Dissociating from my feelings

I have found, over the past two weeks, that it is easier to ignore all the details and feelings about our infertility issues than it is to deal with them. It’s a pretty standard coping mechanism for me, and I’m aware it’s likely to bite me on the ass. The thing is, I’m trying very hard to be ok. Ok for my Husband, ok for my friends, ok to finish school, ok for my patients…

And i’m having trouble with it. Every time I peek into the mental space surrounding my disappointment that IUI didn’t work, I get choked up and if it starts i’m not sure i’ll be able to stop it. Certainly not in a timely manner, and I don’t have time to sit in a puddle of my own tears.

And I don’t especially want to MAKE time either. I know eventually I am going to have to deal with this, but I think I keep hoping that i’ll just get pregnant and never have to actually experience any of this pain, if I can just put it off for long enough. Delayed dissatisfaction, if you will.

Even as I sit here trying to evaluate where i’m at, i’m avoiding thinking about it to any depth. A friend of mine asked how that stuff was going yesterday and I started to talk about it, managed to make a few flippant comments and give the bare info to update, and then I felt my throat start to close, and I changed the subject. I just don’t want to evaluate how I feel about this.

I think I keep glancing over at the issue, thinking that maybe just leaning into the sorrow would be cathartic. But i’m not ready. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready.

-Me

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Mothers Day is Hard

There are lots of posts crossing my facebook feed today about mothers day, and many of them acknowledge that mothers day is hard for some people – whether because they have lost their own mother, because they are a mother who has lost a child, or they are like me, and desperately want to be a mother and are endlessly frustrated that it hasn’t happened.

The thing is, mothers day is hard. It’s one of those weird hallmark holidays (literally, it started as one woman’s desire to honour her dead mother, and was quickly overrun by crass commercialism:¬†https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother%27s_Day, much to the founders chagrin) But it is everywhere, and not acknowledging it is somehow churlish. I emailed and called my Mum. But I get tired of the gushing on social media, so other than a cursory check, I try to avoid it for a few days either side. I know that no one is intentionally rubbing it in anyone elses face, but in the same way that I personally don’t enjoy constant effusive statements of love for ones partner all over social media (I unfollow those people), I don’t love seeing all the mothers day posts.

I choose to insulate myself from it by logging off for a few days, which seems like the responsible thing to do. I have no expectation of anyone else changing their behaviours to suit me.¬† By Wednesday the majority will be done, and my facebook page will be back to the standard irreverent memes and adorable pet videos I have carefully curated through the FB algorithm. But today, today I choose to absent myself, because it is no one else’s responsibility to protect me, but it is my responsibility to protect myself, and the barrage of images of new mums, happy births, and friends etc. with their children is more than I can take today.

All my love to anyone else who has the same experience.

-Me

Irony – Allanis style

I’m having a rough week. I will know in a few days if I am pregnant or not from round three, but if i’m honest, I think not. It’s a roller coaster of hope and frustration, and we go back to the fertility doctor on the 20th of March.

Mostly unrelated, for the past half decade or so, I’ve worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters. I met my first little sister when she was 14, and we built a solid relationship, so as she entered adulthood and aged out of the program, we have stayed close.

Today she told me she is pregnant, by accident, with a BF or three months, without resources or means, or planning. Because that is what young fertile people do. I am being supportive. I am being helpful. And I am dying inside.

There is a For Better or For Worse strip that basically says “fertility doesn’t come with foresight”.

I have no words.

-Me

Letrozole Round 3

So round two failed, which… sucks, but not shocking.

As I round the corner of having completed my third bout of letrozole, I am noticing an interesting and frustrating side effect: Absentmindedness. I’m not normally particularly forgetful, and I don’t often misplace things. But in the last month, I have completely forgotten conversations and the plans that were made in them on several occasions, and left my rowing gear at the club after practice twice. Along with that, I can’t do my normal standard of multitasking, and when my Husband talks at me when I’m doing some school stuff I have no idea what he’s said or how to respond. Granted, it would be nice if he waited until he had asked for my attention before starting to talk, but that didn’t used to be an issue, so it’s hardly surprising since it’s a new problem.

