Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

It's been a week full of wonderful things and not-so-wonderful things.

First, thank you so much to all who commented on my work situation. I have decided to "take control" and cut back on work. Work be damned. I will not go into my IVF in April stressed out. And I am looking around for more opportunities, particularly in-house, which would be quite nice. I am also looking into a position in the federal government. And who knows, maybe I will start my own practice! We will see what happens.

But I would rather work at a lower capacity right now and concentrate on the ultimate goal: getting (and staying) pregnant. Unfortunately, we rely on my income (my husband, M, works for a non-profit) so I cannot simply quit work, which is my all-time fantasy. Since I decided to take back control of my life and make work a far distant second in my life, however, I have been much happier. And much more stress free.

Another good thing that has happened this week: M and I had some really good communication. We have been fighting a lot lately - for lots of reasons - but mostly because of the stress of our failed IVF and what we will do in the future. He's been depressed and I've been depressed, and then I felt guilty that he was depressed because I blamed myself for his depression, and it was a never-ending cycle. Well, we had a really serious talk this week about what we want and what our goals are. And we found the intimacy and closeness that we have not had since we learned the IVF did not work. We are both scared for the future and not sure what will happen. But we know we have each other. It is simply astounding how stressful infertility is and how it can impact a relationship. We have to work at it right now because it is not easy for either one of us. But the good news is that we are working on it.

On a non-fertility related note, Obama and Hillary are virtually tied for the democratic nomination which means my primary in Texas (on March 4) will actually mean something this year. As a Democrat living in Texas, I have often felt that in national races my vote means nothing. Obviously I live in a red state, so when I vote for president I know that it's not going to really make a difference. As for past primaries, the democratic nominee is usually chosen by the time mine comes around, so it has never felt like I even had a say in choosing the democratic nominee. Not this year! It's all up for grabs, and even more exciting for me, my vote will really make a difference this year. To top off this wonderful turn of events, I will be attending several Obama and Hillary rallies, which for a political junkie like me, is like porn : )

Oh, and some wonderful news! Tracy is having twins! Congratulations Tracy!

Some not so good stuff happened this week also.

First, my new and dear real-life friend, who shall remain nameless, had an IVF cycle recently. I met her through my infertility support group and she has been a great support to me. To my dismay, I learned this past weekend that her IVF yielded 4 eggs, none of which fertilized. Needless to say, I was devastated for her. She is much stronger than me. She has picked herself up and has this amazing spirit which propels her to keep fighting onward. I am just so sad for her. It seems as if the doctor did not give her enough stimulation medication until it was too late and did not do ICSI, which in hindsight would have been the thing to do. She is going to do another IVF and is getting a second opinion. I am lucky to know her and have her support, but I feel helpless right now. I don't know what to say to make it better.

Denise at Freezer Buns had a negative FET cycle. Please go visit her and give her your support. Denise has been a great support to me and her blog is really great. I am just so sad for her. I know that things will work out for her, but I am sad for her.

(Why does IVF seem like a fucking lottery?)

Luna is having a tough time. Her writing inspires and is amazingly beautiful and poetic. She captures the feelings of infertility so, so well. Please visit her and give her your support.

Finally, I received a really difficult email this week. I am not sure how to take it. Essentially, it was from a friend who tried for three and a half years to have a baby. Her first IVF worked and she had a son, who is about a year old. She is a poor responder and only had one embryo transferred in that cycle. (Again, the mystery of IVF confounds me - I had 25 eggs). Well, I have noticed that this friend does not really want to talk about infertility issues and has even distanced herself somewhat from me over the past few months. I could not figure it out. When our IVF failed, I did not hear from her.

This past week, however, I received an email from her. It was nice and she wished me well, but then the kicker came. She said "As you know, we tried 3 1/2 years with no good news. But it all works out in the end. You will see. I've been trying to find the right time to tell you this, but, we actually had another IVF cycle, and we are expecting in May."

This email threw me for a loop. I was shocked. She is almost 5 months pregnant and I am just finding out. I burst into tears. Not because I am not happy for her - I am. And I know that she had good intentions in keeping this news from me. But in keeping the news from me for so long, I feel even more isolated than I already am. Like a leper. Like "she's the one with infertility." Everyone knew about this but me. I know that she probably could not win either way, but I wish she had told me earlier and not in an email. Still, I know she was trying to protect me. I was gracious and responded that I am for her (which I am) and how she doesn't have to stay away or protect me. The thing is, I think she is staying away. Infertility is confounding - the relationships are weird even with people who have been through it.

I just hope that this next week brings more of the good and much, much less of the bad.


Tracy said...

Good for you for cutting back on work!

Just reading your post made me feel some of the emotional roller coaster you must be feeling. I'm sorry about the blows you've received lately.

Take care of you, and thanks for the shout out. xo

Ally said...

I agree with Tracy-it's definitely a good idea to cut back on work, especially when you're feeling such horrible pressure. (My sister and I frequently debate the merits of being professional mattress testers for Sealy/Serta.)

I'm sorry you've been through so many low spots lately and I sincerely hope things start looking up.

luna said...

so many things here, I know I won't remember everything I wanted to say.

I'm glad you and your hub had a good talk. there's so many things about infertility that suck and each one of them is a strain on even the best marriage -- stress, depression, uncertainty, fear, differing views/feeling/coping mechanisms, etc. it's so hard. glad you are working it through.

also sorry about your friend who dropped the bomb on you. I hate those calls. I know how hard it is to hear the news normally, but I really hate when people DON'T tell me too. like I'm a grown woman, I can handle it. it hurts even more to know people withhold info or tiptoe on eggshells around me. just sorry is all.

and thanks so much for the shout out and support!

Denise said...

It is good to hear that you and M are communicating. This stuff can really put a kink in our relationships and you need each other's support through this.

I had a very similar email experience to yours with a (previously?) close friend of mine telling me she is expecting pretty late in the game. It just sucks that people feel like they need to hide something like this from us, but I can't figure out a good way to make us both comfortable with it (her with being able to tell me things without worrying about how I'll react; and me with being able to take these announcements in stride). It is just a tough situation.

Thanks so much for your kind words earlier this week. I needed that reminder of "when, not if."

Melanie said...

I really feel for you right now -- even though I am 4 years removed from IVF, my nerves are still so raw from the whole thing. I have 2 very clear work place related memories from during my IF treatment - a closed door meeting with one of my co-workers on my first day back to work post-D&C, which actually greatly influenced my decision to resign a few moths later. And the other (post resignation) I was bartending and my best friend's husband was out late - he said he was out late b/c T. was being a "hormonal bitch" ever since she found out she was pregnant. She hadn't even told me she was pregnant.
It's great that you and your husband were finally able to connect about your sadness. Men and women deal with all of this so differently, and I sometimes think I forgot we were in it together. Keep talking...And writing...we are here for you.
p.s. I'll post more soon. Thank you for the encouragement. We have all had the plague over here!!