Scratch that plan

Thank you all for the outpouring of support, on both Jjiraffe’s Faces of ALI post and on my recent posts. Word cannot express how much I appreciate it. Your words of kindness, love and support have been a HUGE parts of my getting through this. Truly. The impact of this community on my journey cannot be underestimated.

Wednesday was a hard day. I couldn’t concentrate at work. I cried at the drop of a hat. It was clear that the birth of my cousin’s baby was exacerbating the issue, but it wasn’t the actual problem. And yet I couldn’t figure out what was bothering me so much. Besides the cyst (and the possible month or two more of BCPs) there hadn’t been anything new discovered or discussed at the meeting; why was I such a wreck?

It wasn’t until half way through yoga that night that I realized what was going on. I wasn’t comfortable with my doctor’s plan, or more accurately, his time table. It was all too fast. I had been expecting that three month waiting period. I had been banking on that opportunity to keep trying. I had my plan for us to really follow this diet, to continue with acupuncture and Chinese herbs, to maybe even get Mi.Vida to acupuncture too. I wanted us to have at least a few months of trying after all that before we moved on to treatments. I wanted to give our bodies a chance before we turned to Clomid or IUIs. And after the RE appointment, that was all going out the window.

The thing was, on Tuesday, I forgot about all that. The meeting went so fast, the doctor talked so much, there was so little time at the end to really say what I wanted to say. And even if there had been, I wouldn’t have remembered. There was something about sitting there, across from the doctor and his black and white outline of the female reproductive system, that just wiped my mind clean. It was like I couldn’t conjure up any coherent thoughts. I just listened, enraptured, to what he had to say. It was so odd, because I had heard it all before, and yet is all seemed so new and so foreign and I just felt so out or place sitting there listening to it.

And when the whole thing was over I was upset, agitated, but I couldn’t figure out why. Our doctor had been kind, helpful, positive, and productive with our time. He had talked about what treatments could possibly help us and what chances we had of them being successful. He had done everything we went there hoping he would do. So why wasn’t I pleased?

The truth is, treatments scare me. Not because of what they entail but because for us, they represent the end of the road. We can’t afford IVF and if we can’t afford that, adoption is definitely not an option. I doubt our marriage could survive TTC indefinitely, or even for a few years. I think that once we’ve exhausted our treatment options (which I guess will be 2-3 IUIs, 4 max) that’s it. We’re done. We’ll have no hope or another child.

And I’m not ready to be done. I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet. I’d much rather spend some more time and effort trying to conceive by ourselves before heading for treatments. I’d much rather undertake treatments feeling ready, in my heart, to attempt those last ditch attempts, ready in my heart to walk away if they don’t work.

The last year of TTC was grueling to be sure. I have a feeling that trying again, with the knowledge we now have, will be at least a little easier. I won’t have the same expectation of getting pregnant and I will KNOW what our next steps will be if we reach the end of our rope. I need to give myself, and my body, a chance again, before we pursue treatments. It’s just what is right for me.

Realizing that–in yoga on Wednesday night–I felt a huge weight lift off of me. I arrived home feeling lighter. I talked to Mi.Vida and found he was on exactly the same page. I went to bed relieved, almost happy. Yesterday was a good day. A really great day actually. It was maybe the only really good day of work I’ve had so far this (school) year. I can’t say whether it was the peace I felt about waiting on treatments that made the day good, or if it just let me experience the good that day had to offer, but I really needed that positivity right then, and it helped me feel even more sure of our plan.

Of course, we have a few obstacles in our way. We both agree that Mi.Vida needs to get another sperm analysis done (and if his numbers are significantly worse than before our whole TTC by ourselves plan might change) and of course he will keep his appointment with the urologist. I have emailed our doctor asking what the plan of action will be ie. THE CYST if I’m not planning on taking Clomid right away. I REALLY want to avoid taking BCPs if I can but I also don’t want it wreaking havoc on our already shitty chances of conceiving on our own. (If anyone knows anything about cysts and TTC, I’m totally ignorant about this stuff and would appreciate any info). And of course, there is the massive roadblock of my missing AF, which has been AWOL for over a month now. I’m not sure how long I should wait for her to show before I send a formal invitation (and I’m not sure what a formal invitation will look like–please don’t let it be BCPs! Please!). I’m hoping my doctor can help me with that too.

