Monday, September 26, 2011

Not a Happy Thought

I'm in a particularly morbid place right now, so I understand if you want to skip this one. I just needed to get these thoughts out of my head and into the light. I've been doing a lot of thinking about what happens in the event of a positive beta. One unfortunate side effect of infertility is the all the extra time we spend thinking about what might happen when we finally get what we want. I'll tell you right now, I don't have answers. Only in an infertile's mind does this potential outcome spiral into a nightmare of epic proportions.

I'm putting the cart before the horse and wondering, if we do get a pregnancy out of this IVF (assuming we ever get to complete this IVF), how long do we wait to tell our friends and family? It seems like such a mundane question. Until I start to play out various possible scenarios in my mind.

Your average fertile couple seems to be sharing photos of the positive HPT within days. Cautious fertiles deem ten weeks to be the safe zone for sharing. This is clearly out of the question, but then, how long do we wait? Most of my IF tweeps seem to settle around the end of the first trimester, which seems... almost long enough. Until I consider all the things that could go wrong for a woman my age at any of the critical "seeing shit more clearly" appointments that seem to occur between 15-20 weeks. And the incompetent cervixes that seem to fail between 20-23 weeks.

And suddenly I realize, this is getting ridiculous. If I waited even as late as twenty weeks to tell, my family would be furious that I hadn't told sooner. So obviously, I would have to come clean before I felt safe. Cue epiphany.

If there's one thing I've learned from my involvement in this community in the last three years, it's that we are NEVER out of the woods. There will never be a point when we know everything will be OK. There may perhaps come a time when the fear abates, when we manage to relax or even forget about mortality for a while. Or maybe not. I'm one of those people who believes that the moment you get complacent and stop worrying about something is the moment things will go wrong. I have been told that I worry too much, that this simply isn't logical, but I'm wired this way. I don't know how to turn this off.

No parent should ever have to bury their child, but it happens all too often. As a child, one of my friends lost her little brother in a freak playground accident. As a teenager, I lost one friend to cancer and another to a car accident. In my twenties, I lost a friend to an overdose. In my thirties, a family member lost her five year old and the doctors never even found a reason. They all died too young and they all had mothers and fathers who will carry that loss for the rest of their lives.

This year, my thirty year old cousin buried her two year old son, and my eighty-nine year old aunt buried her fifty-eight year old son. We are never out of the woods.

If you made it all the way to the end of this post, I kinda feel like I should buy you a drink, or at least a cookie. I did warn you.


  1. I'm so sorry you're struggling right now. Birthdays, especially milestones, are especially hard to take when dealing with IF. My fingers are crossed it won't be too much longer until you can go forward with this next IVF cycle.

  2. I'll take a drink now. But I should confess that I have morbid thoughts like this all the time. I've convinced myself that having a really easy life up to the age of 31 when I stepped onto the TTC train means I'll have an especially hard life from that point on. Yikes. Here's to hoping both of us can learn how to focus less on morbidity :)

  3. I think you are right. We are never out of the woods. I had these same thoughts after I got my positive beta, and stressed myself out wondering when do I start telling people? Your thought process was exactly my thought process. I had seen too many things go wrong in the IF community, that I couldn't believe that I would be able to get through this. Even now, at 16 weeks, I still fear that something will go wrong.

    But what I've learned is that you have to take it day by day. If you get that positive beta (and I hope you do!) then just remember that on THAT DAY, you are pregnant. Enjoy it. And when you make it to the next day? Enjoy that day, too. It's all about baby steps (no pun intended) in getting through this. Sometimes being an infertile and finally seeing that positive pregnancy test is scarier then the process to get there.

  4. You are totally right. We can call the thoughts morbid or we can call them totally normal thoughts that people in the infertile community just have to think about. How can you not? But your conclusion is so right. We are never out of the woods, ever. We just have far more anxiety at a time that others don't so we can see things going wrong. I think it's up to us to slap ourselves out of it sometimes so we get a break but know that it's ok to think these things and get them out when they do come up. *big hugs* to you. And I'll take a cookie now. :)

  5. We sure aren't...but if we allow ourselves to live in fear, we will never enjoy the moment. Try to remember that, okay? HUGS.

  6. On one hand, you're right. On the other hand, that's no way to live life Brittany's got it right--you have to live one day at a time while pregnant, and try to enjoy that day for what it is. Otherwise, you're letting infertility cheat you out of a piece of what you've long wanted. Plus, that's just a stressful way of going through your pregnancy. It's hard, though.

    By the way, by 20 weeks, it'd be pretty hard to hide your pregnancy from your family and friends! We told family at 12 weeks this time, and I told work at about 14 weeks. I'm 16 weeks now, and utterly showing. It's a balance of what you feel comfortable with, and what biology gives you no choice on!

  7. The fear will never end. Just tell people when the time is right for you! By week 14 or so you will have a hard time hiding your belly. I am hoping for your BFP so you have to worry about when to tell everyone. It's part of the fun!

  8. It's ok if you don't give me a cookie. :-)
    I learned that lesson two losses in. I think that's why I just tell everyone that's close as soon as I know. I figure better to get support in case something goes wrong than tell them after the fact. Does that make sense?
    Sending huge hugs your way!

  9. Nope, never out of the woods. We told our parents around the 10w mark, told a couple other people around 14w, and just now at 17w I told a small handful of others yesterday. Taking the plunge and telling my boss yesterday damn near killed me. Only about a dozen or so people know so far; I figure I'll let everyone else figure it out when it becomes REALLY obvious I'm not just getting fat (which will be soon now. And still gives me heebie jeebies). It's weird. I feel like I was so much more open about the pregnancies that ended in loss than I am about this one.

  10. I hear ya. I can't decide what scares me more right now in my 2ww - a BFP or a BFN. My mind spirals the same way when I think of a BFP. Either outcome makes me terrified that completely losing my shit is on the horizon.

    And yet... we keep on truckin'. Somehow.

    huge HUGS to you

  11. Make mine a martini, please. It's true we are never out of the woods. While I am more cautious about what I tell people when, I've learned that letting *some* of them in for support early is a good thing. If, G-d forbid, you were to experience a mid-term loss, you might want those you love and trust to be there with you. I say telling family in the 1st T (depending on the family) just makes sense. Save FB for later on, sure. Also, ditto the biology giving you no choice - which is kinda creepy to me sometimes. How will everyone just get to KNOW I'm pg by looking at me? It's so personal and public all at the same time. Weird.

  12. Your post is spot on. I think the worrying never goes away. That said, I think it's important to surrender to the process, to admit we have very little control of what's happening. I'm in a constant state of "I don't know" and I'm doing my best to enjoy it because this is my life and I'm living it right now. In the now.

    That said, I'm constantly waiting for that other shoe to drop.