Monday, May 19, 2008

I'm doing IT again

Remember the innocent days when "doing IT" automatically meant: having sex? The giggles that would ensue, the stern look we got from our teachers or parents...

In this instance, I'm not referring to IT as s-e-x.

Although......the hormones are starting to play tricks on me, and my blood pressure spikes even after Mook has come in from the yard covered in dirt and stinky. Mmm, manly man man-ness. Yummy!

The IT in this instance is what I felt myself doing the last time before we started IVF: retreating

I have this mental image of William Wallace (gotta be him because of my Scottish heritage) barreling towards me giving me the order to RETREAT!

I'm not backing out of the cycle, not retreating from the needles or the ultrasounds or even the hope that is creeping in. I am, however, feeling my mind slip into a state of auto-pilot.

I first noticed this was happening over the weekend when I was reading my most-loved gossip news: "Jessica Simpson has triplets and kisses a grizzly bear!" That may as well have been the title of the article, as I found myself re-reading them at least 3 times. Even the Daily Dose of Dempsey wasn't enough to snap me out of it. I know, I should be arrested...not swooning over Patrick is a crime in 38 states.

I don't know.

I just feel like I'm hovering about four feet over my body and looking down on a life happening that isn't mine. I'm having a hard time focusing on anything, and get this: I'm not even really thinking about IVF numero dos. Well, I guess I am and it's called: DE-NILE River. Get it? Hardy, har. Please laugh along with me...laughing is good for the soul.

So I have just proved CNN correct. Blogging has been therapy for me today, because I am admitting to you all that I am in denial about this upcoming cycle. Now I can begin to heal, right?

The signs of numero dos denial:
  • Meds remain in the guest room, unpacked from the boxes.
  • Med calendar is not in the least bit organized: this is a problem, because I think I start suppressing Wednesday. Must get organized.
  • Mook asked me when my first ultrasound was: I gave him a blank stare. "What ultrasound?" Umm, yea.
  • I got a call on Thursday from the financial person @ our clinic: "Hi JJ, just called to find out how you want to pay?" After a 30 second pause, I said, "Oh, I thought I had paid off our last cycle." to which she calmly said, "No dear, this is for your upcoming cycle." Right.
  • I haven't even started looking for super-cool leg warmers. I told Mook there was no way I was going to transfer without some. Just too damn cold--and my clinic does not give out valium, so I need something!
Allow myself to diagnosis....myself: the less invested I am at the get-go, the less hurt I will be if it fails.

Now, to my blogging therapists--how have you snapped out of it, and how should I get my arse in gear? I'm not alone here, am I? Bueller?... Bueller?... Bueller?

Shouldn't I be uber-invested, so that rainbows and sunshine are coming out of my lady bits? I want to get up in the stirrups for my first ultrasound (thanks to Mook, I'll remember) and have the hallelujah chorus start playing. The sitcoms all have music playing at appropriate times, so why can't I?

Thank you so much for all the beautiful birthday wishes: it was all rainbows and sunshine for me yesterday!


  1. Well, I do not have the first clue of an IVF cycle but I sure can see why you would want to distance yourself from being too involved. Makes perfect sense to me! I've got big hopes for you this cycle. You do whatever it takes to get through it emotionally, I'll be cheering and praying on this end. Hopefully a little mix of it all will bring a beautiful little bundle.

  2. I find myself retreat too but in a little different ways. I become a serious hermit, like a serious one. I find myself wishing I was in a black windowed car when I go out. I do not post as much.

    I do write the meds calendar but that is because I would totally forget if I didn't. I also get a little more ocd than normal when the Lupron starts.

    Anyway all this is to say I relate hun.

    Much love.

  3. I was totally like that for my second IVF. I didn't snap out of it until I started stimming. I was really dark right before the beginnning of that. I think the BCPs made me psycho depressed.