I will admit that I no longer expect, or assume, I’ll have another child. When I started this journey over a year ago I was certain I’d bring home another baby. That certainty has been strangled by our diagnosis. It no longer exists. I am coming to terms with the idea of a life without another child. I am slowly embracing that idea so that the possible reality of it doesn’t some day crush me. I’m trying to imagine our family of three in positive ways, rolling that version of my life over and over in my head until the sharp edges smooth enough to stop drawing blood. Someday, in that not so distant future, I may have to reconcile the dreams I had with the reality of my life, and I don’t want that moment to crush me. I want to be prepared.

In the meantime I will give this all that I’ve got, and hope that a miracle happens.

9 responses

  1. It sounds like — at the very least — you’re taking back some control and with it comes peace of heart. It does need to be on your terms, within your comfort zone. Good for you for pulling things back if you felt they were moving too quickly.

  2. Good for you for finding what works for you. When I first sought help from doctors when we were unable to conceive on our own, I did all the initial testing. Then my OB said I should move forward with an RE. I decided I wasn’t ready for that. When we did move forward with an RE it was a horrible experience and like you said FAST! Way too fast. After 2 failed cycles, I took a break. We went back to trying by our selves. Taking back that control lead me to where I needed to be. Going back in for treatment felt better. It felt right. I think this is where you are at right now. Thinking of you!

  3. Unless your RE is a horrible human being, he should be more than willing to pursue treatments on your timeline. He’s probably just used to most people who come to him wanting to get into things Right Away so they can have a baby NOW. Doing things at your own pace is vital to not letting treatments drive you completely insane.

    As far as inviting your period back, that will probably just mean a couple weeks of prometrium, which should not affect the next cycle the way BCPs did.

  4. Going at your own pace is so important. I was the patient who came in for my first consult and asked, “when can we get STARTED?!?!?” My close friend went in and tried 6-10 IUI’s before moving to IVF, even though her RE (my RE’s partner) said it was time to do IVF after 4 failed IUI’s. Her RE respected her wishes and kept doing the IUI’s she wanted to do. She moved to IVF when she felt the time was right and got her baby. My cousin, who went to the same practice, decided that she wasn’t ready to do treatments (after 4 years of TTC on their own) and after one IUI, stepped away to do things on her own terms. She got pregnant. We all got pregnant, and we all chose our own, very different, paths. There is no ONE right way.

    Good for you for knowing that the RE’s plan is not right for you, right now. you are young (you really are!) and have time to go at your own pace. Enjoy it as much as you can!

  5. I love epiphanies, thank goodness you had yours. You know what I love even more? PLANS. And it sounds like you have them, that’s awesome. I’m crossing all I can that they work.

  6. Good for you for listening to your own discomfort, and finding a plan that fits better for you! It sounds like it makes a lot of sense to wait on the IUIs until you feel really ready, especially if they’re the end of what you can do. Hoping for good news from the SA and the other appointments.

  7. You’re certainly not the first person to leave a doctor’s appointment feeling unhappy and uncomfortable, despite the appointment seeming positive on the surface and despite having a compassionate and competent doctor. Been there, done that 😉

    I’m so glad that you realised what was bothering you (and I think it’s awsome that yoga often has that power for you). Your new plan sounds very sensible.

    Thinking of you.

  8. This makes perfect sense, and i’m glad you figured out what was bothering you. I went through kind of the same thing when trying for J. I was very eager to meet with an RE and start treatments, but I realized that subconsciously, I was sure my problem was hormonal and she’d just be able to give me pills and send me on my way. When she suggested IUI’s, I wasn’t ready. Despite her no-nonsense, this-is-the-plan attitude, she was perfectly willing to prescribe Clomid while we tried for a month on our own (which didn’t work, of course). Then when our 3 Clomid IUI’s didn’t work, she wanted to move right to injectables, but understood when we told her we wanted to take 2 months off. So I think that sometimes the RE is all for moving forward because they think that’s what you want, or you wouldn’t have come to them. Hopefully you’ll be able to tell him you want to move more slowly, though, and he’ll be fine with that.

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