Today. I am realizing that the height of each emotional roller coaster is the morning after injection day, as I woke up feeling a mess the other day, along with an awesome new dose of nausea, and yet today I’m pretty darn fine.
As many of you who have or are going through this know, working during IVF treatment can be a hellish struggle. I consider myself fortunate in that I work from home, but the awkwardness is just as extreme when it comes to blocking out time to deal with the appointments, dealing with the side effects of the meds, and just trying to stay perky. My job is all about the perky, let me tell you, so I am grateful for no longer working in an office, but it does take a certain amount of focus to give the 110% I’m dedicated to giving to both my clients and my candidates.
Hell-to-the-yeah for the Mindfulness app on my phone!
Mental Health Tuneup
I must say I’m so grateful for the counselor who’s been there for us during this process. To me, good health is mental, physical and emotional all wrapped up together, which is why I’ve always taken a holistic strategy towards feeling good. My “dream team” of naturopath/acupuncturist, massage therapist, counselor, exercise instructor and/or yoga teacher, along with my RE are all vital to that positive path forward.
Just before going to see our RE, we had a joint appointment with our wonderful counselor to really sit down and talk about what we’ve been through and where we are headed next in this family-making part of our journey together as a couple. She’s so insightful and gives such interesting food-for-thought during the sessions, and today left me with the thought of how the uterus and brain might have more in common than I think.
You see, my husband suffered a traumatic brain injury about 15 years ago, a subdural hematoma to be exact, which he’s recently been seeing some specialists about, to ensure there is no long term damage (his CAT scan looks good, by the way – oh and aren’t those super cool to look at or WHAT?!! now that’s good technology). He had to re-learn everything and was in the hospital for weeks with physical and cognitive therapy for months after. With that piled on top of our infertility struggles, my own worrying recently during those visits had brought up the “what’s worse, brain or reproductive system issues?” question. For me that seemed obvious – the uterus was not affecting my ability to think critically, multi-task, problem solve, or feel, so it was nothing near as vital as the brain. But in looking deeper, there are many connections between the uterus and the brain, from recent studies published on the National Institute of Health’s website to statements over a century ago referring to the uterus as the “abdominal brain“.
Not sure where I’m going with this but it’s an interesting thing to poke around in online and I do love to learn about mind-body connections in science. (PS – best college class I ever took? UW’s Psychobiology of Women. Awesome.).
So, today we had our ultrasound to see how my good (?) ol’ uterus is getting lined up and ready for an embryo to land and stay for the long haul, and all looks excellent. I’m already at 8.5mm (the ideal by our transfer date, a week from now, is 9.0mm+), and get this, amazingly our RE said “I’m sure it will work this time.” And this from someone who is normally very cautious with his optimism. It was hard not to take this to heart, but I’m still maintaining a healthy skepticism.
My favorite part and my husband’s of our appointment? When the doc asked “now are we transferring one or two?” which he does this in every appointment – and of course we both simultaneously said “ONE!” – and I followed that up with, “Doc, if we have two, it means you’ll have to be our manny when we go to Ethiopia to pick up our little girl.” Nothing makes my day like getting our normally buttoned up RE to giggle. Like I said, something about the anxiety of that office always amps me up into Standup Comedian Mode.
So my agency let me know that everything indeed had arrived in Ethiopia and has been translated effective January 22nd, however the wait now is unknown because of all the violence and upheaval going on in Addis Ababa and the surrounding Oromia region (see that little yellow dot in the center of the country inside all the red? That’s Addis.) due to the massive student protests against the “militaristic democracy” that the Ethiopian government has often been described as. The US Department of State has expressed concern, and along with the recent bombing of one of the biggest mosques in the city, our agency has told us that in the Oromia region, things are still ugly – police stations, hospitals and schools are being burned down, and students are still rioting with 140+ having already been killed by police. Oh and did you know they are in the midst of their biggest drought in 50 years, set to be much worse than what we saw back in 1984?
During such a time of turbulence, where families are being torn apart or dying from hunger, one cannot be upset because our adoption might take even longer than the estimated one year or more. One cannot be so selfish.
But it didn’t stop me from crying. It didn’t stop me from feeling the potential that my worst fears might be realized, a failed adoption and a failed reproductive system. I know, I know, but hey, I told you, I’ve got bag lady syndrome in my professional life and it often bleeds over to the personal.
This means just one thing…let hope sit peacefully next to me.
“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.”