A Feeling Problem

I had a lot of big plans for today. Husband and I were going to go get brunch at this adorable little bakery that just opened up down the street. I might swing by the farmers market in our neighborhood to pick up some fresh fruits & veggies. I have all sorts of catching up to do when it comes to schoolwork.

And then I slept until 2:00 pm.

I haven’t slept that late in a long time. To be fair, I stayed up until about 2:00 am last night because the Blue Apron recipe I started cooking at 9:00 pm (because I was hungry!) took two hours instead of the promised 45 minutes.Then I ate the crazy thing I made, which was delicious, but still. Then my husband was watching Master of None on Netflix and I can’t say no to Aziz Ansari. Then it was midnight and I still had to do my nebulizers and vest, and… yeah. I was up too late because I’m hungry and irresponsible, basically.

Feast your eyes!
Feast your eyes!

This morning I did succeed in waking up at 8:30 am for my final dose of Ganirelix (woohoo!), then afterward I figured I’d go back to sleep for another hour or so. And then it was 2:00 pm.

I’m going to go right ahead and blame the hormones. I’ve been feeling kind of tired most days and after sleeping for nearly 12 hours last night I feel pretty freaking fantastic. I got up, chugged some water (since I was waaay behind on my daily goal), and took my “morning” prenatal vitamins. And now here I am, not doing any of the things on my to-do list.

I’m finding it really hard to focus on anything other than IVF right now. I have so much that needs to get done, but I end up watching the same old YouTube IVF vlogs and perusing online infertility forums. I guess I just wish there was something I could do instead of sitting here drinking water and eating avocados and hoping hoping hoping this cycle will be the one. I’ve talked with my therapist about this and her response was that this isn’t a doing problem, it’s a feeling problem.

I feel anxious and helpless and utterly out of control, with a heavy dose of feeling as though infertility is unfair. For so many other problems in life, feeling unprepared and out of control can be cured by studying, or working hard, or just generally putting in a greater effort. But IVF isn’t like that. It’s one of the few areas in life that’s still totally unpredictable. We can do our best to prepare, but in the end it’s up to chance. You can’t solve a feeling problem by doing.

I was thinking yesterday about how having Cystic Fibrosis has and has not prepared me for this IVF process. On the positive side, I don’t feel fearful about the medical system. I’m comfortable dealing with insurance and understanding my benefits. Dealing with large quantities of medications, mixing doses, and giving injections doesn’t feel overwhelming. But on the other hand, thus far in life my general health has been, for the most part, directly related to how hard I work at staying healthy. If I skip treatments I feel worse. If I stay on top of of my treatments, eat right, and exercise, I feel good. I get my desired outcome. That has been the bulk of my experience with the medical field: you get out what you put in. But infertility just isn’t that way. At all.

I’m doing my best to approach this as a feeling problem. I’m trying to come to terms with this process being out of my control. Meditation helps, even though I’m still pretty terrible at shutting off my brain. Talking to my husband and sister helps. Writing this blog helps. Spending hours surfing YouTube and message boards definitely does not help, because I either focus on success stories and feel deluded, or focus on failures and feel hopeless. Once I surface again after spending hours down that rabbit hole I feel awful, like a junkie fresh off a binge. But a few days later I’m at it again.

I wish I had a solution to share, but I don’t. I know the next two weeks are going to be even harder because after my trigger shot tonight, there’s nothing more for me to do. At least when I was giving myself injections I felt like an active participant. From here on out – the egg retrieval, the fertilization, the transfer – the doctors are taking the reins. My job is just to show up and stay calm. I’ll do my best.

End-of-stims belly: a little bruised, a little bloated.
End-of-stims belly: a little bruised, a little bloated.

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