I’m not really sure what to do about it, the options are basically to roll with it and accept that I’m going to be an airhead for the duration of fertility treatment, or to stop treatment and hope my brain comes back.

I’m a little nervous about being able to finish the last two courses of my masters with limited mental capacity, not to mention the social issues with friends who I miss/forget plans with – there are only so many times you can apologize before the behaviour becomes tiresome/unforgivable.

So, we shall see. Each round of medication seems to bring a slightly different set of side effects as it slowly builds up in my system. The first month I was more mellow than I have been in a long time, the second one brought irritability and the start of the brainless factor, and this round? Well, I’ve just finished the meds, but we shall see how it goes.

-Me

 

Random Update

So the thing I have avoided talking about, thinking about the source of a lot of my anger in the last month or so…

My sister told me early this month that her husband had smashed his head through their bedroom door because he was angry, telling her that “it had been a choice of his head or hers” and that he had decided his head was the better choice. He’s always been violent and broken things. Years ago, my Husband and I shared a house with them when they were first married (They married two years into their relationship, 11 ish years ago – we married eight years into our relationship, eight years ago). I vividly remember one time when My Husband was working away for a month – i hear my sister and her husband fighting, tried not to, and then heard something break. So I went to investigate, and found a chair shattered, and my sister cleaning up. In a fit of rage, her husband had broken a chair. I thought that was unacceptable at the time, but didn’t read too much into it. I, We, grew up with a father who, although he had a lot of redeeming qualities, had a temper, and occasionally lashed out and damaged things and on very rare occasions us, so it wasn’t outside my, or her, experience of normal (I would have been 20 or 21, she would have been 23-24). Over the years, she mentioned an occasional violent outburst, but it was rare, and around the time my younger niece was born, 7.5 years ago, I was under the impression that he had stopped his outbursts and seen them for the inappropriate behaviours they were – especially where his children were concerned.

So fast forward to this month. Finding out that my brother in law has been increasingly violent and breaking things on an increasingly frequent basis. It culminated in that fight I mentioned above – him shoving his head through the door – twice. Did I mention that my 4.5 year old nephew was on the other side of the door?

I’m torn as to what to do. As i’m older and wiser, I recognize that a lot of the things I accepted as normal as a child were, in fact, abusive. I think my parents did the best they could, but that’s what happens when people have children in their early 20s- they don’t get the chance to be fully formed adults and they have the learn on the job. Dad slapped me once, when I was about 9, and he looked so ashamed. It was a one time event, but he hit me so hard I dropped to the floor, and he looked so ashamed.

I am afraid for the wellbeing of my sister, my niece, and my nephew. I am worried about their long term happiness, and the volatile quality of my brother in laws temper. I want to believe that he is capable of changing, but from the moment he threatened my sister, he lost all positive interactions I have tried to send his way.

I do not believe he will hurt my family. I also no longer consider him among that membership.

Abuse is no small thing, and I worry about my Munchkins future. If we do get to have children, we have known for years that we would never leave them alone with the brother in law – he can’t be trusted. But how long is it going to take for my sister to see that?

-Me

Angerish?

I wrote a whole post about anger and frustration and how i’m starting to come to terms with my anger about our fertility situation among other things … and it got lost in the ether of the wordpress website and never got posted.

So cliff notes version: I am having to realize that I am angry. I am beyond pissed off that my Husband and I can’t seem to have biological kids and I am currently dealing with a family situation where my brother in law, the father of one niece, one nephew, is a violent twit who recently threatened my sister “It was your head or mine going though that door” (he chose his, his head went through that door, because thats the smart thing to do – shove your head through a door in front of your four year old son, because that’s just fiiiiiiine) I hate that that idiot managed to procreate with my sister, not because I don’t love my niece and nephew, I do, and I am so excited that they are little people who exist. I just hate that He gets to be a father when my Husband doesn’t. That violent jackass piece of shit is a parent, shares a life with my sister and their kids, and my Husband, who is… so much better. Isn’t doesn’t get to have kids. Not yet, anyways. And if we’re honest here, maybe never.

