When the glass is always half empty

I’ve been feeling a lot more down lately- mainly defeated and frustrated. Maybe it’s just PMS. Maybe it’s because it was just Mother’s Day. Whatever the reason, I am failing to see the good in things, and that is not the “old me.” And since I am starting a new cycle, I really need to be in a better frame of mind. So I write this post for selfish reasons, as a way to help myself.

I’m still trying to improve my wellness- eating better, working out, meditating- but this time I have so many other things going on in my personal life that I just feel overwhelmed. Most things are good things, but I am getting hung up on the deadlines. I will be “graduating” my current job and moving on to a new one, which is great! But now I have to wrap things up with my current job and get onboarded with my new one. It seems like every day I have more tasks added to my to-do list. I also have to go house hunting since I will be moving to a new state. It was fun in the beginning but once we involved our parents it became way too many cooks in the kitchen. I can’t afford the house I want, which is frustrating because I put in so many years into my education and training, yet it seems I would have been better off getting a job straight out of college. I have a few conferences lined up where I will be speaking, which is also exciting, but that also means working on my speech and presentations.  All this during a second round of IVF. During my first round of IVF, I was pretty relaxed and hopeful. Now, I feel super tense and doubtful. I don’t know if I am doing this as a defense mechanism, like if I expect to fail, then maybe I won’t be as upset if I do fail. But this is such negativity! And I don’t like it. I literally have to remind myself about all the good things in my life to temporarily get out of my negative state. But the negativity always comes back.

Well, this didn’t particularly lift my spirits, but it did give me an outlet to vent. Thanks for listening.

Frustrated With Your Fertility Clinic? Comment Please!

Hi all, happy new year. I was going to post something sappy about reflecting over last year and my hopes for this year, but no.  A lot of bad things happened to me last year including a miscarriage at the end of the year, so I’m not in the best place to be sappy.

I’ve been going to my fertility clinic for over a year now. The more time goes on, the harder the burden of infertility weighs on me, and I am trying not to let that tarnish my view of the fertility clinic that is supposed to be helping me.

But I am pretty frustrated with my clinic, and I want to know if this is a systemic issue across all/most clinics, or if I just have bad luck.  Like most clinics, bloodwork and ultrasound monitoring  is done in the morning. When I get my monitoring done, I usually get a call or email from one of the nurses to relay results and plan. This is fine. My problem is getting in touch with my doctor. If I want to talk to him, I have to go through the nursing line. I leave a message with the nurse, she talks to my doctor, he answers her, and the nurse relays the message back to me.  I trust the nurses, but when you pass along a message, who knows if things get lost or misinterpreted. This is not my doctor being a jerk– at least, I hope not!– this is how my clinic works. All doctors in my clinic communicate with their patients via the nurses. But getting a message relayed to you is not the same as having an actual conversation with the doctor! If I have any follow-up questions, the whole thing becomes a back-and-forth nightmare. And I am tired of it. Is it that hard for a doctor to get on the phone? I am lucky to be in a clinic that has a respectable name. And when I have an actual appointment with my doctor after a failed treatment, he does spend a lot of time with me. But if he orders tests and results come back after the appointment, I do not hear them from him. When I had the miscarriage, and they were unable to perform genetic testing on the products of conception, I did not hear this from my doctor. Not even a courtesy call to apologize or explain why.

Am I being unreasonable? Am I just losing my faith? Also, is your fertility clinic like this? What do you like/dislike? I think it’s good we know about the options available to us.

Infertility, Miscarriage and Grief

I will start this post the same way I ended my last one, by stating that there is no right or wrong way to grieve.  My recent miscarriage made me reflect on my fertility journey and I realized that I was grieving throughout the entire process, but in different ways. I’d like to share the different ways I grieved with you. Maybe you have felt the same. Maybe you have felt completely different. But if you are reading this my guess is you have gone through some sort of loss or heartbreak and I hope that sharing my experience can somehow provide you comfort.

1. The first time I grieved was after my first miscarriage. This also happened to be my first pregnancy. I was heartbroken,  I cried a lot, and took off work, but I was able to get “back on my feet” relatively quickly, with the help of rationalization. This was an early first trimester miscarriage. The baby would not have been healthy. This was nature’s way of doing things “for the best.” Also, so many women have miscarriages and go on to have healthy babies– at least that’s what doctors and non-doctors kept telling me. I’ll just keep on trying. I was sad but I had hope.

