Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why couldn't conception be like this?

Wouldn't it be great if there was a Fertility Easy Button?

I'd say it's unrealistic, but then again, I know a number of thirtysomethings who seem to get pregnant at the drop of a hat...and stay pregnant. Like one who said, "Once you pee on a stick and you see that second line, you know your life will never be the same again."* Really? REALLY?! You have sex and two weeks later pee on a stick and just assume you will have a baby? And then you do?! Unimaginable to me.

Or the one who told me she decided to wait until a certain month, and then had sex and actually conceived a baby who is now almost a year old. This same woman then turned out to not only be uber-fertile but also to think that this was something to be taken for granted, and gushed to me, glowing with her accomplishment, "It seems like our bodies are just made for having babies, you know?"*

Forgive me, but I looked this second woman straight in the eye and said, "Not really...[pause for effect]...we're doing IVF...[more eye contact]." I then hated myself a little bit when I saw the crumpling realization of her faux pas spread across her face. Was I being mean, as Greeneggsnham recently worried she was when speaking to a similarly clueless person? Perhaps. But I was angry and also (rationalization alert) felt a need to try to educate her a little bit so she might avoid this mistake in the future.

But enough sour grapes. Our reality is that we are here, facing IVF #3, hoping this third time will be the charm. Should we get out the other side of this with a baby one day, we will be blessed not only with that child, but also with a deep appreciation of how incredible a privilege that is.

And while we understand viscerally that - at least for us - there is no Easy Button for fertility, there are certainly ways that the IVF process can be made easier or harder. How do I try to cope while cycling? I enjoy running and will keep it up until I start the stims. I'm eating healthy-ish and trying to get adequate sleep. As I said in my last post, I start acupuncture next week. And Will and I will do our best to keep the lighter moments of our relationship very much alive.

And what do I try to avoid in the spirit of not making this harder than it has to be? I try to avoid (ha ha ha ha) obsessing and (ha -snort!- ha) worrying. I try to stay in the moment and not get ahead of myself. Will is much better at not obsessing, not worrying, and staying in the moment, but then again, maybe it's easier when you're not jacked up on hormones and having an ultrasound probe thrust up your wahoo every other day.

I bet there are many other things that might help make things easier if only I could think of them.

So now I turn to you for your expertise. What strategies help you to weather your ups and downs, your anxieties, your what ifs, your hopes and fears? What have you learned makes the process harder than it has to be?

And back to the beginning of the post, what idiotic things have been said to you recently? And how did you respond?

Any and all thoughts are most welcome.


*actual quotes of friend and acquaintance


  1. hahaha! I should have tried wine. But I think you pretty much covered what I did; good luck!

  2. Mo,

    Your post got me thinking about being mean... I know we all have encountered that situation where we WANT the other clueless person to feel bad. And it is not because WE are bad people, it is because we are at the end of our rope. Think back to the beginning when this all started... you were probably like me - trying to educate, looking for sympathy/empathy, trying to understand. Then one pregnancy after another is paraded around you - either in the media or your immediate circle of family/friends - and it gets to the point where you snap. I've found that I get back to the "nice" stage until it gets to be too much, and then the next unfortunate clueless-fertile gets it. I received a lot of great comments on my "Mean" post... and I realize our reactions are just human nature. Sure, I'll try to curb my snarkiness, but I'm sure it'll get out many more times. Oh well. Just fodder for more "mean" posts I suppose.

    Sorry I rambled....

    Good luck with all of your injections - they can really be a pain in the a$$! ;)


  3. Chocolate. Wine until the 2ww. Whine throughout the cycle (kidding, kidding) (mostly). No, actually, I don't in fact whine and I no longer tell anyone when I'm cycling (thus even if I wanted to whine, I couldn't). Act and 90% believe I am astoundingly blasee about sticking my belly and butt with shot after shot after shot. Be astoundingly blasee (by infertility patient standards) about compliance (e.g. if I'm supposed to inject myself every night at exactly the same time, then make sure I do so within the same 6-hour window. Forget to refrigerate my Microdose Lupron. Use expired stims.). Read page-turner books -- I enjoy Daniel Silva (some of the early ones have IF in them, but not in a way I found disturbing; I'd advise steering WAY clear of anything by either Kellerman, though -- not only do they often involve IF, but usually in ways that are deeply disturbing) or any trashy mystery (Janet Evanovich).

  4. I'm jealous of those people who get the fertility "easy" button.
    Even though it might have been mean, I don't think I would have resisted saying anything either after that comment.
    I love some of the suggestions people are leaving here.
    I've been putting on music when I do the shots and right after it, I meditate, do visualizations or affirmations. I do whichever I feel like at the moment and they are helping me with staying hopeful and balanced.
    I'm also avoiding seeing anything too violent on TV, although I do want to go see the new 007. ;)

  5. Treat yourself well. Massages, beautiful fruit from Whole Foods, good chocolate, letting yourself buy clothes that fit (no matter the size), and have good music at the ready to help encourage the attitude adjustment when need.
    And, don't forget, this is really hard. It's ok to cry sometimes.

  6. Mo,
    I do the same thing when people give me the, "It is so simple to get pregnant." speech. Sometimes I feel like I use it as a weapon, in reality I am defending all of us. By making them really feel the sting I hope that they remember, and maybe on some level understand how much all this really hurts.
    As for getting through the cycles it always helped me to do something for others. Nothing big, just something to help someone else out. It distracts me and makes me feel like my life is not as bad.



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