Saturday, July 30, 2011


Just when I think that I'm coming to terms with the strangeness of life, I see this video:

Is this humanly possible? I understand that denial "ain't just a river in Egypt," but it's hard to comprehend how an adult woman who has HAD a child wouldn't be aware of what's happening to her body. Yes, inexperienced and under-educated high school girls sometimes surprisedly give birth in bathrooms--but grown women? C'mon.

For better or for worse, this snappy little news clip makes me question everything I believe about how my intentions and attitude contribute to my ability to conceive. Is my yoga, acupuncture, Arvigo massage and nightly meditations to relax my body and invite my potential child into my womb a total load of BS? I mean, if this lady can not only GET pregnant but GESTATE FOR NINE MONTHS a healthy baby without ever knowing it, then maybe positive intentions and welcoming energy mean absolutely nothing! Does this woman's lack of awareness finally give me permission to be the pessimistic, anxious, cynical person that I try to fight being because I'm afraid these feelings make me less likely to conceive? Or should I just express and embrace those feelings, because they're real and, by my logic above, probably have no bearing on my ability to get pregnant?

One the one hand, it's thrilling to have an excuse to just be sad, since I always feel so guilty about my negativity, like it's to blame that we haven't had success. On the other hand, while it's exhausting trying to "be positive" all the frickin' time, I will admit that I probably do feel better when I force myself to be less pessimistic and to have internal hope and faith. But what about that saying "to thine own self be true"? What if that self is really angry and sad at this point? Isn't it a self-betrayal to hide your real feelings and pretend to be someone that you're not?

How do I find the balance between being real (i.e. cynical and negative) and being fake (i.e. trying to be positive despite myself), but ultimately--and I kind of hate to admit this--less depressed? One of my favorite books is Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh. Somewhere in there, the Buddhist monk basically encourages readers to smile as much as possible and to "fake it until you make it," which is to say keep smiling, until you really feel like smiling. By his logic, the fake smiling will eventually help you to smile authentically. I should probably start reading that book again. :-)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

And so it begins...

...the IVF process, that is. But before I go into the details, let's just get a reminder of the feelings and experiences that have brought us to this point:
It's refreshing to see such a lighthearted spoof on what it's like to have infertility problems, but I have to admit that I haven't been laughing much about it all these days. In fact, at acupuncture yesterday a needle placed on one of my "heart points" caused me to spontaneously sob for five minutes. Looks like the clouds have been building in there, despite the all the silver linings for which I am so grateful.

This pain that I try to hide and master, but cannot, is what I have to remember when I get cold feet about starting the IVF medications because I am convinced I will have an allergic reaction to them: I cannot spend the rest of my life obsessing over this dream and failing time and time and time again (25 times in a row, actually, thus far). Since I am physically and emotionally and mentally and spiritually unable to accept the notion that I cannot carry a pregnancy, I have to make whatever sacrifices it takes to make it come true--and if it doesn't, I will at least know that we gave it our all (on every level).

So Sunday, I sacrificed our sleep-in morning to schlep over to Beverly Hills to let the vampires suck my blood (and check my progesterone levels). Once I got the go-ahead, I sacrificed my usual summer-time calm by anxiously giving myself my first (nightly) shot of Lupron, a drug that will "prevent the usual hormone exchange that causes [eggs to mature] and ovulation by suppressing the pituitary stimulation to the ovaries." Sounds like a good chemistry experiment, no? I had to watch the how-to-stick-yourself video three times before I shot up, shakey-handed and nauseated nonetheless. But hey! That wasn't so bad. Good thing, because there's a lot more coming in the injection department.

Now, I just need to order the seven other medications I'll need to take to get a bun in the oven. Whatever happened to the birds and the bees?