Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Please Ask for Help with Infertility Stress

I don't normally post my written audio blog, but I have excerpted my current audio blog because I think the topic is so important.

Yesterday there was an anonymous posting on an infertility board of which I participate on. My interpretation and the interpretation of twenty-two other women was that the writer had left her suicide note for all of us to read. The despair that had plagued her was tremendous. She lost a pregnancy at 16 weeks, was financially bankrupt and, clearly, emotionally spent. I am just an armchair psychologist at this point, but my guess is that she suffered from a post-partum depression that could have been magnified when she started to use fertility medications again.

Because she posted anonymously, we had no way to reach out to her except through posting. We posted the suicide prevention hotline number, we shared our stories, we begged her to just call somebody. It is the rare woman suffering from infertility who doesn’t have some dark days. As found on renowned mind-body expert, Alice Domar’s website, research has shown that the stress associated with fertility treatment can be at a level comparable to the stress associated with serious illness. Patients who seek emotional support early in treatment are often better prepared for their experiences and find it significantly less stressful than patients who do not.

If you are emotionally struggling with infertility, please seek out help. There are so many of us out here trying to help each other, sometimes in person, but most of the time virtually through chat groups, emails and twitter. You can even take an infertility stress test

I don’t know the ending to the story. We have all waited breathlessly today for anonymous to post again and tell us that she called for help. We haven’t heard a thing. We can only hope that she is with someone who is helping her as I speak.

If you or somebody you know is depressed because of infertility, please reach out to someone. Infertility may feel like the end of the world, but there is still so much more.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Filling the Void

Today's post is actually coming from Napa. It is too early to start tasting wine, so it is a great time to take a moment and ponder about this week's random thoughts. Even though infertility is a big part of my current mid-life crisis, I do think there is more to it.

Yesterday, I had a chance to meet Amelia Ceja, president of Ceja Vineyards. She is the woman we all strive to be--successful in her passions [food, wine, experiencing life]. She took my friend and I down a row of grapes, picking grapes from different places and readily identifying the flavors [kiwi, apple, tropical] and every grape she enjoyed and savored. She talked about the rivers and the importance of keeping the community strong. Every word was filled with her enthusiasm. This busy woman took an hour of out of her day to take two strangers into her world. I believe that often people come into your world for a reason. I think our visit to Ceja and to meet Amelia yesterday was to put the fire back into me for living a complete life.

As much as I want a child, having a child is not going to fill the passion void I am currently experiencing. As infertile women, I think we often fall into a trap of believing that the only thing that is going to make us ultimately happy is to have a child. But, that is so far from the truth. In order to be good parents, we need to be whole individuals--people who can be happy for themselves and not because of others. Yet, it is hard every day to do something besides think about how am I going to be able to have a child.

There is another gal I know who has also stepped off the career track to improve her fertility. She is also finding that being focused on infertility is not enough. She is looking for more purpose. Women have made great strides. Even as little as fifty years ago, it would have been rare for this conversation to be happening. Women were expected to only amuse themselves with interests as side dishes to their main job of having children. Today, we have the opportunity to be who we want to be as well as a mother.

My bottom line thought today for my infertile friends is to take a minute today and look past infertility. Think about what else you want in life to fill your spirit. Try to spend some time keeping yourself whole.

Now, time to start tasting more wine.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

CD 1 Starts tomorrow

I am like clockwork. It really is scary. I always have a 30 day cycle. Right on time, AF started to show up around 5pm and in infertility time that means tomorrow. So, we will officially start this process up again.

This coming month I have mixed feelings. We head to Oktoberfest in September. I know--Oktoberfest should be in October, but it is not. I would hate to find out I was pregnant and then get on a plane to Munich. Though, I would LOVE to have that problem. Given that there is a 1 in 25 chance of that happening, it looks like it will be IVF for us again this fall.

Right now I am checking out various clinics. I don't know what I am looking for. That's not true--I do know, I am looking for hope. I had a clinic do a wonderful job of explaining the last couple of years to me in baseball terms. I have been at bat and I have hit two foul balls. In baseball terms that would be two strikes. But, I am hitting the ball, and you just never know when that next hit is going to go out of the ball park.

So, we are going to keep hoping for that homerun.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Love my new phrase for the week

Yesterday, I saw someone posting about "preconception hypochondrias". I get it completely. I swear I had implantation cramping on Sunday. Today I am sure I have experienced the mythical implantation spotting. It is just amazing how easy we can dream up symptoms for ourselves.

Earlier in the week I was feeling optimistic that maybe this cycle would defy the odds. Put me in that lovely predicament of getting pregnant before going to Oktoberfest. Today, not so much, I simply have that feeling that I am having one of those freaky cycles. Normally I am a clockwork 30 days, with spotting on Day 25. You can turn a calendar to my cycles. I can't quite explain today's anomaly.

Mentally I am feeling stronger. It also helps that we have a plan in motion. Right now I am interviewing clinics to do another IVF round in the fall. I still may end up at our previous clinic, but I want to feel like I have done my due diligence this round.

I also feel better because I am exercising and eating better. I am almost a third of the way to my weight loss goal. Woohoo. That is, until I go to book club tonight, which is always good for a couple of pounds.