To Love a Rose: An Ethiopian Adoption Journal

Monday, February 28, 2011

Cycle 2, Follicle Study 2

I am bursting with things I want and need to say, but I really need time to process what I've been through these past few days before I write them down here.  Virginia Woolf used to say that she knew she was ready to begin writing a new novel when she "had a first sentence".  In general, I subscribe to that myself; and honestly, even though I've got so much to say, I still don't "have my first sentence" yet.

Even so, I know that if you've been visiting here lately, you've been hearing crickets; and I'm sorry for that.  So, until I can write some of the emotional progress I've been making, I thought I'd share some of the physical progress today.

As you can probably guess by now, medicated and inject cycle #1 did NOT "work".  As in, we're not pregnant.  Although we weren't expecting it to work the first time around, I have to say it was pretty disappointing to finally know that you actually have a chance (because up until now, I've never ovulated while we were trying; which, of course, makes it all moot) and not succeed.  I've heard it said about IF time and again, but it merits repeating: this is one of those things in life where hard work, determination, and merit mean nothing.  In other words, I can't just put in more hours on this or study harder or be a better person.  In other's not a merit thing, it's a miracle thing.

I've had to come to terms with some hard core facts about God this past weekend, and I will write about them soon - SOON!  I promise (you and myself)!  But for now, I am moving forward in cycle #2 with my head up and full of miraculous expectancy.  It's time to change my perspective and practice what I preach.

First off, I'm going to look at the positives and not focus on the negatives.  So, here goes:  cycle #1 I was on 50 mg a day of Clomid supplemented by Estradiol vaginal suppositories until day #13.  At that point, I had another internal ultrasound (between the pre-cancer and IF, I'm an old pro at these!); and my doctor decided that I had three potential follicles (eggs), but that while they were growing, they weren't quite up to a satisfactory size yet.

So, for the next three days, I continued my Estradiol suppositories and also gave myself FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) via subcutaneous shots in my stomach.  Yes, fun-fun.  I posted about that earlier, if you'd like to see pix, just scroll down, you sicko!  HA!  On the fourth day, one more internal ultrasound - only one follicle had reached a good size.  Not a great size, but a good enough size.  Also, the Estradiol had kept my endometrial lining good (I was at a 10); so, Dr. S said we could go ahead and do the Ovidrel "trigger" shot (a subcutaneous shot in the stomach of pure HCG - "human chorionic gonadotropin" - that forces the stimulated follicle to burst from the ovum, thus ovulating).  After the shot, I started taking Prometrium (progesterone) suppositories every night instead of the Estradiol, "just in case" I conceived but didn't have enough progesterone to foster implantation.

On CD#16, I gave myself the trigger shot.  We timed everything "just so" according to our doctor's orders; then we waited.  After the 2ww (two week wait), blood was drawn; and we found out that we were absolutely NOT pregnant.  In fact, my beta level was literally "0".  Yeah.  *frowny face*

Now, I know that it sounds as though cycle #1 was a big, fat failure.  And, I have to admit, at the time, it did feel that way.  I started doubting that this was ever going to work, etc.  However, there is MUCH to be grateful for.  #1: the lowest dose of Clomid "works" for me, #2: I ovulated!  Can you say "BREAKTHROUGH"?!, #3: Beyond some dizziness, a few slight headaches, and teeny tiny bit of nausea, I've had NO adverse reactions to the meds - thank you GOD!

So, what now?  Well, we're on cycle #2.  In fact, tomorrow will be CD#11; and I have, yes you guessed it, another internal ultrasound/follicle study! Woo!  I am believing that this cycle is even better than the last one.  Heck, I'm going to go into this believing that this IS the last cycle!  So, far, I've been on Clomid (again 50 mg) and Estradiol; and all has been good.  And you know what?  It's just going to keep getting better! 

Oh!  I'm also working out like crazy!  I was always good about working out before, but Dr. S says that women with PCOS can really benefit from working out (and working out hard) every day - not just for IF (although he seems to think it will help with TTC) but in general.  So, I've been pushing myself harder and harder.  I am on the treadmill for at least 45 minutes to an hour; then, it's on to weights for 15-20 minutes more.  I also started eating better.  Again, I've never been a "fast food junkie" or anything; but I probably could have tried a little bit harder to eat better.  So, Mr. C and I have been nearly vegetarian (I say "nearly" because I had three days where I was visiting my mom for her birthday and eating entirely vegetarian at my parent's house doesn't always work) this entire cycle.  We feel so good we're thinking of keeping it up indefinitely!

Okay, okay...I'm done!  I swear!  Haha!  Just make sure you check back again soon...I promise I'll have some good stuff up here lickity split!

Jiggity Jig,


  1. UPDATE: I had one GREAT follicle on CD #11 at my ultrasound. So, I gave myself the trigger shot that night. However, my LH was low; so, we had to time our baby dancing for 36 hours later on CD #13 (when I should have ovulated). I am now 2 DPO...into the 2ww I go! Prayers and good thoughts would be much appreciated!!!! :-)

  2. Prayers and Happy Baby thoughts coming your way