We have an empty room upstairs. It’s supposed to be the nursery but I’m seriously thinking about converting it to war room and calling it Operation Conceive. I’ll hang wall-sized basal body temperature charts and dry erase boards to track the changes in my cervical mucus. I’ll set up a computer and several monitors that will show my most fertile times of the month based on complex algorithms that take into account the date of my last menstrual cycle plus the variables of progesterone pills, consumption of conception friendly foods, and my desire to conceive. Think about the Mission Control Center at NASA. That’s what I have in mind.
I’ll arrange to have a police escort on standby so that the moment the stars align, I can whisk my husband into the bedroom and we can get down to business.
I shared this plan with a girlfriend who doesn’t have children and has no desire to do so. She said, “Gee Em. Conceiving doesn’t sound very romantic.” Uhh. No. This is a science. In fact, I can’t imagine anything less romantic than calling my husband and saying “My cervical mucus looks like egg-whites. Get home now!” Sex is definitely not recreational anymore.
After having success with the progesterone pills, I decided to buy my first ovulation predictor kit (OPK). I actually have no clue IF I’m ovulating. My body is giving me mixed signals. My cervical mucus is all over the place. So is my basal body temperature. I’ve had random pain around my ovaries for the past five months so I can’t rely on that as an indicator of anything. Sigh.
The good news is, I will go back to my doctor on Cycle Day 21. She’ll blood draw that will tell me if I’m actually ovulating. In the meantime, I don’t want to miss my fertile window so I thought an OPK would be a good idea. I didn’t however, take into account how depressing a negative result would result would be.
Every afternoon I sneak away around 2:00 to pee on a stick and wait an agonizing five minutes to see if a line will appear giving me the green light to shave my legs and pretend I really want to have sex. So far, it hasn’t. I’m depressed and my legs are hairy. How long can a girl live like this?
I’ve been taking my progesterone pills for a week now. My face looks like a war zone, my bowels are in distress, and I’m pretty sure that a nitroglycerin plant could explode just outside my bedroom and I wouldn’t notice. I have a window of about 45 minutes between taking the pill and entering into a coma. On the plus side, I’m getting some great sleep.
Waking up the next day is a bit of a challenge and I think the extra hormones are eating brain cells because I left the pill bottle in my gym bag and left the gym bag in my car. If you want to know what I found when I opened the bottle that night, put a few jellybeans in the microwave for thirty seconds.
The next day, I sheepishly showed the pharmacist my ‘whoops.’ Her eyes popped out of her head and she said, “Wow. Oh. Hmmm.” Thanks lady. Yeah. I know I’m supposed to keep the pills in a cool dark place.
I watched her put the melted, rubbery yellow hunk in the palm of her hand and take it to the back to find out if they could replace the prescription with the ‘damaged’ feature of my insurance plan. You would have though she was carrying a tiny rhinoceros in the palm of her hand by the reactions of the staff in the back. Through the glass, I saw raised eyebrows and confused faces. Seriously guys. I can’t be the first person to have done this. I’ve been really careful with my replacement pills, especially since I had to pay full price for half the pills.
I have three more days with this round. Then we wait for the magic to happen. Supposedly, my body will recognize the rapid decline in the hormone and Aunt Flo will show up. From there, we wait until cycle day 21. On that day, I run to the doctor without passing go and get my blood drawn. The results will tell us whether I am ovulating.
If I am, then I’ll continue taking the progesterone and hope that our routine — I mean our every-other -day romantic rendezvous’, result in a pregnancy. If I’m not ovulating, then we have to make a decision about whether to start a course of egg-releasing pills.
Thanks a lot body. This is so much fun.
“We need to get you pregnant.” That’s how my doctor opened our last appointment. She knocked on the door, sat down across from the examining table, put her hands on her knees, leaned forward and said “I can help with that.”
So there I was, sitting with a paper gown around my naked lower half and thinking, ‘Woah. What just happened here?’
Yes, I do want to get pregnant…but how about a little “Hi, how are you? How have you been sleeping? How are your emotions?” My desire for emotional coddling was quickly overridden by the straight-forward approach though. After all, the whole reason I was at the doctor, was to find out what’s going on with my body and to figure out how to correct it as quickly as possible.
After recapping every blow-by-heartbreaking blow, including the fact that I was now on cycle day 44 with no sign of what I’m now calling ‘the second coming,’ the doctor and I agreed that there were at least a few things we could do right away.
First item on the agenda: blood work. “I’m going to test your thyroid function and your prolactin — both hormones can interfere with your body enough to stop menstruation.”
Second: Prometrium, a progesterone pill. “You’re going to take two a day for 10 days. Then you’ll get your period.”
Third: Cycle Day 21 blood work. “Come back on day 21 of your cycle. We’re going to test your progesterone to see if you’re ovulating.”
“And if I’m not ovulating?” I asked. “I can give you something to help with that as long as you’re OK with a slightly increased risk of having twins,” she replied with a smile on her face.
So that’s the action plan. I’m still waiting on results of the initial blood work (much like I’m still waiting on my second post-miscarriage period) but I did pick up my prescription for the progesterone supplement. I don’t know when I’m going to start taking it though. I’m going overseas for the next week and I don’t want to be on hormone pills while I’m in a different country. The last thing I need now is to find myself hospitalized while traveling. No–that wouldn’t be good. So I think I’ll wait until I return. What’s one more week in the grand scheme of things?