Posts Tagged ‘Therapy’

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Solving puzzles and fighting bitterness

August 3, 2009

A friend likened my struggle to solving a puzzle. First there was the puzzle pieces of actually conceiving which appear to have fallen in place (knock on wood, throw salt over shoulder, any and all superstitions go here). Then we ran into the next obstacle of actually, you know, keeping the child ticking in my womb. We might know the answer to this puzzle and be able to kiss our third baby. [Which, by the way, for others who have miscarried multiple times, does it ever get less surreal when doctors ask you “how many pregnancies have you had?” to answer them with multiples when you have nothing to show for it? It blows my mind to tell them two, surreal]

I’ve decided I can’t wait to solve the puzzle. I’m still bleeding from my miscarriage so I won’t get my period until the end of August so September we try again.  I’m nervous because my job ends in September, the month we plan to try and I don’t know what that means as far as insurance, but as long as insurance stuff can be worked out and I can keep my doctor it will be September. I’m so nervous about losing my doctor and having to start this all over again with someone else. Hopefully it will all work out.

In the meantime I’m fighting bitterness which is threatning to close around me like a hollow shell. We went out to Target and as I passed the baby section filled with prams and baby seats I felt a tangible bitterness like biting into a mango peel. I had to literally look away. I saw my mother smile at a small white frock and run her hand over the lacy material and felt my insides turn. Every baby I see sends a hollow echo through my womb. The news of baby genders from people who conceived when I did the first go around are pouring in and they are frankly suffocating me with grief. Not bitterness towards what they have, just bitterness about what I do not. My therapist raises his eyebrows when I say I shouldn’t have miscarried. He says life has its own ways of working, we can’t say what should or should not happen. Should rings of entitlement which leads to hurt and bitterness when one does not get what they think is their right. But fucking hell, I do feel I’m entitled to carry the child I conceive to full term. I think that is my right. If I miscarry I think its a fucking crime and I think it shouldn’t have happened and if I could arrest someone and prosecute to the full extent of the law I sure as fucking hell would.  Still, though my feelings are understandable I need to fight this bitterness.  Bitterness is like the vines that wrap around abandoned buildings blocking the windows from light, cracking the walls, hiding all beauty. If I stand still and allow the seeds of bitterness to take root they will take over leaving me a shell of who I am. I don’t want this and I’m determined to fight the feeling that threatens to take me hostage.  How do you fight bitterness? How do you keep yourself filled with hope and joy despite the seeds of bitterness that fall every day against your doorstep?

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Fears and in-laws

July 24, 2009

I close my eyes to sleep tonight and the thoughts from this week swirl through my mind. I’m so sorry, you are having a miscarriage. Conversations about D&Cs. Accepting another miscarriage. The hurt was physical in equal parts as it was emotional. I hear my doctor’s voice as I lay in silence. I see my father’s e-mail comforting me. I feel Jack’s arms around me as I shake with tears. The next day. I remember telling the specialist No! I don’t want an ultrasound, my HCGs are dropping, why are you going to do this? I shudder to think if he listened. Will that moment when the tech tells me my baby is 6w1d with a 104 heart rate ever feel less surreal? Because right now all I can do is think of it and feel myself tremble with disbelief and awe.

I’ve been fine all day but now tears drip down my cheeks and I’m not sure why. This blog has always been my place to sort through my feelings so forgive me if this all seems silly or unnecessary. I try to tell myself not to be afraid anymore because clearly what is meant to happen will happen and I only have today so don’t dwell on the what if’s in the future. The problem is I’ve not only just had a miscarriage in April, I thought I lost the one I have right now. The HCG isn’t doubling. They must be concerned to do weekly ultrasounds. I’m trying not to worry about the Thursday ultrasound but I can’t help it. I’m scared. I want to believe the doctors when they shrug off my not having nausea or hardly any symptoms, but its hard when you’re so afraid. My lower back hurts. Is that okay? I wonder. I feel pressure in my uterus area. Not cramping but just pressure. I immediately consult Dr. Google and scare myself silly. Pregnancy post miscarriage is always more difficult since you know what can happen. Add a history of infertility and its a recipe for paranoia and fear.

My therapist encourages me not to name the baby (Too late, Baby Bug). He said I shouldn’t talk to it. I shouldn’t say things like she’s a fighter since it hurts harder if I lose it. That I should not pin all my hopes on this one pregnancy. Isn’t that natural though? How can I see the ultrasound and the beating heart and not feel overcome by love and the corresponding worry. Every instinct in my being wants to send it good vibes, asking it to keep on fighting. I can’t wave my hand and say well if not this one, the next one. I want this one.

