Saturday, June 12, 2010

Maybe I'm Shallow, But... (UPDATED)

I don't really mind all the bottles of prenatal vitamins taken. My body benefited I'm sure. I can live with all the OPKs & HPTs used and discarded. They gave me information when I needed it. And I'm OK with the amount of money spent at the clinic in pursuit of parenthood. Kids are expensive. Mine would just be a little more so. And the painful and uncomfortable procedures are nothing I'm sure to the pain of childbirth or the bliss of seeing that child for the first time.

No. What I resent is the months and years of curtailing my lifestyle in order to try (so far, unsuccessfully) to boost my fertility. No coffee, no wine or whiskey, no hot tubs, and no painkillers. Hoarding vacation days with the hope of using them to extend a maternity leave instead of taking a long weekend whenever I felt like I needed one. Maybe that's just my only-childish mentality... I've very rarely had to make personal sacrifices for anyone else before. I want to have my cake and eat it too. I mean really, why shouldn't I?

I also resent all of those girls and women who deny themselves nothing, only to find themselves unexpectedly expecting and then fail to appreciate the gift they have been given.

If I come to the end of my IF journey with a baby, I will happily swallow that resentment. But if after all our options are exhausted, we are still just the two of us... I'll be grieving more than the loss of a child. I'll be grieving the loss of years worth of fruitlessly denied personal comfort. And you bet your ass that I then will wallow in self-indulgence to the full extent of my abilities.

UPDATE: I wrote this post on my phone yesterday at work after I started spotting. Last night, the Professor and I had a long talk about cycles so far and the plan going forward. So you know where I'm coming from - the Professor was in pre-med when we met and now works in public health. Without going into too much detail (he's touchy about privacy), suffice it to say I have the utmost faith in his ability to analyze this particular situation and form an objective opinion.

I have been worrying a lot lately... about the amount of trust I have to place in our medical team and about the fact that we continue to use the same basic protocol. I finally voiced this concern to the Professor, and he was surprised and very reassuring. He has clearly considered the subject, and he is in full agreement with the RE. The main factor in determining the continuation of the Clomid+IUI protocol is the fact that the first time we used it, I got pregnant. IT WORKED. He reminded me of the statistics, that in any given cycle, a fertile couple have a 20% chance of fertilization (not even viable pregnancy, just fertilization). So, four Clomid cycles with one fertilization that ended in miscarriage is right in line with that statistic.

I have to say, his calm and rational analysis of the situation did more for my state of mind than anything else could. I feel like this will happen. It's going to be OK.


  1. I completely understand where you're coming from with the whole "I gave it up for nothing" thought pattern. At the same time, though, you can choose to look at it differently. I'm not suggesting you should turn into Pollyana, who found good in everything. It's just that resentment can really eat you up and it's not really of any value; resentment gets you nowhere. Even letting the floodgates open and consuming everything you gave up won't help. It gets boring after a while, especially if you can admit that you felt better when you weren't indulging.

    I sometimes wonder if it's really in the best interest of infertile people to give up the enjoyable things 100%. While studies report that caffeine, alcohol, fatty, smoked or unpasteurized foods can be factors in infertility or miscarriage, I don't know of any that say you can never, ever have any of these things while trying to conceive. Doing this for years, through several (dozen?) cycles, is endless self-deprivation. I don't believe that one glass of champagne on an occasion, 1 decaf cappuccino, 1 piece of Brie cheese or 1 bar of chocolate occasionally is going to be the culprit in denying you the child you want. There will be a much bigger reason for your infertility than coffee. Don't listen to me...listen to your own instinct and conscience, or your own doctor.

    The resentment issue is this: If you tell yourself you will feel resentful, then you will be..because you have given yourself permission to feel that way. If you tell yourself that you are making choices that will support your efforts to conceive and that those efforts are worthwhile, even if you don't conceive, then you will probably be able to let go.

    More importantly, put your mind to coming up with ways that you can de-stress. Worrying alot and losing faith in your medical team won't do you any good at all. There's nothing wrong with getting a second medical opinion if you feel that concerned. As your husband is calmer and more satisfied with your treatment, tell him when you are feeling worried and ask for his reassurance. Its a good excuse for a hug.

  2. I am not an only child but I agree the deprivation sucks. I love coffee, its strong and black for me. Period. I switched to decaf for a year, blah, all for nothing. And no drinking? No way, I love me some good wine a little to much to call it quits. I think it is important to strike a balance with being in the moment and living and looking towards the future. What can I say, I am a woman who loves her vices.
    Are you sure the spotting means your out? Not to give you false hope or anything.
    Its great that you talked over the plans with ur hubs. I find it necessary to be on the same page.

  3. In my opinion, the only good thing about a BFN is the bottle of wine I drink that very night :-) I totally agree that it sucks to have to go without caffeine, alcohol, etc. especially when you *might not even be pregnant* (which has happened to me way too much). Anyhow, I think it's totally normal to be resentful about this. Wishing you luck with your stats (my husband is the same way about the statistics)! (visiting from LFCA)

  4. I think anyone who's dealt with infertility can relate to the feelings of resentment you so beautifully described.

    I'm glad the Professor was able to give you some sound reassurance. Sometimes it's more comforting than any sappy words of support. Sounds like you have a good one there!

  5. First off... and I can't stress this enough: Drink some coffee, wine AND whiskey (maybe not all at the same time). Then find a hot tubs, take a painkiller and get in it. People do far worse and get pregnant and mentally, it sounds like you need to do all of the above... at least once or twice. Secone... The Professor sounds like a gem. :)

  6. I feel like I've changed my life for TTC, less exercise, eating more, no alcohol during 2ww. While these aren't necessarily bad changes, I hate that every month it's in vain. It is so very frustrating.
    Good luck!!