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Enter Early, Enter Often

No data exists to support my claim, but I’m guessing most reproductive endocrinologists don’t open their doors to the infertile public at 6AM. Early entry is just one of the added bonuses of our RE, especially when we can be in and out of her office, do 200 push-ups in the waiting room, read an issue of Metropolitan Home magazine in its entirety and still be at our desks by 8.

Unless, of course, that early entry comes packaged with another brand of early entry: A pre-dawn, intrauterine ultrasound.

“Just take off everything below the waist and put the blanket over you. I’ll be right back to take a quick look for cysts, and then we’ll get you a prescription for meds,” Dr. Reya said.

After she left, Constance began to disrobe. I took her skirt and hung it over the back of a chair to keep it wrinkle-free for our afternoon condo closing. “Well, I guess we know what our next step is,” I said. “I can’t believe it’s come to fertility medication.”

Dr. Reya returned and began the test. Constance’s wincing face and tensed upper body competed with the menacing clouds floating in the window for the most problematic elements of the day. Before the test commenced, I concentrated on the prospect of rain on our moving day, which would prove disastrous. But seeing her in pain usurped that fear, and filled me with the guilt-tinged grief that Constance is sacrificing so much of herself to make our baby happen. I wish I shoulder more for her, and for us.

“Here’s a prescription for Clomid. Take one pill everyday for the next five days, and then come in on July 5th for a shot that I will administer to you. Clomid has been around for over 50 years, and children who were conceived on Clomid are having children, so don’t worry about birth defects,” Dr. Reya said in her reassuring, straight-talking tone. “It does not increase your chances for triplets or quadruplets, but it does increase your chance of twins. I’m not sure why it doesn’t increase your chance for triplets, since there will be more eggs available, but it doesn’t.”

We both knew Clomid was coming, and it didn’t catch us off guard. Dr. Reya also told us that we need to have intercourse at least every other day, or every three days if that wasn’t possible.

“But you don’t have to do it every day. You don’t have to knock yourselves out,” she said.

Once we arrived at the elevator, Constance and I smiled at each other. “How hard is it to have sex every other day?” I asked.

“Most people do it once a week. They’re not like us.”

“Well, while I don’t get that because seriously, what else are you doing? But I REALLY don’t get that for couples who are trying to conceive.”

“I don’t get it either,” Constance said. “Where’s the fun in that?”

As we stepped through the electronic entrance, I grabbed Constance’s hand and we smiled in recognition of our immense luck at having each other. By then, the sun was peeking through the clouds, which had shed their darkness for a fluffy, friendly veneer. The rain was gone again, and were ready to move and move on.

36 Responses to “Enter Early, Enter Often”

  1. a very sweet post. I also suffer from the “guilties” when we are at appointments. Good luck!

  2. Good luck with this next step, hope it goes ’swimmingly’ for you both. Loved the story about Cleo, bless her!!

  3. Ah Clomid…beware the mood swings. They are BRUTAL.

    Good luck! I hope you guys are sucessful!

  4. I will say this–sometimes sex is not quite as easy as wham, bam, thank-you ma’am. My husband takes meds that often make ejaculation damn near impossible. So often, every other day was a huge challenge for us (and a big, big stressor).

    Also, as you well know, timing plays a huge issue. If you spend a grueling 12-hour day at work, then come home to more disasters, the last thing you want to do is knock the boots. It’s really, really stressful when you “have to” every single month. Having sex every day, or every other day, is much easier to do when it’s a choice, not a requirement.

  5. Good luck! Nothing’s sweeter than an early morning appointment with the vaginal ultrasound probe… sigh.

    And happy condo closing day!

  6. well the thing is, for a lot of us trying the years of forced timed babymaking sex take their toll. so great that you guys are excited and optimistic, i really hope the clomid does the trick for you! although, as mentioned above, BEWARE the scary scary side effects! they will all be worth though when you see two lines!

    good luck at closing!

  7. Hope the closing goes well. And keep up the smiles. I love the comment “swimmingly”…

  8. i was on clomid before . as soom of my post have stated and i was Off the chain with my irrationality and mood swings. I take my last pill today and this time has been VERy uneventful - good luck to both of you as your cross over AT Fertility Med Line

  9. Good luck!! Hoping you get it right off the bat and everything is easy from there on out. Really, I really do hope it. With all my heart.

    I hope you meant intra-VAGINAL u/s not intrauterine! :) I love men.

    I love tha tyou all have so much sex. I gotta say, though, that my 21 year old husband of just over a year was game for every day, every-other-day sex at first, too. Three years later we were both glad to do IUI’s or IVF just so we wouldn’t HAVE to have sex!!

    I’m on pelvic rest after some bleeding, but of course before I wasn’t and we were free to have sex. Last time we did it? Honestly? I can’t remember! :)

    I’d say that was the killer of IF for us…sex pretty much is just not what it was. And we’re still only 23 and 24.

    Keep it hopping Matty! :) (You don’t mind if I call you Matty, do you? I have a favorite cousin who is like a brother to me and he’s a Matt/Matty, so it seems so natural.) And watch your head for flying plates…gotta love clomid! :D

  10. i agree with what people said - sex is no longer fun when its required. i was also glad to have IUI’s and now IVF bc the pressure is off of having to perform every other night.

    as for clomid - yes, the mood swings were bad. but i also got bad neck and upper back aches - just soooo much tension in that area that i couldnt concentrate on anything. it was horrible. just make sure you get into the clinic for the trigger shot BEFORE she actually ovulates. sometimes doctors may miss it because they calculate every woman on a 28 day cycle - and many women ovulate prior to that. i always went in on day 11 and triggered that day. and make sure she does the ultrasound again before the trigger so you know how many follicles you are working with - hopefully you’ll have 2 to 3 good ones!

    isnt the name TRANS-vaginal ultrasound? men are funny - intrauterine was pretty close though! i just call it the dildocam =P
    good luck with clomid!!!

