Blown Away

stress-chant-om

When you take into consideration yesterday’s post entitled Shoot Em’ Up there is a good chance with today’s title that I will end up on the FBI watch list. Some algorithm somewhere out in cyberspace is considering my last two blog posts, weighing them with all my other activity and demographic data, and trying to decide if I am a threat to others. I assure you Big Brother, I am not. I am simply a woman looking for serenity in a world of insanity and I find it by “blowing away” anything that doesn’t fit with a spirit of peace and well being. Or at least I try to do that, I am actually terrible at it.

If you have done certain types of yoga and meditation you know what I mean when I talk about blowing things and people away. You breathe in good energy full of positivity, healing, light and life; and you blow away with the exhale whatever is on your mind or bothering you. In a simple, perfect moment you let it all go. You release it from your mind and push it out into the universe to float away and disappear into nothing.

I love blowing things away, it is my favorite pastime and its not something I did before I learned the concept while struggling with infertility. It is one of the tiny little nuggets of wisdom I have picked up along the journey that I deeply appreciate. I need it more that the average person too. I have been known to be what some people affectionately call “passionate” (read: I can be a real pain in the ass who reacts to things very emotionally in the moment).

The science behind whether or not stress plays a role in fertility is controversial and still very much up for debate.  Most studies suggest that stress is not a factor in pregnancy outcomes. There are studies that show situations of extreme stress, like the loss of a loved one or a job, do have an impact on fertility. However it is generally accepted that every day run-of the-mill stress does not directly impact implantation or birth rates in IVF.

Most of the studies supporting this are limited to monitoring single cycles of IVF and not fertility treatment over time. My sense is that sustained treatment for infertility carries the same type of long term emotional and physical impacts as coping with a life threatening disease. It’s heavy stuff. In my gut I believe it must impact success rates.

If someone wants to give me several hundred thousand dollars I am sure I can design an experiment that will prove it.

What is the downside of managing stress? Even if it doesn’t impact your ability to get pregnant, it affects everything else. Stress can destroy your marriage, friendships, career, and physical health if you don’t find a way to control it  and limit its impact on you.

Which is why this morning I was in the bath tub at 6 AM in the dark listening to a meditation on my iPhone and blowing just about everyone and everything in my life away.

Stress always accelerates as soon as your cycle becomes more active. The mere activities of managing the shots, other medications, and appointments speed up and demand more time and attention. Its more than that, though. The gravity of the situation begins to grow heavier day by day and shot by shot. This is more true for us right now than ever before given that we have tens of thousands of dollars, a ton of time, and a truckload of hope invested into one single embryo. One. Uno.

If this cycle doesn’t work we have already decided we will do one more full cycle. Financially that will probably be all we can do. But I really, really don’t want to go through it all from start to finish again. It will entail tens of thousands more dollars,  at least 4 more months, more travel away from work and baby, more weight gain, more stress, more physical and emotional pain. More insanity.

I clearly think it would just be best if I get pregnant right now with this one and skip all that. Let’s just do that, shall we?

You get my point, IVF gets more and more anxiety producing as you move through the motions. It doesn’t help that the longer you go through it the more people who are in a position to support you take what you are going through for granted. I am jokingly blogging about it so I must be okay, right? I am choosing to try to have a baby so its not like I am fighting a real disorder, right?

Wrong. Even for those of us who try to find the lighter side of infertility we need the constant love and support of our friends, coworkers, and families. I am very blessed to have outstanding support pretty much all the time from all three. There are days, though. We all have our days. Yesterday was one of those days. A day I needed to breathe just a little bit more than usual, and maybe squish a few heads too.

I’m really dating myself and my 37 year old ovaries, but “blowing it away” kind of reminds me of the skit from Kid’s in the Hall where a character looks at people standing at a distance through the space between his thumb and forefinger and says “I am squishing your head, I am squishing your head”, while bringing the thumb and forefinger together and…well…squishing their heads.

That’s not very peace or bliss invoking, but it makes me laugh which is kind of the same thing.

Here are all the things I blew away this morning:

  • 3 nights away from my husband and daughter for work this week? – I Blow You Away!
  • Having to be the rush through crafting my daughter’s Valentine’s Day cards and shopping because somebody planned a 2 day meeting right before the holiday?- I Blow You Away!
  • Everybody at work losing their mind because we are slightly behind pace for our 2014 goals and its only February? I Blow You Away!
  • Babysitter cancelling at the last minute for tonight when both Bill and I are out of town for meetings?- I Blow You Away!
  • Family stuff that I would never blog about without permission- I Especially Blow Your Sorry Toosh AWAY!
  • Reordering refrigerated drugs that were mistakenly sent by the pharmacy with 2 day delivery over the weekend and therefore completely ruined?- I Blow You Away!
  • Coordinating the FOURTH revision to my FMLA leave form between my clinic and benefits department?- I Blow You Away!
  • Sleepless night due to a furnace that would not shut-off thanks to the  negative 23 degree weather here last night? I Blow You Away!
  • $500 heating bill that is on its way due to the wacko weather and crazed furnace?- I Blow You Away!
  • Waking up at 5 and not being able to get back to sleep because of everything that is going on this week? I Blow you Away!

I could go on, but I promised when I started this blog that it wouldn’t become a pity party and it won’t. Moreover, I want to make a point that blowing these things away while meditating doesn’t mean that I don’t care deeply about them and they aren’t all still there vying for the last ounce of my sanity when I am done. Its just in that 20 minute space of time the exercise reminds me to put it all into perspective and focus first on what is most important to positively resolving any of those items, my own mental health and well being.

Right now the fight for fertility is our priority. It can’t be all about infertility however. We have to have balance in life or we will lose the fight. We aren’t going to have a baby if our marriage fails. If we falter in our careers we won’t be able to pay for all the treatment. If we mistreat our family and friends we could lose one of the most important sources of joy a couple has when they bring a child into this world, sharing it with those they love. All that being said, we are in a fight for our family right now. The family we have today and the family we will be tomorrow. And for us, there is nothing more important than that. Nothing.

First and foremost we have to take care of ourselves and each other so we can be complete to tend to everything else.  Its like every time you take an airplane ride, the flight attendant always insructs passengers to put on their own oxygen mask first before trying to help a child. Gotta take care of yourself and those closest to your first.

This is a lesson that applies in life even without infertility. Blowing it all alway helps us have perspective, focus on what is most important, and invokes the relaxation response and its numerous benefits.

So I ask you all, what are you blowing away today? Please share with us what is on your mind and your creative ways to deal with it.

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