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Home » Featured, Sunshine Mama Drama

Carlyn’s Journey-Warning: Information Overload, VIII

Submitted by on April 16, 2010 – 6:00 AM6 Comments
Carlyn’s Journey-Warning: Information Overload, VIII

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Dr. Seuss

I get asked all the time what the difference is between IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) and IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization). It can be confusing if you are not “in the game.” I’ll make it a little easier for you. In a nut shell, this is how an IUI occurs, as explained to me by Lucy and Ethel. (We’ll get to In-Virto a little later.) With an IUI, I would have to take Clomid (125mg) on days 3 through 7 of my cycle. Then on days 8 and 9, I would “get” to give myself a shot of Follistim in the abdominal region. (SAY WHAT?!?!?) On day 10, I would go in for a checkup. They would check my eggs (follicles) to see how many I had and if they had matured to a good size.

[Side Note: Normal women will produce several eggs in the ovaries, but the dominant one will be the only one to make the journey to ovulate.  When taking medicine like Clomid and/or Follistim for an IUI, it is normal to produce 3 to 5 mature follicles (sometimes more) for ovulation; hence, the once popular show “John and Kate Pus Eight.” Those kids were a product of an IUI.  Some doctors will not proceed if there are a certain amount of follicles (My doctor’s cut off was more than six).]

What they saw during this checkup would determine what happened next.  If I had an acceptable number of follicles that were mature, I would need to get a HGC  (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) shot in the hip, which would cause me to ovulate. What if I wasn’t ready? Well, more tummy shots until I was. You would think that the shots would be the worst part of this (at first it was). Later, I realized that when you go in for the checkup and you are not ready, you have to keep going back every day until you are. I am a teacher of precious first graders, so having to take off, sometimes 3 days in a row, was difficult!  Thank God I work in a really supportive school, with a really supportive principal!

Now, can we talk about the shots? Like I said before, I am not a fan of them AT ALL, so when we received this package of Follistim, I began to sweat. It came with a little friendly “How To” video. I watched it, hoping it would be a piece of cake. I noted how happy and smiley the woman on the video was as she administered this stab to her stomach with something that looked like, and was called, a pen. I mean, she didn’t even flinch! After a few minutes of convincing myself that I would be just as smiley as the lady, I told Rob that it was time. I wanted him to be there with me for moral support…my cheerleader. However, I knew that he was just as squeamish with shots (if not worse) than I was. Boy we were a pair! We were both sweating and trying to smile as I loaded the medicine in the pen. Then, I pulled the top off to reveal the needle. I was horrified! Rob, however, broke out in laughter. “Car,” he said. “That needle is tiny.” (I knew he was faking it! He was a big chicken too!) I wasn’t laughing. To me, the needle looked enormous. I immediately began to cry. I could not believe Rob was laughing. He didn’t have to jab this thing in his stomach! So, after about a minute, I had convinced Rob to give me the shot. Then, after 5 more minutes, I had convinced myself that there was NO WAY I could let him do it. Every time he would start the counting “1…2…” I would cry “NO! NO! NO! I can’t do it!” So what in the world did my sweet Rob do? Well, he said, “Look, I will take out the medicine and give the shot to myself to show you that there is nothing to it.”  Ahhhh, my hero! I knew this was a big deal. This was the guy that HATES needles more than I do. He stuck himself, and promised it didn’t hurt. After his valiant act of love, I took the jab to the stomach. It wasn’t like eating ice cream on a hot summer day, but it wasn’t too bad either. Before I knew it, I was a pro at taking the shot, and Rob was a pro at giving it. We made a good team.

Friday, it was day 10, and I went in to get checked. I had 3 follicles that were almost ready, and some more little ones that normally wouldn’t mature. When I went in that Saturday, they hoped that everything would be ready for me to take the HGC shot, but as luck would have it, I wasn’t quite ready. They instructed me to take a shot of Follistim on Sunday at home because their office was closed, and they couldn’t check my progress.  I guess they thought they would just chance it. Sure…why not? I went back in that Monday, confident that all would be good.

I remember lying there, enduring the all too familiar Transvaginal Ultrasound when Lucy made a funny face. “Oh my,” she said. Now, I have heard that enough to know that the next thing coming was not going to be what I wanted to hear. She looked at the screen and counted. The next thing that came out of her mouth was “Carlyn, you have 12 mature follicles.” WHAT?!?!? Yep you read it right! TWELVE! Remember when I said the normal amount was 3 to 5? Yep! TWELVE! I will never forget her next words. She said “We are going to have to forgo this month of IUI because you have an unsafe amount of follicles. As a matter of fact, you probably shouldn’t even look at Robbie. You are THAT fertile!” (I can’t make this stuff up, really!)

I could have died. First of all, there was all the hype, the $1,000 for the medicine (WASTED), the shots, the crying, and the time off of work! It was all for nothing!

