Sunday, June 19, 2005

No New Tale to Tell

Chances are we'll be inseminating within the next 48-72 hours. You'd never know it from my emotional state. I'm not excited, worried, frantic, obsessing about timing and logistics, or frankly even particularly interested. Ho hum, time to do an OPK. Oh, I drank too much water? No big deal. I'll do it anyway. Compared to last month's circus, this cycle seems boring. All we have to do is pick up the phone, call the doctor* and schedule an IUI after I get a positive OPK. I'll get spermed in the warm**, sterile, well-equipped doctor's office far, far away from any family members other than Cait. There's no drama, there's no pressure, there's ... nothing. It's just another thing on the to do list for the week, along with "pick up dry cleaning" and "clean out the study". I still desperately, achingly, consumingly want a baby as fast as possible, but I may have reached that half-Zen, half-numb place where I can mechanically go through the motions of inseminating, waiting, and finding out.***

After the second cycle we attempted last year, I was an emotional wreck and could not contemplate months or years of trying unsuccessfully. I kept asking my friends who had endured difficulty conceiving how they kept going, month after month. They all assured me that in a way, it becomes easier with time. You don't spend every living second obsessing. You just go on with your life. But that didn't happen for us. Each cycle of trying was as overwhelming and all-consuming as the first. The endless enforced months of not trying were different, but filled with grief and frustration.

When we started up again last month, I was upset to discover that I hadn't made any progress towards "just living" while TTCing. After the reality of the failed cycle hit home last weekend and I was wallowing in despair, I thought, "I'll never get to that place. How can I keep doing this if it dominates my whole existence like this?" However, over the course of this week, the emotional storm that has surrounded all of our attempts to get pregnant has slowly but surely been downgraded from a hurricane to a languid summer breeze. Suddenly, it seems, I am in "that place". I may be able to try to get pregnant and live my life, all at the same time.

It's also possible that last month's Spermtacular was so overwhelmingly complicated, dramatic, confusing, and emotional that we have no reserves available this month. But it feels like something really has changed. Since I've vowed not to chart temperatures or test during the TWW, I may be able to maintain some level of calm. I hope so. If I can stay in this drama-free zone, it will be a much more peaceful way to approach TTCing. My only fear is that if I get too detached, it could reduce our chances of success, both karmically and practically. Karmically because the powers that be might think I don't care or want it badly enough; practically because (as with the OPK example) I might get so laid back that I screw up the timing or do something stupid that reduces the possibility of conception.

If I have gotten to a semi-stable, detached, Zen-like approach to this roller coaster, I fear it will have negative implications for the blog. I mean, how many times can you write "Maybe I'm pregnant; maybe not. Leftovers for dinner again," and make it interesting or funny. (Zero, I think.) On the other hand, I may look back at this post from the vantage point of next Sunday night and laugh my ass off. Who knows? Only time will tell....

*Oh yes, there's a new doctor in town. Dr. Easygoing is willing to do an IUI as long as we sign a waiver saying we understand the risks of attempting to conceive before 6 months of successive negative betas.
**Yes, doctor's offices are often cold. But they're warmer than 50-some degrees in an unheated garage, to be sure!
***Of course, that's easy to say on this side of the syringe. Ask me at the end of the week and we'll find out the true answer.


  • Jen, I'm keeping everything crossed for you this month! I hope you can keep calm until its time to test but I know how hard that is. Hang in there!

    By Blogger Ana, at 6:13 AM  

  • Hi Jen. I hope everything goes well. You've really been through a lot. I'm rooting for you and Cait.

    By Anonymous MistressMary, at 8:18 AM  

  • I really understand the karma thing. Good luck to the both of you this cycle. I think your calmer approach can only be helpful. Keep us posted!

    By Blogger Claudia, at 9:13 AM  

  • Hi. I'm a friend of Briar's from Unwellness, and I just started reading your blog. I really relate to this post. It took us about 1 1/2 yrs to conceive, and I had 2 surgeries in that time for endometriosis. It was an emotional roller coaster that's fresh in my mind, still part of my identity. I just want you to know that all the things and thought processes you are going through are normal. Just try to be patient with yourself. For me, just when I thought that I was going into that "easier" numb place, I'd sometimes be shocked to find out, via random emotional outbursts, that I was not. Then I'd get frustrated at myself and think, "How are you ever going to get on with your life? Why can't you get used to this?" Try to take it as it comes and just accept where you are at any given moment. I know that's hard, but it helped me a lot as time went by. Hope you don't mind my 2 cents. I wish you the very best.

    By Anonymous Julie, at 10:34 AM  

  • Jen, Dan and I are rooting for you and Cait, and I check your blog every day. Don't worry--I tested obsessively, too, without ending up PG until the month I STOPPED. So, maybe the karma of being Zen can work in your favor, too. Good luck!

    By Anonymous Andrea, at 12:03 PM  

  • I'm sorry things are smacking you in the face - I really think that it is the fundamental characteristic of grief that it sneaks up and wallops you whenever it damn well feels like it and it looks a little bit different every time it does. I wish I could do something but know that we are all here listening. Thinking of you daily.

    By Anonymous bri, at 8:07 AM  

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