Peace (For Now)

I have officially called a cease fire on my ovaries.  We are negotiating terms, it isn’t an unconditional surrender, but at least we are sitting down to discuss things.

On my way to get my blood drawn this morning, I had a moment.   Firstly, I had to read the paperwork the doctor gave me to remind myself what hormone is getting checked.  Progesterone level check to see if the Clomid worked, to see if my extremely stubborn ovaries finally released a hostage, um, I mean an egg.  Secondly, the pain I was experiencing earlier in the week is finally mostly gone, but my waistline is two inches larger than it was a week ago.  Thirdly, my emotions are all over the place.  I snapped at my boss last night for no real reason, and then i cried because i snapped.  And lastly, I just feel…horrible.

As I’m driving, all I can think about is this can’t be healthy.  This can’t be good for my body.  I realize Clomid has been around for decades, and at least a million women (maybe way more) have taken Clomid since it was first released.  Even my mother took Clomid about thirty-eight years ago to conceive my brother.  But I’m not a million women, or my mother, I’m me.  This isn’t right for me.  Not right now anyway.

So God and I had a conversation.  I told Him I needed some guidance.  I want a child, and I want to do that in a way that is right for me and my family. 

My mind wandered as I drove.  I thought about my husband who has a relaxed approach to our fertility issues.  He doesn’t feel the same sense of urgency that I do.  His laissez faire attitude tends to make my blood boil about five days in to my ten day stretch of Provera (the drug my body needs to start a period) as I’m resisting the urge to take ANOTHER nap and he’s as chipper and energetic as always.  Then I thought about my super supportive best friend and her unwavering faith with her prayer-filled approach.  She always helps me find the positives in the overwhelmingly negative situation.  

Thinking of these two wonderful people in my life that are ready and willing to support my efforts and dreams anyway they can made me think of the promise I made myself about seven months ago when I was first diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome.  

I promised to get my body as healthy as I possibly can, and I promised not to do any fertility treatment that could make me unhealthy.  It was really important to me that I take the healthiest, most natural route to conception, pregnancy, and delivery.  I think my body is telling me that this isn’t it. 

For me, for my body, for my sanity, I decided that I won’t be taking anything.  I’m not going to say never again, but for a few more cycles I’m going to just focus on being healthy. 

After coming to this decision while driving, and after pulling over to cry a bit, I felt proud of myself.  I made a decision that is true to the path I laid out for myself and my family.  I felt peace, finally. 

When I arrived at the lab, of course there is a pregnant woman in the waiting area.  My heart hurt a little and tears threatened to make an appearance.  I was quickly losing some of my peace.

The phlebotomist called me back pretty quickly after checking my paperwork.  After the usual questions, insurance card, and identification exchange, she told me her story.

She went about her work while she casually told me about her infertility.  She tried everything medically possible, including IVF, for seven years in an attempt to become a mother.  Her husband had a low sperm count, and she had problems ovulating.  As soon as she and her husband let go of the infertility fight, she ended up pregnant.  Five years after her healthy son was born, she had another baby.  Another joyful surprise for her and her husband.  And three years after that, she had another beautiful baby, at age thirty-four.

She told me that it’s a good thing that she got married at eighteen since it took so long to have babies.  She also said that she had really wanted her children closer in age, but we don’t always get to pick.  I could see in her smile that she is perfectly happy to have her kids no matter how far apart they are in age.

She gave me my peace back.  I made the right choice for me, for my family, for now.  And thanks God for that guidance.  I needed it.

Phlebotomist, if you happen to read this, thanks for sharing your story and your joy.  I needed it, too.


8 Replies to “Peace (For Now)”

  1. I too had problems with Clomid. It is great for a lot of people and sucks for others. I also am trying to focus on doing things that are healthy. It is a tough road but hopefully I will be rewarding in the end!

    1. This was my first round of Clomid, so I wasnt sure how my body would react. This wasn’t what I was expecting. I’m hoping that maybe this round helped kick my ovaries into gear. I will just keep drinking my juice, eating my protein, and exercising my tush off.

      Feel free to let me know how it’s going for you! I’m always happy to hear other’s stories.

  2. As far as my conception journey has gone, we are not yet at the point of medical intervention although I suspect I have issues with my hormone levels. But my husband and I have had a serious discussion or two on how far we’d be willing to go/spend on fertility treatments if the time comes. I think it’s really important to have an idea of what you want, in your case, not taking medicines and such that you know aren’t good for you.
    I often get frustrated when people tell me to “just relax” and to “not be stressed about it” but there are definitely people out there that letting go and taking a calmer, less stressful approach has worked for. I’m glad you’re feeling a little more peaceful about the process. I think at this point, for me, I don’t want to be neglectful and not fix the things I can but I’m also becoming a little more ok with the fact that it’s not an instant process for everyone.

    1. My doctor really stressed diet and exercise. I listened and I’m still listening. It has taken a bit to get my blood glucose levels down consistently, but I’m finally there.

      I have a couple people in my life that don’t really understand why this process is emotionally taxing. But I haven’t had anyone tell me to “relax” thankfully. That’s like telling a raging bull to calm down. Just because it’s said doesn’t make it happen. It’s definitely a process. The hardest part is making sure I’m only trying to control the parts I actually have control over, like diet and exercise.

      Good to hear from you again! Sending a prayer your way.

  3. I’ve gotten the “Calm down,” which is a cousin to the also familiar “You know, if you just stop trying…” Raging bull metaphor doesn’t begin to cover the words and emotions that go on in my head…
    Unfortunately, with PCOS and other ovarian dysfunction disorders, the likelihood of conception each month drops to practically nothing without medical intervention.
    But there’s so many more medications than Clomid out there (I know because I’ve been on a few)…and each one has its own side effects. Letrozole had some good results on progesterone (better than Clomid) and I didn’t have nearly as much pain.
    Good luck!

    1. “Calm down” has always been a phrase to set my father off instantly. It most certainly has the opposite effect on him. I can empathize a bit more with that these days. And yes, the just-stop-trying-and-you’ll-instantly-be-pregnant sentiment makes me scream internally every time I hear it. For us, the “not trying” version of trying (which is birth control free, no tracking, just having sex when you want to have sex) was step number one.

      I think I still have a chance at getting my body to work right naturally once I lose some more weight. I am still 38 lbs away from my personal goal. I have lost 12.8% of my starting weight (my OB/GYN recommended losing at least 10% of my weight), but the goal is to lose 30% (I started at 250 lbs). I may be very wrong, we will see, but I need to do this this way for myself. Thanks for the encouragement. I think we all need it from time to time. Best of wishes to you!

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