Saturday, April 18, 2009

Nervous Nellie

The thing about going through infertility treatments is that the rest of your life doesn't wait for you to finish. You can't stop the world from turning, can't press pause on everything else. People – including people with medical degrees – tell you that stress is not helpful for conception. You resolve over and over to banish all stress from your life and shrug things off. And you quickly realize that absent becoming a recluse and talking to no one, that goal is a naive fantasy.

Forgive the term, but it's a vicious cycle. I spent the week feeling utterly overwhelmed by anxiety from work and other issues. My physical symptoms were so intense that on Thursday night the only thing that kept me driving to a work event amid a massive anxiety attack was the knowledge that the event would be attended by several doctors (it pays to work in health care). I figured it wouldn't be great professionally to interrupt the meeting with a heart attack, but at least I probably wouldn't die. Now, having survived, as I continue on Lupron (started Monday) and wait for my baseline next Thursday, I wonder what impact all of it could have on my cycle.

There's another spin to this vicious cycle. I wonder, too, how much my being overwhelmed by infertility contributes to my stress in other areas of life. Everything feels so intense right now, because so much of how I look at my life – so much of my definition of happiness and success – depends on this working. The unfairness of infertility makes other injustices we have to deal with seem even more bitter and unfair, other stressors all the more stressful. I feel acutely sensitive and self-protective.

I don't know that there's an answer (there rarely is), other than reminding myself that many women have gone before me, lived to tell after infertility, and had babies despite the burden of stress in other parts of their lives. Life goes on. And I have to do what I can to keep up. The best I can.


Amanda said...

That stress is stressful! I'd tell you to chill, but I know I would probably be a woman on the edge if I was in your situation. Do you think the lupron makes things worse?

Sometimes I find the only thing I can do is take a mini thinking vacation and watch some really dumb tv and movies. I've also noticed that my acupuncturist can relieve a lot of my physical symptoms of stress and I've found that very nice and would recommend it if you are in to that kind of thing.

bunny said...

Yes, there have been all kinds of women doing all kinds of things who have gotten pregnant and had beautiful, healthy babies. And yes, stress isn't good for fertility, but, (hairbrained theory begins here) I think we also need to be true to ourselves. Some of us (ME) are wired to run fast and furious and "normal" actually includes a good bit more stress and anxiety than the "average" person. Long way of saying, that being "calm" sometimes makes me even more anxious...

So, take good care of yourself, and try not to worry about worrying. Thinking of you!

Michelle said...

Yes I know EXACTLY how you feel! Infertility causes so much stress and DOES make everything worse. I hate when they say STRESS does not help with fertility because if I could get pregnant I wouldn't be stressed so what am I suppose to do. "Just relax" does NOT work so you just have to the best you can. I hope things go well for you! Hang in there!