1st clomid cycle: Not bad. 33 days, ovulated on CD 18! I'm very happy with this!
My symptoms weren't too bad. While taking the pill I experienced dry mouth, breast sensitivity, and ovarian sensations (as mentioned in the Clomid blog entry). I took the pills at bedtime, and noticed that most of the symptoms occurred overnight or early morning. Stopping the pills caused the worst symptoms, but they faded away within a few days: hot flashes, nightmares, fatigue, dryness, and an itchy forehead :) (may or may not have been related to clomid).
Side note: many hormonal symptoms, generally, seem to happen late at night or early morning. Example- morning sickness (while it can last all day), is often in the morning, and you can have nausea at bedtime too. I wonder if hormonal activity occurs when we sleep. We already know that we produce growth hormone when we sleep, so why not other hormones? Something to think about, and a good reason to get plenty of sleep!
So, I took OPK's from CD 11 to CD 24. And I never got a true positive! Usually, I get a very clear positive for two days. This cycle, I get three days of "near" positives, CD 16, 17, and 18. Confusing! DH and I scrutinized the tests, it was very close, but the consensus was "negative." Also during these near positive days, I had the usual O (ovulation) symptoms: EWCM, a high energy/feel good day (usually occurs the day before I O, still testing this theory), and ovarian sensations. Additionally, with the clomid, I had significantly more ovarian sensations, I was significantly drier, so the EWCM wasn't as noticeable or even definite, my abdomen felt bloated and it felt like my ovaries were going to pop (guess that's the point, huh?).
There are three different kinds of OPK's pictured below: Egens freebies test strips are blue, early-pregnancy-tests.com test strip OPK's are green, and their mid-stream tests are the large white sticks. I definitely prefer early-pregnancy-tests.com OPK's because they are larger and easier to read. The control line is on the left, and the test line is on the right. If the test line is equal to or darker than the control, the OPK test is positive. Important note: do not use FMU for OPK's, you should take the test between 10AM-8PM, that way your LH (luteinizing hormone) levels have had a chance to rise for the day. All the lines have faded, and the test lines were darker when I took the test.
My doc had asked me to call them after I O. On CD 24, I finally called them confused. They told me the only way they could tell if I O'd was with a progesterone blood test. I learned the ideal time for this test is CD 21, but I had it done on CD 25. Progesterone is known as the "pregnancy hormone," it's what helps you maintain a pregnancy, and it's responsible for fatigue, and for your temperature rising after O. My results were "good," 18.2! I ovulated! And I think it was around CD18!
I had a lot of 2WW symptoms this cycle - must be the clomid. I normally feel "hot and dry" during this time, and need to drink more water. My CM dries up, I get more emotional, fatigued, enlarged bb's, I will get a very mild acne breakout, and around a week after O I sometimes feel ovarian sensations. Sometimes I get leg cramps, nausea and tender bb's. This cycle I also had dull headaches, stuffiness, a lot of leg cramps, bellybutton sensations 7-8 DPO (!), and wet CM. I've heard clomid makes you think you are pregnant, so I was on guard about all these promising symptoms. I even had light pink/brown spotting 12 DPO (!), that's when I started to get my hopes up! But it turned into brown spotting 14-15 DPO, and then I got AF. I've been pretty upset. HPT's at 13 and 15 DPO were negative. But my LP was 15 days long this cycle (YAY!), and the clomid shortened my cycle by a few days, from 36 to 33 days, yay!
Get this: the last 4 out of 5 O's have been on a Wednesday, or maybe the next day. Isn't that interesting? Makes me wonder if it is something about going to work or being more active that triggers an O, or maybe a delayed effect from weekend relaxation? Has anyone else noticed any interesting patterns?
Oh, the joys of working full-time, and trying to find time to get to the doctor's office, or even speak to them on the phone (can you sense the sarcasm?). I normally have a very busy schedule and my day is often booked out far in advance. I can run to the lab for bloodwork at lunch, but for doctor's visits, or who knows what else, I need more time. I feel like I've been lucky so far, but I haven't had too many appointments. Guess we'll have to see how everything goes.
The results for DH's semen analysis (SA) came back "normal." Yay! I wanted to know things like sperm count and motility, but the nurse who called me said there were "pages and pages of info." Maybe they don't tell you specific information unless you are working with a fertility clinic. I am relieved and happy that there are no known fertility issues with my husband. However, now I feel responsible for the "problem," and burdened by it. Great. It's me. But, then I try to comfort myself by thinking women are just more complicated than men.
Something has been nagging at me for months, even growing in me, pushing me to make a change in my diet, starting this cycle. I have been a vegetarian for the past 13 years. It has served me well, seemingly, in all areas of my life until now. So, drumroll for major announcement: I will no longer be vegetarian! I will be more accepting of meat, mostly just chicken, in order to meet my iron and protein needs, and perhaps eat less beans. Believing that soybeans have been detrimental to me, and knowing that peas are bad for fertility, has really got me suspicious about the rest of the bean group. I still have a sensitive stomach, so eating too much meat will still upset my stomach. And I understand that many vegetarian women become pregnant and have healthy babies, but, part of me wonders, maybe those women don't have the issues that I apparently do. It is a personal choice, something I'm wanting to try for awhile.
Facebook has been a great way to get and stay in touch with people, and I used to update my status regularly. But I can't update Facebook with anything ttc-related, due to obvious privacy issues. The most important thing in my life right now is trying to get pregnant, and it affects many of my feelings and actions. As a result, I have gradually stopped updating my status, because I don't feel like it is accurately reflecting how I really feel or what is really going on in my life, like I am not acknowledging my reality. And replacing that reality with superficialities feels misleading and disrespectful. Doing so has just felt more and more like a lie over the past year. Particularly as we began to have trouble ttc, and as we edge ever closer to our 1 year mark of ttc, and officially being labeled "infertile."
Also during this cycle, we bought a glider chair and glider ottoman! Babies R Us has the best selection, Target also has a bunch online, but we wanted to try out in person what we were purchasing. We love our Shermag! It will be used as a reading chair in our bedroom, and hopefully double in a nursery one day.
Whew, a lot happened this cycle! Next time I'll have to update sooner! Please subscribe or comment, thanks!