Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fear and Bitterness in IF Land

A lot has happened in the last week, the sum total of which is a general feeling of yuckyness and funk from which I am not sure how to recover. Suggestions are welcome.

First, my brother got married. Typing that as a negative makes me feel like a special kind of selfish and evil -- who sees her brother's wedding as a reason for bitterness? -- but there it is. Weddings, frankly, are not friendly to the IF crowd. All that talk about building their own family, looking forward to children, yadda yadda. It is all just so hopeful, it brings my back to my own wedding day when I was fresh faced and optimistic. And of course it now feels like there is this imaginary race toward birthing the first grandchildren. The multitude of questions I got from family and old friends about our "family plans" (this will never cease to amaze me) were also not helpful to my mood.

As Sunday night approached, with Monday morning's baseline -- the official start of my first IVF cycle -- hanging out there ominously, I grew more and more restless and less and less tolerable. You might think that by 32 I'd have learned how to manage my emotions and how not to convert anxiety over significant life events into virtual meltdowns over things like a missing sweater or a show that didn't TiVo, but you'd be wrong. And my husband (who, miraculously, still lives with me) would be the first to explain to you just how wrong you were.

Here's what did not do anything to improve things: waiting all afternoon to get the call with my baseline results, finally calling them in a panic at 4 p.m. when I still hadn't heard, finally getting a voicemail back at 4:25 when I really thought they'd forgotten about me, and having their message be different from my original instruction sheet (the Menopur that was on the original sheet was not in their verbal instructions). After several calls including a first-time-ever page to the on-call doctor and much hand-wringing over the confusion ("Is this the thing I'll look back on -- why did I not press the issue on the Menopur? What if it was the thing that would have made it work?"), I learned that it was simple human error. Apparently the order was never in my doctor's notes, and the nurse who wrote the instructions had included it completely inadvertently. Which makes me feel both better and worse, but I'm trying to move on.

All of this other angst is only aggravating my elephant-in-the-room anxiety over the impending egg retrieval. I simply cannot will myself to stop obsessing about it. It is the fear of the unknown -- I had the same consuming fears about my HSG test nearly a year ago, which turned out to be a breeze for me -- that is my worst enemy. I have learned to feel brave about everything else, from taking shots to all the morning ultrasounds and blood draws to the nurses telling me I'm not pregnant to relatives' voices asking me when I will be. I need to find a way to be brave about this part too.


kirke said...

The unknown is always scary. I just wonder how many more times we have to be brave? Honestly, it's exhausting.

I could completely relate to your post. I will be thinking of you!

Anonymous said...

Remember, it's not brave if you're not scared. Bravery isn't a lack of fear, it is moving forward in spite of that fear. And that is exactly what you are doing. Don't forget to be proud of yourself.

I Believe in Miracles said...

Came over from L&F, after just having been through an ER too. It is a scary and long process. The best advice I can give is take it one day at a time. Let me know if you have any questions. The whole process can be overwhelming, but everyones advice made it easier for me. Or as easy as it could be.

Anonymous said...

I'm here and reading. I really hope everything goes well. BIG hugs.