  11. I agree, sex can become tedious when it’s purposeful and not just for the sake of enjoying each other (but, after the baby it gets to be really enjoyable again when the pressure is completely off…you know, once you have the energy for it).

    Not sure what dose Constance is on, but Clomid doesn’t give you a hugely increased chance of twins (3%, I think it is). My sister had a singleton on 100 mg; I, on the other hand, did have twins on the lowest dose. The RE didn’t schedule a follicle scan to see when to do the trigger shot? Maybe something to ask her about. Timing is everything. Also, some docs debate whether or not to do Clomid from days 3-7 or 5-9 - maybe another thing worth investigating?

    Good luck with the move, settling in and the new avenue to having your child :)

  12. Bets of luck to you and Constance! I hope you are one of those wonderful couples that gets a BFP on the first round of Clomid!

  13. ooh - red flag alert - the doc said it does not increase your chances of trips or quads? not true.

    Maybe true in most cases… but there are definitely instances of people getting pg w/ higher order multiples w/ Clomid. A friend of mine got pg w/ trips on her first clomid cycle.

    Are they going to do an ultrasound to see how many follicles she develops?

  14. Hi! This is my first comment, but I just wanted to let you know that I’m praying for you and hope that Clomid works as well for you as it did for me. I got pg the first time on Clomid both times….the first time with twins and the second time three years later with one. I think it was just my turn for twins in my family though, we have them every generation! I hope you get a BFP at the end of this month!!

  15. By the way, I didn’t have mood swings either time on Clomid. The only side effect I remember is that I would get these hot spots on my legs, about the size of a quarter. They would last a little while and then go away. Strange, I know, but that was the only thing different that I noticed! Again, good luck to you!

  16. I hope you can keep it fun. I don’t mean the every-other-day sex, I’m talking about the transvaginal ultrasounds, which is how I know I like to start my day. In any case, here’s to breezing on through without too many dramas or emotional episodes. Well, fingers crossed, eh?

    Bea

  17. It’s a positive step.
    I hope Clomid does the trick & you two are soon expecting!

  18. Like others, I think Dr Reya should most definitely be doing an ultrasound before she triggers you. Given you don’t know what is causing the infertility, there is a good chance Constance could produce multiple follicles even on this dose, so it’s not a good idea to trigger without knowing what the story is - plus triggering on a set day without knowing how ready the follicles are is also not a good idea.

    Be aware that clomid is an estrogen inhibitor. This means that it reduces your cervical mucous - ie it reduces the production of the good stuff. So although I’m sounding an alarm above, clomid often doesn’t help - it increases ovulation chances (but if you were ovulating already, that’s of dubious benefit), but decreases the ability of the sperm to get where they are going. So try not to despair if this doesn’t do it for you.

    Isn’t this all fun??

  19. When I donated eggs a few years ago, the fertility clinic opened at 6am every day. I think they realize the drain it can be on someone’s time when you have to go in EVERY MORNING for vaginal ultrasounds.

  20. Oh boy a new step in the right direction!! Yay=) Good luck!

  21. As I have no practical experience with Clomid, hell, even this TTC thing, I can’t give you any great words of advice or wisdom about what will happen…. But I can wish the both of you tremendous luck going forward and enjoy your new home!

  22. Good luck with everything.
    Hope there are no side effects to complicate the move. Or anything else. Chlomid can be brutal…

  23. I could say a wealth of things regarding your last sentence but I wont, I’ll just say, enjoy and good luck!

  24. Mr. Kite holds my hand every time I do the ultrasound and he’s alwasy there for our appointments. I’m lucky to have him by my side through this. You’re both lucky to have each other too.

  25. Wishing you much success on this round.

    Ah yes. I remember that first ultrasound well…you’re a great and wonderful man to want to ease your wife’s discomfort. As to the next step in your protocol, hard to complain about those intimate encounters! Gotta say it’s one of the things my husband and I still enjoy more often than most couples ;-)

  26. Stop being disingenuous. “What else are they doing?” Um, raising kids. Balancing the checkbook. Studying their navels. I’m glad that you and your wife have the energy to have sex every day (actually, I don’t really care, but since you seem to want us to know, so be it), but surely you understand why most of us don’t. Believe me, once you get the minivan (and you will), you’ll understand.

  27. Lovely post. Good luck this cycle!

  28. Chis-

    To be disingenous would mean I wasn’t true to myself. Having sex everyday is VERY true to myself. We all have a certain amount of time and energy in any given day, and we choose how to spend it. Some of us make different choices than others, and if you’re happy with yours, then there’s no need to worry about mine.

  29. Here’s hoping that the Clomid is going okay! I didn’t have any side effects, so hopefully Constance will be as lucky. And I am hoping that your enthusiasm for sex stays just as strong as ever. What a gift that will be if you can maintain it. For us, sex when we “had to” was one of the most stressful things we’ve gone through, so if you figure out how to avoid the stress of it, let us know!!

  30. Hope the clomid is just what you needed. Good luck today with the trigger shot.

    Those early morning appointments made me feel like I was living a double life. At 6:30, I was having blood drawn and an ultrasound. And at 7:30, I was standing in front of a classroom, teaching. Too bizarre…

  31. Wishing you all the best of luck!

  32. Hope everything is well with you two, and your aunt as well…

  33. I just found you- and what a great post. I will say though, that after years of trying- “scheduled sex” is just not fun. And even once a week it just doesn’t happen- my hubby is even with me on it… I hope that it (clomid)works for you, early on while you have much brightness in your future! :)

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