Follow me on the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What I Can't Control

It's such a struggle keeping my mindset in a healthy place lately. Going into my 6th in vitro cycle (2nd frozen after 4 fresh), I am having a hard time staying positive. Not that I have to be Super Suzy Sunshine or anything, because honestly even Pollyanna would be dropping f-bombs and hiding in a pint of ice cream at this point in the game, but I do try to be somewhat positive. I try to use WHEN, not IF, when referring to a future as-of-yet phantom pregnancy. I try to think about the good things I have and not the giant gaping hole where the baby that should be isn't. I try to go into a cycle in a place of hope, because you just can't go into a cycle feeling hopeless and come out the other side OK, regardless of the outcome.

The biggest difficulty I'm having is sticking to my TODAY mindset. Just thinking about now, and this day, and not what's coming (or possibly not). That is so hard to practice! It can be so easy to go into a tailspin of worry about things that haven't even happened yet. Things I can't possibly control, but yet I try to do just that in my crazy, control freak mind. I'm getting better, though. Case in point: I have no clue what my virtual due date is for the upcoming cycle this summer. I haven't calculated it. I don't want to calculate it. It's some spring date, that much I can figure out (summer whoopie/laboratory finagling = spring babies), but I am resisting the urge to do what I ALWAYS do going into these things. That due date means nothing until there is something growing inside me. I have enough phantom dates to make me sad, I don't need to add a new one. In the past I've even put dates in my plan book and left it blank after my "due date," thinking I'd be out on maternity leave by then. This is just plain foolishness. It's hopeful, which I guess is good, but man, when that doesn't work out and then you're putting dates into the school year that you were hoping to be out for, it just magnifies the loss of what could have been. So I don't do that anymore. Of course, mentally it's hard not to go to that place. Would I be showing by Christmas? When could I tell the masses safely? Is there a "safely" anymore? I'm not sure. So I try not to go there. Because it is out of my control. It's either there or it's not.

This became a problem at the end of this school year, as I packed up my stuff and got things ready for September and tried to get things as organized as possible for the fall. Getting ready for the fall had a wacky effect on me. It made me unbelievably sad. I figured out that it was because I am so terrified of something happening this summer that would make it hard in the fall, that getting ready for September was triggering some kind of panic response in me. Probably because I didn't have a normal September last year. I don't know what the first day of school looks like in a classroom setting. That was taken from me last year along with my tube and my little lost babyling. And now, getting ready for a new chance at success, I am having a hard time not being terrified by the what ifs. What if I don't get pregnant and I fall completely apart? What if I do get pregnant and am faced with another horrid personal tragedy? What if I do get pregnant and have a complication that has me still viably pregnant but put on bed rest? What if I can't start the school year normally again? What if I get pregnant, I'm perfectly fine, and everything is normal? (That one doesn't usually go in the rotation.) The what ifs don't serve a good purpose. The what ifs are fairly destructive, because they send me into a tailspin, worrying about all of these possible outcomes, when NONE of it has happened yet. Why worry about maternity leave options when I'm not pregnant? Why worry about all the disasters yet to come, when they're still very much yet to come? And hopefully they never come? It seems simple enough to let it all go. But that subconscious is a shifty critter, and she won't give it a rest.

So I try hard to just focus on today. On now. On what's happening at this moment, not what could happen in a dizzying array of possible hideous outcomes. Today I put more plants in the ground, I potted plants that have been waiting on me for weeks (poor leggy things, I hope they get bushy again), and I weeded. I read a book. I took a nap. I vacuumed what seems like a neverending supply of cat hair from the rug in the living room. I made a bunch of phone calls. I washed the (again constantly covered in cat hair) bedroom quilt. I made a delicious lunch for myself. I took good care of myself today. I am preparing for success, not for disaster. I have always said "I don't need to prepare myself mentally for success, I know how that will feel (although less so for having suffered a loss). I need to mentally prepare myself for failure, because that's way harder." That's true, but sad. It's like my motto growing up-- "better to be pleasantly surprised than bitterly disappointed." I think it's time to try to give up the constant preparation for what could go wrong, and just let it go. I can't control any of this. All I can do is feed my body and spirit and shoot myself up with whatever the magic elixir du jour that could get me pregnant is today. And hope that it works, but know that I can't control whatever outcome is headed our way. I can hope for success and try to ward away failure, but it will either be or it won't. So I may as well enjoy these beautiful days of summer without wasting time on those ugly what ifs.  Wish me luck silencing those nasty little buggers!

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