She Says… Canada, eh?

I am attending a training in Toronto for work this whole week — I left my poor husband (again) to take care of Schnitzel and our house. Even though I don’t like being away from Benjamin, I love to travel. After our last session today I hit the gym for a quick workout (trying to be good amidst delicious food all week!) and then joined another trainee for dinner at a little Thai place near our hotel. As we chatted, she said something that struck a chord with me.

She was telling me about her two kids (a 3 year old and an 18 month old), and said, “We’re hoping to have three or four, but you just never know…”. I appreciated her awareness that it doesn’t always go according to plan. After dinner as we were walking the chilly streets (Toronto is SUCH a cool city!), she asked me if Benjamin and I were planning on having kids anytime soon. I don’t know if it was the tone of her previous comment, or the fact that it was a one-on-one conversation with someone who was essentially a stranger, but I found myself saying, “Well, we’re trying, but we’re having some trouble”. As soon as I said it she put her hand on my arm and said, “Oh, I completely understand. We had a lot of trouble with my second. I even went to a special doctor and got some help.” Turns out she never got her period back after breastfeeding her first baby, and had to take Clomid to get pregnant with her second (it only took her three rounds). She’s about to see her doctor for another Clomid prescription, since she hasn’t gotten her period again after her second baby.

Why is it that whenever I open up to people about my fertility issues, everyone seems to have a story, but no one ever mentioned it to me before? It’s like some super secret club that you only hear about when you can be a member. And why is it that I feel compelled to tell perfect strangers about my issues, but have difficulty divulging the information to family and friends? Whatever the reason, it felt nice to connect with someone on that level after only being here for one day. And her story totally gave me hope — three rounds did it for her, why not two rounds for me, right?

I pop the last two little Clomid tablets tonight. Then tomorrow I’m going to start taking Robitussin. I don’t generally take a lot of medicine unless I really need it, so daily Robitussin for 6 days seems like overkill, but I’ve done some reading and it sounds like the decongestant thins out sticky cervical mucus (whoa, sorry for not giving you a TMI alert about that one!) to make the spermies more comfortable while they’re swimming. Apparently Clomid causes inhospitable cervical mucus in 30% of women, so even though I don’t know which side of that statistic I am on, I’m not taking any chances! I’d like things to be…. ermmm… smooth sailing for this weekend (prime babymaking time, if all goes according to plan with the ovulating).

Anyone out there used Robitussin? Or did you notice a change while you were on Clomid that was detrimental to babymaking? (Trying to be ladylike with my language here, but let’s be honest, folks, cervical mucus is cervical mucus).

17 responses to “She Says… Canada, eh?

  1. It’s amazing how people and situations are placed in our lives for certain reasons. Especially in real life and not just blogland!
    Heck yeah for baby making this weekend!!!

  2. Good luck this weekend!!! How exciting!!!! About the Robitusin did you doctor suggested to take it or you just read about it? CM for me was fine with the first round of clomid but will see on Monday =))))

  3. Have fun baby makin’ this weekend. It’s pretty crazy (and sad) just how many people have been affected by IF. I hope this month is it for u!

  4. I just recently found your blog! I also have PCOS and used clomid to get pregnant with my now 6 month old. I have friends online with the PCOS Association community boards who have found using a decongestant to thin their CM as well. I didn’t personally, but I did use a fabulous product called Pre-Seed (also recommended by ladies on the boards). It’s a lubricant that’s safe for the sperm. You can buy it online and I highly recommend it! It’s a bit pricey but totally worth it! Good luck!

  5. i am on clomid now too, and my doctor prescribed estradial for days 10-14 to help me with cervical mucus – it seems to be working well. i’ve tried taking mucinex pills b/c i can’t stand the taste of robitussin but it didn’t seem to really make a difference. preseed works too, but is very expensive. ask your doc about estradial/estrace since the timing may be right.

  6. I’ve never used the cough syrup thing and don’t think I would try it. I hope it works for you though. Yea for your last clomid pills. Glad your having a good trip.

  7. The woman you met gives ME hope! Glad you connected with her. And hurray on the Clomid being done….did you notice any side effects? Now, c’moooon ovulation!

  8. I’m glad your trip is going well. I think that it is often SO much easier to open up to strangers than to close friends and family. It’s so funny, because I just did something similar while I was on a business trip last week. All of the sudden I was sharing info that I usually guard. It’s healthy to talk about it…and cheaper than a shrink.

  9. No experience with Robitussin, but I’ve heard that grapefruit juice (the 100% juice kind, not cocktail) is supposed to help with CM, too. I like grapefruit juice anyway and drank it the month I got pregnant, and had tons and TONS of good CM, but can’t say whether it was due to the juice, or my body just adjusting further to being off the pill. I was just drinking it because I like it and it was on sale that month. 🙂 But if you like it, it certainly couldn’t hurt!
    Sending you good vibes this month!!!

  10. I think it’s great that you were able to open up to someone, stranger or not. When my husband and I first found out that I had PCOS and would need “some help”, I was kind of nervous to tell anyone. But then I thought it over and decided I wanted to share our journey with family, friends and associates alike. I never knew how many women face infertility issues. Almost every woman I have spoken has had some kind of obstacle to overcome and I find that extremely inspiring for us. To be able to talk with other women and know that they have been in similar situations and now have healthy, happy children, I know that we will get there too. To be able to talk with other women and know that we are not alone, that we are probably the majority rather than the minority is very comforting. I know that the office I go to is sooo crowded all the time. I actually find myself blurting it out to lots of people, co-workers, arbitrators, friends, family….it gives me peace to be able to talk about it and hear other people’s stories.

