Emotional Hurdles Ahead

My post-NYC euphoria has officially worn off, and I'm back to my normal IVF-based feelings of nervousness and trepedition. This post isn't upbeat or hopeful. If it's not what you're looking for today, I won't blame you for moving on.

I spend a good portion of each day worrying about the process I'm undergoing, and fretting about outcomes yet to be determined. It's my nature to anticipate negative results for events that haven't yet occured.

For example, in going through fertility testing last year, I was certain that my HSG procedure (hysterosalpingogram) was going to show blocked fallopian tubes as the cause of our problems. I've had prior abdominal surgery. I was certain scar tissue had blocked my tubes, preventing my eggs from getting fetilized and implanting in my uterus. I found stories of such cases all over the Internet. I was depressed. I cried constantly. I endured many sleepless nights until the day of my test. And...my tubes were fine. All the worry and stress I put myself through was for no reason.

And now I'm at the court of last resort, so-to-speak. The end of the line, where I don't get to comfort myself with thoughts of "Well, if Clomid (oral fertility drug) doesn't work, then we can try Gonal-F (injectible fertility drug)" and "If Gonal-F doesn't work, we have IVF left to try." Now, it's IVF or...no baby.

I'm worried that I won't produce enough follicles. I'm worried that my doctor will be unable to extract follicles from my ovaries during egg retrieval. I'm afraid that any follicles he's able to retrieve won't fertilize, or that those that might fertilize won't multiply in size as they should. And I'm afraid that if I get as far as embryo transfer day, and they're able to implant two or three embryos, that they'll die inside of me. And I'm afraid of how I'm going to react once I receive this news.

I don't know how my husband puts up with his crazed, hyped-up on drugs, hormonal IVF wife. One minute I'm fine. The next I'm not. One minute I'm laughing. The next I'm teary-eyed. If it's a rollercoaster ride for me, I can't imagine what it's like for him to live with Sybil.

The worst thing about this whole process is what I've let it reduce me to. I consider myself fiercely strong and independent. I've dealt with a lifetime of medical problems, and I've always been able to carry myself through them without crumbling when things didn't go as I wanted them to. And even though this is vastly different than what I've been through before, and there's a level of emotion and a sense of loss (for a baby I've not yet even come close to having), I still believe I should be able to endure this IVF cycle with the same determination and strength I've used to carry myself through other medical treatments. But I can't. And admitting that I am weak and is just killing me.

I look at the bruises on my legs caused by twice-daily injections and wonder if I'm hurting myself for no reason. I think about the fact that as of Saturday, I've had to give up running, something I really enjoy. I ask myself if it's worth it when I'm anticipating not having the baby I want so badly in my arms at the end of this nightmare. I would endure needle sticks from now until the end of time and give up running forever if I knew that IVF would be successful for me. But there are no guarantees. And I don't even have hope to hold on to, at this point.

I miss the innocence and positivity I had at the beginning of this process. I miss the discussions of "if we conceive this month, then the baby will be born in May. Or October. Or January." I no longer allow myself to envision my grandma, or my great aunt, or my great uncle holding my baby in their arms and smiling down at him or her with pride and love and sheer joy reflected in their faces. The sight of a pregnant woman used to make me imagine what I would look like carrying a child. Now I can't even look at a baby in a store, or in a restaurant, or on tv without feeling physical pain in my chest.

I should be excited now. I have a chance. Why isn't this enough?

10 Responses to “Emotional Hurdles Ahead”

  1. # Blogger Kross-Eyed Kitty

    Keep your chin up!
    You've come this far, just push yourself a little further.
    I'm sending you lots and lots of baby dust today...blue and pink!!!  

  2. # Blogger Amy

    "The worst thing about this whole process is what I've let it reduce me to. I consider myself fiercely strong and independent.....I still believe I should be able to endure this IVF cycle with the same determination and strength I've used to carry myself through other medical treatments. But I can't. And admitting that I am weak and is just killing me."

    Giving in to feelings of despair and emotional neediness does not make you weak. It makes you human. Please don't stress yourself further by beating yourself up about how you *should* react to all this. I know it's hard to have one perception of yourself and then have that all change because of something beyond your control, but you are perservering anyway, and that is what counts.  

  3. # Blogger Caryl

    Kristi,

    I agree with Amy - you are doing everything humanly possible to have a baby of your own. All your feelings are normal and you should not feel alone - we are all here to support you! Go to http://www.ivfconnections.com/ - it seems like a great site and you will find the support you need there.

    Take time for yourself this holdiay weekend and keep thinking positive thoughts! I'm sure we will all be sending tons of baby dust along with kross-eyed kitty.

    Just remember, we are rooting for you and love you!

    Caryl  

  4. # Blogger Pamplemousse

    Kristi, be good and kind to yourself and don't beat yourself up.

    Take each day/hour/shot at a time and try not to think too far ahead. If you start worrying about all the hurdles of IVF, you will go insane.  

  5. # Blogger Marie

    I agree with Amy. You are human, Kristi. I can't imagine how anyone could go through this and not have the feelings you're having. You're doing absolutely everything you can do, and you have lots of people sending their love and good wishes your way.

    Stick with it... and nourish those follicles with some good home-cooked food.

    {{Big hug}}  

  6. # Blogger Kristi

    Ramona-Thank you. Pink and blue baby dust would be great. If this works, and I have twins, one of each would be so great.

    Amy-You're right. It's just so hard to see myself changing into something I know I'm not. But this is unlike anything I've ever gone through, so I suppose that's why I'm having these emotional reactions. Thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot.

    Caryl-You're the best. Thanks for that link. I have visited that site quite a bit, and it's very helpful. My mom is blowing into town with her husband tonight, so that will be quite the distraction from all of this.

    Pamplemousse-Thanks. I know I need to tackle one hurdle at a time. That's the way I've so desperately tried to look at this whole process. I just wish it weren't so difficult to do.

    Marie-I'll have plenty of nourishment tomorrow and in the coming days, that's for sure! Thanks for being such a wonderfully supportive friend.  

  7. # Anonymous thalia

    As everyone else has said, it's very normal to feel despairing at times during this process. There's so much WAITING and so much STRESS and a LACK OF CONTROL, it's no wonder we're all basket cases. This IVF may not work (I hope it does) but at some point you will be a parent. Just keep saying that. It helps, I promise it does.

    Oh and the mood swings? Just keep saying the mantra: It's not me it's the drugs, it's the drugs, it's the drugs.  

  8. # Blogger Kristi

    Thalia-I think it's the lack of control that's hardest for me. I like to be in control of EVERYTHING at all times, and with IVF, you just aren't. Ugh.  

  9. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Enjoyed a lot! »  

  10. # Anonymous Anonymous

    best regards, nice info film editing classes  

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    born in August 2006 following
    IVF and girl/boy twins born in October 2008 following FET. Come along as I document the search for my lost intellect. It's a bumpy ride. Consider yourself warned.

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