Arrrghh!

I am so angry today. I was scheduled for a day 10 scan to see if there are follicles this cycle. I have been injecting myself with Gonal F all week. I am working today, so I made the appointment for 8.30 am anticipating that even with the customary delay at the clinic, I should be back in work by 10.30 or 11 am at the latest. When I arrived at the clinic there were already two other couples there and the receptionist said that the doctor was running behind. No surprises there – he is always running behind. I asked how much by and she said an hour. I asked her why she couldn’t ring the patients on the list and tell them this. I am so tired of this being the case each time I make an appointment and as I only live 10 minutes away from the clinic, it would make things less stressful if I knew I didn’t have to sit around with other stressed couples in the waiting room.

I went for a coffee and came back in a half hour but neither of the other couples had moved. One man was getting particularly edgy as he said he had to be in work. The tension was really palpable in the room. And another thing, I hate the inane tv shows that play in hospitals and clinics these days. Watching a stupid segment on underwear for Valentine’s Day is not relaxing!

Ok, long story short – two hours later and no one has been seen. I asked where I was on the list and I was 3rd. I reckoned I’d be there all morning at this rate – my blood pressure was boiling and I couldn’t take it anymore. I walked out. I know this means I miss the opportunity to have  a scan and I forego the opportunity to have another IUI this month, passing up a precious opportunity to conceive. But I just couldn’t take it one more minute – I thought back to my treatment in the hospital last August after my miscarriage, all the times I have had to sit heart in mouth waiting for scans, sick with anxiety and I just couldn’t stay in that room with all that tension any longer.

I had to slink into work like a drowned rat. There was no parking, so I had to park the car a mile away and walk in the rain cursing the system with stress levels rising. So this is my question to you. I have changed clinics two times and in each clinic it has been the same thing – unhelpful receptionists, crowded appointment and waiting times. Am I just a grouch? Is this all part of the TTC merry-go-round? Should I just accept this is the way it is?

And my second question is, how is it for those of you who are trying to hold down a job but have to take time off for appointments. My boss and co-workers are understanding (I think)  but there comes a point, where you can’t expect this to last forever. And why should it? I hate the fact that my private business is something that I have to bring into my work arena – but it very hard not to let it happen.

Last question..how on earth are you supposed to conceive a child when the whole process is overloaded with stress??

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Why crying is good for you

After the failure of my IUI last Friday, I cried all day until there were no more tears left. I woke up with red rimmed swollen eyes next morning, feeling tired, sad and drained, but in other ways much better. It was as if those tears had cleansed away some of the pain.

Today, my blogger friend Therese, has a wonderful post on the healing power of tears and outlines seven ways in which a good cry can heal us physiologically, psychologically, and spiritually. Her list is based on Jerry Bergman’s The Miracle of Tears and I particularly like the points about crying lowering your stress levels, elevating your mood, releasing your feelings, and my favourite – building community.

Check out Therese’s post – it is a good read and next time you feel like giving full rein to your tears,  go right on ahead – it’s good for you!

How to offer words of comfort

I have been uplifted by everyone’s support and kind comments after my last post on my failed IUI – not just here but on my other blog. You all certainly knew just the right thing to say to me to make me feel better. It is wonderful to know that there is a place where you are understood and your feelings are validated. I think this is so important as Dr Robert Leahy points out in a recent article in the Huffington Post

 The most important thing in talking to someone who is upset is to communicate that 1) you understand they are upset, 2) you care about how they feel, and 3) you respect their right to have their feelings.

Leahy then goes on to break down into categories what not to say to someone who is upset.

  1. Minimizing. This is the style where you treat your partner’s concerns as trivial: “It’s nothing. Why are you making a big deal out of it?” You are trying to tell them that their feelings are not related to anything real or important. So, the message they get is, “My feelings don’t matter to you.”
  2. Rationalizing. You treat your partner’s concerns as evidence of their irrational and distorted thinking. You try to argue away their concerns. This is a specific kind of minimization, and it sends the same negative message: “Your feelings are based on nothing real. Get over it.” 
  3. Competitive complaining. In this little game you don’t want your partner to “win” by being the one with the biggest complaints. So you start bringing up your own: “You think that’s bad? I think I might lose my job!” Again, your partner feels there is no room for her feelings. You matter more. 
  4. Fixing. If your partner has unpleasant feelings, you jump in to try to solve all the problems. Laying out your well-thought-out plan, you get frustrated when she doesn’t buy into your solutions. This makes her feel less understood and she thinks, at times, that you are patronizing. 
  5. Defending. In this scenario you treat your partner’s emotions as a personal attack on you. If he is upset, you feel that you are to blame, so you turn it into a trial and start defending yourself. This goes nowhere; you get more angry and dismiss his feelings. 
  6. Stonewalling. In this case, you just withdraw. Feeling frustrated listening to her feelings, you withdraw, become silent and sullen and may leave the room. Now she is all alone, feeling abandoned.

