Sunday, December 7, 2008

Infertility Brain

I have started and re-started this post about a dozen times, each time in hopes the next attempt will sound less negative than the one before it. I'm sorry, but I will fail again. I find that I go through periods of time when I am standing solid, feeling supported and ready to take on the IF beast and I can safely say that this is not one of those times. I'm tired. Disappointed. At times, hopeless, and my head is cloudy. For Murgdan's F*%&^%n Fertile Friday, she posted about a colleague's claims of pregnancy brain and decided that she would lay claim to this as well, even though she herself is not pregnant. Brilliant. I read this and thought, "that's it! that's what I have! infertility brain!" It is a very real thing people. Believe me, I know. The fact that I somehow messed up pancakes this morning when the only ingredient needed was water should serve as solid and disturbing proof. Mr. S. spent half the morning laughing at my sad culinary fumblings.

Speaking of Mr. S., I realized that I have yet to comment on his post. First, one thing that you might not know is that he edited that...a lot, and I mean edited in the sense that what you see is PG 13, but he was definitely rocking the R rating at one point in time. Offending people is something we both do well at times, but I must say I'm rather proud of his solid self restraint. He toned the color commentary WAY down, especially when he gave me more specifics on the porn. Second, this post still makes me laugh. Mr. S. is just as funny in person, if not more so. But unfortunately, everything he wrote was not an embellishment for comedic purposes. I've been in that clinic (luckily our HMO switched their contract to a more reputable place) and it smelled just as foul and the receptionist was just as brusque as his post illustrated. In fact, I remember walking in to collect the sample for IUI #2, being slapped in the face with the odor and then barked at by the Russian secretary to present my driver's license. At a time when I was at my most vulnerable, I felt unwelcome, almost shamed, and shivered to think what it would be like if I were asked to 'perform' in such a place. Luckily, after slipping the sample in my bra, I wasn't made to go out the back door (which became the policy after the clinic was sued by someone who ran into an ex in the waiting room...so lame).

I am of the belief that not only is stress relevant for a woman's reproductive response, but a man's as well, so after being in that environment, I was sure our sample numbers and motility were even crappier. Boy was I right. Funny thing is, his numbers and motility have gone up since our HMO switched to another clinic, but he's also now taking supplements. Perhaps a bit of both? Anyhow, I am looking to commission Mr. S. once again for the male perspective, but he's at a loss for what to write. I'm sure it'll come to him...someday.

In the mean time, I am looking to find any way to survive the holidays without turning into a deranged and infertile Scrooge. I went as far as *forcing* myself to buy a tree, hanging Christmas lights and purchasing Christmas music on iTunes. It also helped that the support group I met with last week assured me that it was perfectly OK to skip a family get-together on Christmas in which Mr. S's cousin's newborn would be involved. I was all ready to skip Christmas with the family altogether, bite the bullet and go off with Mr. S. out of town for those days, until he told me that his Mom (best MIL in the world, seriously) let us know that she would arrange the family get-together with the new parents and baby on another day, a day we 'unfortunately' could not attend. And thus, my Christmas was saved.

And yet still, all I can focus on is January 6th. As I was hanging ornaments, I was thinking to myself that this shouldn't be so physically easy, hopping up and down chairs, inching between the tree and the wall. I should have had a round belly that made reaching and scooting and hopping difficult and I would have been so grateful for that discomfort. I should have been able to buy that 'my first teddy bear' I saw at the store the other day and I should be thinking about nursery placement rather than IVF funding. But then, this should be the case for us all. We should all be dealing with morning sickness or poopie diapers rather than follicle sizes and daily injections. I feel supremely disenfranchised, shafted by the universe. Ok, let's call it. I feel sorry for myself. I feel sorry for all of us. And while I spend my energy trying to count my blessings, trying to be positive, the universe (also known as Tara) gifts me a surprise, reminding me that I shouldn't throw in the symbolic towel after all.**

**just in case you're wondering, Tara has very generously offered some leftover Menopur that will save me HUNDREDS. Super duper awesome.

10 comments:

'Murgdan' said...

That's awesome about your surprise...and as for IF brain...I'm reminded of the egg frying commercial (this is your brain...this is your brain on infertility...any questions?).

I, too, forced myself to decorate for Xmas yesterday. I'll let you know when the mood hits. :-)

Michelle said...

What a GREAT surprise!

I hate this time of year right now. It is just reminder after reminder of what we have failed to do. I am sorry we have to deal with this. IT SUCKS!!

Another Dreamer said...

I'm glad Tara gifted them to you :)

Ah, the IF brain. I blame a lot on it, from my inability to concentrate on my college course load, to pouring the instant powdered tea into the cake batter while I tried to make them simultaneously...

IF bites. Kudos for you for trying to get into the season. It's hard. I was due a few days before you, so I understand how much worse it is knowing that you should be 9 months along this Christmas... instead of planning the next phase of treatment.

(*hugs*)

Martha said...

Big ((Hugs)), I'm glad you got some meds donated, very cool.

Karen said...

I totally believe in infertility brain. How can you possibly concentrate on the everyday stuff of life when your brain is occupied with bd and cycle timing, injection dosage, IVF calendars, etc.? Of course the little stuff, like how to mix pancake batter, slips through the cracks.

As for the holidays, they exacerbate infertility brain that's for sure. I've tried to throw myself into the season for the past two years. I don't know that it makes me feel better, but it does keep me busy. Kudos to your MIL for making your IF life a bit easier. I hope the season flies by.

luna said...

I totally have infertility brain. it was worse when I was cycling, but still bad preoccupation with all things body and baby,

Yaz said...

I have been feeling the same IF brain lately too. My baby would have been due at the end of January and I was having those same thoughts last week. I feel your pain and am so sorry.

Lost in Space said...

Hmmmm, IF brain. It's all starting to come together. The reason I just walked out of the cafeteria at work without paying for my food, called to let them know, and then forgot to go back to pay again in the afternoon. All on the same day that I left my straightening iron plugged in for 12 hours. IF brain it is!!

I'm sorry the holidays are so hard right now. I wish we were all celebrating with little ones. I can only hope it makes the future years when we are that much sweeter.

Will be thinking of you on the 6th, sweet friend.

Sarang said...

Yup, IF brain and I've got the progesterone nasties going on. I have zero tolerance today for stupidity. Please, Zeus, let it be the meds 'cause I am feeling super witchy!

I AM so, so happy to hear about your supportive MIL. I thought that was a mythical figure like a unicorn. Damn. Can I borrow her for sensitivity/common sense training with my MIL?

Hope2morrow said...

Shelby, I love your writing. Don't stop being you! You make me laugh.Tell Mr. S to keep his posts rolling too. I love hearing the male side of things.