Hello, Warrior! This morning we had our follicle scan and I’m just now starting to feel better (thanks, hormones) so I’m able to put pen to paper (or fingers to laptop) and write all about what’s been going on in the Cartrette household. As you know we are doing a medicated cycle with Letrozole, Ovidrel, timed intercourse and progesterone suppositories so per usual I wanted to jot everything down, share my experience, and just document whatever I can.
Let’s start at the beginning, I was set to start taking Letrozole on the third day of my cycle which fell on December 21st, 2018. It was also on a Friday evening that we happened to have plans with some of Kerry’s family and friends. It was his cousin’s birthday so there was a mixture of people that we knew well, didn’t know well, and didn’t know at all. The reason I’m telling you this comes a bit later in my story. My doctor told me to take the medication before bed to help with any possible side effects. I for some reason had it in my head that I needed to take the medication at the same time each night like you would with birth control. I’m not sure why I had this mindset but it made sense to me and made it easier for me to remember to take my medication every night. I set an alarm on my phone to remind me to take the Letrozole at 8 PM. On night one we got to Kerry’s cousin’s event right at eight so I took the pills in the car before we went in to see everyone. I was so anxious about taking the medication for the first time while away from the house. I just didn’t know what to expect and those who reached out to me told me they either felt no different or had the worst headache and hot flashes. So it could literally go any which way for me, I mean I haven’t exactly been that lucky up until this point. So I took the medication and the funny thing is about thirty minutes after we arrived this guy that we didn’t even know well started to talk to us and asked that dreaded question “any kids yet?”. The thing is that Kerry and I practiced what we would say if someone asked us that question and both of us froze when it was actually asked. If I could go back I would change how we responded. This guy proceeds to tell us how his wife accidentally got pregnant, wasn’t expected, their daughter is the best thing to ever happen to them, blah, blah, blah meanwhile my eyes are filling with tears. I’m thinking to myself if only you knew what we have been through and what we are doing to get our own child to talk about. Thankfully we didn’t hang out for too long so we were able to get out of there and go home. I know that guy’s comments really bothered Kerry too. He likes to act tough but he’s a bit softer than he lets most people see.
Well, that’s enough for story time. Let’s go over any symptoms/side effects I felt from my experience taking Letrozole
MY EXPERIENCE TAKING FEMARA (LETROZOLE)
DAY 1 (December 21st):
I didn’t know what to expect on my first day taking the medication and like I mentioned above I wasn’t at home when I took it. I didn’t notice any symptoms the first day. In my head I thought I would take this pill and immediately feel like crap but thank goodness medicine doesn’t necessarily work that way!
DAY 2 (December 22nd):
The only thing I noticed on the second day of taking the medication was that my lower back hurt really bad all day! I couldn’t find any relief. I talked to a few other women and they said that was their first side effect too! I’m not usually someone who gets back pain unless it’s hormone/PMS related.
DAY 3 (December 23rd):
On the third day of taking Letrozole I still had the lower back pain and this was when I started to feel full, bloated, and a little bit more anxiety than usual.
DAY 4 (December 24th):
Two words for you - HOLY BLOATING. We had a family get together for Christmas Eve and we had to dip out a little early. I was bloated, cramping, nauseous, and had a mild headache. It was probably the worst I had felt so far at that point. I went home early and just went to bed, it felt amazing to just lay down!
DAY 5 (December 25th):
I felt better when I woke up on the fifth day of taking Letrozole. I still had bloating and cramping but everything else felt better.
I actually feel like my side effects got worse the two days following when I took the last pill. When I opened up about feeling this way on Instagram I had a lot of people reach out to me and call it the “downfall of Letrozole” and that totally made me laugh because it was the perfect way to describe what was going on. For two days after taking my last pill I had a mild headache that would NOT go away, I was nauseous, cramping, bloated like never before and just felt soooo uncomfortable. That’s really the best way I can describe it. After about two days that feeling got a lot better.
In my blog post about our baseline scan earlier this month I mentioned that these scans make me so anxious because I associate ultrasounds with bad news. I mean can you blame me? it’s all I feel I’ve ever gotten. Our follicle scan as no different if anything I was actually more anxious. I kept thinking that we would go in for the scan and I would be told that my follicles didn’t mature at all, that I’m crazy, and that my body is broken. Sure I know it was a bit dramatic but it’s what I thought could happen. Luckily Kerry was able to go with me today so that did help my anxiety a little bit.
The first thing that the doctor measured was my uterine lining (which was something else I was nervous about) and she said that it was perfect! It measured at 10mm and told me that 6mm+ was good.
Then she looked at my right ovary and there were two follicles but only one was mature. The mature follicle measured at about 20 mm which to me sounded HUGE and the doctor even said it was really good! I couldn’t help but smile. My body was responding really well to our first cycle on Letrozole. That’s a huge thing, a great thing, a small victory that we were set to celebrate! There wasn’t any follicles in my left ovary which I was a little sad about but I know that is somewhat normal. We have a good chance with that big follicle so I need to just believe in my body’s ability to do this!
The doctor said that we were ready to trigger and to do it as soon as we got home because that follicle was so big, she was afraid that I would ovulate on my own and that could mess with the cycle.
WE PULLED THE TRIGGER!
When we first started this journey, I never imagined that we would be here. I never imagined that I would take a medication to help us get pregnant and I never imagined that I would have to inject myself with a medication to get pregnant. Sometimes I think how did we get here? but I know that this is all for a reason.
When we got home from the follicle scan I took the Ovidrel out of the fridge so it wouldn’t be too cold when I injected it.
We pulled the trigger at 9:15 am and honestly the shot wasn’t that bad! I don’t think I felt it at all. I had to take a double look to make sure the needle actually was in! I totally worked up this fear in my head and it was nothing like that.
Here is a video of us pulling the trigger:
The next step is to start the progesterone suppositories in a few days. Then in about 12-14 days we will either be pregnant… or not. We are feeling really hopeful, really positive, and have a lot of faith in my body to do what it needs to do. I keep reminding myself that this has happened before and it happened naturally. This little push may be just what we need!