A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Crazy Comes Early; or, How to Survive a Two-Week Wait

I think I am good at many things: writing, reading while walking along crowded sidewalks, singing, knitting, cooking, taking standardized tests, picking outfits for my dog, correctly punctuating compound-complex sentences, listening to people, hugging, and wearing short skirts. But there is also a long list of things I am terrible at: calculus, chemistry, running, athletics of all sorts, spelling, showing up places on time, planning and timing a meal, housekeeping, putting on a poker face, losing belly fat.

To this latter list, you can add meditation and relaxing.

I have never been able to relax on command. At the end of a yoga class, when I feel stretched out like a noodle, I still have to clench my fists in corpse pose because otherwise the palms of my hands and my fingers literally begin to itch, so strong is my compulsion to move them. In health classes as a kid I was never able to relax my mind enough to feel the crazy effects of the self-hypnosis videos we would occasionally watch.

Just now, in an effort to mitigate against the extreme anxiety of the two week wait, I listened to one of the Circle+Bloom relaxation CDs that a friend sent me when I started working with an RE. I couldn't even concentrate on the woman's voice. I lay here in an extremely comfortable chair with my eyes closed and as she told me to let my body sink deeper into a metaphorical hot bath, the soles of my feet started twitching and I had to press them together. My stomach rumbled. My eyes fluttered under my eye lids. My mind spun like a top.

I suck at this.

I am pretty much a ball of tightly wound twine at the best of times, and waiting for the results of a cycle only exacerbates it. This cycle is doubly hard because everything (with the exception of my minimal egg production) is going so damn well. Not only did Lawyer Guy produce a rock star sample for the IUI, but we had sex TWICE afterward that day. (I'm not at liberty to share what helped make this cycle so much better in that regard. Let's just say it was awesome). Last cycle we had fertilization for the first time in a year, which has raised the expectations for IUI way high. And some googling turned up various studies that all agree the greatest predictors of success in an IUI cycle are total motile sperm counts and timing, both of which were great for us.

And yet mentally, I add all this up together and it equals: BFN.

Over the past 20 months, I have had more "perfect" cycles than I can count-- or as close to perfect as my body can get. Well-timed sex, and lots of it, with clear ovulation. Over and over again, I would think, "This is it! This time is the time! Everything's going so great, it just *has* to work."

And over and over again, reality would sledgehammer me over the head at the end of my wait.

Strangely, I do believe Dr. Wonderful when she tells me that I will get pregnant and I won't be her patient for long. I do believe that a healthy pregnancy is in the cards for my future. Just not yet. Just never right now. Not this cycle, not this time.

I would really like to put down this emotional armor, this chain-mail of doubt and negativity and fear and refusal that I've been carrying around for over a year to deflect the blows of IF. It's tiring and weighs a ton.

Next cycle's the one when I'll start to feel positive. It's always next cycle.


  1. Sometimes it frustrates me so much that it seems like everything is perfect and nothing works. Don't tell my DH (the statistician) but sometimes I HATE statistics.

    Hope you find a way to relax through the C+B. I have a similar problem whenever someone tells me to sit still -- i have to slowly move one part of my body (like a foot) to keep the rest of me from suddenly jerking around.

  2. i'm the opposite in terms of relaxing. whenever i try to meditate, i end up sooo relaxed, that i fall asleep. so the meditation rarely gets done.

    i'm still super impressed by the numbers LG posted for the iui, and especially that you guys managed to do the deed twice the next day. how is this not a recipe for success??

    to say "hang in there" sounds trite, given how hard we all know these 2ww's are. so i'm just sending you all my good vibes :o) xoxo.

  3. Sounds like great chances for that one follie!
    No advice on relaxing. I have no idea, either.

  4. It's just so unfortunate that heavy drinking (or other sedation) is out of the question right now... I'm with you on not being able to relax on command... in fact, I usually just end up getting all snarky and irritated when some soothing voice is trying to tell me what to do!!

    Good luck finding that inner peace. Perhaps some long walks, baking, and reading will be your saviors.

  5. IUI PLUS sex twice afterwards?! Wow!

    Well, it all sounds incredibly promising, but I completely understand your "never gonna happen this month" mindset.

    I'll just have to hold onto the hope for you.

