Saturday, October 15, 2011

Big, Fat Dud of a Follicle

While on my first Clomid cycle since the pre-Ovarian Wedge Resection Days (December 2007, to be exact), I was supposed to get an ultrasound to check the follicle/s around Day 12. Day 12 was Friday. So, on Thursday, I decided to take a sneak peek myself, just to be sure the Dr didn't miss anything the next day. And there I was greeted by a crummy, thin lining (even for Day 11), and a Ginormous follicle, about 2.5cm. My follicles are not known for growing that large that quickly, and I know this was the Clomid :( Also, my endometrial lining has never been that thin, it is usually just perfect. I was so bummed, but I knew that I could still rupture normally.

The next day, CD 12, I had the Dr do the ultrasound, and first thing we saw was the thin, ugly lining. Then, the larger-than-life "follicle" on the left ovary, with no other follicles anywhere around. Not that I blame them, what with Big Mama taking over the whole damned show. The "follicle" was measuring about 3.0cm, and the reason I put follicle in quotations is because I really NEVER see a follicle get that big and still rupture normally. By the time they get to be 3.0cm, they are usually classified as a LUF (luteinized unruptured follicle.) But here's the thing: The cyst was completely void of internal echoes, there was no internal hemorrhage or septations or striations - (all signs that the follicle is luteinized and unruptured). But mine was still pretty simple in appearance. AND my lining was still proliferative, and my cervix still had a bit of mucus. So, the Dr said if I wanted, I could take a trigger shot of hCG. I really had a hard time going back and forth about this one... once I got dressed, I went into the Dr's office and went over some options.

While I was still making up my mind about "To Trigger or Not To Trigger," I asked the Dr what he thought about the thin endometrium and how to avoid it in the future. He admitted that it may have been the Clomid that contributed to it, but that in future cycles (if I want - he made it very clear that he didn't want to make me feel pressured to do or try anything) we may want to consider going back to Femara. He said we could try a higher dose early in the cycle to aim for 2 to 3 follicles each treatment cycle, and he said that of course there is always the risk of multiple gestations with that... he didn't even finish the sentence when I cut him off to say, "Oh, that is JUUUUUUUST fine by me." :)

He gave me a study published about the use of Viagra, Vit E, and L-Arginine for the bloodflow to the endometrium in women who have had thin endometriums, and said this was also something we could consider for upcoming cycles. (For now, I am doing the Vit E, but the Viagra and L-Arginine are only taken up through ovulation.)

Finally, he asked me about DHEA and when I said that I was taking a small daily dose because my last labs showed very high stress levels, he asked about my overall stress. Uhhhhh... yeah. I have it. He shared with me a story of one of the NaPro patients who was extremely wound up, her NaPro Dr gave her Valium, and she conceived in that cycle. Haha, gives a whole new meaning to the old "Relax, and it will just happen!" addage ;) I told him that DH would probably appreciate if I had something like that around the fertile window, when I routinely put a ton of pressure on myself and on him. So, he prescribed a small dose of Ativan. The funniest part is the instructions on the label:


Yes. The instructions say: "Take one tablet prior to intercourse." I can ONLY imagine what the pharmacists must be thinking of me. And of my husband.

By the end of the appointment, I was still on the fence about this cycle - whether or not to take that trigger. What are the chances that a 3.0cm follicle would still rupture?? Plus, as JellyBelly sat in the office adjacent to the Dr's - I explained briefly to the Dr that my hesitation in taking the trigger was because a long time ago, I made a "pact" with St Gianna, and asked her to allow all of my friends to become mothers first... and that JellyBelly was the last remaining friend. She can't try again until December. So why should I bother? The Dr said it was a very selfless request I made in my prayer, but that ultimately, God decides how to answer the prayers and when.

So... I got the trigger.

I'm still not too hopeful for this cycle, because the Big Mama Follicle just didn't look normal, to say the least, and my lining is still pretty crummy. But at least I may still have a "chance" for pregnancy. I will check again Sunday evening to see if it ruptured or not. St Gerard will have to pull out a real big miracle for this one.

Speaking of St Gerard, JellyBelly and I went to the Mass for Women Praying to Conceive on Wednesday evening. It was PACKED. It was all at once beautiful and so sad. The priest read a testimony of a couple who had suffered several miscarriages and through persevering prayer to St Gerard, they were finally able to (with the help of their Dr and "more aggressive treatments") sustain a pregnancy. These types of testimony stories are always wonderful to hear, but for a barren woman who has never once had life inside of her, it is hard for me to translate directly into hope for myself. At first I thought I was being overly sensitive, but JellyBelly agreed with me. What did give me hope was the priest's thoughts after reading us that testimony. He reminded us that we should never give up on our prayers, and that if our prayers don't seem to be answered in the time we want or in the way we want, it's because God is working on something better than we asked for. It reminded me that just because I've prayed 48 Novenas to St Gerard, I shouldn't throw those prayers by the wayside. I need to keep on praying. I need to keep talking to my friends the Saints and to God. I need to let them know I am still here, ready to do God's will, but still in need of support as I suffer.