2.  Over the next 2 years, my hope was completely destroyed. Not a single pregnancy after trying on our own or with the help from our reproductive endocrinology friends. During this period, I grieved much more frequently, but on a smaller scale.  I was able to go to work, but sometimes I would cry on my commute to and from. I could get out of bed and function on a day-to-day basis, but if I checked social media and read about a new pregnancy, I’d be in a bad mood for most of the day. I found myself declining invites to baby showers and other baby related events. I was slowly withdrawing. During this period, I wasn’t grieving over a loss per se, but over the same endpoint- nothingness. I felt hopeless and helpless. The lack of control over my situation tormented me.

3. A second pregnancy, with a heartbeat detected, followed by a miscarriage (actually I’m still waiting for that to happen. That’s another story). This one hit me hard. I still cry daily. I couldn’t go to work for a while. I could barely get out of bed. I could barely eat. I did not want to see anybody or talk to anybody except for my husband. I was sad, devastated and angry. I strongly questioned my faith. I was in a state where absolutely nothing could make me feel better. I am still in this state and I don’t think I will ever fully recover. But one thing that helped a little is the passage of time. It made me realize that there are things I cannot change. I am in the midst of another loss, and I cannot reverse this. It will always be heartbreaking and devastating. I feel what I feel. But I have to move on. See my doctor, come up with new plans, take care of myself, go back to work and get things “back to normal.”

I  will end with this: if you are going through something, ANYTHING, that is getting you down, tell someone. A loved one, a friend, a co-worker, a therapist, a counselor– anyone. You might be surprised how supportive they can be. Support is so important during a time when you are most vulnerable.

Get Low

Ever have one of those days? Or weeks?

I want to take a break from social media. The amount of people I have snoozed or blocked for posting all things pregnancy/baby related is getting out of hand.  I can think of at least 3 people who have announced they are pregnant within the past month alone.

Fun fact: I realized something about myself . Not all parenthood-related posts trigger me (ie, make me feel sad and depressed and helpless). Only the ones related to the state of being pregnant- like pregnancy announcements, ultrasound pictures, baby bumps, gender reveals, baby showers- do. But pictures of babies and kids don’t make me feel as bad. Huh.

Anyway, I follow this one person on social media who is dealing with an issue of her own. The majority of her posts are filled with optimism, with the occasional “it’s okay to be not okay” message. And you know what, she’s right.

I don’t hide my feelings from my family and friends, but I do put on a happy face more often than not. I go to work every day and my coworkers would never guess what I am going through (except for the ones who know). Even my own family, who gives me  such amazing support, doesn’t fully get it that when I see my baby cousins, as much as I love playing with them, it’s still a painful reminder of the family I do not yet have.

So you know what? I’ve been more down lately. Things aren’t going as smoothly as I would like. I’m not going to repress my feelings.

Because this sucks.

And it’s okay.

Coping with… In-Laws! :)

Hello! It’s been a while since my last post. I wish I had good news to share, but I don’t. Still seeing my reproductive endocrinologist, still not pregnant.  As upset and frustrating as this journey is, I don’t want all of my posts to be negative.  So I decided to vent about my in-laws. Harmless, right?

Disclaimer:  I love my in-laws very much.  I really do.  They raised a wonderful son and they are very good to me.

But… 😉

But sometimes you have to watch your mouth! Okay, that sounds harsh. During my infertility journey,  my in-laws have actually been very patient and understanding through it all. My husband is an only child, which means if his parents want grandchildren, I am their only hope. So I don’t blame them if they are starting to get anxious. But today, I overheard my husband talking to one of his parents on the phone- he put the phone on speaker so this does NOT count as eavesdropping! 😉 Anyway, a certain in-law made a comment about “hurrying up” with the infertility treatment process. I won’t get into details but that was the gist.

I flipped out. Hurry up?!?!!? Does this in-law not know that I have been seeing a reproductive endocrinologist for about a year? That I have tried multiple medical therapies that have not worked? That in the last year I have cried the most I have ever cried in my life?? That I have no control over this situation? Well guess what, I cried today and I cried good.

Here’s the thing.  I know my in-laws have good intentions. We are all frustrated and we all want the same outcome. They just have to understand that as hard as it is for them, it is so much harder for me. They have to understand this is a very sore subject for me and they have to understand how a bit of sensitivity goes a long way.  I’m lucky to have a loving and supportive husband who always has my back (even when it comes to his parents!). But I wish I never had to go through this infertility journey to begin with.

On another note, anyone have any good in-law stories? Vent away! 😉