Thursday, August 7, 2014

Back on Track!

I have been cranky and fearful since I effectively flunked my baseline. I have been sitting, wondering how in the eleven baselines I've now had, not until THIS one has my estrogen been elevated. Why now?

I think it is a curveball thrown to remind me, to keep trying to teach me, that no matter how many paper plans I have on the fridge, no matter how many dates are in the calendar, it is all an illusion of control. My estrogen was just where it needed to be yesterday when I had my repeat bloodwork, and no one could tell me why that happened. "It happens a lot, we just called someone else with the same issue yesterday," the IVF nurse who sounds like Paula Poundstone said. "We don't really know why." So, instead of asking what my estrogen level was and obsessing further, I took her hint and let it go. Why obsess about something without an answer when I can move forward and get all excited at our next try?

That's a good question, because, as many of you probably know, it is REALLY HARD TO NOT OBSESS about pretty much everything. I have a bloggy friend who decided, when she was pregnant with her last cycle after a string of cruel losses, that she was going to forgo the Beta numbers. She just wanted them to say "Looks good" and leave it at that. (Later she went back and asked for them out of curiosity, but the self-control to wait until then!). She took the numbers away because the numbers are stressful. I was just saturated in admiration for this woman, because I'm not sure I could do that but it seemed like such a Zen way to go about it, to trust in your body despite all the betrayals, to let your peace with the process guide you instead of those numbers that are so easily compared to other numbers and can cause a dizzying whirl of questions like, Why isn't it higher? Should it be lower? Does this mean multiples? Is it doubling/tripling at a good enough rate? She let it go. And not that there is a correlation here, but she's sneaking up on her third trimester.

I am a big fan of tracking my cycles and writing everything down. It gives me a semblance of control, it gives me power. I like to be as knowledgeable as possible so that I can advocate for myself. There have been times my obsessive note-taking has worked in my advantage. And you can't ever say that I am not in the know about my case.

But something has snapped lately.

My infertility notebook has been pretty sparse for the last couple of cycles. At my previous clinic, they had the numbers on the ultrasound screen for each ovary when you stimmed. At my new clinic, they don't do it that way (they take an individual shot of each follicle..that's a lot of photo paper!). And I decided not to care. I asked how many and roughly how big, but I didn't have any more exact info. And it was okay.

When I received my call that my estrogen was naughty and we'd have to shift everything a week, I was so upset that I blatantly didn't write down any of the shifted dates. I knew the new transfer date, but the lining check and when to start estrogen and all that stuff? Did not write it down, did not commit it to memory. I mean, WHY if it could just get screwed up like that for no apparent reason? Why bother until I knew these actually were the new dates? (I didn't know if your estrogen could totally screw up your cycle and cancel it, but I wasn't taking any chances.) Now I have the new dates, but I know that these dates are also flexy. I don't know what's going on lately with my canceled cycle in April and my messed up baseline now, but I do know that it appears the Universe is not whispering, but shouting at me...


It's just so hard, despite all the experiences that should be teaching me to live in the NOW. Tomorrow hasn't happened yet, so don't waste energy worrying about it. IT'S SO HARD TO EXECUTE WITH ANY FIDELITY. But I get it, and I hear the message. I need to trust that what's going to happen is going to happen and nothing that I do really has any influence. I can worry, but it won't make a positive or negative outcome any more likely. I can obsess, but again, for what good? Better to let go. To see the dates on my calendar as flexible goals, not events that are set in stone. To try to release the fear that this cycle won't work and instead just go with the thought that what happens, will happen, and if it could be the positive that sticks this time, wouldn't that be awesome. I am no longer going to catastrophize (ok, I'm going to try REALLY HARD not to), because not that I believe that what you think becomes your reality (in that case I'd be pregnant 80 billion times over and have a summer house in Maine) but because when I think, "what's the worst that can happen?"...the worst tends to happen. So maybe I'm afraid of being pregnant. Oh my, what would happen if we actually got pregnant this time and made it past 6 1/2 weeks? That would be CRAZY. Or, instead of trying to use reverse psychology on the cosmic fabric of things, I just BELIEVE EACH DAY THAT IT'S TRULY POSSIBLE until (hopefully not) faced with irrefutable evidence to the contrary. 

My calendar is back on track. Now let's see if I can get my mindset on a good track, too. Not necessarily to will something into happening, but to just celebrate each day that we get closer to transfer, enjoy my valium, and then feel each day of being PUPO that it IS possible, it IS happening each day, and not sit there fearing that day in September when the Call of All Calls comes in. I'm going to try for no more fear of what may come, and just stay rooted in what is here, now, and how it is going to get us to our goals. (And in trying, also attempt to not stress myself out that I'm not trying hard enough to let go, because that's also counterproductive.) 

Now that I have let you in to the incredible neuroses that is my subconscious yet again, please wish me luck with this whole letting go thing. It's hard after so much pain, but not impossible. Let it go, let it go, let it go. (Apologies if I have now put a certain Disney song in your brain, it really was unintentional...)


  1. I'm so glad your body got its ish together. I'm already analyzing every date of dates that could possibly happen. I'm already wondering if I want to know the first beta because I know that I'll be comparing it to the last one. One of my coworkers/friends just told me yesterday to just believe in the the positive. If only it was that easy.

    I'll be here to analyze away with you through Septemeber...and beyond! :)

    1. Seriously! How can we not analyze? And past a certain point, it IS possible to know too much. Yikes, it sure is not easy to just believe in the positive. You can try, for sure, but it is NOT EASY. No "just" about it. I wish you luck with first betas... I don't think I could not know the number but at the same time I feel like knowing the number is a Pandora's Box. Maybe they could just say, looks good! or Looks solid! and then save the numbers for us later. Nope, I think I would die of curiosity. Let's hope for that beyond September! Cheering you on!

  2. Funny...I am actually singing that darn Frozen song in my head right now thanks to you! I do wish you the best of luck tackling those mind games that are such a major part of every cycle. It certainly isn't simple to "let it go" and stay positive...but I do hope you can find some peace as you try. Oh, and cheers to your estrogen being back on track!

    1. Heh heh heh, it is such an earworm.

      Thanks for the cheers and yes, yes, YES to peace. Maybe that's all I want, is a sense of peace instead of tension and fear and happiness but with that niggling background singsongy voice of "you'll regret feeling this positive laaaaaaterrrrrr" ... PEACE. just peace. Thanks so much! Sometimes I think the mind games can be harder than the physical stuff.