Christmas came and went and there was great excitement in our house, the boys were thrilled and totally spoilt as per usual. I didn’t have a drink Christmas day as I had entered the second half of my cycle and didn’t want to take any chances. I usually allow myself to have a night out or a few drinks around the beginning of each cycle to wind down and drown my sorrows. I started the progesterone again this month and they were not agreeing with me. I had heartburn constantly and was living on gaviscon. I couldn’t enjoy food at all and felt nauseous for the whole week. Instead of a night out in the pub Sean and I went to the cinema and then to Kelly’s Steakhouse to for something to eat. It was our first time there since it reopened. The meal was amazing, eyes were way bigger than my belly and I suffered for it afterwards.
I was optimistic this month, naive really to think it would happen as soon as I started the hormones. But my emotions took over. A late Christmas present from Santa. We had a quite night in for New Years and I got my results from my blood test a few days into the New Year. They weren’t good. Oestradiol had gone down slightly from last month and my progesterone levels had plummeted. I was heartbroken. I knew my periods would be coming in the next day or two and I was trying to prepare myself. A few days later I decided to email my consultant, I was confused and frustrated and needed some guidance.
In the email, I basically said that I wanted more information on how the whole process worked. I could not understand why my Oestradiol had halved since starting the medication and why my body was not reacting to the progesterone. I like to know what exactly is going on in my body and have all the information. The email I received back three days later was not helpful at all. It did not address any of my questions and basically suggested that I look into fertility counselling. I didn’t need counselling, I just needed answers. This upset me more.
I had booked follicle tracking for Day 12 as requested by the clinic and just focused on this for the following days. Day 12 was a Saturday morning. The boys had a birthday party in the local play zone for their cousin’s birthday and I went to get the tracking done. It was my left side that was active and there were two follicle’s 11mm each. This information was forwarded to my consultant in Dublin. I got all my answers from the Doctor that did my follicle tracking, she was very understanding and helpful and although I was upset leaving the clinic I had more information than before. I knew now that the progesterone levels were only being topped up by the medication I was taking. That if I had a result of 33 that this meant I probably only had somewhere in the region of the teens or twenties and the meds just topped it up to 33. Therefore, it indicated I had a poor ovulation or none at all the previous month. Knowledge is key and without it you are doing it blind.
My consultant in Dublin called me first thing on Monday morning and wanted me to go for another scan that day. Said that there were no dominant follicles and another scan would give her more information. At €100 per scan it wasn’t just as easy as of course no problem. I was annoyed and said no that I couldn’t go today and that I had one booked for Saturday. Curiosity got the better of me and I called the local clinic to see if they could fit me in. They squeezed me in for after work. This time it showed that both follicles had grown to just above 15mm. This information was also passed on to the clinic and I received a call the following morning. I was now on Day 15 of my cycle and was not testing positive for an LH surge on my ovulation indicators. I also had no mucus present to indicate ovulation. So frustrating! I couldn’t take the HCG injection without any clear indication of ovulation.
It got to Thursday and there was still no positive result. I called my fertility advisor for some advice. We both agreed that I should bring my Saturday appointment for follicle tracking back to today to see what’s going on. So, off I went again, another €100. This time the scan showed that the follicles had ruptured and that there was fluid in my pelvis. The doctor in the local clinic was happy with the cycle in her opinion but the clinic was not convinced. I suppose the blood tests would give a better picture of what was going on this month. They weren’t good, my progesterone was at 37, no move from last month and my Oestradiol had halved again. It started at 533 and was now at 156. What was going on? I rang the results into the clinic and they agreed to increase my Letrozole from 7 tablets to 10 and also to put be on Femtab which was to increase my oestrogen levels.
The end of the month was coming, January was nearly over. I can honestly say looking back it now I was so depressed for the whole month. I didn’t want to socialise, I barely wanted to get out of bed, I was struggling to hold back the tears most days and honestly questioned what was the point. My birthday was coming up at the beginning of February and as it happened by periods were due that day. Talk about trying to ruin the birthday buzz. I got a phone call from a friend to attend the local football club’s dinner dance. I gave myself a kick in the bum and tried to come out of my slump before my periods arrived. I figured if I didn’t take control not only would it ruin my birthday but it was going to be harder to dig myself out from under the cloud once I got my next periods. I started back at the gym and made plans to get out of the house. I got my nails done and bought a new outfit for the dinner dance. I put on a brave face and got on with it………
To be continued