The Clomid Question

It’s a very good question that popped up in response to my last post, and one that deserves some attention rather than just to be buried in a comment-reply. I feel very strongly that I want to try to get pregnant without chemical assistance next time.

It isn’t that I outrightly expect it would be multiples again if I returned to Clomid. I just feel wary about it. Even if everything were to turn out fine on Clomid in the next attempt, I still don’t want to go through the process again, or feel that mounting apprehension over and over every cycle. Taking it last year didn’t buoy me with hope and optimism. It swamped me with dread. My overreactive panicking when it was first prescribed. My nervous wavering every new cycle as the Clomid Days approached. In retrospect, I suppose those melodramatic fits were justified. Woe is me, all of that.

Besides. It wasn’t until I got the Metformin into my system that we had any success. I wonder whether, during that second cycle on Metformin (because supposedly it does typically take 30 days or more for that stuff to work its magic), I would have ovulated just fine without the Clomid. My experiment now is to try and figure that out: If I can get my blood sugar under control, is that enough to make me ovulate regularly? My hypothesis is yes, it will be enough. The first approach is to see if I can accomplish that without Metformin, and that’s why I’m trying out this South Beach thing.

Honestly, I’m feeling leery of all prescriptions at the moment. I’d go back on Metformin before Clomid, and really I’d do it without much of a fight if I felt I needed to; but I’d still very much prefer to go without it. Enough so that I’m willing to sacrifice things I love (like, cake). The chemical distrust extends beyond the directly conception-related, too. I’m so hoping that Dr. G will tell me to quit the Labetalol (the only prescription I’m currently taking) when I go back to see him in another couple weeks. And if we do decide that all the scheduling troubles mean we should put things on hold for the longer term, I have no plans to go back on The Pill, either.

There is also, admittedly, some psychological pressure to not take Clomid for the next pregnancy. The way total strangers would ask whether the triplets happened naturally – or instead whether they “run in the family” (which is code). It felt so judgmental, every time. Like we’re doing something wrong, or like we don’t deserve to be pregnant. Like it’s more righteous to conceive a baby without working at it. Better still if you aren’t even really trying, if you just wind up that way after a tender evening of candlelit intimacy. Preferably on vacation somewhere. (Caveat: This only applies to financially stable, married people, thank-you-very-much.) That’s what we’re supposed to want, right? A naturally occurring pregnancy, followed by an unmedicated home birth attended by a midwife. And then we carry our baby around in one of those slings and never buy a stroller, nor do we buy a crib because the baby sleeps in between mommy and daddy in our bed, and we breastfeed exclusively until baby can walk and talk, and after that we make all of our own organic baby food in our little baby food processor. Right?

No judgment. Honestly, really do I want at least half of that stuff myself. I’m just saying, there isn’t any room for infertility or intervention in this narrative.

I won’t say there is absolutely, positively no way I wouldn’t turn back to fertility medication, or potentially (very, very hesitant here) even to more invasive measures. The sheer pressure of time was certainly a factor last year, and it is easy to imagine a scenario where that would come into play again. Where there is a small window where getting pregnant would be particularly convenient, and maybe we admit to needing some help in order to squeeze into that window. It’s easy to say right now, since I don’t expect our calendar to be great for a pregnancy, but I’m hoping it will be acceptable for one, that I’m more okay with taking our time and letting things happen more on their own. Maybe if we get through the next two sea tours without success, then we’ll see about other measures by the time the next shore duty arrives. That’s a very long time from now. As we’ve learned, things can change tremendously in the course of just a few months.

Perhaps it ought to be a red flag, though, that every time I write about Clomid, I work myself into this hyper-analytical long-winded rant trying to rationalize some deep-seated fear that I doubt I’ll ever shake. I mean, I know I tend toward overanalytical basically all the time, but it gets especially bad when Clomid is involved. Case in point, above.

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