Monday, February 11, 2013

round three of Clomid, I will seat you now

A few days ago I wrote about being my own worst advocate and made big promises about standing up for myself, feminism, changing the world through interpretive dance, etc.

Well, as long as I’m being candid with the interwebs: I failed. Literally 48 hours later I was given the opportunity to be a demanding bitch assertive, and I blinked. Sure, I fought the nurse a little bit; I offered my own personal “alternate treatment plan” that didn’t involve 10 horrid days of birth control prior to another cycle of Clomid. But at the first sign of resistance, I surrendered.

Last week I met with the reproductive endocrinologist and he basically called my bluff. Straight up, he told me that he figured he’d get a call back after he ordered that I take 10 days of the deceptively named "Apri". After the nurse made the call he "suddenly remembered" that I had a strong reaction to birth control[1] and anticipated an incensed Saturday phone call. But because I’m a total coward, he was left to enjoy his weekend undisturbed. You guys: by his own admission, he probably would have caved and let me skip the extra barrel of hormones if I had just effing stood up for myself.[2] *Palm to forehead, invective laden, self-deprecating tirade. *

Anyway, this most recent visit with the reproductive endocrinologist was our first since the early miscarriage and boy was I looking forward to rehashing those turbulent times. Naturally, I shed some unexpectedly heavy tears we had a lot of questions – which I had furtively typed out on my iphone during a particularly dull morning in court.

Before you move from the edge of your seat, here’s the bottom line: there was nothing I could have done to prevent this. An early miscarriage is the body’s way of ending a conception that wasn’t viable – usually due to some chromosomal abnormality (mine or C’s). At this point, the doctor and C launched into some discussion about DNA and translocation – during which I appeared confused furrowed my brow, and nodded most assuringly – before C and I decided that at least at this point, we didn’t feel the need to get extensive DNA testing (because that can wait until after a second miscarriage – fortheloveofgodpleaseno.) After that I asked some questions about whether I was eating too much soy or gluten (no – but I’m undecided about whether or not I found his answer convincing), whether we should begin IUI this cycle (no, we’ll wait until next time. I’m a pessimist, so what?) and whether or not I could get my parking validated whether the risk of miscarriage increases with Clomid (no, it’s just more likely to be detected in the hyper-monitored world of assisted reproductive technology land).

It was a kind of heavy meeting for a Tuesday afternoon, but truthfully, C and I left feeling ecstatic that we didn’t have to return to work relieved. The last couple weeks have been hard – probably some of the hardest in the more than 10 years that we’ve been together – but (maudlin sentimentality approaching) we have come out the other side kinder and more loving of one another and more than ready to face another round. 

And, oh right, there’s more good news – which I disclose with a heaping side of irony –I am officially, 100%, not pregnant. My HCG is down to healthy and un-pregnant zero and, finally, finally, I am not acutely aware of my until-now-suspiciously-busy-pelvis.[3]

Round three of Clomid, I will seat you now.

[1] If you’ve been reading this from the start - <waves to the three loyal, and unsuspecting, readers in New Zealand (?)> - then you know that I was previously on birth control. For ten very-un-pregnant years. So like, what gives? Honestly, I don’t know. Yes, I was on birth control for over a decade. But after being off of it for nine months, going back on it for these ten-day stints has been truly harrowing. In no particular order, each 10 day round has been a circus of unregulated emotion/surprise tears, sleeplessness, eyes-wide-open early morning anxiety, absolutely insatiable hunger and really vivid (and often kind of scary) dreams.

[2] The truth is, I wasn’t totally un-pregnant until (spoiler alert) recently. Had I taken Clomid before my “uterus had time to heal” (their words), before my pituitary gland had time to rest, things may have gone haywire. Probably not, but maybe. And had cycle 3 been a failure, I always would have wondered whether in my haste, in my deep dislike for birth control, I had sealed my own fate. So it’s better this way. Right? Right? (Okay, for the record, it’s not lost on me that had we skipped the birth control, this weekend – this snow day, snowpocalypse, cozy-indoor-stuck-at-home weekend, would have been prime baby making time. Just saying.)

[3] “Busy pelvis” is a great name for a punk band or a baby or a punk-rock baby something I never would have understood before all of this <motions to the fallopian groove ether> but it really is the only way I know to describe this odd sensation.


  1. Don't be too hard on yourself. I have had these moments too. The thing is, when you're kind of already down and very nearly out from all this IF/pregnancy/loss stuff, the last thing you feel capable of doing (or at least, I) is to fight vociferously for every test and outcome and treatment plan. Because also, we'd really like to believe that these people have our best interests in mind and will do everything to reach that goal and it kinda sucks when they let us down.
    I totally hear you on the concerns with medicated cycles.

  2. I enter everything with a comprehensive list and the intention of asking all the right questions and not getting fobbed off. I then sit there, nod and do whatever the health professional tells me, I forget all my questions and leave on the verge of tears. You are not alone my friend.

  3. It's crazy how they can just kind of talk at me - usually in a nice way - and I totally fall under the spell, forget all my questions, nod agreeably and go on my way. It's magical really. But also terribly frustrating. Thankfully C is usually there to back me up but he too disappears into doctor-talk land...

    Sadie, just started reading your blog and (enjoy is the wrong word here) can really relate!

  4. Congrats on being back down to Zero. Sorry about the appointment. I could totally see myself doing the same thing. Despite being a strong, educated woman. *sigh* Oh well, the important thing is that your doctor is taking care of you (as well as doctor-husband).

  5. The thought of you guys being any more kind to each other is kind of mind boggling. You two have always been the most tender couple I have ever met.

    Also, hang in there! I hear Vermont in March is great for baby making, come up for a visit! (Though when you, inevitably become prego in VT, you'll have to give the baby some hippy name and dress him/her in tie dyed onesies.) Tempted?

    1. This is just about the sweetest thing anyone has said to me, Em! You and T are pretty sweet yourselves!

      And regarding your second statement - umm, did you just invite me to come have sex at your snowy home in VT? Ha. (you know we'll have hippy babies no matter what, right? I can already think of the new age names we'll give them...)

  6. My wife was prescribed 50mg clomid by our family doctor and got pregnant with fraternal twins during the first month of taking it. She had a great pregnancy, a vaginal birth and now we have two very healthy six month old boys.
    purchase clomid online


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