Last week, I had another session with my therapist to address my issues of having fears about the upcoming donor cycle, which I described in this post. Prior to last week’s session, I naively thought that since I had accepted our path of using donor eggs as our means to hopefully have a baby, I wouldn’t need to talk to my therapist anymore. Boy was I wrong. I think that I will probably need to talk to her on a regular basis for a while.
What I described to her was what I wrote in the post. I am scared. I am scared that even egg donation won’t bring us our baby. I am scared that I will fall into the other side of the stellar donor egg IVF statistics. I have been basically operating on a mode of failure because that’s what I know and am familiar with. I haven’t been able to get myself out of that mode. I am still stuck at the phase of Isabelle’s-eggs-suck. I know how to do infertility. I don’t know how to anticipate success and pregnancy.
Well, I told my dear friend A. a few weeks ago how I felt. What she told me is so so true, that I have to remind myself over and over again. These are her wise words: “You’re conditioned for heartbreak. It’s hard to think differently. Just remember that you’re not playing the same game anymore. New stadium, new sport entirely. Look at it with fresh eyes.”
Yes. I am so used to bad news, heartbreak, being on the wrong side of stats. It seems to be an impossible thing to imagine the outcome to be different this time. But she’s right. We are talking about eggs from a 24-year-old donor. My eggs play no part in it anymore. I really need a paradigm shift.
My therapist agrees with A. She reminds me that this is a totally different ball game. I have to consider the fact that we have chosen somebody who is young, so statistically, the chances of her eggs are normal are much higher. Look at her donation history: pregnancy was achieved at both of her prior donations. The chances of it working for me are so much higher than when I was using my own eggs. She thinks that my fear may also stem from the lack of control. When I was doing my own egg cycles, I had total control over the timing of injections, taking medications, being on time for monitoring appointments, and other aspects of the process. I currently have no control over what our donor will or will not do. I can only exercise my faith that she will have the integrity to follow through with everything. I have no control over when the clinic can schedule her for what appointment. My therapist told me to keep in mind that my clinic may not update me on the progress as much as I would like. That will continue to play into my sense of lack of control.
Since those are the things I really can’t control, my therapist told me to focus on what I can control. We all know from the operative hysteroscopy that my uterus looks good. In fact, my surgeon said that there is no reason why I can’t get pregnant with such nice looking uterus and lining. My very wise friend A. once compared the ovaries to uteruses. She thinks that woman is fickle and complex, hard to read, hard to please, like ovaries. To her, uterus is like a man, easy to treat and manipulate, resilient, reliable, and simple. Both A. and my therapist reminded me that I should look at my situation like it’s brand new because my baggages and bad experiences have been brought on by my own eggs, which have been completely removed from the current equation. My own eggs do not play a role in the upcoming donor egg cycle. All I can do is to make sure that I am taking good care of myself and my health and do everything in my power to make sure I follow my RE’s instructions to grow the best lining that I can.
My therapist once again reminded me to do this: when I have these negative thoughts, ask myself if they are helpful to my situation. If they are not helpful, acknowledge the thoughts and feelings then file them away. Don’t think about them until my scheduled “worry time” at night. So I have been asking myself that same question whenever I fear that the upcoming cycle won’t work: Is this thought helpful to my situation? No? Okay, then I won’t worry about it until 10pm tonight. It has been helping. Rather than constantly worrying about the what-ifs and things that may not ever happen, my mind has been mostly freed up during the day from these fears.
At the end of the session, my therapist reminded that I have something positive and beautiful happening in my life. A new possibility that was not available to me in the past. For such a positive thing, I should surround myself with positivity rather than negativity.
Very wise words. Something to think about. I feel very fortunate to have wise friends like A. and a wise therapist who truly understands this process of ups and downs during infertility. I have been feeling much better ever since the last therapy session. I am sure I will feel the struggles and have fear again. The good thing is, wise friends and my therapist are going to be there when I need them. This thought is very assuring.