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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.

Selecting a Carrier

After all the research I did on the benefits of Baby-wearing I just knew this would be the answer to our sleepless nights. I was determined to find the best carrier for Bean and me.

Pix from phone 104I started with a free Sling from Seven Slings (www.sevenslings.com).  Well, I paid the $12 shipping and got a free sling. After a number of attempts, I just did not feel like my daughter was safe in it. If I put her in the newborn hold (like a nursing or feeding position) her chin would rest in a deep slouch on top her chest. I felt like she wasn’t able to breathe in this position and because this particular carrier is not size adjustable, there was no other position that worked for a 15lb, 4 month old. I tossed it to the back of the closet.

Next, I pulled out a strap carrier. It was one I found in the local Walmart clearance section while I was pregnant. I don’t remember the brand, but it was the same style as a standard Strap Carrier, with soft cushioning all around. The upside, was that she could sit in front and rest her head on my chest, which is what I was looking for. The downside, was that the straps were not meant for a person my size and I never got it to fit well enough to wear. There was also no head support in this one,  so I continuously had to hold her head while I wore her – which in the end, kind of defeated the purpose of wearing her.

At my baby shower, before my daughter, and thanks to technology, I had received 3 Moby wraps. If you have never heard of this type of baby carrier you can learn more about them here – (http://mobywrap.com). However, as a brief summary – they are about 6 yards of 95% cotton/5% spandex fabric that you contort around your bodice and hips in order to hold the baby. It took me a number of attempts as well as a lot of You Tube videos in order to figure this one out….but when I did….magic. I felt as though it held Bean safely, her head laying on top my chest so she could hear my heart. According to my Dr. Sears ‘bible’ if I wore her for 3 or more hours every day  she would rest better at night….well….I think I wore her for 8 hours that first day….and for the first time in her 4 months of life, she slept a full 3 hours between feedings! I was in love! I worn Bean as often as possible; cleaning the house, vacuuming, washing floors, in the bathroom, walking to get the mail, walking the dogs, talking on the phone, grocery shopping, at church, at restaurants, and schools. Bottom line; she loved it, she was safe in it and I could simply pull the fabric over her head in public places so no creepy strangers would try to touch her. Heaven.Pix from phone 091

So, I know what you are thinking – this is too good to be true. How could the answer to this ‘high-needs” baby just be in a baby carrier? Well, you are not wrong unfortunately. Although the Moby was my saving grace for those first few months, she outgrew it quickly. I tried to DIY a wrap with more fabric, or wider panels, but it was a flop. The Moby found its way to the carrier graveyard with Dr. Strappy and Mr. Seven Slings.

I had a $200 gift card to Babies-R-Us…so shopping I went. I had been eying an Ergo a friend had for sometime but was waiting to buy it. Well, with ‘cash’ in my pocket I took the plunge. I knew nothing about the Ergo carrier before I bought it, other then the fact I had 2 or 3 friends who’s children lived in it. I bought it in black, with the infant insert. (http://store.ergobaby.com). I went straight home and took it out of the box and started trying to figure it out. My first impression, “holy crap – this is huge!.’ Bulk, it had a LOT of bulk to it and even if Bean liked it, it was not going to be easy to fit it into my diaper bag or purse.

Pix from phone 064Moving on.  I got her in it. Then, I walked.

You know the ‘walk.’ That walk that every parent does to soothe their crying child. You go in circles, or up and down the hall. Anything to make the crying cease…..am I wrong? Aren’t you smiling right now because you ‘remember those days’ or crying because ‘today are those days.’

I digress.

As I walked, I realized that I must have put it on incorrectly because it began to hurt my shoulder blades. I ignored the pain and continued my walk….until she fell asleep. I reached up behind my head and unclipped the strap to a euphoria similar to the one where you unbutton your pants after Thanksgiving Dinner. I sat, or plopped, onto the couch, sleeping baby on my chest, Ergo strapped to my hips and started crying. Was I ever going to find a carrier that worked for us?

Back to the books. And the coffee.  Pix from phone 099

 

 

 

 

Jumbled Thoughts

I logged on this evening, fully intending to write about how I was introduced to Baby-wearing and how it saved my sanity with my first-born.

However, recent events have changed my focus presently to just how fragile and short our lives are. Depressing? Maybe – but true.

In the last year or so, my family has lost a number of loved-ones unexpectedly. These deaths have been the result of cancer as well as other undiagnosed reasons. The point here is not to make you feel sorry for us, as all of us suffer loss, but instead to encourage you in a way you might not have been encouraged before.

We have no idea how long we have on this earth. I just hope, that in the time we do have, we are surrounded by those that love us and support our every move because of that love.

We also have no idea how many people we influence on a daily basis. Think of it like a ripple effect, and understand that when you have a choice to slow down and let a car in or speed up and pass them…..you might be effecting more then just how soon you make it to work.

I saw a friend battle cancer last year with poise and courage. He never strayed from his faith even through the pain, lack of answers and grim prognosis. I wish we could all have a brush with death as it seems there is some kind of magic in peoples eyes when hey come back from it.

In memory of this friend my family, secretly (well I guess no longer a secret), started the ‘Eudy-Up’ movement. It was our way of telling people to step up and do something good for someone else. We would pay for coffee for the car behind us or the groceries for the struggling family in front of us and then leave a card reading ‘Eudy-Up’ on it in his memory.

At any rate – this blog post will be short and I will return to a normal human status in a few days with a lovely post on baby-wearing.

Until then – hold those you love tightly and encourage those you might no know so well, to Eudy-Up and spread the strength, love, faith and support that those we have lost would want us to.

Peace and Blessings.