’m unsure if it will be 100 or 150mg) again (days 3-7), followed by Follistim injections until my body responds.

I feel like this is the best option for me, but there are three things causing me rather grave concerns in regards to this (three things that, once again, had me crying when I hung up from talking to the medical assistant):

  1. I learned that, with injectables, I will be required to do a baseline u/s on CD2 or 3…something I haven’t had to do thus far. I cannot tell you how hard it is for me to get into the city for these frequent ultrasounds. With driving time, it takes a total of four hours for a 15-minute appointment. On top of that, I have to drag my husband along with me because there is no way I can keep Cupcake quiet and occupied for 15-30 minutes while my feet are up in the stirrups (yes, it has taken 30 minutes in the past for a monitoring u/s because of stupid Lefty who likes to play hide-and-seek). I can forfeit my time, but I worry about the impact on Honey’s job and the extra $200 that yet another u/s will cost me.
  2. Follistim is not cheap, nor are the ultrasounds and, because I don’t often respond immediately to the Clomid (maybe Follistim will be different?), I often need several ultrasounds. Furthermore, I can’t really prepare for the costs because I don’t know how long I’ll have to take the Follistim for each cycle and I don’t yet know if my insurance will be covering the ultrasounds…but I’m expecting it won’t. So I’m freaking out about the expense and, even with some financial support from my mom, I am afraid we’ll get in over our heads…but what other choice do we have? Stop trying before we’re ready? I can’t let money be the be all and end all, but the thought of a huge bill at the end of each month is causing a great deal of panic.
  3. This is the least of my worries, and rather vain and petty, but I have heard the horror stories of the weight gain injectables can cause. I have struggled with weight and body image my whole life. I grew up thin and tall for my age, but gained fifty pounds in my early adolescence and it forever changed the way I look at myself. I lost that weight in college and have maintained a healthy weight ever since (ten years now!), but I still live in fear of regaining those pounds. I don’t want to be fat again.

So that’s all I know right now. I’ll be starting progesterone to bring on yet another CD1 sometime in the next week. I’m ready to take a more aggressive approach because I’m losing patience with all of this crap, but I’m terrified of the consequences of said approach. And I’m tired. I’m tired of feeling this way. I just want to have the same hope and optimism that I had when we rang in 2012. But I feel like that girl is long, long gone.

15 thoughts on “Waffling & Worrying

  1. FWIW I have some extra femara if you did decide you wanted to try it. I didn’t gain any weight using follistim and responded well. I realize everyone is different but I was just trying to help you find some hope. It is still there, but I understand feeling like it isn’t. Hugs

  2. Injectables definitely require more monitoring due to the risk of hyperstimulation. Maybe you could put together a little activity packet for your little one for appointments? I didn’t have much weight gain on injectables, just from the cumulative effect of so many failed cycles. I hope this new plan works for you. My insurance covers all monitoring despite not covering IVF so maybe you will get lucky. Best of luck to you!

  3. Stupid insurance! I hope they cover some of it. Those ultrasounds add up so darn fast. I hope that this next cycle goes smoothly and brings you lots of renewed hope for the new year!

  4. ((((Hugs))) I know moving to injectables is a little overwhelming! I found follistim to be very manageable and it is what helped me to get pregnant twice. Hoping it works its magic for you too. My new dr is trying something new with me this cycle (Bravelle) so I can relate to something new! Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone!!

  5. I am still waiting to find out what I will be using, but when I do I may have to come over here and freak out a little. I am pertifed of injecatbles! Good luck on old reliable clomid. I hope it does the trick!

  6. Dear friend, I hope you can find some peace and hope in the midst of all of this turmoil. I have been feeling some of the same lately, and can totally relate. I am dreading what would have been my due date with Gummy Bear, and the fact that my best friend’s baby girl is due only a week before. I am so thankful for this community, and friends like you, that help me get through all of these overwhelming moments. ❤

    Also FWIW, I don't have a tendency to gain weight at all, but since starting medicated cycles over the past few years I have gained a few pounds. I haven't noticed much difference with Menopur, but I noticed that I did gain weight on Clomid, and that I didn't gain anything (so far…) on Femara. We all respond differently, so I hope they can find what works best for you!

    Oh – one last thing – my doc is VERY lax about monitoring… Maybe it's just because my numbers seem to never fluctuate and I don't have a tendency toward a thin lining or cysts, but I only have one monitoring u/s around CD11 most cycles. Maybe your doc would be willing to consider bloodwork monitoring instead of multiple ultrasounds? …Might be worth asking.

    Hang in there, friend. Praying for you always. ❤

  7. Don’t worry your pretty head about gaining weight on injectables. I was on them all of last year and though I gained a bit of weight (a few pounds) I’m POSITIVE it had more to do with me sitting on the couch and eating twinkies. With Cupcake and all the running around you do- I bet a million $ that you won’t see any change.

    Also, be sure to express your angst over the cost of the meds. My RE was aware of our situation and often gave me samples and donated meds many, many times to help offset the cost. And when I was pregnant, I used to donate my meds back to the clinic. It was a really nice system of give and take- and REALLY helped with the cost.

  8. I hope the new plan works for you. It sounds like you’ve been on Clomid so long it’s lost a bit of its magic, and changing it up a bit might do the trick. I totally understand the fear of what it will cost, though, especially when you’re not sure how long you’ll be taking the Follistim or how many ultrasounds you’ll need. Not being able to plan for that kind of stuff makes it really hard. Hang in there. I know you’re not done trying yet!

  9. Hi darlin. Thanks for the sweet comment ion my blog. Wanted to let you know I’m praying for you. Your struggles seem so overbearing right now. Don’t completely give up your optimism. Hope can be like a dangerous drug but without it we become butter. Maybe seeing a therapist just to talk about your feelings would help? When I feel out of control that’s what seems to help me the most 🙂

    • Thanks so much for the prayers and kind words. I have considered therapy actually and may have to look into it at some point. Our insurance doesn’t cover it, though, so it would be one more expense out-of-pocket. Sigh.

  10. Well, I was going to say that I think injectables would actually be a nice change to make because they really are quite manageable, and the customizable aspect of them almost guarantees that you will respond. Plus the upside of all the monitoring is that you get to actually see a bit more about how your body responds… however, as I kept reading I saw some of the downsides to that monitoring in your case… I understand the stress of that and the cost, of course. Ugh. I hope you end up not needing the provera and I’ll be thinking of you!!

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