Wednesday, April 3, 2013

CD18: What Even?

I've been sitting at the computer, trying to think of a way to sum up our morning. I think the phrase "unexpected to say the least" pretty much covers it.

Having completed so many donor cycles, we thought we knew how my body would respond. I was used to producing huge numbers! My lowest retrieval was 22; most were in the mid-thirties. My last cycle resulted in an astonishing 52 eggs, of which 48 fertilized and 46 made it to blast. We know that I make awesome eggs.

What we didn't know is how a big difference the injections had been making.

Today is cycle day 18 and I have... zero. My coordinator, the same one I've had for every egg donor cycle, says that my ovaries look baseline. The same as they have looked on every CD3 scan we've ever done.

I can't believe it.

Of course, I do believe it because I was there. I watched the screen and knew before she said anything. There's nothing going on.

She said that my ovaries are presenting similarly to her patients with PCOS. (Which we know I don't have; I don't even want to go down that rabbit trail.)

The layman's explanation she gave us is that I have a ton of antral follicles - about double of what is considered normal. Which explains why we got the big numbers on the donor cycles. The problem is that, left to its own devices, my brain seems to only send enough signal to my ovaries for the "normal" amount of follicles. We're not getting enough action to cause anything to mature.

Although my temp charts are bi-phasic, it's most likely that I haven't been ovulating every month. That would definitely explain why I've never gotten a positive OPK and why my cycles are so long: my body can't seem to produce enough estrogen to get things moving.

(All of a sudden, I see what a miracle Little K is...)

So, what do we do now?

My coordinator suggested Femara or Clomid to get things going, either starting one of those now or waiting for my next period and starting between CD2-5.

In the end, R and I decided to go ahead with trying one now and seeing if this cycle can be saved. My lining is looking great at 6.8 and, honestly, we're just ready to lay this whole thing to rest.

My coordinator ended up giving us five days worth of Clomid free of charge, which I will start taking tonight, and then come back in at ten days (CD28, OMG WHAT EVEN?!) to see if anything has developed. If not, we'll cancel and try again next month.

So, what's the good news?

Well, for starters, the good news is that we're working with a clinic rather than doing the home insemination. As I told R in the car ride home, I'd much rather throw $2000 at something with the doctor than $1200 at nothing at home.

The other good news is information. It's so good to have an explanation for my long cycles. I love knowing more about my body and getting a better understanding of what's going on and why.

And, of course, the validation that doing this with the doctor is the right decision.

I am reminding myself over and over that God is in control. He knew how today would play out and He knows the end result. His ways are perfect and His plan is the one that will come to pass.

My plan was to be triggering within the next few days. He clearly has another plan in place.


What I would really love from you ladies is to hear about your experience with Clomid. What should I expect? I have a feeling that the next five days are going to be nuts...


  1. I can definitely understand your shock! I am so happy that your clinic has offered up some clomid and trying to save this cycle. There is HOPE!

    Clomid caused me to be very moody, hot flashes and horrible headaches. It was only short term though.

  2. Oh my gosh. How frustrating, girl!! I hate that you're only finding this out now! Ugh! But I'm glad that they think the cycle is salvageable. That's good, I suppose. And VERY glad you are doing this with the doctors and found it out before you really wasted your money!! Anyway, Clomid didn't bother me too much at all. I had some pretty intense hot flashes and I think weird dreams, but that was about all that I recall. Of course, I think that you should use it as carte blanche to behave however you like. :) You can just blame it on the meds...

  3. That's crazy! But like you said, at least you know and didn't waste the donor sperm. The first cycle I was on Clomid wasn't that bad. I don't remember having that my side effects. With it's super long half life and the increase in dose by the time I moved up to 250mg I about wanted to die. Hot flashes, mood swings, migraines, nausea, it was terrible. Hopefully since this is your first cycle and they probably aren't starting you off with 250mg things won't be too bad.

  4. I'm with Erika… hot flashes, weird dreams, oh, and creepy light halos. But all survivable. It all ended within 24 hours of the last pill except for the hot flashes. It seems crazy to think that you might ovulate "on time" at CD30, but I'm glad they think you can save the cycle. I hate waste! Good luck!

  5. Wow I am so sorry that you are having this response, I would be totally shocked too! I am so glad your Doctor can still do something for you with the clomid. I've never used it before so I can't give any input, but I am sending you tons of good vibes!

  6. Glad you have a new plan, but sorry you had a rough morning! God is in control!

  7. Clomid can be like dancing with the devil. Vaginal dryness, fatigue, crankiness, headaches were what I experienced.

    I do believe that God has His own plans.

  8. Clomid wasn't too bad for me... some night sweats and some weird dreams, but other than that, I suppose I'm one of the lucky ones who wasn't effected too much by it! xo

  9. Amazing how uncertain our bodies can be. I'm sure it's very confusing when you've actually been a donor and you think you know exactly how your body will respond. I'm glad you are finding out information to make your one and only IUI cycle successful though!

    As for CloMAD...I'll be honest. It was the worst thing I ever put in my body. I was miserable and a crazed lunatic on it. You mentioned your RE was willing to give you Femara. Just curious if it's too late for that? I got pregnant on a Femara/IUI cycle (although it was ectopic) and I am just such a fan of Femara over Clomid. ZERO side effects and I produced two mature follicles on it. Plus, they sell it at Costco for only $5.99 for ten pills. Just a thought if it's not too late? Either way, even if you do Clomid, the effects are only temporary and if it helps you ovulate well, then it will all be worth it!

  10. I've done a bunch of clomid cycles. Eight, I think? When we were trying to conceive #1, I barely had any side effects. I hardly even noticed I was on it. But now that we're trying for #2, it's totally different. Clomid gives me awful hot flashes and serious mood swings. I just started femera (letrazole) yesterday. I asked my RE to give it a shot this month. We've never done it before. The nurse told me that people very rarely experience side effects on it. She said that I most likely won't have hot flashes or mood swings. I jokingly asked her if husbands like femera better. She said they definitely do. (-: Plus, it was about $20 cheaper for us than clomid. I still am not totally sure why they usually start people on clomid rather than femara. I think I may have heard a long time ago that clomid has just been around longer so it's more trusted...could be wrong about that though.

    I agree with Emily...if clomid gets you to ovulate, it's totally worth it.

    I really hope you have success with whatever route you take.