    A New Earth by Eckart Tolle (Oprah pick), also author of Power of Now, would tell you that there is no time but right now. You don't need to worry about an ultrasound or anything else. (He's still say you have to show up for them). But right now today, you don't have to. And if your meds aren't organized and you aren't quite lifting your leg into the stirrups then maybe that is because you are where you are. Here. Now. Today. Today doesn't need shots. And Wednesday isn't Monday. You call it 'Denial' but maybe you are also just 'in the present moment.' Or you are just humming really loudly and shouting, 'I can't hear you!'. LOL. I think that after one failed cycle, getting ready to start the next on is one of the weirdest times, just plain weird. Sorry to ramble. Today, there is no follie and no injection. And if Today you need to retreat to a quieter place, then that's where you should be. :-D Thanks for sharing all your thoughts. I am so glad I found you.

  4. Maybe there's something weird about a second fresh IVF cycle. I felt the same way. I'd have these moments when I'd realize I had no idea what the next step of the process was or if I even had all the proper meds. That would have never happened during our first cycle.

    You'll get it together in the end though; I assure you.

  5. I think it is totally natural to get quiet and retreat as the cycle looms on. I did the same thing- it was like I needed to quiet everything down and be still. The process is huge and often overwhelming.

    SO glad you had a great birthday!

  6. I made my own leggings...I could make you a pair too. they have drawstrings at the top and just are straight legged. I just need measurements and what kind of material you want (I used a fleece Disney Princesses - because I am a pretty pretty princess!)...just email me.

  7. We just get numb through all of this. It hurts too much to be excited or hopeful and I guess feeling out of oneself is just easier. I just pray and pray, that's all I know to do.
    Oh, and eat ice cream.

  8. I wish I had your gift of words. Even though I am not in the same step as you, I feel the same way.
    I have these same thoughts but couldnt put them into words.

  9. I retreated in the same way for IVF #2. Just like Chas, I would forget to do the shots until hours later and just didn't take everything as seriously. However, this is typical of me to retreat, so I got some meditation CDs specific for IVF and they really helped me visualize what was going on in my body through every phase of the process. I feel like they helped tremendously. They forced me to tune in to what was going on, even when I just wanted to bury my head in the sand like an ostrich. :)

  10. My "second" IVF was a monster cluster f*ck. Crash and burn and no retrieval.

    So by my second-second, or third, I was pretty removed from the whole thing. To top it off, it was our very last attempt for at least 2 years due to finances, etc. So while I had a TON invested, I could NOT be invested. I really just went through the motions and followed directions. And I think that was okay. I needed to handle it that way. I'll admit that by retrieval I did begin to have some more emotional excitement and hope, but it was still pretty tempered.

    I think you should handle it in whatever way you need. If blase works right now, go with it!

    We'll be here hoping for you and waiting on the other side!

  11. Sorry, now I'm stuck with this vision of rainbows and sunshine coming out of girly bits while in the stirrups for an ultrasound.

    But back to the main topic, I think it's only natural to try to protect yourself as much as possible. Good luck with everything

  12. First off, glad you had a good birthday:)

    Secondly...while I don't have any experience with IVF, I will say that even dealing with the latest OI, there were moments that I felt distant and just "going through the motions." I forgot a lot of things too. During the whole dreaded 2ww, I think everyone else around me is more nervous/excited/ Well, I just sit on my couch and watch Dancing with the Stars:)

    Do what you need/want during this time. Everything will happen at the right time (even if it's due to your lovely hubby:-) ).

    We'll be the ones that are cheering you on, and wishing for the "Dempsey moments" to bring you back to life when the time comes--oh yeah, AND get your leg warmers!:)

  13. I seem to have a "laid back" ignorance/relaxation with this cycle also. Let's hope it proves to be the missing link.

  14. There's nothing that says you have to be all excited and overflowing with eagerness for this cycle. I think there is something to be said for protecting oneself emotionally. You should, however, try to make sure you follow your calendar, but if Mook can help with that, you're all set!

  15. I don't think denial is a bad thing in dealing with IVF. I just kind of do it and don't think about it. It is what works for me. You have to do what works for you, and if denial is it, then go for it.

  16. totally normal reaction -- retreating and diminishing expectations. do something lovely for yourself, even if it's just a walk or buy some fresh flowers.

    hope you had a wonderful birthday!!

  17. Just wanted to say a very happy belated birthday...I hope it was wonderful.
    I'm keeping you guys in my prayers for this cycle. :-)

  18. Maybe your mental energy is just building up behind this blase exterior so that when you hit the GO button you won't already be 4 kinds of stressed about the waiting that ensues.