Poor JellyBelly also had some suboptimal results this week during her ultrasound series, so please pray for her. I am still SO hopeful for her surgery, though.

Someone remind me why I wanted to try Clomid, again?? Blech. Never again.

TCIE on Viagra and Ativan next month should be... very interesting... Lucky Mr. TCIE.

16 comments:

matchingmoonheads said...

sorry to hear about the follicle mess, but i am hoping you were able to trigger it in time...
and who put on that mass? that sounds like an amazing service for a lot of women! i've never heard of anything like that.

This_Cross_I_Embrace said...

It was at the National Shrine of St. Gerard (the mother's saint, as he's known). It's in Newark, NJ. They do a week of festivities around his feast day.

JellyBelly said...

I have to say that TCIE on Ativan was quite amusing!

At least we were together while our silly follicles were being uncooperative!

Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble said...

Interesting. I have read so many stories of "bust" or "not likely" cycles on these blogs that end in a surprise BFP. Sooooo, I'm not counting anything out. ;)

prayerfuljourney said...

I think I could use some pills to help me relax too. Geez...being a new teacher is very overwhelming and stressful. But, don't we all have stress in our lives? Isn't that part of our lives these days? Who doesn't have it? Praying this cycle ends with a surprise....at least you will be relaxing some. :)

barbie said...

My dh would be ALL FOR me taking Viagra! Haha

Ania said...

Oh my goodness, the instructions on the Ativan bottle!!! I'm glad you have a sense of humor about it all. I only took Valium once, before I had my wisdom teeth out. I then went to the DMV (my mom drove me) for my license renewal...the picture is hilarious and I ended up saving it for kicks.

We will probably start Clomid Nov/Dec. It's all about surrender right? Will continue to pray for you!

callmemama said...

Oh my GOSH, that prescription bottle is too funny! I had to tell Hubby about it - he got a kick out of it, too. Yes, who knows what the pharmacist was thinking :).

Little JoAnn said...

I like these ideas ALL of them. Hey, if a 30 mill follicle is atypical for you, then why not go for it? Do you see what I mean? Also, YOU can conceive with a horrible lining. My cycle of a successful pregnancy was with a horrible lining. You can add estradiol in if you want to boost it up a bit. Clomid is a weird med. I agree. In one way, it works, but it also tweaks one out as well. I think are not a big fan of gonatrophins if I recall. But, I have had good results with BRAVELLE and even REPRONEX. The key was not to add a boost until one is very close to ovulating...so the natural egg can do its thing. This makes sense to me. I like the med idea to give you some relaxation too. I think stress is a killer in so many ways. And, I don't want to sound preachy but Dr. Check's nurses use to yell at me at tell me to start checking my follicles NO later than CD 10. Which was burdensome to say the least as I am usually a late ovulator. I think the viagra idea sounds great. I wanted some but no doctor would give it to me. You have a keeper.

imusthaveprayedforpatience said...

That is so funny about the ativan. I need some of that! I'm going to ask Dr. H about it. LOL

Hebrews 11:1 said...

I've heard ativan can really bring out the frat boy in a person. :)

I'm with Leila. Sometimes it's the last cycle you expect.

E said...

Here's hopeing big momma turns you into a BIG MOMMA!!!

Hey I think those meds might be quite helpful, but that is from a girl that likes some sleep aids every now and then. :) Have you ever tried Rescue Remedy?

And don't forget-TYJ. ;)

Beth said...

I love those instructions!!

doctorgianna said...

hilarious about the instructions on the ativan!

Lauren @ Magnify the Lord with Me said...

That prescription bottle is too funny. But I worked in a Rx for years- that's nothing compared to some others! :)

Can't wait to hear now next month goes. Should be interesting to say the least!

Beth Rutter said...

I just saw my Napro/Creighton dr last week and talked to him about your post. He was so excited to see there's a community for "us." He was curious about who your dr was so he could consult with him/her about the Viagra treatment that he's read a lot but has yet to prescribe it to any of his patients until he could discuss it with another physician who had prescribed. I couldn't find any other way to contact you, but if you'd either be willing to share that with me via email or your doctor could contact mine, Dr. Micha.el Par.ker in Gahan.na Ohio. I find your blog such an inspiration and comfort. If you wanted to share the information via email; rutter.56@osu.edu. I'm sure this sounds crazy infertle stalkerish, but I'm not. Although I'm guessing tha'ts what an actual crazy stalker would say! lol Beth