Posts Tagged ‘periods’

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Co-existing with infertility

August 16, 2009

Sitting in the doctor’s office after my last miscarriage, Jack on one side of me, the doctor on the other, I felt as if I was part of an intervention. Don’t be so hard on yourself, Jack said shaking his head and patting my hand. Dr. D nodded, In your life when you put your mind to something you’ve accomplished it, but in this matter there’s a lot that’s out of our control. She’s right. Since I was a child, the lessons imparted to me by my parents, teachers, society, was If you work hard enough you can achieve your dreams. And this was true, until now.

In the realm of infertility and pregnancy loss, I can take my Metformin to keep my insulin in check. I can pop the baby aspirin to thin my blood so it won’t strangle a future fetus. I can take the prenatals and make sure I’m eating a balanced baby friendly diet. I can try Clomid. IUI. IVF. I can jump on to lovenox after a positive pregnancy test. I can work as hard as I can and while I should keep my feet moving I have no control over whether any of this will work. This is hard to accept. Perhaps this is why I start sign hunting by checking my boobs, debating the degree of nausea and exhaustion during each two week wait. But sign hunting won’t give me the end result, its just a maddening way to waste two weeks (and in my case often longer) of your life.

Things such as sign hunting and the devastation that follows when you see blood made me think of stepping out of the baby making game for a while until I had my head in the right place emotionally. I told my therapist this thinking he’d agree because if anyone knows how much of a wreck IF has made me, it should be him. I was surprised when he disagreed. You’re in the game and I think you should keep moving, you need to learn to handle the challenges better but I don’t think you will take a time out. I think its an intellectual exercise to debate whether you should or not, you’re too deep in to step back. I think he’s right. I could never stop. The challenge for me is not taking some time off, but learning how to co-exist with my infertility. To walk side by side with this challenge and not let it wear me and turn me into a one dimensional person.

In an effort to co-exist with my IF I decided to focus on things in my control, so I can keep on moving on in this journey but not be paralyzed emotionally while I do so.

No more Sign Hunting. What do I get out of checking my boobs and gauging my levels of exhaustion? If I’m pregnant I am and I’ll find out soon enough. Some people say its good to have your hopes up and be positive. Maybe this works for some, but for me getting my hopes up means they are crushed in a bloody heap at the end of the cycle. Most people get that a miscarriage is sad, but most non-IFers don’t get that the end of a cycle that did not work is heartwrenching too. It is also a loss. I’m not sure how I’m going to succeed here but I’m not googling for signs and symptoms anymore and the goal is to firmly tell myself not to read into things when the urge strikes. If that means chanting a mantra you’re not pregnant, stop it! or Google is not a fortune teller. So be it.

Focus on the things I have control over like . . .

My fitness and nutrition. Exercising burns adrenaline and calms me but when I’m stressed or depressed the last thing I want to do is go for a run. My neighborhood is full of rolling hills and my plan is to stick on the iPod and power walk. I’m also considering yoga. With PCOS losing weight is challenging but its possible. Its time I took greater control.

My hobbies. I love to read. Scrapbook. Try new recipes. Write poetry (of questionable merit).  Instead of imploring Dr. Google to predict my future status of motherhood I will do things I enjoy.

My writing. Though my writing is technically a hobby at the moment since I’m not paid to do it, I have a finished manuscript that I’m revising one last time before submitting to agents. Since the miscarriage issues I’ve neglected it entirely. I need to update my query letters, and pursue this dream.

Reflecting. A dear friend reminded me how important it is  to take advantage of silence and down time to contemplate and reflect. When she first suggested this I wondered what I needed to reflect on or contemplate, but after a few days of plugging out for a few hours from TV, music, cell phone and internet and just taking a walk, or making dinner in silence I saw what she meant. The world comes into sharper focus. I realized its hard to really think clearly when you’re always plugged in. This act of taking time out for silence each day is helping me in ways I could never have anticipated from the simplest areas of appreciating things I never thought to appreciate such as the brilliant orange of a carrot I’m cutting for dinner, the sound of its crispness as I slice through it, the sweet flavor of homegrown tomatoes. Being plugged in, you can end up just doing things by rote and not realizing.  It’s not always easy to co-exist with silence because sometimes thoughts that are unpleasant that I’ve tried running from also make themselves known, but now at least I can begin tackling these thoughts instead of pushing them away, because the truth is, even if we don’t think about things and reflect, they are still there, poking us under the surface, stealing our peace of mind.

