I went to the hospital yesterday. No, no, don’t be alarmed. I go at least twice a month.
My doctor prescribed me 8 Femara pills to take on the 3rd day of my cycle, and once you get into the 8, 9, 10 range, I have to go get a vaginal ultrasound to make sure that the ovaries are not being overstimulated or releasing more than one egg at a time. (Ha! More than one egg. Pfft, evidence so far indicates that is not a problem.) The ultrasound has to be done as soon as you have identified the sign of ovulation has happened. The sign of ovulation is when your mucous dries up; most people have about a week of mucous, getting more and more of it until it is egg white consistency, stretchy, and abundant. The next day, you are totally dry. That means that the day before the dry day, you probably, maybe, ovulated.
In me, I have a problem with producing mucous. I make myself drink at least 3 quarts of water every day. I fill up my large insulated thermos and 2 quart mason jars with water every morning at work, and by the end of the day, they have to be gone. Yes, I know water in quart mason jars looks like moonshine. No, I don’t have moonshine on my desk at work. Yes, I’ve tasted moonshine. No, I didn’t like it. (p.s., could you please come up with something original? I’ve only heard “moonshine?” probably 25 times since starting this. kthnx)
I have started taking Vitex and Evening Primrose Oil, which are supposed to help with that problem. The EPO can only be taken in the first part of my cycle, before ovulation, but the Vitex can be taken throughout.
So, back to the day that is dry. That means, yesterday was probably your Peak day. But, for me, I don’t know that yet. Because of my patchy and slight mucous, maybe I’ll get some later that day? Maybe not. Can’t tell yet. So, wait another day, and if dry two days in a row, then 2 days ago was the Peak day.
Ok, so patchy mucous and shifting days of ovulation. I’m not using the calendar method here, I’m measuring and observing. My peak day could be anywhere from day 14 to 17 after ovulation. It used to be day 25-30 after ovulation. Dieting and everything else I do has shrunk that down to about normal. But it is ever shifting. That means, of course, scheduled intercourse. It sucks. Hate to break it to you. Here, let me give you some homework. You have to have sex next Thursday, Saturday, and then the Monday and Wednesday after that. Nope, don’t care if you are tired after work. Nope, don’t care if you got home late. Nope, don’t care if your kid is crying. Nope, don’t care if you and your husband had an argument. Nope, don’t care if one of you tripped in a hole (hey, that happens a lot around here) and hurt yourself. Sorry. Get it done. Then, add in that maybe when you thought that the mucous was as good as it was going to get, and then you have a dry day, but then you have another day of mucous. So, tack on next Thursday and next Friday as well. You have a chance to get pregnant on days P+1, +2 and +3 (slight on days 2 and 3), so, maybe for good measure, Saturday would be necessary. There, you’ve just scheduled 7 nights of sex in 10 days.
I know, I know. That sounds awesome. My husband must be ecstatic. Let me tell you bob, maybe the first couple months is that way. Now, do that every month for 3 years in a row. I’ve also heard that an egg only survives for about 24 hours before it can’t be fertilized anymore, and that sperm relies on mucous to survive in the womb. That way, if the sperm is there and the egg is released, the egg can be fertilized if the sperm is still viable. But…lack of mucous is a problem. Maybe we should just try to do it for 7 days in a row.
Well, anyway, you think you’ve ovulated. So, you have to schedule the ultrasound, but I’m only by a hospital 3 days a week. Luckily they radiology department has been great at taking a phone call in the morning and scheduling me for sometime during the lunch hour. The radiologist is not in to read it in the afternoon. I watch the screen and the tech tells me what is there, but I have misinterpreted what she says badly before, and completely lost it, emotionally, until the phone call comes in the next day and I feel like a dumb ass for reacting that way.
Apparently, it is ok for one ovary to produce an egg every month, and the other to sit there like a a lazy bum. My left ovary has done the job for 4 months in a row now. I always thought it rotated duty every month, but my doctor says that is ok.
Then, on day P + 3, or what you think is P + 3, I start injections. HCG shots under the skin, which I do, and Progesterone in the upper hip area (top of the ass cheek, to be precise) in the muscle, which DH does for me. We do these on days P + 3, P + 5, P + 7 and P + 9. On day P + 7, I have to get a blood test to see what my progesterone and estrodial levels are. I haven’t seen a pattern yet. My highest progesterone has been up to 42, my lowest 10 or 11. This month was 22.
Yesterday, when getting my blood tested, the oh so helpful lady at the hospital told me “why don’t you just relax? I’ve heard so many people say they stopped stressing about having a baby and it happened for them.” SMH. Do people really think that is helpful? Really? Does this same tech say to cancer patients to just relax? Does this same person say to someone with a swollen and bursting appendix to just relax?
This is a real physical problem, lady. This isn’t in my head. If all I do is pinpoint the exact day of peak fertility and just have sex on that one night, I still have 9 actions I have to take during the month at specific times in order to have a chance of getting pregnant. Nine! Femara, identify peak and have sex, stop taking EPO, 4 days of shots, blood test, ultrasound. Let alone the handful of pills I take every night. And drinking enough water. And watching my diet. And charting, forgot about that. Those things are daily, so I can’t count those in the “specific actions” count.
Sigh. Relax and maybe I’ll be surprised. Ha! Here’s the thing about that. If I DO get pregnant and am not keeping track of things, maybe I won’t know early enough. I have to take progesterone to help support my pregnancies or I might lose them. Even waiting a week or so before starting the injections could cause me to miscarry. So, even if I could relax and forget everything and not chart when I ovulated and not figure out when my period should start, if I forget for a week or more after that, well, I could end up losing another baby.
I don’t think intentionally losing track of things is in my cards.