Posts tagged therapy
Posts tagged therapy
Yesterday my acupuncturist told me that I had “every right to be frustrated and exhausted.” And that, frankly, if I wasn’t, he’d be much more worried about me.
I really appreciate the validation of my emotional and physical states. BUT, it’s even more frustrating and exhausting to know that my life is genuinely this challenging right now.
All in all, I think I’m dealing pretty well - given that these past two months have been so insane. My support mechanisms are really working for me. But, as things progress, I can feel myself getting closer and closer to that breaking point. Honestly, I can’t believe I haven’t reached it yet! But, I know it’s there, and it’s real, and it’s not as far away as I’d like it to be. Fundamentally, though, I’m just plain exhausted. I’ve been tired for a long time, and some times are better or worse. But right now, I have purple circles permanently installed under my eyes. I honestly need a months vacation.
I feel like so many important things in my life are up in the air right now. I’m waiting to hear back from job interviews. And, I’m waiting to find out what my ovaries are doing. Both of these situations have huge, life-changing consequences attached to them. We have decided, pretty much, not to move, so at least that craziness has been eliminated. We have also decided that we’d like to avoid surgery right now, if at all possible. It’s just too much for me - I’m not in a strong enough place today. I do feel like I have lots of options, which also means lots of decisions to make. DH and I are doing pretty well at talking things over, and he’s being so supportive. Our new couples therapy is amazing, and is helping us so much.
I’m also realizing that this grieving process - infertility, miscarriage, and the potential hiatus from treatment - is an ongoing process. I’m going to have bad/sad days for a while. I had thought the last cycle and the loss weren’t affecting me so much. Then Mother’s Day hit me right in the face. Ouch. I think I’m getting closer to accepting that there will be mournful days. And when they happen, I can recognize them, wallow, and then move on when I’m ready.
And, I’m finally admitting how frustrated I am that even IVF hasn’t gone how I wanted it to. I had thought I would be able to do three cycles by now, and get them all covered by my insurance before I leave my job. But, no. In 5 months I’ve only done ONE! And it ended in a loss. So damn frustrating. And now, I may have to have surgery before even being able to do IVF again; forget about TTC naturally! AURGH.
There’s just so much… I’m scared that my cyst will still be there, and I’ll be diagnosed with endo. I’m scared that it will be gone and I’ll be doing IVF again next week. (Ok, I’m excited about that, too.) I’m scared that I won’t get either of these jobs, and will feel like a complete failure at life. I’m scared that I’m not really ready to pursue adoption seriously. I’m scared of taking a break from treatments, and that it will just cause more trauma and not the relief I’m desperately craving. I’m scared to keep going, too.
I just came across this blog today, A Few Minor Details by InconceivableA, and her post “Shit my therapist says” was so fabulous, I wanted to re-post it here! These are all things I’ve read about, thought about, or talked about in therapy myself. Enjoy this very, very good advice!
Shit my therapist says by InconceivableA
When I first reading IF blogs, I was a little shocked by the sheer amount of personal information people were willing to share with complete strangers. I’ve blogged in the past, but never anything of such a personal nature.
Now I realize:
(1) Infertility takes away your privacy. Talking about your lady bits starts to become normal. Perhaps a little too normal. I noticed I was freely talking about my embryo and therapy in the line at Starbucks the other day. Everyone probably thought I was a whack job. Oh well. That’s what happens, I guess.
(2) When we talk about these things, we’re actually helping each other. Knowing that I’m not alone has been immeasurably helpful during this experience.
Which is why today I’m going to talk about therapy. I started going to therapy after our first IVF failed, and the difference it’s made is enormous. Just having a neutral party where I can share all the crap that’s happening is amazing. I was lucky enough to find someone who has experience with helping couples/individuals with infertility. Here are a few things she’s told me over the last few months:
Infertility is a identity crisis.
When we first got the “you can’t have a baby without IVF” diagnosis, I was lost. So very, very lost. Everything I knew about myself - about us - was different than it seemed. My fantasy of waking up two weeks after a special night with my husband, sitting down to pee on a stick and seeing two pink lines, walking in and excitedly whispering in his ear “I’m pregnant,” was never going to happen. So many things that I had wanted - that most people can easily have - were never going to happen. I am suddenly an infertility patient. I am someone different. This took a long while to get used to. It’s an identity crisis. Knowing that doesn’t take away the confusion or the pain, but it does help validate the feelings.
No more baby showers.
Bless her for this. I saw her a day or so after my last baby shower, and she said no more. It’s about self-preservation. I have to take care of myself, and baby showers are just not a good way to do that. Especially after the loss I just experienced. This is advice I won’t hesitate to take.
Why, thank you. That’s helpful. I had been feeling, well, not normal. Like, why can’t I deal with infertility and, you know, live my life? Apparently, that’s a tall order. It’s nice to know that a person trained to deal with crazy doesn’t think I’m crazy. Go me.
You’re doing better I would expect in your situation.
This was said to me after my after my egg retrieval, while it still hurt to walk, and my one little embryo, but before the no transfer news. I appreciate this comment because I had been going out of my way to be better than expected. The progress I’ve made between dealing with my first failed IVF and my second is huge.
You’ve got time.