My Marriage. Its easy to take Jack for granted. He’s my best friend and he’s always there for me. While I’ve gotten better about dumping all my IF issues on him, I still can’t forget when he said he wanted his wife back. I hope as I try to flesh out the other parts of me that go beyond my desire for motherhood, Jack will see his wife returning. I cannot control all aspects of my marriage but I can control my end of things.

I hope by focusing on the areas of my life I have some measure of control over, I can take away the tunnel vision on IF that has taken over my life. I accept that no matter how much control I take over my life, IF sucks and failed cycles will always hurt, I just hope that I will bounce back faster and not allow IF to take over all of my life. The best I am praying for is it to co-exist with my infertility and not let it wear me as it has for two years.

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Thoughts while awaiting a period

June 14, 2009

I’m on CD32, still no period. I’m determined not to take a pregnancy test until Friday. That would be CD37 and by then any results will be accurate. It’s funny, I’ve been wanting to drink a lot of water lately, I have an unquenchable thirst. This was my first symptom of pregnancy last time though at the time I did not think of it as a symptom but instead just got weirded out at my high level of thirst. Later I read its an early preggo symptom. That’s the one and only symptom these days for me, if it is a symptom at all.  I tell myself I dont think Im pregnant and I tell myself not to raise my hopes, but then when I feel a twinge down there, I tense wondering if my period is coming, and when I tense the thought that instinctively comes to mind is no no no, please no, please let me be pregnant. And this thought sounds so whimpery and pathetic I feel slightly annoyed that I am so vulnerable to the monthly workings of my body.

I’m debating taking my prenatal pills. I avoid taking them lately because taking them reminds me of Speck. I am someone who focuses a great deal on the small things, for better or worse. When I was pregnant, I took the pills and I imagined its nutrients nourishing my speck. I imagined it so well, now I feel strange taking it on an empty womb. But today, I am tempted to resume taking my prenatal vitamins. I’m only afraid it will hurt harder if come tomorrow I bleed.

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.

May 17, 2009

.

You come

like

clockwork

a swiss train

so unlike

the rickety rickshaw

you are.

You come

bearing roses,

red,

thorny.

You whisper

sweet nothings

empty promises

of tomorrow-

as I bleed.

You and I know

the unspoken truth

We both know:

I can’t leave.

so I run my hand

over this battered body

and I

believe.

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Pads and Pregnancy Tests

June 11, 2008

I felt strange today as I walked up to the CVS counter and plopped down my two purchases: Pads and Walgreens Pregnancy Test. The cashier raised an eyebrow as he scanned but I shot him a look that sent back to his scanning.

Cycle day 41 and the brown is gone replaced by red. Dark red. But again its not that much, just a little. This is not a normal period. Perhaps I did not ovulate this month and this is an anaovulatory period (A “period” that happens when you do not ovulate). The pregnancy tests say negative and my doctor friend said by now I should show positive if I am.

The agony is excruciating but I am trying to hold on. I’m accepting that this is happening for a reason.

But you know, when I was 14 I said to my mom “Why do people even have kids, I hope I never have them” My mom said “Be careful what you say, you never know when God is listening an will answer your wish” That night I went to the movie rental store and checked out a random movie I’d never heard of, it was about a woman trying to conceive and could not. I felt deathly afraid as if I just got a sign from God that one day I would have problems. Then I shook my head and said, no its a sign that I should appreciate motherhood when it comes.

I think about that moment a lot these days. I think about the words I uttered. And I feel afraid. I just can’t shake the deathly fear that I might never conceive.

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Not Pregnant.

May 3, 2008

Doctor did a blood test. BFN. They want me to come in for a progesterone shot to start my cycle.

I feel like shit. Really truly.

I also hate that no one even tried to address why I felt like I did all month. Why are my breasts still tender. None of this was explained. A whole sea of unanswered questions builds upon the anxiety growing in my heart. She’s a nice lady but she has her own one person practice. Maybe she doesn’t have time to answer these questions. I need a new doctor.

This is a dark day for me. Not because I am not pregnant. If you gave me regular cycles. I will faithfully try, with faith. But 41 days now? And no period in sight? I see nothing but darkness.