We had our second appointment with the new (improved) fertility specialist earlier today. I feel like such a failure when I admit that we are not pregnant, that the first three rounds of letrozole were ineffective. Apparently letrozole alone has about an 8% rate of fertility, but if we add IUI we move up to 25%. That is different from the stats I understood from the research I read, but it is possible that they were based on the whole sample over 6 months – if 25% of them got pregnant over the full 6 months of treatment, that may make sense statistically. Stats have never been my strong point, and my time working in a research lab only made me understand how much they can be manipulated to avoid a null result. I tend to think most published research needs to be taken with a grain of salt/understanding of bias.
I know that things are no worse now than they were this morning, I know that we already had all this info, and I know we already knew the next step was IUI and that we would likely need to go there. I mean, technically, we could still get pregnant this round – I should be ovulating in the next week. The timing is not great, I have to be away this weekend, but I think we can make it work, cover the spread, so to speak.
Oh language, you’re funny and frequently dirty sounding.
Basically although nothing changed because of this appointment, I feel worse. I just want to melt away for a while, and not exist. Even though I know it’s not something I can control, I still feel like a failure on a very basic level.
We will probably do our first round of IUI in April.
I just finished the fifth day of round four of letrozole. I’ve also been taking the full dosage of the herbal supplement that my acupuncturist has given me. The combination of the two is making me feel pretty lousy. I’m just generally sore, like joint sore through my shoulders hips and knees. Also I am noticing some attention deficits – like i’m not as able to attend to what is going on around me as I usually can. I have to work harder when i’m doing basic things like driving.
I have considered whether it’s all in my head – as in its some sort of symptoms of depression. But I don’t think it is. Although i’ve had some shitty days, for the most part my mood has levelled out and I don’t think that is playing a factor in the overall physical soreness.
I m feeling crazy burnt out. I feel like the fertility stuff – the need to time medications, and sex, and the fact that it is sitting and dominating every action I take – is taking up 75% of my energy, and I somehow need to find room for school, work, exercise, my Husband, an social life, in the other 25% of whatever energy a limited sleep schedule allows. Work in particular is stressful – I’m still building practice at the second clinic. It is growing, just a lot slower than I would have wished. I think in the long run it will work out, but it will take another several months to get it close to where I need it to be. In the meantime I just have to be very careful about our household budget, because I took a financial hit when I quit my full time but shitty job last year to try to build something better. The first clinic is about as busy as I want it to be, i’m there 15-25 hours a week, which leaves me with the time I need to build the second one.
It will be fine, the soreness will pass, it will get better, I will have time…
My mantra gets longer and more detailed…
Tomorrow I start round four of Letrozole. No huge surprise that round three didn’t end up working out, I was quite sure a few days before my period arrived that it was en route. On the plus side, my own body awareness has gotten pretty amazing.
In addition to the Letrozole, I have also started acupuncture and am taking the herbs that the traditional Chinese medicine acupuncturist suggested. I struggle a bit with the science behind the acupuncture and meridian/water/fire/balance conversations around it, but there is research backing up the use of acupuncture in conception, so I figure it’s worth a try.
Next Tuesday we go back to the fertility doctor. I suspect that we will go through a round of IUI sooner rather than later. I kinda wish it would just happen, before the procedures get exponentially more invasive.
I don’t have any updates regarding my little sister – she has a tendency to only tell me snippits of whatever she is thinking, so other than knowing she’s stressed out, I don’t know what she will decide to do. And I don’t know what I would suggest that she do – 19 is young to have a baby, especially without any significant family support or any interest from her baby daddy to be a parent. But I can’t imagine that having an abortion or carrying the baby to term and then giving it up would be easier. The whole thing is compounded by her uncertainty of how far along she is – from what she described to me it sounds like she’s in the latter part of her first trimester. Add to the some hardcore christian values, and who knows what she will decide to do.
So, here we go again!
I’m having a rough week. I will know in a few days if I am pregnant or not from round three, but if i’m honest, I think not. It’s a roller coaster of hope and frustration, and we go back to the fertility doctor on the 20th of March.
Mostly unrelated, for the past half decade or so, I’ve worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters. I met my first little sister when she was 14, and we built a solid relationship, so as she entered adulthood and aged out of the program, we have stayed close.
Today she told me she is pregnant, by accident, with a BF or three months, without resources or means, or planning. Because that is what young fertile people do. I am being supportive. I am being helpful. And I am dying inside.
There is a For Better or For Worse strip that basically says “fertility doesn’t come with foresight”.
I have no words.