  6. You are like me. I have a very difficult time sitting still or not thinking. In fact, giving me time to clear my head usually causes my head to become even more crowded. But I do hope that you can find some peace and relaxation, if not through C + B then through something else. Sending lots of positive and relaxing vibes your way.

  7. Like you, the more I try to relax, the more stressed out I get. I'm convinced sleep is my best sources of stress-free relaxation.

    Anyway, you have such an awesome chance this cycle...is it ok if I really fully hopeful even if you are not? :)

  8. I am like you, a poor meditater/ relaxer. Pleae try not to be so hard on yourself. If you are stressed, then you are stressed, I do not think this will have any impact on the IUI outcome. I have done cycles stressed and somewhat relaxed and in the end it makes no difference. I also think that it puts extra pressure on us to be all perfectly zen like, especially if this goes against your personality which is my case and probably your's too.
    For me, I do better with distraction then relaxation which means good books to read, a hard knitting project to occupy both my head and my hands, and stocking my DVR with shows so I can zone out in front of the tv.
    Thinking of you and hoping this 2ww goes quickly.

  9. We've totally got this in common...it takes serious work for me to relax. I spend 90% of any yoga class wishing I was somewhere else with my mind whirring a million miles a minute. But, I have recently found I can actually relax in a warm bath with bubbles and candlelight....maybe b/c I know it's serving a purpose (getting me clean!) Sending you Zen vibes and feeling pretty darn hopeful about this cycle, what with the great IUI numbers, your fluffy lining, the perfectly timed sex-o and your beautiful golden follie! xoxo

  10. It sounds like you have the pregnancy decks stacked in your favor - awesome numbers from LG, well timed (and frequent) post-IUI sex and a great lining. So what if you can't fully relax? As long as you're not putting your body through anything extreme, it'll get the job done. Fingers crossed this 2ww goes quickly for you!

  11. Sloper, I so WISH I had some good advice for relaxing in your 2ww but, alas, I've got nothing. But I do hope that you'll be able to relax knowing how WONDERFUL this cycle is! The perfect follie, the perfect post-wash count, the perfect lining and timing. AND you know you can get pregnant. The stars are aligning, my friend. I hope that you're so wrong about this cycle and it's not next month for you. It's this month. And btw, of course it'll happen this month :). If it did wouldn't it land on your sis's wedding? That's just how things work :).

  12. I think your feelings are a good sign because BFPs seem to come at shocking and surprising OMG times. Try to channel the energy into moving stress relief instead of trying to force relaxing stress relief on yourself. can you go for a long walk? Do you have a Wii? I know you are supposed to take it easy. But maybe some light physical movement will help your mind rest

  13. I've gotten better at the meditation over time (damnit when they remind us that it's a practice - I want it to work now!), but at times when my head is spinning and I'm totally stressing, like when I REALLY need it, I totally suck at it, and I swear my mind only races more. There's a CD I like that my acupuncturist puts in for me called Relax into Greatness - it does this really exhaustive and fast-paced full body scan ("focus your attention on your right eye, your right ear, your right shoulder...") that you have no room for other thoughts, and by the end I usually do feel more relaxed. And sometimes works better than "Hey, you, relax now okay" like C+D.

    You stay negative. We'll be positive for you. This one is it!!

  14. I'm sucky at it, too:) I'd really like not to be. And there are moments when I get a lot out of it. But a lot of mind-wandering moments.

    As far as the positive/negative thinking, I think you're doing great. You're also coming off of a loss. And that has a way of coloring perspective for a good long time.

    But Dr. Wonderful is making a lot of sense to me.

  15. I was always like that when going through treatments as well. I was hopeful that things might just work out for us some time, but I never had faith that it would be this time. I couldn't put my hope so completely into a single cycle. And I think that's okay, you don't need to believe you're going to get pregnant for it to happen. It will just happen.

    Hang in there ~ hopeful for you for this cycle.

  16. I'm terrible at relaxing too. Acupuncture is hard for me because my brain is so busy for the 30-40 minutes I'm supposed to be relaxing. Gah!

    Al's right -- the outcome is not determined by your expectations. :) And it's easier (safer?) to be hopeful that eventually it will work, rather than this time it will work. So we'll continue hoping for you. :)