 What To Say

Consider some of the following. Would you like to hear any of this when you are upset?

  • “I know it must be hard for you feeling this way.”
  • “I can see that it makes sense that you would feel down, given the way that you are seeing things.”
  • “A lot of times you may feel that people don’t understand how hard it is for you.”
  • “You must be thinking that this really down feeling is going to last a long time. It must be hard to feel that way.”
  • “I want you to know that I am always here for you.”
  • “I don’t want to sound like I don’t want to hear about your feelings. I do. But if there is anything that I can do to help you feel better, please let me know. Your feelings are really important to me.”

 

Maybe we should send this guide out to our friends and family as a handy reference guide next time we are struggling with our feelings and emotions around our treatment!

This is the hardest part

Earlier today, I said that the hardest part of this journey with trying to conceive is waiting, waiting each month to see if a miracle has happened and you are pregnant. You spend those two weeks trying not to get too hopeful, but nevertheless hope bubbles up – you allow yourself the luxury of  a few moments spent working out the due date and you picture yourself holding your longed for baby in 9 months time. You keep on hoping..right up until the moment your hope dies.

My hope died again this afternoon when the cramping and spotting turned into a full on bleed and I couldn’t pretend it was implantation symptoms anymore. My period has come and the IUI has failed. I want to crawl into a hole and never come out again.

I should be ready for this shouldn’t I? I shouldn’t be sitting here typing through my tears. I shouldn’t be feeling this aching emptiness again as another month of trying and failing to get pregnant comes and goes. Yet here I am doing just that.

I don’t know how it can be any other way. You invest so much of yourself mentally, emotionally (and yes financially) in each attempt at assisted conception. Not only did I have the IUI procedure, but I also had acupuncture to help with the implantation and went for a hypno-fertility session where I visualised implantation taking place and held onto that image right up until this afternoon.  You have to believe, you have to have hope, but when it doesn’t happen, it takes such a toll on you emotionally.

How do we keep going on this path? I am finding it really, really hard right now and you know what, this isn’t even the hardest part of it all. The hardest part is when your miracle happens and you conceive your baby only to lose him again.

The waiting is the hardest part

Just heard an old Tom Petty song on the radio, The Waiting and the words of the chorus have stuck in my mind

The waiting is the hardest part

Every day you see one more card

You take it on faith, you take it to heart

The waiting is the hardest part

Well I am not sure that it is the hardest part of this whole process, but it certainly isn’t easy. The closer I am getting to the end of the 2-week wait, the more anxious and nervous I get. It doesn’t matter how much I tell myself what will be will be, I still count down the days, one day hopeful and excited, the next stealing myself for disappointment, not to mention googling and imagining all the early signs of pregnancy I know off my heart at this stage.

I’ve been having dark spotting and cramping over the past few days, and although I read that only 4% of pregnancies experience this as implantation bleeding and pain, I am clinging onto it as a hopeful sign.

And now we wait…

Home from the clinic. Bit stressful – a few minor problems and at one point, I didn’t think the procedure was going to go ahead, but after a bit of delay, we had it done.

I’ve just been reading through what I wrote after my last experience with IUI and I am feeling very different this time. When I left the clinic this evening, I felt a huge weariness come over me. It was such an emotional time last year after the excitement of the successful IUI, the thrill of seeing our baby’s heartbeat, and then the devastation of miscarrying our little baby boy. I just feel a weariness at what is ahead. Either the IUI will result in a negative result in two weeks time, which will be a huge disappointment, or it will result in a pregnancy, which is of course what I want, but then I have to face the possibility of going through another miscarriage again.

I think it’s just hit me how really scared I am and how hard this fertility road is – it requires huge reserves of resilience, courage and emotional strength and just at the moment, I seem to be all out of that.

And it’s game on

Had the scan today. Butterflies started about an hour earlier and got increasingly more fluttery as we had to wait in the clinic for our appointment. I was trying to steal myself for doc saying that I didn’t have any nice juicy follicles but a nice big one emerged…only one, but he is happy to go with it.

So, it’s game on for next Tuesday afternoon!

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