An epiphany

It has been more than two weeks since my last post (I like to call this period Radio Silence) and while not much has changed, so much has. Really. I can’t really pinpoint when this change happened, but here’s what led to my little epiphany …

1. I did a guided meditation with my therapist about facing my fears around infertility. It was a practice focused on letting go and stepping into myself more fully. Now, I feel a bit funny talking about this as I like to think of myself as a fairly self-aware woman. I’ve had my share of tragedy and glory, joy and sadness, and with each day I know myself even more. But this process, this 45-minute guided meditation was amazing. I woke up more relaxed and more at ease.

fast forward three days …

2. At my school I’m required to partake in an end-of-the-year project, and my husband and I take a small group of seniors backpacking. The other adults in my group are new to the program, so initially my husband and I were asked to split up and go with other leaders. That wasn’t going to work because we were going to try an IVF cycle this month, and I couldn’t administer the meds myself. We shared some basic info with the other adult leaders, which led one of the other teachers to send me this email: “I don’t want to pry, but are you and hunny going through fertility treatments? That’s how I conceived M, and if I can be of any support to you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. It’s not a pleasant experience, and it’s not to be experienced alone. And you must remember that regardless of the outcome, you will live a fabulous and full life.”

For the first time in more than two years, since before we started aggressive fertility treatments, I actually believed what my colleague said. I know that no matter what happens in June and July and beyond, we’ll be ok. I feel silly that it took two things as simple as guided meditation and an email from a colleague, but ever since those few days there has been a clarity to my thought and a balance to my emotion surrounding IVF and infertility. It’s like I let go of something enormous, something that has been plaguing my life. Don’t get me wrong, things are not all peachy in the land of baby … I am not pregnant and we have an IVF cycle looming in the distance. But I feel like I can see the other side regardless.

If I become a mother, I am ready. If I do not, I will be ok.

Here’s a poem that was also a part of the process for me. So fitting as I’m an English teacher. So fitting as I’ve taught this poet so many times but had never read this one until last week.

I Worried
by Mary Oliver
I worried a lot.  Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?
Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?
Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?
Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up.  And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.
Here’s to giving up the worry. Here’s to singing each and every day!

AMH makes an appearance

If only my eggs looked this good! With Easter around the corner and talk of eggs in the air, my doctor (new doctor) thought it was time I rallied for the dreadful and dreaded AMH test. I think it’s the one test all fertility-challenged women want to avoid. Why? It’s said to be a pretty good indicator of a gal’s eggs supply. Now, I didn’t have this test before my prior IVF (why? no idea!), but my new doc said the information would help him out as he planned my June fun. As if he needed any more info on my low egg count. (If you don’t remember, I was hopped up on crazy amounts of follistim, but the doctor only harvested three eggs, all of which were immature. Awesome.) Not wanting to start off on the wrong foot with the new doc, I obliged and got the test. The results: .91. I have a low ovarian reserve. Shocker!

I’ve come to realize that the reason I go to acupuncture and blog is to help me keep things in perspective. There’s always someone with a lower AMH (acupuncturist’s words were: that’s borderline low, but I have other patients with a much, much lower number) and someone with a worse situation than mine (the gal who’s been through seven IVF cycles!). Of course, I’m also turning into that story friends tell other friends about the girl who’s struggling with infertility. Sweet!

So to reclaim some of the negative energy around the awful AMH test, my brother and his wife have decided to name their baby such a fab name her initials will be AMH! How crazy is that? Sure, I’m reading too much into it, but now I have two AMHs in my life, and one will surely be more exciting than the other.

I’ve also decided to take a few steps in preparation for our June IVF: I joined the local yoga studio and I’m seeing a therapist. The first was something I needed because my energy is gone and my lethargy is over-powering. I know a lot of this has to do with my lack of training or running, but I’m not running or training as much because I feel like my body needs a break. But like most training-plan-obsessed athletes, I don’t work well without a game plan. Enter the yoga studio with bargain basement pricing. I’ve been to three classes in four days, and I’m excited to get into a routine that gives me some peace of mind and some exercise. The second item is also a step I’m taking to try and get my head around what’s going on. It’s not like I don’t know I can’t get pregnant, but as my hubby said the other night, we operate in one of two modes: obsession or denial. I figure there’s got to be a third, more healthy option. Right? Who knows what June will hold. Who knows what another round of IVF will cause. And while I know my husband and I are a strong unit, I also know we’re being stressed in the most significant ways: emotionally and financially. If it were simply one or the other, no problem, but mix the two together and it’s exhausting.

I head to the doc in a few weeks for yet another baseline ultrasound and a mock transfer. Then we wait and fill prescriptions and step fully into the chaos that will hopefully, just maybe help us expand our family.