“I never could have imagined the way that infertility would affect me. It truly touches every aspect of my life. I am a changed person. I have lost much of the bubbly self I once was…Relationships have fizzled because it’s too painful for me to be around babies. I’m hesitant to make plans because I don’t know what my emotional health or family situation will be. My life is riddled with painful arbitrary dates and numbers. I dwell on anniversaries of due dates, holidays and milestones...My heart and my house still feel empty.”
~ from Holding Out Hope
“Though we are all here for the same procedure, it somehow feels taboo to talk to one another, to look each other in the eye…People are still reluctant to talk about infertility, to put their real names to their stats and heartaches…One of the greatest strengths we infertile women have is in our numbers, in holding our hands out to each other. So I outstretch mine to you, here.”
~ from I’m Not Ashamed of My Infertility
The Elation of Empathy
This week I had a wonderful high and a gut punching low…all in the same day. And not related to hormones!
On the positive side, I had a wonderful lunch with a former applicant whose candidacy was cut short by my client when they went a different direction. I’d enjoyed chatting with her so much I invited her to lunch, and we got along famously. And as what often happens when women start sharing, our own stories started coming out and I mentioned I was in the throes of another IVF cycle. Guess what? She had been through it multiple times as well, once with a miscarriage then two successful cycles before having her third without ART. She got what I was going through. She remembered the shots, the emotional ups and downs, the heartache. Not once did she do the “rah rah never give up!” stuff that makes me want to bust something, and not once did she say “if you’re adopting you’re sure to get pregnant now!” which also inspires a similar reaction. She was just…cool. In this lonely place called infertility, it was a rare bright spot.
On the negative side, I found out on day two of my online Children’s Health class that the teacher has created two assignments during the quarter that involve organizing events with kids. One is actually to create a lesson plan and teach, the other is to create a dinner menu plan and serve it – both to a minimum of 3-4 kids. WTF? Mind you this is NOT an early childhood education class, it’s a health class! I’ve taken two other health classes with PCC and nothing even resembling this was required. I have no interest in teaching school or being the cafeteria lunch lady. But the deal is, the teacher added this to an ONLINE class with no mention of it in the course description, with complete insensitivity that not all students have access to groups of small children like she does, and to have over to our house for dinner and to teach a class to, are you kidding me? We don’t even have a dining room – it’s my office!
(Some might respond “but don’t you volunteer with kids every week?” Yes, we do, and no, you can’t just invite kids that you volunteer with an hour a week over to your house. We can’t even give them piggy back rides, y’all. Others might respond, “well what the hell do you think you’re going to do when you have kids?” And to them I’d say f**k off, because a) No matter how much we want kids, we’re on IVF #3 and have no guarantee we’ll EVER have what we want, and b) This is fucking irrelevant as we’re not planning to have 3-4 kids AND we’re referring to a community college class.
Anyhow, so what did it mean? If I skipped these two major projects I’d fail the class. Not interested in paying $400 to fail. And yeah this is a couple days into the term, so not like I can just register for something else. I wrote the teacher in a half-hearted hope for empathy, got no response (not a surprise as my husband’s teachers have been so completely unengaged it’s not even funny…a real sales pitch for community colleges, I know, but sometimes you do get what you pay (less) for), and with only 48 hours left before I would lose my ability to get tuition and book refunds, and ultrasounds and the like coming up, I had to make the decision to drop the class. I’m still pretty broken up though, as the subject matter in the textbook was so interesting to me!
But this gal ain’t got time to dwell. After all it’s 70 degrees outside and April starts tomorrow!
Ultrasound Number Three
The clock continues to tick and our ultrasound shows my uterus is still doing what it’s supposed to do with the delestrogen shots, with it already at a nice 7mm a week before transfer. Basically, in the beginning lining growth is somewhat slow, and once you’re deep in it, it starts to grow faster, anywhere from 1-3mm per day (source). I still have a small fibroid in my uterus which he said was around 2 cm but nothing to stress about as it’s far away from the implantation zone (the doc said they’re very common but I gotta say, still yucky thinking about that little bugger in there).
Another two thousand bucks on the credit card (thank you FSA company for not getting your debit cards in the mail on time – but at least we can get reimbursed for this one…but it will eat up 80% of my husband’s FSA maximum, sigh…). May this be the last two grand paid to this clinic…
Belly Rub Number Three
Today I had my pre-transfer massage, where my awesome fertility LMT not only did her wonderful abdominal massage work but because I splurged on 90 instead of 60 minutes, she also did some amazing cranio sacral therapy, along with great work on my lower back, shoulders, neck, and feet. There’s something about the intensity of this type of work on your body right before transfer that’s been so good about getting me mentally in the zone. While I’m usually not one for deep tissue, this type of treatment always makes me feel more connected to myself internally, and I leave feeling stronger and more relaxed.
Because I’m doing DEIVF, I don’t do these regularly, just a week before transfer to benefit my uterus and increase that blood flow. For anyone doing traditional IVF, here’s a great link/video talking more about the benefits of abdominal massage as you go through the complete preparation, cycle and transfer. I highly recommend checking it out if you are doing IVF – no matter what some may think about the science, ultimately you’re getting a massage…
Five days left and my focus is on: staying awake during the day, focusing on mental clarity and relaxation, eating foods that nurture my body and soul, getting some vitamin D from all this spring sunshine, and getting out on my bike.
And staying mellow (as the daily progesterone-in-oil injections started this morning) is key. With the nausea already piling up from the estrogen, these next two weeks are the ones that challenge me both mentally and physically the most. So with that, while I do have one new recruitment coming up, I’ve asked my coaching clients to hold off until the 15th (after we have the results) before asking me to get started, and additional recruitments to not kick off until the end of next week, after the transfer has occurred and I’m in the 9 day wait window. I’m fortunate to be able to do this as I had a really great first quarter with my business, but still hungry for more work – I like to be busy! But I know that when it comes to my personal health, I need to give my body and mind a bit of leeway to get through this third attempt without a massive pile of work to look at. While there are certain folks who read this blog and get what I’m going through, you’re not exactly going to shout “IVF, look it up!” at everyone who wants to get on your calendar during that time.
With that? Over and out for today. Go get your groove on with this, my IVF sisters – you deserve to dance a little…
May the devil chase you every day of your life and never catch you.