Ok. So this almost pissed me off. Whenever she says stuff like this, she quickly notes that she’s not belittling the pain I’m now. This pain is real and it is now. But, she does point out that there’s time for more treatment (or other routes). As far as we know we’re not battling any major clocks right now. This doesn’t change the fact that I want a baby now. But, since that’s not going so well, I guess it’s good that I do have some time.
Be gentle with yourself.
I wouldn’t consider myself a perfectionist, but I do hold myself to very high standards. I never, ever (not in a million years) would think that infertility would impact me so deeply. Even as I realize this is a crisis of identity, I hate the way it makes me feel - the jealousy, the pain, the sadness. I’m learning to accept these feelings for what they are and not expect myself to be superhuman in my emotions.
That’s what I’ve learned so far. I was hoping that at my next appointment I’d be talking about how to deal with the emotions of pregnant infertile, but it looks like that will have to wait.
So, this post is going to be hella long, since I haven’t written in ages. It’s like 6 posts rolled up in ONE HUGE FANTASTIC POST!!! I won’t be offended if you skim.
We’re on IUI #2 right now. I really thought that I wouldn’t do any IUI’s at all, and we would go straight to IVF. That was the plan. We wanted to start where the odds are greatest, and not put ourselves through hell, month after month. (And, we have three rounds of IVF covered by insurance, which kicks-in in January 2011, hopefully.) But… here we are on #2. I’ve been feeling like I want as many chances as I can get. Suddenly, 3 covered cycles of IVF doesn’t seem like that many. I have low ovarian reserve, so the RE thinks it’s likely that I’ll have only 1 - 2 embies to transfer per cycle, and definitely nothing to freeze. Scary. Also, the three cycles are a life time limit. Uh, what? Even if one does work, how do we pay for baby #2. I know, don’t put the cart before the horse (or something).
This IUI is pretty much the same as last time. Slightly upped the Gonal dosage to 112.5 IUs. Decided to stick with the progesterone suppositories, despite how much I despise them. Otherwise, there we no problems last time, and no cysts on my day 2 appointment. I’m really thankful for that! We started the shots on Tuesday, and expect to IUI on day 10, if things go like last time. Hopefully some follies are growing away in there right now!
Acupuncture + Therapy
Can we say “intense”? This week my acupuncturist figured out that I’m grieving, emotionally. That was the first time we’d used that word. Well, apparently grief is related to your lung chi. And, apparently my liver chi is totally taking over my lung chi. What does this mean? That my emotions/grief are balled up tight somewhere in side of me - sounds accurate. So, he put needles in all new places to release these emotions, and holy hell, it was INTENSE. I don’t remember the last time I sobbed like that, and I’ve been crying pretty hard, pretty regularly for a while now. But, it was a really good release, and I know I needed to let it all out. By the end of the session I was in happy-acu-coma land. Peaceful. Exhausted. Acupuncture is hard work! And, I was pretty rocked since that day started with my day 2 bw and u/s, and I knew I was heading home for shot #1. It was a really really tough day for my body, and I was not super happy about it all at the time. But I’m glad I stuck with the acupuncture.
Therapy was pretty intense, too. I cried a lot, and mostly talked about how surreal this has all been. I’m in such a bizarre place. I cannot believe this is real, that I’m still not pregnant. That I’m actually getting fertility treatments. That’s it’s actually been 18 cycles and no baby. Not one single BFP. It’s literally unbelievable to me at times. How is this my life? I just don’t get it. Hm….
Everyone is Pregnant
Is it just me, or did everyone on Twitter get pregnant last month? Woah! Pretty crazy. Yes, of course, when you spend this much time following the lives of women trying to get pregnant, a bunch of them are GOING TO GET PREGNANT. It just super sucks that I’m not one of them. It’s no fun to feel like you’re being left behind, even by the infertiles. And, of course, there’s the fear that I, ME, I will be the one who can never ever get pregnant. And, I’ll be all alone, even on Twitter.
We aren’t really telling many people about this cycle. I’m just too tired. This whole process is taking SO much out of me. My mom doesn’t officially know we’re doing another round, but I think she can tell. (I forgot my Dad’s birthday… yeah.) Anyways, she emailed the other day, invited us up for Columbus Day weekend, and offered to pay for the train tickets. Honestly, throughout all of this, I keep feeling like I just want to go home, so it’s really perfect. I need my mom to take care of me, even just for a weekend.
I’m also supposed to go to a dear friend’s wedding next weekend. And, we might not be able to depending on the timing for our IUI. Obviously, we won’t know what those little follies are up to until next week, so it would be a last-minute decision. LAME. I was so upset when I realized this last weekend. I called a friend who’s a bridesmaid to ask what she thinks I should do re: telling the bride. My friend was SO supportive (not surprising, but we haven’t really kept her in the loop on all of this). She helped me make a plan for the weekend so we could cancel easily if need be, and if we make it, be comfortable the whole time. Amazing. Then I called the bride. She talked to me for 25 minutes, in the middle of her dance lesson with her fiance, and was insanely sympathetic and understanding. She said ALL the right things. She’s a nurse, and she just gets it. Completely. At one point we both were near tears. It was touching. She ended the conversation by saying I should call her if I need to talk at all this week. Um, hi, you’re getting MARRIED in 10 days! That’s the kind of friend she is. I am so blessed.