    Really, if you think about it, being blase right now could be a GREAT thing for you in the long run, as long as you don't forget to start your meds and get your baseline US!

    I have no ivf experience but I have experienced a 'whatever' feeling about an IUI cycle. You have every right to want to almost retreat and remove yourself and do this thing as a third party- or like an out of body experience. It makes it easier to go through sometimes- RETREAT! Its a natural, instinctive form of protection I guess?
    us people are such animals...

  20. If you figure it out, let me know. Transfer is either Saturday or Monday for me and it might as well be two years from now. I know my meds schedule like the back of my hand so I don't even have to refer to my calendar anymore. I'm on autopilot, just sort of going through the motions. This cycle is the largest thing on my mind yet it's the furthest thing from my mind. I don't think I'll be completely with it until my legs are in the stirrups. I already have knee-length, cozy socks, but at least they give me valium and warmed blankets.

  21. About the leg warmers, I used some super-cool ski socks that really did the trick.
    As to the bigger question, I imagine it's a little different with the second. You've already given 100% once, why should you do it again just to be disappointed. Even with my first cycle, I was hesitant and detached at first. It helped to have people around me who were excited and encouraging, even though I sometimes got annoyed at their optimism, it was contagious. Make some plans and celebrate each step. I'll be checking in. I think this time it's gonna be you.

  22. In the beginning of IVF#2 for us, I had no idea when anything was. Once we'd kicked it off, I was like, appointments? Paying? Huh? I just kinda zoned out, it was hard. I don't think there's anything you can do to get invested, you'll just get there - and then that'll be even harder. I'm wishing all sorts of good thoughts for you my friend. DOwn the scary road again... hopefully for the last time.

  23. Oooooh, I TOTALLY understand how you feel. I'm not even to the point of thinking about another cycle. No can do, can't even think about going there yet. So, if you've got meds, you are waaay ahead of me!

  24. I never had an IVF, but I do understand the 'hovering' (or out of the body) phase. You'll snap out of it as soon as you start with some tasks/meds etc.

  25. Happy Be-lated Birthday, JJ! I was originally going to send you a picture of Willow in the outfit you sent...but I have not had a chance to grab a camera at the right time--she is nursing CONSTANTLY.

    I was totally like that my second IVF. I think its a reaction to the disappointment of the first cycle.

    Wishing you the best of luck this time around!!

  26. I actually have to completely relate with the ignoring it feeling. My first IVF I had everything down to the minute written down on my calendar, stroked my medications lovingly, took pictures of a lot of "new" things..... The 2nd time? I basically ignored it the whole time. I didn't blog (bad me, I know), I didn't take pictures, I didn't even remember sometimes which day of stims I was on. Seems perfectly normal, since youhave #1 to look back on and feel a bit weird about all the naieve excitement. We can never get that back, but we can be rationally hopeful. I hope this one's it for you....

  27. I found myself distancing myself from the cycle during the FET cycle. I'm sure you'll feel more involved once things start picking up. I think a little bit of distance can be a good thing.

  28. While I haven't experienced an IVF cycle, I have experienced your feelings. I think its only natural to don a little protection by retreating from everything that is going on. I'm hoping that this will be the one for you.

  29. you know, i never do snap out of it. i just kind of go through the whole thing like a zombie...and i make no apologies for it.

    in the end, your clinic will make sure you get your meds right! i just write them down for a.m. and p.m. doses as they tell me and don't look beyond that.


  30. I do know the distance you're referring to (we turned our nursery into the dogs space). I know what you mean about separating yourself so you don't get let's self protection.

  31. Maybe you could put Mook in charge of this whole cycle? You know, tell you where to be when, how much meds to use when, etc. Let him carry that burden for you, so your body can focus on growing some excellent eggs and making them right at home after transfer.

  32. Happy Belated Birthday!

    I found that I definitely retreated during treatment cycles if it wasn't the "first" one anymore.

    The first Femera assisted cycle, I was "sure" it would work. I was all stars-in-my-eyes excited and when it was a BFN, it broke my heart. So, for the next few cycles, I refused to get as excited, as hopeful, just so it wouldn't hurt so much.

    When we did an IUI cycle for the first time, same thing. Then when that didn't work, I had to retreat for the next try.

