Absent-Minded

There’s no question that I’ve been absent for a while. I just got to a point where I was so completely wound up with anxiety and fear that it was almost debilitating. I have since realized that I am (uncharacteristically) extremely suggestible as of late.

As an example, I read a friend’s post on FB about pancakes and immediately rushed to my kitchen to make some. I had to have pancakes right then and there! Nevermind that I hadn’t eaten pancakes for over a decade – the urge was so strong and instant that it was like I was possessed. (Thank God it was only pancakes – sheesh!)

This happens all the time now. I see something on t.v. or hear a story and am compelled to act or buy or eat something for which I had no desire seconds before. What is happening to me?

Is this some kind of weird, heretofore undiscovered pregnancy symptom? I’m usually much more rational about things… but something has changed (hopefully only temporarily) and I don’t like it!

So… this is all to set the stage for what sent me on my descending spiral into unquantifiable worry. As I’ve mentioned somewhere here before, I occasionally participate in the TCOYF (Taking Charge Of Your Fertility) forums which, over the years, has been a wonderful place for gathering quality information and receiving (as well as giving) support. It’s been a place to share about IVF cycles and the ups & downs of this entire journey with people who are pretty much going through the same thing.

As it turns out, one of the women who literally got pregnant only days before me (what you might call a “cycle buddy”) ended up miscarrying about a week or so ago. And, for whatever reason – perhaps because our pregnancies were so close – this affected me very personally. My initial thought was, “If this could happen to her, it can happen to me, too.” And that fear grew and grew until I knew I had to peel myself away from the forums and search elsewhere for some kind of confirmation that my baby was okay.

The problem with searching for reassurance is that, well, there isn’t any. Well meaning friends and relatives will tell you over & over that everything’s going to be fine (and some might tell you “whatever’s meant to be will be” – those people deserve a punch in the face) but none of it will put your mind at ease. Because the real bottom line is that you don’t know everything’s okay – you can’t know. Sure, you can analyze symptoms and try to logically talk yourself into an “everything must be fine” scenario… but since you can’t see or hear or feel the baby at this stage, without an ultrasound or doppler to clue you in on what’s really going on, it’s impossible to know for sure. That, ladies and gentlemen (?), is what we call HELL!

Listen, I’ve embraced my share of “not knowing” plenty of times during this whole infertility thing and I think I’ve actually done it well, with grace at least, if not patience… but it just seemed like too much to ask of me to do that now… when the stakes feel higher than ever. I bargained with myself that if all went well at the 9 week ultrasound, I would invest in a fetal doppler to put my mind at ease during the long stretches between doctor visits. My husband had concerns about the safety of using the doppler and wondered whether or not it could harm the baby. I convinced myself that his fears were inconsequential in the face of my completely freaking out heightened stress levels and that my stress would be worse for the baby than a few seconds of amateur doppler monitoring!

Cut to: doctor’s office, 9 week ultrasound. As soon as the image appeared on the screen of what looked like a huge baby-shaped thing in my uterus, I realized I hadn’t been breathing for about the last two weeks! Relief was the overwhelming emotion. I could barely participate in what the doctor was saying or even fully listen to his description of future eyes & limbs. I was so overcome by this flood of relief! (I know, very self-centered, isn’t it? I’ll have to work on that.)

We talked to the doctor afterwards and I told him how worried I had been and why. He said, “You shouldn’t be. You have the pregnancy of a 20 year old.” I’ve never been told I have the anything of a 20 year old… so that felt good to hear! And he went on to say, “Do you know what the difference is between you and your friend who miscarried? You had PGD and she didn’t!” “You’re absolutely right,” I had to admit. And even though I knew that before, somehow the weight of it didn’t really sink in until a man with a white lab coat, degrees & years of experience stated it like some kind of commandment.

He also urged me to not use my own fetal doppler and pointed out that these are strong energy waves and “we don’t really know” what the impact might be on a fetus because there haven’t been any long-term studies. He suggested that I relax and enjoy the pregnancy instead. (My conversion took a little bit of time, but ultimately, the thought of putting my mind at ease at the potential expense of causing my daughter any type of harm just didn’t make sense.)

So, I have decided to RELAX and ENJOY my pregnancy!!!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Daryl
    Mar 10, 2012 @ 10:40:54

    You are too funny–and I mean that in the best possible way! I can only imagine the anxiety, but I hope you’re able to really relax through the rest of your long pregnancy!

    Reply

  2. msfertility
    Mar 10, 2012 @ 22:19:31

    Telling me I’m funny is just about the best thing anyone can say! Yippee!!! So far, I’ve been pretty relaxed… let’s see if I can keep this up 😉

    Reply

  3. msfertility
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 16:30:31

    Okay, I am NOT going back to those message boards! Just saw that she posted her m/c was not due to chromosomal abnormalities… what a mind-fuck! Delete. Delete. Delete.

    Reply

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