I think I’m also feeling very emotional because after a long week like this what I’d like more than anything is to curl in bed all weekend and catch up on the sleep I’ve gone without this week. But I can’t do that. Jack’s parents are coming in town.  I’ve written a little about them here but to put it briefly we don’t get along and thanks to how they acted after my miscarriage we won’t be telling them the news until much later (please God let there be a much later).  I also have a weird habit of bleeding whenever I see them. Somehow whenever we would visit I’d get my period. I miscarried the weekend we were visiting them. After my miscarriage there was a big blowout and we haven’t seen them in over three months. Tomorrow they will be here and the house isn’t up to par clean wise, but I don’t have the energy, and well shouldn’t JACK be working on it considering its his parents? There is no food in the house, I haven’t cooked in advance. I’m usually a good host (even if they’re seldom impressed) but I’m just feeling overwhelmed and yes, I’m scared because of the whole bleeding when they’re here sort of thing. I know its likely just a coincidence but its a fucking scary as hell coincidence. And here’s the most awful part. I know they wish Jack married someone else. Someone who was a homemaker, who had kids right away, who was more religious, etc. Sometimes I feel so guilty that I have all these fertility challenges. When I see them and the hopes and dreams I did not give them, despite my intellectual awareness that they’re wrong,  despite knowing Jack loves me and we’re in this IF struggle together, I feel so guilty that their darling boy didn’t get the fertile bunny they wanted. I feel guilty I haven’t given them grandkids yet. I feel like a huge failure and disappointment. I judge myself through their eyes. These are thoughts I struggle with when I see them and I do overcome them, however I am worried about my emotional well being while they are here after a week that makes me feel like an NBA basketball.

I’m sure it will be okay. I just need to get through each day one day at a time. This weekend will pass. Thursday will come. The ultrasound will show what it will. I will be okay. Sigh.

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Untangling my fears of childlessness

June 26, 2009

I want to warn anyone feeling fragile about infertility that this post might be a bit strong. I’m going to talk about some beliefs I am trying to untangle, but I just hope it does not tangle anybody else’s thoughts.

I saw my therapist today and we talked about my plan. I told him something I’ve been scared to admit to myself, I am so scared to start the plan. I’m frightened to take Clomid, to do IUIs, etc. Why? Because I’m afraid they won’t work. I’m scared to explore my options because if the doors close I dont know what to do with myself. He told me I sound like someone whose given up before I’ve begun. I told him I’m trying really hard to make peace with the possibility of never having children and then promptly burst into tears. He asked me what made me so afraid of the prospect of never having children:

1. Did you watch Sesame Street? I remember when Maria and Luis got married and found out they were having a child they sang a song about now becoming a family. At four, I remember feeling confused. Weren’t they already a family? I asked my mom who responded, No, once they have a baby, then they are family. This seems to be a common perception to this day. I see people announce pregnancies on twitter with X and Y are becoming a family! So that means that Jack and I alone, we’re just two people, we’re a couple. We are not a family.

2. When we eat dinner together, or watch TV, or sleep in, or go for a bike ride, I think of my friends who remind me oh you’re lucky to go on vacation . . . we have kids and can’t do that! Ha! you’re so lucky you can sleep in, we’re lucky if we can get four hours of sleep. I COULD have worked the corporate lifestyle but I have kids and they are my priority. I can’t speak for all infertiles, but for me, these comments and attitudes make me feel they are better than me by virtue of having a working womb and children to show for it. They are doing important stuff. They can’t sleep! They can’t relax on vaca! Sometimes I feel like they are really doing the important job while  I’m sitting here in never never land flying like Peter Pan.

3. I’m afraid of  ending up alone. I haven’t seen the movie “UP” (and if you haven’t seen it be warned a spoiler is to follow): from what I’ve heard the movie touches on infertility. A husband and wife suffer a pregnancy loss and then never have children. One scene shows the husband old and alone attending his wife’s funeral. I haven’t seen the movie, but that movie touches on a huge raw fear of mine.

4. I know people who are older and never had children and I hear what people I know say about them. The looks of pity. The whispers that they waited too long to start trying. They tsk tsks as they sigh and watch them, who do they have to live for? Their legacy their name ends with them. I already know for a fact certain people do this with me. My mom told me once I got pregnant, I didn’t want to tell you before, but your aunts would always call and say they were so worried and praying for you. My other aunt blatantly told me You are really tired due to pregnancy because you waited too long. Thank God you got pregnant. Now that I’ve miscarried these word haunt me. I am one of those people you look at and tsk.

5. The obvious, I want to be a mother, and even though I am not a mother, it is part of my identity and because I do not have that status yet, I’m in an identity crisis. I never thought it would be this hard to become a mother and I know I would be a good mother. I want the opportunity to try.  I want to feel her kicks in my womb. I want to push through labor. I want to throw her a huge first birthday, and cry as she goes off to Kindergarten.There is a part of the need to be a mother that is a raw human urge that defies logic or human rationale.

I don’t know if I should try to accept that I might never be a mother and thus sit down and tackle all the issues I listed, or if I need to block them all out and try to make myself hope focused and not consider failure as an option. I dont know which is the healthier  perspective. I’ve heard that if you prepare and accept the possibility of the worst you can be at peace and then be pleasantly overjoyed when the worst does not happen. I’ve also read studies that positive thought and visualization can go a long way to helping your dreams come true. I don’t know which way to go. I need to think about it because being in limbo is not an option for me anymore. The biggest issue I am trying to answer is: If I am to not become a mother, who am I? Who will I be?

