Hello dear bloggy friends. :) Happy ICLW! I’ve been out of touch for a few days, but have been keeping up with many of you on my reader. Did you all think I had been struck down by the wrath of God after my last strongly worded post (Are You There God? It’s Me, Your Punching Bag)? Nope. Still here. Alive and well, and a lot less angry, thank you very much. No really, thank you very much… for all the awesome support in my time of (spiritual) darkness. It’s a relief to know I’m not the only blaspheming semi-heathen out there.
Any new readers from ICLW might want to check out my timeline to get to know me and my journey a little better. In a nutshell? I’m a 35-year-old birth mother who is now firmly entrenched in her own struggle to have a baby. Married in 2010 and diagnosed with Diminished Ovarian Reserve last year. One failed IUI, a cancelled IVF, and thousands of tears later, and we’re gearing up for a donor egg cycle this Spring. I’m so glad you are here, and I look forward to getting to know many of you very soon!
Besides fine-tuning my attitude adjustment, I’ve been busy with the usual obsessive behaviors that we infertiles all know and love. (Ha!) And there’s been some fabulous family time mixed in, of course, which is always my saving grace. But I’m back today with an attempt to lighten things up a bit… for the sake of my increasingly, mind-numbingly depressing blog, myself, and, of course, all of you. You’re welcome.
Oh, sweet bullet points… how I’ve missed you. I haven’t written a good bulleted list in quite a while, it seems. So what to call this list, in honor of the official start to the summer (and my newfound determination to be happy)? Hmmm. “Achieving An Obsessionless Summer.” Meh. How bout “How To Make It Through Summer Without Losing Your Ever-Loving Mind.” Too long? Uh… uh… Here it is folks…and it’s even longer (but, hey, have you met me?). I mean for this Guide to be useful for any Infertile in all stages of trench warfare, pregnancy, and… well, not so much parenthood. You guys need a different guide book. I hope you find it informative, or at the very least, entertaining.
“So You Want to Feel Normal Again? An Infertile’s Guide to Achieving Maximum Summertime Gratification With Minimal Apathy, Anger, and Anxiety.”
First and foremost, I declare this season, the Summer of No Pee Sticks. Throw them out, people. All of them.(Ok…Except those of you with recent BFPs… you get to keep those. If you intend to hoard all pregnancy related stuff, then the BFP must be kept… and possibly bronzed. Who are we kidding, have all 5 of them bronzed and framed… I know you have at least that many… don’t lie:). If you are newly pregnant, there will be no more daily comparisons of your covetous double lines to see if they look any darker than yesterday. No more. Toss ‘em. All urine-stained reminders of our BFNs must go. In their unused state, they are nothing but false idols that we worship in a monthly ritual of dipping them into or aiming them beneath the gift of our best morning urine. In their used (negative) state, they are germ-ridden anti-christs with the ability to bring us to our knees with every sighting. They do not deserve that much respect or power over our lives. Any un-peed upon OPKs, HPTs, WTFevers…. get rid of them. If we all throw them out, en mass, on the same day we could call it Boycott the Pee Stick Day. If you are opposed to the idea of an international land fill explosion of pee sticks, then you may recycle, donate (gross), or put them in a vault somewhere for a rainy day. But no peeing on anything this summer. It’s just not normal. Swears.
- Accept and Embrace the state of your uterus… at least for the next few months. Give your ol’ ute a summer break already… your body and mind will both thank you (and probably your husband). For those in the trenches, this means accepting and embracing the lack of anything currently in your uterus that is likely to grow into a future baby. This also means you are to have sex when the hell you feel like it, enjoy copious poolside margarita drinking, eat sushi, wear scandalous clothes,etc. We all know the ways this sentence can end: “But, hey, at least you get to _____.” So this summer, instead of punching the fertile person who says that to you in the kidney, make an effort to show them exactly how well you can embrace your current (albeit temporary) non-pregnant status. For those lucky enough to be pregnant this summer, this means it is time to allow yourself to be happy and confident. We all know those first few months can be nerve-wracking when you are pg after IF. But it’s time to do yourself and your baby a favor and try to have some faith in your body (or at least in your doctor). Enjoy the fact that you have made it this far… finally! This means you should take your daydreams to the next level, allow yourself to read “What To Expect” and other baby-lit, plan your big reveals and then DO them, go shopping, name-storm, and talk to your tummy as much as you like.
- Combat inevitable ruminations and unhealthy “what if-ing” with summertime excursions and delightful distractions. Fight depression, apathy, anxiety, and uncertainty by staying as active as possible. Idol time is not our friend. Make a list of things you enjoy doing and do them. Visit family, friends, mountains, beaches, parks, and other adult playgrounds. Read books (I can make some good recommendations, but not if you loved 50 Shades of Crap), see movies, write about subjects that make you happy, and spend free time pursuing hobbies.
Surround yourself with people and things that impart a sense of peace. Toxic people and behaviors are not welcome in this season of your life. Try yoga, mediation with or without visualization, acupuncture, reflexology, reiki, stargazing, birdwatching, baking… whatever peaceful activities float your boat, but do not rock it unnecessarily.
Make yourself accountable for your own progress towards normalcy. Blog about (or somehow make known) your plans to enjoy life again for at least X amount of time and via X means, both of which values should be flexible in nature, but carefully considered as realistic goals. Perhaps a weekly post on how you are reconnecting with your greatness?
Rekindle your pre-IF marital relationship. Show your husband how much you love him, how you appreciate his patience during your more insane moments, and how you enjoy his body as more than just a means to an end (whether or not that end has been achieved yet). If that end is yet to come, use this summer to rejuvenate your love and bolster your relationship for the next stop on your TTC journey. If you have achieved your miracle, then by God, you deserve to be celebrating! Enjoy it and bask in the mutual glow of a new, exciting future. Do not allow your fears (or the presence or absence of pregnancy symptoms) to dampen this magical moment. You fought to get here, and no matter what is to come, you deserve to enjoy it and celebrate the achievement. Spend this summer reconnecting as a couple, remembering your happier days, making new memories, and looking forward to many more to come.
I hope some of you will take a stab at normalcy with me this summer. Those that are actively pursuing treatments in the coming months… you can be off the hook, cause I know it’s basically impossible to feel normal with
crazy making baby making meds reeking havoc on your hormones (not to mention the hectic schedule of visits to the doctor, etc). I wish you all the best and will be following your journeys with eager anticipation. Just know that we can reclaim happiness and normalcy in our lives…I think it just takes a good fight for some of us. A fight I intend to win.
Here’s hoping for lots and lots of success stories this summer. And maximum gratification with minimal apathy, anger, and anxiety.
SPOILER ALERT: Big post to come in the next few days. Stop back by, if you can.