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A Mental Day



Leap of Faith #3 by Erika V Nelson

First things first: Thank you all for taking time to leave such kind, beautifully worded comments on my previous post. You all had so many wonderful points that once again put my mind at ease. Sometimes I don’t know what I would do if I did not have this community. More thoughts on my decision follows.

Back when I was single I would take what I called “Mental Days” from work. On these days I would call in for no other reason than to live spontaneously. I was moving up in the career world, but not at a point that my presence was required daily. I felt an element of detachment from my job that made it easy to occasionally throw responsibility to the wind and take off for a day.

Today things are a little different. I’m the only one who handles marketing for my company and am needed in my seat most of the time. I also miss a lot of work these days due to infertility appointments and autoimmune appointments. My life is an endless spectrum of doctors and leave slips. This all means that the days of casually calling in for no reason other than the need for adventure are long gone.

Yesterday, however, I reached my boiling point. I woke up in such a state of malaise that I knew a day off was not just needed, it was required. So I took a Mental Day and spent the entire time at my sewing machine listening to Christmas and Joanna Newsom records.

It felt good to work with my hands. Every row of stitches laid down brought me a little closer to sanity. When my hands got tired, I let my feet take over and ran/walked for an hour. All day I rolled reproduction options around in my head. I weighed the input from my wonderful blog readers. I searched my soul for an answer. By the end of it I had come up with nothing.

Frustrated, I brought up embryo adoption with Mr. Husband over dinner. He was not receptive to the idea, feeling that my eggs and his swimmers were perfectly capable of creating a good baby. I must admit that I was disappointed in this. I so very much wanted him to be pro-embryo adoption. I love the idea that I could skip the massive egg stimulation and harvest. I love the fact that I am eliminating the chance of passing my bunions on to yet another generation.

His rather cold response to embryo adoption puts even more pressure on me for the upcoming IVF cycle. I know this is what we need to do for a baby, but I just can’t shake this feeling that it might not be the right thing. I don’t know what I have to do to feel like this is the right step to take. I don’t know how many more scholarly journals I can scour, how many more blogs I can read, how many more stories I can hear to find that one magic nugget of information that will make it all ok.

I am fully aware there are no guarantees in life, but it does not make it any easier to take that leap when faced with a cliff. 



Post a comment
  1. December 15, 2011

    It is such a difficult and personal decision to come to. It’s hard to accept that this is the “only way”. I don’t think that there is any “magic nugget of information” that will make it ok. I think that the only thing that can make it ok is peace in your heart. Coming to terms with it on your own. It may just need to roll around in your head a bit longer. It took me a while. And about a year of “we’ll show them” doing it on our own. But we weren’t showing them, we were just wasting time. Sometimes its not about medical journals or statistics, its about whats in your heart…I hope you are able to find the answers that you are looking for. I will be sending love and hope your way.

    • December 15, 2011

      Thank you. I know it will just take time. It was so easy to accept when it was not real, when it was just Plan B. I’ll get there. I always do.

      It is tremendously reassuring to know I’m not the only person who goes through this prior to starting IVF. It is good to know i’m not alone, nor am I crazy… well, maybe a little crazy, but the good kind 🙂

  2. December 15, 2011

    I really feel for you and can sympathize with all of your thoughts. It can be so difficult when, after everything you’ve been through, the significant other doesn’t see the options the way you do. I can’t deny that after reading your post, and others, I wonder if in a matter of months, or even years, I will be in the same position. My husband and I are still at the beginning of all this, when hope runs high and I’m definitely being naive. Yuck.

    That said I also want to mention that today I’ve read a few other posts from people saying almost the same thing as you. That they arent sure what to do, and start to question themselves. Trust your gut. I’m sure the holidays coming up doesn’t help anything. Let it sit and do what feels right.

  3. December 16, 2011

    Since I know nothing about the choices I will give you a big hug!

  4. December 16, 2011

    I know what you mean….infertility really puts you on the edge of a cliff all the time. It seems like when things don’t work out the natural, easy way we have to make big decisions like this, but you know what, we are always stronger than we think we are! I keep finding that out time and time again. Hugs!

  5. December 16, 2011

    I’m so glad you took that day off for yourself! You deserve it!!! A mental health day can make a huuuuuuge difference, especially when it wasn’t coupled with a doctor’s appointment or anything. Just a day all to yourself. BTW sewing is great art therapy when you feel like things aren’t coming together, especially in the metaphors built in to the act of stitching things together 🙂 I don’t know what to say about your decision making… it sounds like you might need more time to let it settle a bit, to percolate, to see if you are okay with the stimming and harvesting and all that jazz. It sounds like a pretty normal fear. And it’s also probably a really hard fear for your husband to intuitively understand, even if he intellectually knows that IVF is hard for a woman’s body he might not really understand the fear of it (which could explain his response in kind of black and white absolutes about embryo adoption). Anyway… hugs… I hope you sleep well tonight!

  6. December 16, 2011

    Sounds like that day was much needed. I hope you come to a decision that feels okay in the end. Using embryo adoption has always been my second choice so in one way I understand your husbands view. But then again, I don’t have the medical issues to weigh in. IVF is scary and everyone react differently to the drugs, it’s that unknown that makes it so scary I think. That is my experience anyway. In the end it’s you who makes the call because it’s your body that will go through it.

  7. December 16, 2011

    I know the feeling of not being ready for IVF very well. After our first 3 failed IUI’s back in 2008 we were meant to continue with IVF, but it just didn’t feel right. So we stopped the treatment trajectory and put the whole thing to one side. Hoping we would magically get pregnant naturally one day… Of course we didn’t. Instead we waisted precious time. But in the three years that passed we also became more ready. Somehow I think we first had to mourn the loss of not being able to have children naturally and get to terms with it and accept that IVF was inevitable.

    Maybe you guys should talk some more about it and maybe consider waiting just a little bit – to take some more time to try to come to terms with IVF. It’s such a hard and scary process and I think it’s important to be able to go into it whole heartedly. Especially in your specific situation were there are indications of a high risk of overstimulation. It’s really not good if you feel pressured into it! And I can understand the attraction of embryo adoption in your situation considering the risks involved for you.

    Sending you good energies and strength to feel and hold on to yourself in all this.

  8. Mo #
    December 16, 2011

    I’m glad you took some time for yourself. I know this journey can’t be easy.
    I can’t speak from experience, I admit. But here’s the thing I have learned in my personal year and a half of decision making and step-taking: you will never, ever EVER be 100% sure of anything. All you can do is take one step at a time and hope the decisions you make are the best for you, knowing full well that you always have the right to change your mind.
    Yes, some things are irreversible (like for me, having a tube removed), but I think you’ll find that when push comes to shove – you have the final say about what your body can and can’t handle.
    One thing i really want you to let go of though: the pressure you’re putting on yourself for success. It’s so easy to blame ourselves and think things all lay on our shoulders. I’m sure that if you sit and talk to your husband about it, he won’t feel that way. He seems like a very supportive guy, and I think he feels like my husband does; at the end of the day, you are in this together. It is not all on you. And if it fails, you will not be a worse person for it.
    Hang in there hon. Sending a huge hug.

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