Its Not How Far You Fall

falling

Image by John Kollege via Flickr

I missed an opportunity to mark a special moment yesterday morning and it didn’t register until I was reviewing my protocol last night. I took my last Lupron shot yesterday morning.

NO. MORE. HEADACHES.

Too bad I can’t have a nice glass of red wine to celebrate.

I begin taking progesterone at bedtime but I don’t inject anything until Sunday (I will leave how I take  progesterone to your imagination for now).

So today is a completely shot free day. Yes!

I love having little reasons to be happy in IVF.  The roller-coaster ride of attempted conception has many loopty-loos and inverted twists, but is mostly made up of enormous hills and heartbreakingly rapid drops. No matter how hard you try you can’t smooth them out. But we still try. Its human nature to try to eliminate pain, even if it is impossible.

Whether its IVF or any other uncertainty in life, we make valiant efforts to protect ourselves and develop a variety of coping and defense mechanisms to help. We say things like:

“I have to stay grounded.”

“Hope for the best and plan for the worst.”

and of course the mother of them all:

“I don’t want to get my hopes up.”

I am one of the world’s worst offenders. Only three days ago Bill and I settled on Plan C and I immediately posted about it with the excitement of someone who had found the Holy Grail.

Why do we even need a plan C at this stage? If this transfer doesn’t work, Plan B will take at least three months and potentially even half a whole calendar year. Is it really necessary to have a back up plan in this situation?

Nope.  But we have one anyway.

We do it for many reasons.  Humans evolved this behavior because it has real life benefits. In days of old, when we  fought for survival or chased prey it made sense to anticipate outcomes and prepare alternatives.  These days its a useful skill in business negotiations and competitive sports. Professional pool players do well to “look six shots ahead.”

With infertility, some planning makes sense. For instance, We aren’t ready to buy the pontoon boat Bill has his eye on. Not yet. That wouldn’t be prudent until we know what is next and how it will affect us financially. Plan C is expensive. But its more than just pragmatism. Thinking ahead also provides a momentary sense of relief when the decision is made, giving the elusive feeling of control in an otherwise uncontrollable situation.

Planning has value, as long as its kept in check.

But hope? Hope is another thing altogether. There is no sense in losing hope or muffling it in a futile effort to protect ourselves from being hurt.

I have seen little value in “not getting my hopes up” in the two different ways I have approached IVF.

First I tried gathering as much information as I could, considered statistics, worried about outcomes and worked my tail off to keep my emotions in check. I feared and obsessed about low odds and potential losses.

As hard as I worked, when it didn’t work it hurt like hell.

Next I bought into The Secret approach. I tried visioning a cycle filled with good news and a baby in my arms at the end of it. I worked to cultivate full trust in the process and embraced all the highs along the way.  

As hard as I worked, when it didn’t work it hurt like hell.

There was no measurable difference in the pain at the end, but there was a gigantic contrast in my mood and the ease with which the process was navigated in the second approach. I savored the peaks, holding my hands up in the air and screaming with pleasure.  When I plummeted to the bottom I was washed over with pain. But I pulled myself together and continued the ride.

This time I am struggling to have faith in the process and let myself believe it could work. I meditated at acupuncture today, fervently willing my mind to give in to the possibility that I will be pregnant in a week. I couldn’t get quite there as hard as I tried. My human brain won’t let me after 6 failed cycles.

I continue to try. While I may not be able to fully believe, I am committed to enjoying the high points and making the most of our conception experience.

So today I am embracing the excitement of this part of my cycle. I am excited to throw the lupron in the trash. I am excited to be done with work for a full week, able to wholly focus on preparing for transfer. I am excited to enjoy my daughter this weekend before we leave on Monday. But mostly I am excited to be nearly three weeks pregnant on Thursday when our little snow baby comes back to me.

Sure, I could choose to say “I am excited to maybe be nearly three weeks pregnant on Thursday.”  But it won’t make it any sweeter if I am pregnant, nor will it lessen the pain if I am not. I won’t know the outcome until March 22nd. Until then my hopes will soar.

Whether you fall from 10,000 feet or 1000 feet its going to hurt like hell when you hit bottom, but at least from 10,000 feet you feel like you are flying for awhile.

4 thoughts on “Its Not How Far You Fall

  1. So good. SO good. I feel like I’m flapping my wings trying to stay airborne! You want to stay positive but there’s always that little voice telling you that if you wouldn’t fly so high, you wouldn’t have so far to fall! You’re right though. We should enjoy the flight as much as we can and just hope for more. Yay to no more Lupron! It’s the small things 🙂

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