Well, I'm six days into Clomid Cycle # 4, but I have new reasons to have hope.
Last week, I attended the annual AAFCP meeting. I've been a FertilityCare Practitioner (teacher of the Creighton Model FertilityCare System) for six years now, and this is the first time I was able to attend the annual meeting.
It was enlightening, to say the least. I learned all sorts of things about the relationship between hormones, diet, low grade infections and fertility.
I also had the opportunity to meet up with my Ob/Gyn, who was also at the meeting. We discussed my insanely long post-peak phase, which by that point had stretched to 18 days. We came to the following conclusions: I either had a persistent luteal cyst or a luteinized unruptured follicle. Either of these could push my post-peak phase to abnormal lengths. Either could be/probably is a side effect of the Clomid. Which probably means the dosage is too high.
So, we are DECREASING Clomid dosage even more (to 12.5 mg) this cycle, AND we are going to test hormones at Peak + 7 as well as two days into premenstrual spotting (which I did have again for several days). There is a possibility that we'll need to start supplementing progesterone, as it is normal at 7 days past peak but then, I think, must be bottoming out around day 12 post-peak.
We also have plans to do a few more diagnostic things, but one thing at a time so we can focus on what's working and what's not.
This all gives me much hope, and I definitely needed to be at this conference to hear these things. It is also giving me the motivation to re-focus on diet and exercise to get my body into healthy working order. It's still a mystery to me why many drug addicts, morbidly obese women and teenagers are able to get pregnant at the drop of a hat, but maybe my body is just more sensitive than most. And then there's the complicating factor of my endometriosis history to deal with...so I guess I just need to be patient and pray.
I'm not so good at the patience thing. But at least we have a plan. I can work with a plan.
In the meantime, I have had many opportunities to observe the blessings in my life and give thanks. For example, I am married to a fabulously caring and loving husband, for whom I am eternally grateful. I am afraid I am too quick to point out his shortcomings and do not recognize often enough how amazingly wonderful he is and how well-suited we are to each other. I feel like I have become selfish, many times, in putting my wants and desires above his and not thinking about how that affects him. Lord, help me to daily recognize the amazing gift that my husband is.
Yesterday, on a quick trip to a neighboring town to drop someone off at the airport there, my husband stopped by a shop that sells Catholic items and bought me a tiny pewter statue of St. Gerard, patron of mothers, expectant mothers, children, and often recognized as patron of those struggling with subfertility. I wear a St. Gerard medal around my neck, but I haven't spoken much about it to my husband. He noticed it once, and I told him about his patronage, and he remembered that one discussion and bought me the statue. He also had it blessed by a priest friend of ours before giving it to me.
But the sweetest thing of all...he said that it wasn't a gift for me, but a gift for us, since my subfertility (and it is mine...his fertility tested fine) is OUR cross to bear together. Wow.
So I sign off today, still not pregnant, but gratefully aware of the amazing gifts I already have. God is good.