    I think it is a natural coping mechanism and perfectly natural.

  33. Hmmm...didn't do IVF myself, but personally, I think if it is working for you to retreat, go ahead. As long as you are getting everything done that needs to be done for your cycle or at least delegating, I don't see any reason why you can't go for some healthy denial. :) Of course, that's just my opinion.

  34. This doesn't necessarily sound like a bad thing as long as it comes together. We all do what we have to to get through all of this and if denial it is, then go with what works at the time and adjust as you go along.

  35. Happy Birthday JJ. Not sure how to answer your questions, but I am wishing you well. Hoping you come thru this as a winner!

  36. I don't think there's anything wrong with how you're feeling. I know I've only been through one IVF cycle so far, but I found that it does become like an auto pilot type of thing. Be like Switzerland - not too hopeful, but not all gloom and doom. I think it's better for sanity. I am hoping all good things for this cycle for you!

  37. Maybe this de-nile (lol) will be a good thing this time around? Anyways, I just wanted to wish you a happy belated birthday!!!! I'm glad you had a great birthday. Good luck with your supression too!

    p.s. I love the idea of legwarmers! I got special (tacky) socks for after the retrieval & transfer.

  38. I haven't done IVF but I was a little retreated when I first started this cycle. I hope this works for you both!!!

  39. I wonder if it is even possible for anyone to excrete rainbows and sunshine from your girly bits whilst undergoing all this AC crap?

  40. Happy belated birthday.

    And I'm wishing you this the best on this cycle. I know this time around I was a lot less anxious and worried!

  41. JJ,

    Maybe this is a good thing. After I saw my first therapist after m/c at 9 weeks, he explained that IVF is not just the cycle at hand. It is a journey, and there could be many cycles in the journey to have a child. Maybe you and your docs learn more with each cycle...getting the right cocktail. Adding this, adding that. When you think as an IVF cycle as part of the long term process, it does make it a little easier.

    Now, that being is your good 'ol human defense mechanism at work. We like to go in expecting the worst in some cases so that we will be happy when we have good news. Not a great way to live, but when there is so much at stake, it is hard to think otherwise.

    What I did was say to myself...never in the last few months have I had the opportunity to become pregnant. I now have an opportunity before me so I am going to try to be positive. Postive, but realistic. Then, I would give myself a deadline for my doldrums and commit ever day after that to be positive. It takes a big commitment.

    Not being excited about this next cycle isn't going to make it hurt less if your cycle doesn't work. It is going to hurt either way. So why not take a chance and get excited?

  42. Glad you had a good b-day. I don't know JJ. Just get your ass in gear, get organized, and go for it. You can be as non-chalant as you want, just make sure to show up for your appointments!

  43. Oh, I totally relate to how you're feeling! I am completely disconnected, and really kind of grumpy about the multiple ultrasound/bloodwork appointments. Boo.
    Let's hope we have lots to be excited about here really soon!

  44. JJ, firstly happy belated birthday *hug*

    Secondly you are perfectly normal. It is normal to want to protect yourself and switch into a sort of auto-pilot.

    All I can say is remember you have people all over the world cheering, hoping and praying for you.

  45. I'm on number two as well, and up until the day I started my period, i was just doing the minimum. Helpful when your cycleing around mothers day... You'll get your groove back.

  46. With five IVFs and a FET under my belt, I have done it both ways, uber-invested and ultra-retreat. Frankly, it in the end they have both felt the same. I can't say my disappointment in failure was worse after being invested. I do think on the "retreat" cycles I missed out on some of the hope, which is enjoyable in a way.

    I say, just go with where it takes you. Sending many many many wishes for a positive outcome for you!

    And sorry I missed your b-day, hope it was a lovely day for you.

  47. as much as i would love for you to have sunshine and rainbows coming out of the ladybits (and please DO tell us if this happens!), i personally am a big fan of the retreat. i don't think it's denial, it's really the only sane way to cope with the craziness of ART. if we allowed ourselves too fully feel all the hope and disappointment all the time it would be extremely difficult to carry on. if i hadn't relished my retreat i may have given up before ever getting to the bfp. it's not like this has anything to do with whether you'll have a successful cycle or not, so why not take it easier on yourself?


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