What I Need

In the past months since we’ve been testing, and the two weeks since my diagnosis, I have been trying hard to determine what I need. Sometimes the answer is more clear than it has even been. Sometimes I agonize over what I should do.

When I first wrote about my diagnosis of diminished ovarian reserve here, commenters recommended two books: Conquering Infertility and The Fertile Female. I had only just recently heard of Alice Domar on Bitter Infertiles and was interested in her work, so I knew Conquering Infertility would definitely end up in my Amazon cart. Julia Indichova’s name I recognized and I was sure I had read at least one of her books, but I couldn’t remember if it was that or her memoir, Inconceivable.

I immediately ordered and started Conquering Infertility and was so thankful for its presence, in both the world and my life. I KNEW in my heart it was something I needed to read and my partner and I are already using some of the techniques to get us through this difficult time. It took me longer to look into The Fertile Female. When I finally found it on Amazon, I almost put it in my cart, but then I read an excerpt from the book and recognized it immediately. I had read those pages before.

After my successful pregnancy I packed up an entire book shelf of pregnancy and TTC books and stored them in my parents’ garage. Last weekend I went to their house and dug under crooked towers of crap to find that box. Opening it I was astounded by how many books on pregnancy there were. I was also disappointed that I didn’t see any books on conception, which I thought I’d packed there too. I didn’t see the simple cream-colored spine of the book I wanted.

As I searched through the contents of the box, marveling at the sheer number of pregnancy books that aren’t just published, but that I had actually spent my money on, I found one that was upright, forgotten in a corner with only the top of its pages visible. I pulled it out and there was The Fertile Female. I knew immediately that I needed to re-read that book.

At this very moment, stacked precariously next to by bed, are five or so books on helping natural conception or overcoming infertility naturally with traditional Chinese medicine, diet and yoga. All of those books were purchased and devoured during my first attempt at TTC. I saved them in case I would need them again.

But I found that I don’t need them this time. I already know everything they have to offer. Besides a few references to The Infertility Cure, the rest have remained untouched. And I have decided that, along with all but one of the pregnancy books, I will be giving them away to those who want and need them. Because I realize now, that I don’t.

The book I do need right now? The Fertile Female. Reading that book for the past few days has helped me see clearly that the path I chose on my own is the right one for me. And it is giving me tools to help me continue down that path in a positive way.

Over the past few days I have been agonizing about what to do with my cyst and my AWOL cycle. Should I go to my doctor to take BCPs and suppress my cycle so the cyst will shrink and disappear? Or should I let my body sort itself out, giving it time to heal itself on its own, but risking a protracted, anovulatory cycle? Should I request something to jump  start my period?

Finally yesterday I came to a tentative conclusion, determining that I will wait for at least one more cycle (I’m assuming some very light bleeding I noticed yesterday was a pathetic attempt at CD1 and counting from there) to see if I ovulate on my own, and then I’ll look into BCPs and suppression. After much agonizing, this feels like the right choice.

Reading Julia Indichova’s book yesterday I came across this part, where  she is speaking about a woman who realized she “didn’t know how to believe in herself.”

“I’ve gone to three different clinics and every doctor tells me to move straight to IVF, and to hike up my meds, but a woman I know just conceived with minimal stimulation. What if this is my last chance and I blow it?”

The first thing I say is that every choice you make takes you one step closer to your child. Each outcome, however disappointing, becomes the next guidepost. And if you learn to use your inner resources and begin to see each action as the next step on a pilgrimage, “blowing it” is simply not within the realm of possibility.

Reading this book has been so wonderful for me. For the first time since my diagnosis I’m allowing myself to really want another child again. I’m also allowing myself to accept that this path might not take me where I want to go, or how I want to get there, but that I must walk it and I can do so with grace. Surely there will be moments of paralyzing doubt, and crushing disappointment, there will still be tears of greif, but I am resolved to always follow my heart. If I do that, I can’t possibly misstep. And, more importantly, I can’t possibly regret where I end up.

In The Fertile Female Indichova writes, If we keep putting one foot in front of the other, one day we may discover that our child has been walking toward us all along. I don’t know know for sure if there is a child walking toward me, but I do know I will do everything in my power to make that possible rendezvous.

4 responses

  1. Arming yourself with knowledge and books that inspire you to find a path sounds great. In related news, I’m cleaning my house and I have a DVD called “Fully Fertile: Companion Yoga Practice” – I’ll mail it to you if you want it. I never opened it (was a free gift for running an infertility race last year) so I don’t know if it’s any good, but I thought it might be something you’d be interested in.

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