Those were the topics of my second therapy session.
I was paying a lot more attention to my feelings and thoughts after our first session. I noticed that I didn’t think about the next steps as much as I thought. One morning I woke up at 5:30 am. The first thought that came to my head was the amount of money that we may end up spending for this whole process (for my own eggs and then possibly donor eggs). Thinking about that huge, inconceivable amount, my heart jumped and I was instantly stressed out. Reminded of the technique that the therapist taught me, I immediately stopped what I was thinking, took a breath, observed my thoughts and my feelings, and told myself to let go at this moment and to revisit it again at night. Instead of being worried, I fell asleep again until the alarm clock went off. The technique is useful.
I shared about feeling like I am living a double life at work at times. This is the place that I spend most of my time outside of my home and the coworkers are the people that I see the most other than my own husband. I only feel comfortable sharing with two people at work. One person knows many of the details. The other person knows some. The rest of the people, my colleagues for the last ten years, I don’t share with. I go to my appointments and have been in and out of the office during my cycles. I am glad that no one has tried to pry. I just don’t feel comfortable sharing the details. But I do feel like that it’s very weird they don’t know the biggest part and struggle of my life in the last three years.
I also shared about my infertile pregnant friend, who is obviously no longer pregnant because she gave birth already. I have included the links about her in this post. Basically she is somebody who had tried to get pregnant for four years and finally did. She was less than upfront when she wanted to share her pregnancy news with me. She has been saying all sorts of things to me that are very insensitive, like asking me about details about IVF so that she could do gender selection for a boy for number two, telling me not to give up because as long as I ovulate, there is hope… I had been keeping a good distance from her since she gave birth. I saw her and her baby at the baby’s party. I let my guard down. One day she asked me where we were in our journey and I opened up and shared about the early pregnancy loss with her. I really shouldn’t have. So this is the exchange:
Me: Back in February, we transferred two embryos. Got pregnant, then lost it. It has taken me 3 months to start thinking about trying again.
Her: Just keep trying. Things will be ok. Do you move around a lot after you transfer. Try not to move around too much or do heavy lifting.
Can you see why I would be annoyed with her? There was no “I am so sorry for your loss”. What does it mean by “Just keeping trying”? Is it that easy? And how does she know that “things will be ok”? And why blame ME for the loss by asking me if *I* moved around a lot? Thanks a lot for making me the culprit for the loss.
I was stunned that that was the response I got. It took me a whole hour to write back with this:
Me: You know, my embryos not sticking had nothing to do with whether or not I moved around or not. I was being careful with my movements. It was probably the embryo quality. I did everything to give my embryos a fighting chance.
What I didn’t tell her was, “Back off! You’re not being a nice friend.”
She wrote me back an email:
” Yes I know. I think you are right. Please do let me know if you have any questions and I can try to get you answers. Don’t give up. It still looks very hopeful.”
ARRRGHH. I hate it when she says “Don’t give up”. Hate it.
She works for the reproductive endocrinology department for some hospital and she thinks that she can get me answers from one of the REs. I know she’s trying to be helpful, but am I really going to go through her to ask an RE a question?
Most recently she has been offering me tips for saving money, such as a clinical trial offered by her hospital, for which I won’t qualify. She suggested Attain program, for which I won’t qualify either. Then she tells me to ask if my new IVF clinic offers clinical trials that include meds so it’ll save me money.
I have had enough with her advice. I knew about the clinical trial. I knew about Attain. I have been doing this for a while. I really don’t need her to tell me information that I already knew.
So… as a parting comment for that day, she said, “Don’t give up”. Again??? For the freaking tenth times!
So I wrote, “I don’t think I’ll ever. And even if I stop, I won’t call it ‘giving up’.”
I’m sorry. I know that I should be very loving and forgiving to my friend. But she annoys me to no end. She knows what to say to push my button. The thing is, she does not even know that she is doing this. She genuinely wants to help and is trying to help. But I don’t need her help. When she writes me and asks me about the next step, I just want to close the window and not respond.
