Continuing to Learn
Ain’t that quote the truth. While we’ve all heard the classic dumbass comments made to us about just taking a vacation to get pregnant and shit like that, I think the hardest part to me has been the people who I am (or now, WAS) close to who were just plain lazy, doing nothing to ask nor learn about what I’m going through.
Some of the people who have disappeared were ones who never read my blog, and just expected that if I was going to share it I’d be doing so on Facebook which I’ve not had for years. Because for some reason that’s the only way they want to communicate and “stay updated” on people – lazy fucking bullshit as far as I’m concerned. If someone is your friend, you communicate one on one, no matter if you use social media or what. Can’t get on the phone? Send them a personal email, let them know you’re thinking about them, support them, and then take the damn time to see them. Do Your Research.
I’ve always been a Golden Rule “do unto others” type of person when those I love are struggling. So if someone has an health issue I’m not familiar with, the first thing I do is look it up and learn about it. Not tell them how to treat it, just learn about what it is, common methods of treatment, etc. Then I ask them about it, and show them I care and am genuinely interested so they know they can talk to me if they want and that I won’t shirk away. I offer to drive them to doctor appointments if they are single so they are not going about it solo, or offer to come distract them by visiting or scooping them away for a few hours, or at least send a note that goes beyond “how are you feeling” (duh, like shit!). I am very much against the generic “let me know if I can help” which puts the onus on the person in pain. How often have we heard that when we are grieving a death? This is no different. We are struggling, and we need our people to step up.
Not sure about my amigas and amigos out there dealing with IVF and the like, but I have a very hard time asking for people to come look after me. It’s the culture we live in that calls us selfish I suppose. So with the transfer on Thursday and my acupuncturist telling me I need to do 2 solid days of bedrest afterwards (something I’ve never done before with this), I decided to mention this to my mom since my husband will be working the 2 days post-transfer.
Now that’s a complex thing I just did, I know. Asking someone I’ve just started to reconnect with to come care for me. Part of me did it actually for her, to give her something to do beyond her own grief, as she’s been paralyzed with the grief over her husband’s death in April and has been jam-packing her schedule with social engagements and doctor appointments to not have to face the pain. I’ve always agreed with the idea that volunteering to another is a great way to take the focus off your own pain, so when she agreed to come by with roasted chicken and vegetables on Saturday, I was relieved. Kind of. You see there’s a few things that stress me out now that I extended this invitation to her: a) I’ve never had her look after me, not since I was very young. Even when I had an emergency appendectomy while on vacation with my dad in Montana in middle school, she didn’t fly out to the hospital to be next to me; b) She is grieving and I have no idea how she’ll be with me just lying there on the sofa watching movies and napping. I can’t be focused on easing her pain during this time; and c) She has not asked ONE question about our IVF or infertility struggle. I’ve started volunteering a couple of websites and information on what we’ve been through, but she still has yet to ask me anything or show she’s read or looked into what we’re going through. At one point she’d indicated via text that she wanted to ask us lots of things when she came over, which she never did, and so this morning I emailed her letting her know that if she has those questions to ask them now, as I am not going to want to focus on talking about it during the waiting period as I want complete and utter distraction til I know the results. And her response? “I’ll just ask about it some other time.” Showing no curiosity or comprehension or desire to know more about what’s going on with her own kid.
Today I didn’t text her and she texted tonight ‘is everything ok?’ – one of those things that people usually say expecting a yes, but I’ve never been the type to do that, so I said not really, I’m super anxious and scared and unable to stay zen today. And her response was classic.
Stay positive, it will get better, whatever is meant to happen will happen.
Torn straight from the pages of the “what not to say” manual. Days after I sent her a link to the RESOLVE article that specifically said that research helps so much and all the things that one should not say, it’s clear that she didn’t pay attention to any of it. And while I know, I know, her intentions were positive, I just had to turn off my phone. I can’t hear anyone telling me the “it’s meant to be” shit. There are too many shitty parents out there who should never have had kids and way too many others who get knocked up who don’t even want kids and take them for granted, and yet somehow I’m just supposed to accept whatever happens? It’s so not that simple, and I suppose the real irony is that she, who has experienced the loss of her son at age two, would be mortified if someone told her that his death was “meant to be”.
But I didn’t stay silent as I have too many times during this journey through infertility. I sent the link again and asked her to read them and understand that her good intentions were actually causing the opposite effect.
And….she apologized. I swear. Nothing I’ve ever heard from her in my life has resembled a genuine “I’m sorry” until this moment.
Everything feels like the largest I don’t know. I’m in a delicate place and I need to know that if I’m around anyone these next few days beyond my husband, I won’t have to feel like I need to be “on” and can just recuperate and relax. Is that possible? Do people actually do that beyond my amazing husband? I dunno.
