Everything No One Tells You – The Clomid Monster

Clomid Round 1:

Let me start by saying I don’t like taking medication of any kind. I am not a Tylenol, Advil, Aleve or Aspirin type of girl. I always tried to ‘tough it out.’ My mother had 7 Natural, Non-Epidural births and I thought that if I could muster the strength for small pain over a lifetime, then maybe I could be more like her! (Insert Applause here for Mom)

We picked up our Clomid, Paid the Co-pay and went home to read about taking it.

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking clomiphene: Bloating, stomach or pelvic pain

If any of the following side effects occur while taking clomiphene, check with your doctor or nurse as soon as possible: Blurred vision, decreased or double vision or other vision problems, seeing flashes of light, sensitivity of eyes to light, yellow eyes or skin

Some of the side effects that can occur with clomiphene may not need medical attention.

As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional: Hot flashes, Breast discomfort, dizziness or lightheadedness, headache, heavy menstrual periods or bleeding between periods, mental depression, nausea or vomiting, nervousness, restlessness, tiredness, trouble in sleeping (paraphrased from webmd.com)

So basically, you are a cross between a Tweedledee and Cruella Deville with a few Pops of the Smurfs. I might as well jump off a cliff now.

Fortunately, these side effects do not occur throughout the general public. Unfortunately, you don’t need to have ALL these side effects to have a difficult time with Clomid. The Mood Swings alone will keep you on your toes.

I remember after 72 hours on our first round of Clomid, sobbing uncontrollably at a commercial for hemorrhoid cream. I actually felt bad enough for those suffering from hemorrhoids that I felt the need to cry. Then I felt sorry for myself for feeling sad so I cried even harder. The cycle was vicious and endless.

Ultrasounds occur on Day 3 of your cycle, Day 5 and Day 7 and then anytime after that until they decide you have a large enough follicle to ovulate on your own or induce ovulation.

MONTH 1: Clomid as suggested. Day 9-7 you are to take ovulation tests each evening and call the office when you get a fancy little happy face. Oh yes, a freekin happy face. I can assume why it is a happy face if you are conceiving like a ‘normal’ couple as this ‘happy face’ is the symbol for a good time. For us on the other hand, I took it and got the ‘Pennywise Smile’ while in the bathroom of Chili’s restaurant, at a truck stop, on the side of the highway. An aside: have you ever tried to take a pee test of any kind in a public restroom while squatting over the toilet? Note to future self – ALWAYS travel with mouth wash cups.

So I stood in that bathroom stall for what felt like an hour, but according to ClearBlue was less then 3 minutes, until that stupid happy face appeared. Suddenly the Clomid Monster kicked in and the tears began to fall…quite literally…..all over my shirt and the floor of the public restroom stall. My bottom lip was quivering uncontrollably and my hand, holding the contaminated pee stick was shaking. I remember distinctly, putting my free hand to my mouth in disbelief. I had to remind myself that this was JUST AN OVULATION TEST and I was not pregnant as ‘Clo-ster’ had taken over my emotions again. I gathered my thoughts and cleaned up the tears. I shoved the test into my purse without thinking…Keepsake I guess.

But the next morning (insert voice inflection as to the tune of little bunny foo-foo), my husband and I by 8 am sharp had to visit the Dungeon of Shame in order to give a semen sample for my ‘insemination’ which was schedule for noon, after the sample was tested and recorded. What do those lab techs call themselves? Semen samplers?  Semenators? Seriously, think about this conversation when meeting your partners parents for the first time; “..and what do you so Son?….oh I am a Semen Sampler….”

I digress. Again.

So, when you return to the office for the IUI (intrauterine insemination), they get you gowned up and into stirrups. Whoever is performing the procedure (no, it was never my actual doctor), will come in and review the Semen Analysis, Identity and always ask if you wanted to have the IUI conducted with the confirmed sperm. Awkward! The medical worker always reviewed sperm count, motility, and morphology.

  • Sperm count. This counts the number of sperm present per milliliter (mL) of semen in one ejaculation. Range is 15-200 million. Low range is anything under 39 million)
  • Sperm morphology. This is a measure of the percentage of sperm that have a normal shape.
  • Sperm motility. This is a measure of the percentage of sperm that can move forward normally. The number of sperm that show normal forward movement in a certain amount of semen can also be measured. This is called motile density. (WebMD.com)

My Prince was ALWAYS trying to ease my anxiety and celebrated the sperm count revealed at every session. No joke. There were times he quite literally stood up and threw his arms in the air in celebration before then taking a bow. Anxiety was always eased by the laughter.

Stirrups up, catheter through & sample injected.

Then I get angled upside-down on the table and am told to lay still for 10-15 minutes. This is where the ceiling tiles were available to count as well as the number of craters in each of the ceiling tiles…my Prince and I didn’t talk much at this point, but time after time we found ourselves in prayer over something that so many people achieve so spontaneously.

The shame is the hardest part of infertility to overcome. The shame and the guilt. As women we are so proud of what it is our bodies were made to do and to have that purpose stripped from you is heart wrenching. Society makes judgments about those in fertility treatments, many judgments that have a twisted biblical references as to parts of fertility treatments being sinful.

Ignore haters. Taylor Swift had it right. Go figure.

Clomid Cycle 1; Complete. Now we wait 16 days for blood work and hopefully 2 little lines.

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