Monday, September 28, 2009

A Day At The Clinic

For many of you experiencing infertility, this is old news. I thought I'd share what a typical visit to my fertility clinic is like during cycle monitoring...

- The clinic opens at 7am and I like to be there by 6:50am to make sure I'm the first there
- The first step is to get blood taken... pretty standard stuff.
- Then it's off to ultrasound. There is a wonderful receptionist at my clinic who often lets me sneak in first even if my appointment time is later. Getting to work on time is a huge potential stress for me and this really helps. The ultrasound is the not-so-fun internal kind and can take anywhere from 2 to 20 minutes depending on what's happening inside. The goal of fertility drugs is to produce more follicles (eggs) to increase chances, so the ultrasound is to measure the quantity and size of follicles as well as how thick the lining of your uterus is. It always amazes me that they can track these things so closely.
- After that you wait for a nurse who will review your progress and then wait for a doctor who essentially does the same. They also make decisions based on bloodwork. I'll often get a phone call later in the day when my results are in with doctors orders to change my dose of drugs for the night.

I have a love/hate relationship with my clinic. It is large and many women are herded through each day. There is a different doctor on call each day so various people are making decisions on your protocol. I only ever see my specialist at specific appointments. Each doctor is different with a slightly different philosophy and of course, they make mistakes. I have to remember they are human. The good thing in my specialist often calls in to check in on her patients and ultimately makes the decisions when she can. It is comforting to see so many other women struggling to get pregnant and sometimes I see someone who makes me feel young... it's amazing who's trying to have a baby out there. My naturopath told me she just helped a 48 year-old woman conceive.

It's very draining to have to go in day after day. Some days are discouraging... too many follicles, too few follicles, follicles that aren't growing, follicles that have turned into cysts, cancelled treatment because things aren't going well. You can go in expecting one thing and find out that in only 24 hours, your body has done something completely different. It's hard to wake up early only to start your day with needles and wands that feel quite invasive. But overall, I am very thankful for a great clinic with doctors who know what they're doing. It's not perfect but I know without the treatment I'd be at a dead end.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Here We Go Again!

It's been over two months since I've stepped in my fertility clinic. Unfortunately, that ended today. I was hoping for a 'natural' miracle during our break but it didn't happen. I have to say the break was good. I'm thankful for the time off and my body is ready to go again. But every month that doesn't work, including ones where I'm not on treatment, is still sad and difficult to deal with. I've been working hard at staying positive and hopeful but today I wasn't feeling that way. As I was in the car, approaching the clinic, I started to feel emotional. I am incredibly grateful for an excellent specialist and clinic, but I'd still prefer to be done with it. When I got home, I called my husband in tears. While I've been doing well the past few months, today was a reminder that we probably won't conceive without help. I'm thankful that help is there and I'm ready to take it again, but it's always hard accepting that.

So we're back. Tomorrow I start my injections and we'll see how it goes. My plan is to try the same treatment for 3 more cycles, which could take up to 6 months if I end up with cysts at the end of each month like I have in the past. Overall, I do feel quite hopeful that my time is coming. My goal is to stay as stress-free as possible and continue to have faith that it will happen. Now that the tears are out, I'm ready. Let's do this!

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Right Decision

In my last post I wrote about the decision to skip another treatment cycle to go on a vacation we had planned for awhile. I can say one hundred percent that we made the right decision. Besides tracking my temperature and talking to a few friends about our journey, I really didn't think much about this whole process we've been going through. It was a nice break. I had a wonderful time reconnecting with some friends I hadn't seen in awhile, saw a beautiful part of the country and enjoyed a ton of quality time with my husband. I couldn't have asked for a better vacation or a better summer.

I really struggled at the beginning of the summer with not being able to do treatment, but looking back, I think I made the most of it. I had so many great experiences that I couldn't have had if I was forced to be at home for appointments at the clinic. I also really think that acupuncture is helping my body get back to normal... whatever normal is for me. I'm not exactly sure when I'll be going back on the treatment train, but I'm ready when it happens. I know I can look back on the summer of 2009 as one with a ton of great memories that I'm thankful for. Would I rather have had a baby or been pregnant this summer? The honest answer is yes. But that's not the way life turned out. I think I'm starting to get the hang of this whole "making the most of where you're at" thing... a lesson I'm sure I'll be learning for the rest of my life. Someone just needs to remind me of that when I'm back to being poked and prodded soon! :)