As a girl, you spend a good part of your late tweens/early teens dying to get your first period. Two of my schoolfriends and I had a bet on about who would be first. Then, for a giant portion of your child-bearing years, you vacillate between finding it a nuisance (for some, though not me, a terrible curse) and being relieved as hell when it arrives.
My smartphone app told me I was due this month on 11 Oct and I’ve spent the past few days jumping at my own shadow every time I thought my period had arrived.
I’ve been agonising over whether to start the IUI cycle this month. I’m incredibly busy with a stressful, all-day, deadline-driven project and I’ve caught the chesty cold that everyone around me seems to have now that October is here. On a few occasions in the last two years this has developed into a lung infection for me, which wouldn’t be ideal on a number of counts. In my 12 or 13-hour working days, I also hadn’t made it down to the clinic to drop in my IUI consent form; nor had I spoken to B about what exactly I was to do with all those meds.
Having been experiencing a few menstrual twinges over the last few days, I snuck out to the clinic around noon today to drop in the form and ask if B could talk me through the plan. I figured at least I’d be armed with the info, even if I don’t go this month, and could stop stressing about it.
I dropped in the form to the friendly receptionist and asked about B. It turns out she’s on her annual leave. I explained my predicament ie that I could be due to start any day now and hadn’t a notion what I was to do with the meds. The nice receptionist called for a member of the nursing staff (I typed “cursing staff” there – menstruation on the brain) and a temporary nurse, C, arrived. She couldn’t have been more lovely and helpful. She went off and checked my records and told me I’ll be on Gonal F only every second evening, starting on day 3 and ending on day 11. This made me very happy, as the fewer drugs the better. She also explained that I can inject in the thigh, instead of the abdomen – this was news to me. Tamoxifen tablets I start on Day 2, twice a day for five days. My first scan will be Day 8, when I’ll be told when to take the Centrotide injection to delay ovulation, and then there’ll be another scan on Day 11, when I’ll be told when to take the Ovitrelle injection to induce ovulation, 36 hours before the IUI.
The vaginal pessary things are for after that – will worry about those later. And the Vitamin B I should take anyway along with folic acid, as it’s good for pregnancy.
I left the clinic totally unstressed and positive again about my plans. It’s amazing what a difference one conversation with a nice, helpful person can make. I was excited and raring to go when I got home.
So no surprise, then, that four hours later, at 3.45pm today, I got my period. Just as Mr Smartyphone had foretold. I rang the clinic at 3.56pm (four minutes before reception closes) and my Day 8 scan is now booked for 18 Oct, 11.40am.
So it’s systems a go-go! I can’t quite believe it. I start the Tamoxifen tomorrow morning and the Gonal F on Saturday evening.
I bought lemons last night, as when on a cycle you’re advised to drink hot water with freshly squeezed lemon first thing each morning to help your liver or kidneys, whichever, process all the drugs. Plus, I bought a two-litre water bottle – a lot of women get bad headaches during the cycle and drinking 2 litres of water a day can help flush everything through your system. So maybe subconsciously last night I knew I was ready to go, even if my rational brain hadn’t quite made that leap. Which C helped me to make today.
All going according to plan, my Day 8 scan will be taking place almost three months to the day after my initial consultation. So I can’t really complain.
Will keep you posted, unless, that is, my fingers become too hairy to allow me to type and my beard keeps getting caught in the keyboard.