Why did this happen? Well, my doctor’s office was not open on Sundays, which meant I couldn’t be checked. It was amazing, but that one more dose of Follistim sent me far over what we were trying to achieve.

Long story, short: I had to wait things out for a month. When you have that many follicles, it causes cysts. Those cysts have to rupture and dissipate. Can I just say, OUCH!!! I am cringing just thinking about it. I can only imagine that rupturing cysts feel like contractions multiplied by 100. (Like I said…just imagine it!)

We were actually able to do the IUI the next month. It wasn’t successful, and I had had a belly full! (No pun intended. O.K. Maybe there was a little pun intended there.)

I wanted to sit down and talk to Dr. NoShow, which didn’t happen because her “schedule did not permit it”.

ENOUGH! I was not happy! I couldn’t speak to my doctor! The office wasn’t open on the weekends when my body needed them, AND, did I mention that I couldn’t speak to my doctor? (Hence the name, “Dr. NoShow.”) All of this was unacceptable. After having a long conversation with Rob, we decided to take a break. I was mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially spent!

I had been told by someone that if I just stopped trying, it would happen. Brilliant! After all, this person’s best friend’s, sister’s, cousin’s mom said it worked for her. Well, that was good enough for me…so a “break” it was.

I’ve got a question for you, and I really want you to respond! Did this really work for anyone? I mean personally? (Not your sister’s, cousin’s, brother’s wife.)  Obviously, I’m not done with this blog. I’m far from it, so the break thing didn’t do it for me.  I’m really curious, though. A part of me wants to warn those Fertile Myrtle’s that insist on giving this type of advice to please STOP! If it is found to be a“true” form or fertility then I won’t. hee hee Your responses should be interesting. See you next week when I talk about the very short break.

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  • Angela Binkerd says:

    Love your post, wish I had an answer to that question. Looking forward to more!!!

  • S. Vandervort says:

    Well–I can’t say I really, physically know a person that this “break thing” worked for, but the people who do also told me that “those people” usually have TWINS!! Didn’t work yet, I know, but the odds have to be in your favor, right? 🙂

  • Chris says:

    My husband and I were in infertility treatment for 4 years…after about 3 and a half years of being in treatment, I decided we needed a break because I was DONE…physically and emotionally. Although I did not get pregnant during this break…I give the “break” credit for our successful pregnancy that followed it. The reason being because during the 6 month break, I got a personal trainer and nutritionist and got healthier physically. I also saw a therapist that specializes in treating people with infertility, and got healthier mentally. So when I went back into treatment, I felt at peace, and I felt good. Our first IVF treatment was then successful AND “stuck” where previous IVFs ended in 3 miscarriages.

  • Carlyn,

    I sure do love your Dr. Seuss quote!! It really hit the nail on the head for me this week!!

    I wish I had all of the answers for you:( One thing I do know is that, as far as the break goes… It sounded like it was a perfect time to regroup! I was exhausted and frustrated with Dr. No Show just reading about your trials. I can’t imagine actually living it!

    I am so excited to hear what happens next. I truly feel like I’ve been there throughout your journey! I’ve laughed, cried, and felt all of the other emotions in between through your writing!

    I love the fact that you have the courage to share this with us. I admire your determination and want to thank you for your awesome contribution!

    Your journey is truly amazing and I feel that EVERYONE can gain something from reading it!! Thanks for being great Carlyn!!


  • Rebecca Newman says:

    I enjoyed reading your post. I completely understand all that wonderful advice everyone is always so eager to offer. I just don’t think they have a clear understanding of exactly the road we have encountered on this baby journey.

    In response to trying the “break”–
    Of course that is the 1st advice everyone tries to tell us — “Oh just don’t think about it. Just stop “trying” and it will happen.” Well, we did finally decide to “give up.” It took me a while, but I finally turned it over to God (completely this time). I realized that I have to wait on God’s time — not mine. It took about a year and a half for me to really accept that. Then out of the blue we were contacted about possibly adopting a baby. We met and had a verbal commitment from the birthmother. We were excited — but cautiously excited. At this point EVERYONE kept telling us stories about how they “know somebody” that adopted and then found out that they were pregnant!!!!! Of course I smiled at them and thought to myself, “These people are SUCH idiots! They just don’t understand.” Sadly the birthmother has since changed her mind and crazy enough we found out that WERE ACTUALLY PREGNANT!!!!!! Unfortunately we lost our sweet baby shortly after finding out that we were pregnant. We know that God IS in control and He has the perfect plan for us. We are very blessed to have come this far. 🙂 You and Rob are in our prayers. I know God will give you the desires of your heart. Good luck on your baby journey!

  • Carlyn says:

    Thanks everyone for you input. I will put my two cents in my next blog!