4 Oct

Blah.  Unmonitored, lo-fi cycles are so boring when you’ve settled nicely into a routine of express-delivered sperm, ultrasounds, confirmation that you ovulated, and how many eggs you made.

But there has been something nice about boring. For starters, boring is cheaper. This is good. I am also entertaining hope that we succeeded on our own. We did once before, so why not now?  But then again, I (along with many of you I’m sure), have lost faith in my body’s ability to do this without a nudge (maybe a push) from science. I just can’t see it happening, as much as I want it to.

I went to another Resolve meeting this weekend.  I’m grateful to have access to this group but I wasn’t sure how I felt afterward. Certainly worse than I did going in. When it was over, I just wanted to escape to a bunch of recorded shows on Tivo and not think about infertilty. I did just that, and am embarrassed to admit how many new fall shows I am giving the chance to reel me in. Thankfully, after my TV marathon, my list got pared down to a less shameful number. Perhaps a topic for another post.

At this particular meeting there were a few women who had had as many as seven or eight unsuccessful IVF cycles. Women who are now approaching their mid-40s and who started years ago. I felt gutted listening to them.  I’ve come across similar stories in the blogosphere but there was something about hearing them in person that brought it so much closer to home. I do have hope, but it’s easy for that to come crashing down when you hear about the repeated failures of people who have now reached the end of the line, mostly for age reasons, but sometimes financial or emotional. Experiencing their deep pain and tears felt overwhelming. There was panic (This will be me!) mixed with relief (I’m not there yet.  I still have some time.), self-irritation (Why are you so selfish? These people need support, not your making it about you!) and deep, dark fear (This is what the end of the road looks like, and I don’t want to see it!).  In some ways these women did seem resolved and ready to move on, as heartbreakingly painful as it is.  But I am not resolved. I am quite unresolved. And very unexplained. I am also not ready to talk donor eggs or adoption, and many women in this group are.

I found myself holding back, and not using the group for my own needs at all. This is partly about being a little shy about speaking in groups, but mostly I’d say it comes from a fear of my story sounding trivial compared to others. A missed IUI because of an electrical explosion feels more like something to laugh and make a joke about, compared to what was probably the last failed IVF cycle after YEARS of treatments.

One of my classes in grad school was an experiential group. While I don’t think it was meant to be deeply therapeutic because of the active learning component, it was modeled on a closed, therapeutic group. We all ended up becoming quite close over those 12 weeks, because personal, painful things happening in our lives were shared.  I got feedback that it seemed hard for me to get support from the group. I remember the first time I cried, and really opened up. Weeks had gone by and in that time I had had some hard days, but finally I felt  “justified”  in taking up group time. My mom had had a confirmed reappearance of a cancerous tumor in her bladder, and I was very scared.

I suppose this is something to keep exploring in individual therapy — this tendency of mine to want to slink into the shadows and not take up too much space. I hate being the center of attention and this can make it hard to receive from others. I also use humor to get through difficult things and sometimes this can mask deeper emotions. I know this is very common, but it has been interesting for me to see how my version of it is played out in the dynamics of a support group.

There was however, one thing that someone said in the meeting that I really held on to. What has helped her in moments of waning hope is this: Rather than hoping that something *will* work, just have hope that it *can*. I liked that.

And it’s Day 22! Almost time for me to start reading into every physical sensation and renewing my all-access pass to Google and Fertility Friend!


4 Responses to “Unresolved”

  1. cgd October 4, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Wow, great story. I get a little sick when I think of 7 or 8 IVF cycles. I did one of those group therapy classes in grad school too, although mine was not so successful as we all could not lose the “I see you all time in my real life” issue. It is intersting feedback about not using the group. I hope you can get the support you need (which I imagine is different than the support those other women in your group need). You have the right to be sad about a canceled IUI too. It is all hard, all different but still hard. I know sometimes I brush off those stories who have been through “less”, but then I remember how I felt doing IUI’s, none of it is easy.
    Hang in there.

  2. Secret Sloper October 4, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    I like the idea to hope something can instead of something will. I think I’ll try that during this upcoming IUI cycle. Thanks for sharing that!

  3. Misfits October 4, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    Those groups can be brutal. I get all worked up waiting for the moderator to try to stick a big ol pin in the bag of hurt to see if I cry. Clearly, I’m on the defensive front and these sessions could go better for me as well.

    But, hello? CD 22, that’s straight to searching for “do eye twitches and groin cramps mean I’m pregnant?” Which is actually pretty great because you know that somewhere out there, someone will type that in one day and arrive to read these comments. With any luck they’ll read your story here and find a few hours of distraction dissolving into the loveliness that is your blog. 🙂

  4. conceptionallychallenged October 5, 2010 at 5:07 am #

    Unresolved is a good term. I think that describes me well at the moment. And stories of 7 or more failed IVFs would terrify me — although, as you said, it really shouldn’t be about me in that moment.
    “It can happen” sounds like a great matra. I can believe in that.

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