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This and that

June 19, 2009

Thanks to advice I received from my blogging community I talked to Jack and we’re seriously considering seeing an RE. I know a good one who worked wonders (i.e. two babies) for a friend of mine with PCOS, so I know he’s good. The only problem has been insurance doesn’t cover it and its a helluva pricey bill to foot. I felt if my OBGYN is giving me Metformin and I got pregnant under her watch, shouldn’t I just stick with her? I tell myself this but then I also feel she isn’t moving me along as fast as I would like. I have an appointment with her on Tuesday so we’ll see what she has to say. Jack said he supports me seeing an RE if I’m not pregnant this cycle, so we may do that depending on Tuesdays meeting.  Thank you so much for giving me advice guys. It’s thanks to this blog that I went to a new doctor when all this began. People told me to ditch a doctor who insisted I didn’t have anything wrong with me and be my own best advocate. Thanks to that I got diagnosed. So I appreciate it so much.

I went to see my therapist today and it helped me deal with how I’m feeling. I want to share some of it because I know many reading are dealing with IF and surely have felt as I do, and maybe some of this might help you. The first thing is I need to stop taking a HPT every day. The new rule for me is twice a cycle, one week apart, and I can only buy off the internet to prevent myself from going to CVS and buying a three pack. The effect of BFN every single morning can single handedly ruin my day. I should also limit my internet “researching” to 30 minutes a day and try to make weekends “research free” days. By research I mean googling for signs and symptoms, and scary stories and hopeful stories. To a certain point its good to know, but once you pass that point, you are not helping yourself, you are stuck. The most important one was not to talk about this incessantly with your spouse because if you stop and just fixate on one thing you are harming your marriage. A marriage is multifaceted and to make this the entire center of your life is unhealthy. He also said to find some peace through prayer, meditation, etc. I’m struggling hard to find my way back to spirituality. I once was strong but lately I am weak, this makes it harder to accept this as meant to be, a test, happening for a reason. I know I need to find a way to center myself. He also said exercise helps burn adrenaline and should be incorporated on the daily. I was exercising regularly but when you get depressed, you don’t want to do anything. I plan to resume again tomorrow.

I’m reading a book called “Get Off Your ‘But'” and this quote really struck me: Pain is inevitable. Eventually, it touches us all. Suffering, however, is optional. Lately, I’ve been suffering a lot. I accept that infertility is a pain that is my reality, but the suffering, I need to get a handle on it. I’m not sure how to do this yet, but I am starting to actively try.

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Tired. So Tired.

June 17, 2009

There is a constant ache in my heart. I can smile, I can laugh, I can behave like a functional member of society, but the truth is, inside I am constantly splintering into a million different peices. Rebuilding, then crushing like dust once more.

My body is playing tricks with me. Still exhausted. Still no period. Still sore boobs. Still thirsty. Still strange discharge. I woke up at 4am last night to pee. Only did that when I was pregnant. I took another test, BFN.

I know that PCOS means wonky cycles, but Metformin was supposed to fix that. The first few months on it, I had regular cycles. This troubles me: out of 12 possible cycles, my lengthy cycles give me around 8 chances and of those, with PCOS, who knows when I ovulated, if even? My doctor will fight me on progesterone to jumpstart this cycle. She will fight me on Clomid. If I can convince her I’ll need to first get an HSG test done, and Jack will need to get a Sperm Analysis. This will take many months. I won’t be on all of this until at least August.  The thought of this, of all the obstacles, and all the time, and all the uncertainty its tearing me apart.

I scheduled to see my therapist tomorrow. Jack was so happy when he found out. Ask him what I should do? Ask him how I can be a good partner for you. I asked him, Are you getting frustrated. He said, Honey, I love you but this is killing me. Your constant pain, your tears, I just don’t know what to do anymore. He said it with love and it broke my heart. I’m hurting. I’m hurting Jack. The thought of hurting this good man brings tears to my eyes.

I can’t keep doing this. I can’t live my life this way. I need to do some serious soul searching. I need to find a way to make peace with the facts of my life, with my condition, with the reality that I don’t know the future and that I may never have children. I wish I knew how to do this.

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Grief, Crying It Out

May 6, 2009

Two weeks ago when I saw my therapist I discussed my attempts to supress my tears, to try and not listen to sad music, to move on. He told me not to do this. He said I should let myself cry and not judge myself and if I want to listen to sad music while I do so, its okay. I’ve resisted doing this until today. Today the grief weighed so heavy and dark over me I couldn’t stand it. I worked out and then lay down, my ipod in my hand and listened to all the songs that I avoid and I cried. My body wracked with sobs. I cried for sixty minutes. As I calmed down Jack walked in and saw me weeping and lay next to me and held me. I feel so empty now, but in a good way. I feel calm. I know this is temporary. The eye of the storm. But I am grateful. I share this personal story so that if you are like me fighting against your grief, let yourself sink into it from time to time. Not always, but at certain times each day or each week, however frequently you need it, and let it out. I’ve fought it for so long but I think allowing yourself to sink from time to time is the only way I will heal.

Incidentally, someone found my website with the search term: I fucking hate infertility. To you who found me like this I’m with you. Infertility is fucking awful. I feel your pain.