Crack in the Exterior
And along with that, my zen and positivity totally took a hit to the shins this week. I got it in my head that I’d be just fine going to a yoga class around the corner from my house. After all, this new one, called “YinYasa”, meant that the entire first half was focused on Yin, which I love because it’s more meditative and still. But I’d never been to this particular teacher and haven’t been in a studio in a couple of months.
I arrived and unlike almost every yoga class I’ve been to, she didn’t ask anyone if they had any issues, areas of pain, etc., they wanted to focus on. I’d mentioned when I walked in that I had plantar fasciitis and she casually said, “oh there’s only one move on the toes that you might not like”. I didn’t know her so I wasn’t about to go confiding with her about my IVF stresses and related body issues/challenges from that.
So rather than start in a regular cross-legged pose, she started us on our knees. Even with a blanket, my knees were in such pain I couldn’t do it, and while I know in yoga you can do whatever you want, really you do want to be able to follow along for the most part with the class, making slight modifications if necessary.
She however was zero interaction, zero modification, zero anything. The first extended yin pose was basically a runner’s stretch with your back knee on the ground and toes tucked under – the worst thing ever for my aching joints and an absolute no-no for my PF foot. Then she wants you to do a one-legged downward facing dog – another killer on a foot with PF. I was able to do sphinx and pigeon poses and that was it, as she then brought us into plank which of course was also a hell-no for my PF foot. Clearly this woman didn’t know shit about physiology and plantar fasciitis.
But the best parts (sarcastically I say this of course) – in the class, there was no talk of breath, of relaxation into poses, nothing. I would have been better off watching my Yin dvd at home where at least the lady on it talks to you, doesn’t just call out “one minute left!” as if this were some kind of strength challenge. Then the music went from quiet to actual songs with vocals and a slow hip hop kind of beat, which distracted the fuck out of me (I hate lyrics in yoga, IMHO the music should be background, not foreground where you end up listening to the words rather than to your own breath). And to top it all off, when I did try to find some type of comforting pose, I felt out of place, unsupported, and with all the hormones, my eyes began to tear up.
Yoga has always been a practice that has brought emotions to the surface. I’ve had tears come out, but have always had teachers who provided some type of verbal encouragement to meditate, to breathe, et cetera, so I could walk through the troubles in my heart that were coming to the surface. I did not get this there, and my tears welled up so much that I couldn’t see straight, and when you begin to cry there is no capacity for deep breathing.
I rolled up my mat and left 30 minutes into the class. The teacher not only said nothing, she avoided my gaze entirely. Several hours later I got an email from her asking how I was doing, and I decided to tell her that the class was not only too hard on my feet but that I was going through IVF which brought a lot of pain overall, and simply got a “oh hope you feel better soon!” – clearly she couldn’t even be bothered with showing any real empathy (or googling symptoms of IVF so she could be more sensitive to her student’s sharing of such personal health information.
When I got home, I had a good cry then went out into the garden and watered the roses and clematis and pineapple sage and jasmine and all the other lovelies. And that’s when I finally breathed again. I will return to yoga practice in a classroom setting someday, but not until my body is well out of hormone territory. Well, WELL out of hormone territory. But every yoga teacher should be well versed in the emotions that come up during yoga and how to support their students, and this lady was so, so not.
Focus on the Belly
Once again I decided to get an abdominal massage to help increase the blood flow and get me feeling really centered, and this time chose a new practitioner who was certified in advanced Maya abdominal therapy techniques. Well, it was different than the last one for sure. She started me out on my back and did the tummy stuff first, then rolled me onto my tummy and sides to do the hip and lower back work, which was kind of odd. She was very good and took an interactive approach, explaining what she was finding and how she was approaching each part of my body as it’s very much focused on not just your tummy but your lower back, hips, where your legs connect to your torso, and even your bum.
I liked her personality a lot but at the same time I wish she would have done the abdominal massage at the end which is such a centering thing for a woman about to go into the IVF transfer. The belly is where it all begins and I would have loved to have not ended the procedure on my side. All in all a good massage, but I didn’t leave completely connected to my uterus, if that makes any sense. Because her style was more interactive, which meant I ended up talking during some of it (I usually shut the hell up during massage), and didn’t go into the zone. Lesson learned, I should have asked what order she does things in and what areas she covers, as my past abdominal massage therapist ended things with craniosacral which is bloody fantastic to zone out in and get me on my “I am a Mother” mantra that I’ve been focusing on a lot these days.
So yeah, I’m a bit of a stress ball now, typing this while I’m supposed to be vegging out watching a romantic comedy with my honey.
Thank goodness I have a beautiful hour of Reiki scheduled tomorrow morning with my gal Heidi before I hop on the valium & vicodin train and float on over to the clinic with my hubby at the wheel. Thank goodness I have a partner who loves me so much.
Yep, I bought special good luck socks. And Dan wants to wear his special skull ring that he gave me to wear on a necklace when we were still dating long-distance. And we love each other so much, that all we can do is look into each others’ eyes tomorrow and know that we’ll get through, no matter what.