She is the most insensitive infertile woman I have ever met.
I told my therapist about her. My therapist asked. Why do you want this friendship? Well, because I may not want to talk to her right now, but I still want to be friends with her.
My therapist then said, It seems like she is a trigger for you. Whenever you talk to her, she triggers your negative emotions. So it seems like you want to keep her for later?
Bingo. There you go. She is a trigger for my negative emotions.
I feel guilty for not wanting to talk to my infertile no longer pregnant friend. My therapist tells me that I have to feel okay not sharing because it seems like whatever she responds makes me angry. I don’t need this friendship at this moment. I have to let go of the feeling of guilt. And I have to learn to keep a distance so I won’t feel hurt or annoyed every time I talk to her.
I’m so glad that I shared about this so now I know that I don’t have to feel guilty to keep a distance from this friend.
I told the therapist that sometimes I feel like I am not missing my embryos enough…. I see people grieving for the loss of their pregnancies for a long time… and I only sometimes think about the embryos. She guaranteed me that everyone grieves differently. I do get sad at times and I acknowledge my feelings. Then I move on. She thinks that it’s healthy and there is nothing wrong with not thinking about the embryos all the time. She said that I am not cold blooded and I am being too hard on myself.
Another take home message for this session is acceptance. My biggest fear is that I may regret the path that I have chosen for myself. It seemed like I had already chosen UCSF since I did all of the pre-cycle preparation work. But in the back of my mind I sometimes wonder and fear if I will regret my decisions. How do I not regret? My therapist thinks that I have to work on acceptance. How do I work on acceptance? I have to remind myself to live in the present instead of the past or the future. If I think about the What ifs, the worries are going to take away the energy that I have to put into the present cycle.
With these points in mind, I am working towards acceptance.
Phone follow-up consultation with Dr. No Nonsense went well yesterday.
He answered all of my questions.
Using anesthesia will cost an extra $763 for the retrieval. I remember that the online friend who has banked her embryos doesn’t use anesthesia and she said that it is tolerable. Doctor said I should be fine without. It feels like a needle going through you. He said I can try one to see. My pain tolerance is usually pretty good so I’ll try it once.
I asked him the logics behind choosing Femara over Clomid. He said that it makes no difference. I have tried Femara twice and both times I made one embryo. So he said we should try 100mg of Clomid this time. It won’t affect the lining much and won’t make my FSH jump higher.
Do we freeze on day two? Day three? When we thaw, should we transfer on day two or day three? At first he said we could freeze on day three and thaw/transfer on day three. I told him that my history shows that my day three embryos are usually four-celled only. Is that the best for transferring? He then said we’ll freeze on day two and thaw/transfer on day two because of my history. For those people who have fewer eggs, it’s better to put back in the uterus for a chance to grow.
Depending on my response each cycle, it’s possible to bank each month instead of taking a break.
We’ll see how I respond in order to know if we need to add injectibles like Menopur/Cetrotide.
Realistically it’s hard to see how many banking cycles we need. I told him about the worry of running out of resources in preparation for donor egg cycles. He said we should and will evaluate the situation one cycle at a time. This is what my therapist told me as well. I said that I always feel pressured when Bob asks me how many cycles I want the money for so he can save it up once and for all. I get stressed out having to make that decision right now. Now both professionals told me that I can’t really do that. My therapist said that I may decide after one cycle with my own eggs that I have had enough. I can plan all I want but in reality we just won’t know what will happen.
Dr. No Nonsense guarantees me that although he may not be the one who will be present at every single appointment, he’ll monitor my cycle and progress closely. So I don’t have to worry about my questions not being answered or my concerns not being addressed.
Today is ten days past ovulation. My period should come in five days. I hope to call the pre-cycle coordinator next Monday to have the nurse create a calendar for me. On cycle day one, I can call the clinic and start the clock.
Friends, we are back in the game.