    As for the Robitussin, I hadn’t read anything about that until recently. But now that I’ve picked up on it, I am realizing that many women have mentioned that Robitussin, mucinex and that pre-seed lubricant have worked for them. Since we’ve been told that we wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally at all and the IUI involves the swimmers being place directly in the uterus, I personally don’t have experience with decongestants to help out the cervical mucus, I sort of skip that step. But I’ve read many entries wherein women have tried it and it has helped.

    Final 2 little white pills!!! Doesn’t it feel great?! When you get to that last day of pills, it feels like success. You’ve reached this mile marker and now there’s only a few more tiny steps before you can cross the finish line! Try not to stress too much and have good thoughts! Good luck!!! 🙂

  11. It’s so true! You see people with their cute little families and you just assume that everything was easy with regards to having their children. I’m constantly amazed when I really talk to people how many of them have struggled or have had miscarriages or other issues – you’d never know it to look at them. Just goes to show that these issues are more common than we think and that they are not (hopefully) insurmountable.

  12. Folks don’t like to admit that they’ve had a little extra help in that department. My friend that underwent 3 rounds of AI, Clomid, and finally ended up with a beautiful set of twins says, “what business is it of anyone’s whether I conceived my twins naturally or with help? I’m not octomom.” Perhaps it’s still pretty taboo and you are opening doors for people to finally vent and get it out in the open!

    Hope you and the hubs have a good time this weekend! No lubes…it reduces the swimminess I think. See if you (or Ben) can detect your cervix position and dilation – another clear indicator of the parts and hormones working well.

  13. Isn’t it funny how we feel better hearing from others. Now that we are trying it seems like I am always finding a way to appropriatlely ask others how long it took them. As if hearing 6 months for them has anything to do with me, but for some reason it just makes me feel like I am part of the norm.
    Excited for you!!

  14. It’s weird how it’s so much easier to open up certain people (even almost strangers) over others. I have felt weird urges to talk to random people about our IF, and this is the girl who just told her mom a week ago! Maybe it’s intuition…maybe IF tunes us in to others who may be struggling as well.
    Also, I’ve never tried Robitussin, but I have read that it helps CM. I have never really noticed “fertile” CM at all, so I haven’t noticed a difference on the Clomid. Probably not good. Maybe next month I’ll try the Robitussin…let me know how it goes!

  15. yay toronto! how long are you in town for?

  16. I posted in the wrong blog. (the halloween one)
    I too love Pre-Seed! Have a great trip!

  17. Courtney F, So true! It was such a nice coincidence. Exactly what I needed.

    Zuly, I just read about it, my doc didn’t mention anything about it. My CM last cycle (with 50mg of Clomid) was fine, but I know that the increased dosage often results in a lot of CM issues. I figure, it can’t hurt… it’s just a teaspoon or two each morning.

    Al, I know, it is a small world sometimes. It still shocks me, though, how no one talks about it! I hope this is it for us, too 🙂

    Beth, Thank you so much for the Pre-Seed recommendation! I have seen that on message boards and other blogs, but I haven’t tried it myself. We’ll see how things go this cycle without it (since it is expensive), but it sounds like a good option if I need it.

    Lynn, Interesting, thanks for the suggestion! If I end up feeling like hostile CM is an issue, I will ask my doc about Estradiol. Glad it’s working for you.

    Low Fat Lady, Thank you! Hopefully this will be the only time I’ll have to try the cough syrup thing, but we’ll see!

    suchagoodegg, Yes ma’am! It’s OPK time again! My fingers are crossed for REAL ovulation this time.

    Karley, Yes! It felt great. There is definitely something freeing about baring it all to strangers.

    Sue, Oooh, that’s a new one! I’ve never heard that before, but I like grapefruit juice, so it can’t hurt to give it a try over the next few days…

    Michelle, It is amazing that as soon as you bring up the topic of getting “help”, everyone has a story to share! It’s like opening the floodgates. It’s so true about the doctor’s office too — Boston IVF is the same way, always totally crowded. It’s sad to think that all of those people are having trouble getting pregnant, but it certainly helps me feel less alone. Thank you for your support!

    Tabitha, Yes, I ALWAYS assume that these happy women with babies didn’t have any trouble conceiving at all. Which is crazy! Chances are MOST of them had some sort of difficulty throughout their journey to being mothers. Hopefully someday soon I’ll be one of those lucky ladies.

    Sam, I often worry that if we are ever blessed with twins that people will feel differently about them (and me) if they find out I got “help”. Octomom certainly has changed the public opinion of infertility!

    MyHormonesMadeMeDoIt, Yes, me too! I know it’s irrational, but I too try to get all the details from others about how it all happened for them. How long did it take? What medicines were you on? Did you do yoga or acupuncture? Did you exercise? How long did it take? Even though I know it has no bearing on me, it helps to hear what worked for others.

    APlusB, Good point about intuition… I’m not sure where this bare-my-soul attitude came from, but it has started some really wonderful conversations.

    haya, Toronto was awesome! I LOVE that city. I didn’t even think of looking you up! Sorry about that. I was in town Tuesday – Friday, and now I’m home. You’re very lucky to live there.

    Kristen, Thanks for the Pre-Seed shoutout! Something I’ll definitely look into if I need it again next month (although I really hope I don’t!).

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