Posts tagged ‘worry’
I started Hypnobabies this week. The 30 minute guided meditations are making me increasingly aware of how I am failing to connect with this baby. The cd’s ask you to think about your baby, connect with your baby, imagine holding your baby and so on. Hard as I try, I just can’t connect like this and am really struggling to shake the feeling of failure.
I did not make this baby. I did not put this baby inside of me. I did not administer the medications that kept the baby thriving for the first 12 weeks. On ultrasound this baby does not resemble me in the least – it looks like my husband. This baby has hair (I did not). This baby has my husband’s legs, his nose, his face shape, his mouth. This baby was paid for by someone else (my in-laws who now jokingly refer to themselves as the “investors”). This baby was made by someone else with parts of me that were extracted in a painful, invasive way.
This baby just does not feel like mine and the cd’s are making it blatantly obvious that something inside of me is broken.
I don’t know if this is a normal feeling with an IVF pregnancy. No one has talked about feelings like these so I’ve been stuffing them away for a while now, trying to pretend like I get it and I’m ready for it. But I don’t and I’m not.
Today I’m exhausted, overwhelmed, questioning everything and, quite frankly, don’t know where to turn. My therapist has left the practice leaving me with another woman who does not understand the pain of infertility or loss. My husband is too consumed with work. I’m too embarrassed to bring this up with Dr. Shannon (who the hell feels this way anyways?) My parents will either give me the standard “you chose this path and now have to deal with the consequences” response or, worse, will blow it off as “just being hormonal.” Trust me, after years of PCOS and hormone imbalances I know what feeling hormonal is and this, this is not it.
I’m going out on a limb posting this, and I’ll be turning on comment moderation to spare myself the embarrassment of harsh words. Has anyone pregnant after IVF struggled with this sort of disconnect in the third trimester? What can I do to make it go away? I want to feel connected. I want to visualize myself holding my baby. I want to be a good mother and am so afraid these feelings are the first sign of parenting failure.
Our first IVF cycle is slowly approaching. Every evening I pop another dreaded birth control pill and tick another day off the calendar.
I am a slew of emotions over this cycle. One minute I’m on top of the world – “It’s going to work! I’m going to be a mommy and Mr. Husband is going to be a daddy and our cats are going to have a little kid to play with!” And the next moment I’m engulfed by all the what-ifs.
There is a third emotion that I have not yet admitted to. No matter how “ready” I am to become a mother, there is that shred of independent lady that lingers. Every now and then she whispers ” What the fuck are you doing? Don’t you know your abs will never look this good after a baby? And you are starting to run now… getting knocked up would mean no more running, spinning, etc. AND a baby means less travel and more boring “I can’t do (insert fun activity here) because of the baby.”
I am not proud to admit that these thoughts still linger. I have been avoiding mentioning it here for months because I feel that it might make me undeserving of parenthood. Maybe this shred of independent lady has marked me as “unfit” and cursed me to a lonely life of cooking dinner for two. Some days I beat myself up over these thoughts, ” I bet (insert currently pregnant blogger or friend here) never thinks about how life will never be the same. I bet she never worries about her abs. I bet she never mourns the end of running or yoga…. Shame on you, you selfish infertile.”
Other days I’m kinder. “I am sure everyone has these lingering thoughts. Surely I’m not alone. Buck up Belle and keep going. You’ll find balance between motherhood, exercise, travel and adventure.”
But then I read your stories and nowhere do I read of you mourning the loss of this carefree and selfish life. No one talks about being desperate for a baby, but still a little sad to lose the life they have had for so many years. And so as I approach my CD 1 I decided to bring the topic to the table despite my fears of readers hitting “unsubscribe.” Do you have these secret worries? Or do you think this is a sign that I should reconsider this entire process?
Next Wednesday I have my IVF training session during which we will pay a man I have only met twice $8,000 for a 35% chance at a take home baby. What do I have to do to kick this nagging voice to the curb? Or is this a natural part of a life changing event?
I have had a headache for the past few days that won’t respond to Advil. Yesterday my eyes started looking red and bloodshot and my vision was a little wavy in my right eye. All telltale signs that uveitis was returning.
This morning I drove directly to the eye clinic and snagged a 9 a.m. appointment. Long story short, I have five to six inflammatory cells in my eyes indicating the beginnings of yet another flare-up of uveitis. My eyes are “smoldering” the doctor explained. Time to go back on the steroid eye drops, this time only four times a day rather than every hour like past flares.
Today the doctor also diagnosed me with small cataracts – a shitty side-effect of long-term steroid use. These won’t go away on their own and will only grow worse until I must have them removed. I’m 30. This is too fucking young for cataracts.
I’m so frustrated. I know exactly why I’m flaring – my body has been stressed to the max from IF treatments. My mind has been a disaster from the pressures of baby making coupled with the fact that I cannot maintain my yoga practice (this was really instrumental in my recovering from the last major flares and keeping the uveitis at bay).
I can’t seem to catch a break. My life has been non-stop sickness and doctors since last November. Each day is punctuated by multiple checks of my body: are my eyes dilating still, does my head hurt, am I seeing double, are my legs numb or swollen, how are my ovaries feeling, why is my uterus cramping, am I feeling swelling in my hands… the daily checks are endless and mind numbing. They are constant reminders that while on the outside I look “normal,” I am not.
I’m broken beyond repair. I leave doctors scratching their heads and taking the “best guess.” I am crouching in the bushes at the door of total blindness, hoping it does not catch me and snatch the precious gift of sight from me forever.
Yesterday I read an article about in vitro meat. All I could think while reading is was: I feel like in vitro meat. Everything about my being has been moved around, extracted, put under the microscope, cultured and inspected. Now, assuming this new flare does not cancel it, even my eggs will be extracted and put under surveillance. Like over protective parents, lab technicians will spy on the eggs as they have their first “date” with my husband’s sperm. If things go well, they will put the new couple back inside me and then spy via blood tests to see how they are doing.
I have not felt sick about IVF until today. Much like in vitro meat, IVF is disturbing. It is unnatural and freakish. It is also my only hope. But at what price? In vitro meat is challenging to create, comes at a high cost and may not taste the same as the real thing. Will my in vitro fertilization be the same? It will be challenging to perform, costly to our trust and potentially produce a flavorless (unviable) pregnancy?
And what if it does more harm? What if it makes this mysterious autoimmune condition worse? What if my greed to have a baby takes my sight in return? The doctors seem confident that everything will be fine. They say all is well and we should have a baby (do IVF) now before it is too late. But do they really know? I’m having a mild flare this time, but what if the next is far worse?
My mind is a swirl of thoughts and my heart a fury of emotions.