Friday, March 20, 2009

Jury's Still Out

The nurse did finally call this morning around 10. My progesterone level was 9.88. Which is... Not thrilling. But also, given that my level was a flat 9 the last time I took Clomid and I did in fact end up being pregnant, I'm not feeling completely hopeless either. The nurse on the phone was not encouraging at all, though, which was pretty depressing. She gave me the news all sympathetically, then continued, "This is a VERY low level, so the doctor wants you to take Clomid again next cycle, but then take Prometrium (a synthetic progesterone) as well as soon as you ovulate until you either get your period or get a positive pregnancy test. And then hopefully we'll at least get your hormone levels where they should be." Basically she was acting as though this cycle was a wash, and the plan was to just start fresh next month.

I explained to her that without Clomid, my usual day 21 progesterone level is only 5, which elicited an (overdramatic) GASP from her. Then I explained that my last progesterone level, drawn when pregnant, was still only a 9, so I wasn't ready to completely give up on this cycle. I mean, 9.8 is higher than 9, so it's not OUT OF THE QUESTION that I could be pregnant. So the nurse went to ask the doctor if I should maybe go ahead with the Prometrium supplements THIS cycle just in case I am pregnant and, as usual, need the extra hormone boost. The doctor said it "couldn't hurt," so I am now supposed to take this pill at night while I wait for either period or positive test. The bottle of pills was fifty dollars, just fyi. Not covered. There is no more satisfying way to spend money than on health care, huh? Unless maybe it's YARD DRAINAGE or CAR REPAIRS. Those are equally thrilling.

I felt pretty let down after the whole discussion. I mean, I'm relieved that the level wasn't horribly low. I'm relieved that it wasn't insanely HIGH, also, because then I would pretty much have to assume twins at least. Which I just feel nervous about, still. But I was SO hoping that this time my body would have gotten itself into gear, conceived a little zygote, and them produced the proper amount of hormones to indicate pregnancy and to support said zygote without additional pharmaceutical help. (Also, I'm annoyed that the pharmaceutical help has listed as a side effect "severe dizziness." I have a strong aversion to even the hint of dizziness after the Great Illness of August '07.)

I mean, maybe I'm just not pregnant, too, in which case my body DID succesfully produce the proper amount of hormones. But the nurse acted like my numbers were low even for a non-pregnant cycle. That's different than what was said online, but I guess I'll go with the doctor's opinion on this one and not the Internetz.

Grrr. I'm just tired of monitoring and worrying about the state of my reproductive system. It's beginning to feel like a second JOB.

Edit: I don't want to sound overly whiny here. I know many people have health problems that require constant monitoring their entire lives, and they just deal. Like diabetes, for example. So this isn't a big deal comparatively speaking. And of course there's the obvious retort to all my complaining: "How much can you really say about your miscarriages and your fertility problems when you do HAVE two beautiful kids already?"

I think it's just that expectations are a killer. When you're kinda young still, you just expect things to go smoothly for you, health wise. Particularly in the area of babies. That is one of the supposed perks of having your kids young. So this is just more of me pouting about it being any kind of trouble at all to get or stay pregnant. Take it for what it's worth, and understand that I KNOW how lucky I already am.

Second edit: I did more research on prometrium and apparently it's not a synthetic, it's just the brand name by which the pill form of natural progesterone is know. So that makes me feel better.

12 comments:

Erica said...

Dude, count your blessings. I had to use progesterone suppositories. VAGINAL suppositories. And they had to be made at a compounding pharmacy which is located approximately 45 minutes from my house. Also they were not covered by insurance.

The best part was that the suppository was creamy and melted throughout the day. I lasted two cycles before I told my doctor that he could use them himself, but I was DONE.

Shannon said...

Ugh, nothing like a downer phone call. Don't count yourself out, though!

d e v a n said...

Well, 9.8 sounds successful to me! AND you're on supps now, so that should help. :) I've got my fingers crossed.

Mommy Daisy said...

Wow, that IS a lot to deal with. Maybe that's why I've been afraid to seek medical intervention with my fertility problems.

I hope that in a few weeks, you're able to get a positive test.

Swistle said...

I know two things:

1) Some nurses know as much as doctors.

2) Other nurses THINK they know as much as doctors, but REALLY REALLY DON'T.

At my OB's office, there's a nurse who used to do the big dramatic gasp when I gained five pounds in a MONTH while PREGNANT. I was like, "Dude, did they not cover this in nursing school?" Another nurse (different OB practice) told me to cut out ALL salt to lower my slightly-high blood pressure---right before the OB came in and said, "Well, don't cut back on salt."

desperate housewife said...

Erica: I HAVE done the progesterone suppositories. The kind of which you speak. THREE times. For the first few weeks of my first pregnancy that ended in miscarriage, for the first three MONTHS of Eli's pregnancy, and the first few weeks of the second pregnancy that ended in miscarriage. I know of what you speak.

Jana said...

Don't worry about sounding overly whiny - it's your blog so whine all you want. Fertility issues are so unfair no matter how many kids you already have. And no on ever talks about how emotionally draining secondary infertility is; I didn't even know it existed until my OB mentioned it to me after a year of trying for #2. I was so mad at my body because it wasn't doing what it was built to do: get and stay pregnant. So frustrating!

Anyway, 9.8 sounds like a great number based on your history. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Kelsey said...

I would also be so frustrated! I will keep my fingers crossed for you, and be waiting for news. . .

Giselle said...

De-lurking here...

I think infertility with the 2nd, 3rd, etc children must be WAY more frustrating than with the 1st because suddenly the spacing of your children comes into play. If you have your first at 25,26,or27 it won't make much difference, but if your older child is 2,3,or4 is a HUGE difference.

Best wishes...those numbers can be so different for different people. Let's hope you have a sticky bun in there!

Hillary said...

I'm with Giselle. Waiting to get pregnant the second, third or whatever time around is harder than the first ... or at least as hard ... because of the child spacing issues. Or maybe I'm just impatient.

At any rate, fingers crossed for you. 9.8 sounds promising, regardless of pessimistic nurses.

Jess said...

I think the nurse is silly. And that you're pregnant. Just because I really want you to be. And because it sounds like this is how your body starts off pregnancies. Fingers crossed!

Cate said...

I agree with the previous commenters...don't ever apologize for being whiny on your own blog! If you can't do it here where else can you do it?