I think the thing is that we all have to know that fertility isn’t fair. Fertility isn’t an indication of who you are as a person, who you are as a couple, who you are as a responsible unit… Fertility is a simple matter of what happens in utero … or doesn’t. And I’m sure there are people who believe it’s the will of a deity, but I don’t. It’s just that sometimes life isn’t fair, and thats not divine, it’s just life.

-Me

Happy 2018!

I am disinclined to make new years resolutions. I think it’s important to reflect and evaluate where you’re at and decide what you’re happy with, what you’re not, and how you want to change… but I think the arbitrary start date of New Years and making it a resolution is setting yourself up for failure. I mean, it’s a running joke among fitness/health professionals that the first week of January is a whirlwind and crazy busy and that by mid February everything will have calmed down back to normal.

All that being said, I had a pretty relaxed holiday, I didn’t spend any time with anyone other than my three furballs (the Husband, the dog, and the cat…) and I got some time off work, and I got to spend some time in reflection and think about what I do want to work to change.

The first thing that I know I need to work on is my own perception of myself and my war with my body. I’ve mentioned before that I feel like in many ways my body has betrayed me – its inability to conceive, to adhere to the physical appearance I idealize, and honestly the feeling that it has over the past year given out on me as my ability to push through the depression and its sister ship fatigue and I am actually having to take some time off. For these, and so very many more reasons, I often feel like I am waging a never ending series of battles with myself.

There are aspects of that last paragraph that made me cringe a little bit even as I wrote them – the idealized body annoys me – not because it exists as much because I still apparently buy into it. And that, although I do think I have gotten better at this, I still struggle to give myself grace and respect that self care is a necessary thing. I often counsel my clients on this front, but often I recognize that it’s basically a “do as I say, not as I do” situation. Which makes me a bit of a hypocrite, but…. well, like I say, i’m working on it.

The most recent meeting with the second fertility Doctor did help to reduce my feeling of inadequacy with respect to our inability to conceive – he made it clear that neither of us is to blame for our lack of a baby – we as a couple simply have not been able to create a viable melding of our genetic matter (I may also call an eventual child exactly that as a nickname, maybe i’d be unfit to parent??? VMGM FTW!)

The useful thoughts that came out of actually having time away from our workaholic lives to hang out together and talk: Husband and I have agreed that one way or the other, whether because the fertility treatments work, or whether we end up looking into and going through the adoption process, we plan to be parents sometime in the next five years. That being a plan, we have agreed on a few behavours that both of us think we would like to change/modify before we model them for the next generation. These are basic things like actually sitting down at the table to eat instead of grabbing food and hanging out in the living room and ignoring each other, less screen time in general for non work/school related purposes, etc. Nothing ground breaking, mostly just small things that we think would be good to change anyways, and we both see the value of building the habits now so that they are habits when the time comes, which will make it easier to adhere to.

But ultimately, the main thing I need to work on, not as a resolution, not with a finite end date or goal… just a general sense that I need to learn to work with my body and be kinder to myself instead of punishing myself… Because frankly it’s just counterproductive.

Random final thought: Having to have sex every day for a week is a lot less fun in reality than it is in theory once you’re in your 30s. It’s amazing how something so fun can start to seem like such a chore.

In a little under two weeks I’ll know if i’m pregnant or if we’re going for round two of letrozole. Honestly, it hasn’t been so bad. Other than a weird taste in my mouth early on, three days of crushing fatigue (like 12-14 hours of sleep/day) leading up to ovulation (probable ovulation) this medication has not been as bad as I expected at all. Mostly I am dreading the let down I know will come when I find out that I am, once again, not pregnant. You would think after 57 cycles of this I would be numb, but this whole fertility treatment brings it all right back home.

-Me