Today I want to talk about transitions and going with “the flow”. In psychology, “flow” is the mental state of operation where a person performing an activity is fully immersed in the process with focus and enjoyment. Sooo… I guess it’s safe to say I am NOT in flow. I would love to be. I would like to be able to just be present with this process with no anxiety and no anger and just Zen-like-calmn-ness. But I am so totally not there right now. One of the reasons it is so hard to stay “in flow” during infertility is that there are so many transitions! All the damn transitions, all the damn time! It’s the worst. Well, that and the never being pregnant!
The thing about trying to get pregnant, and not achieving it, means there are A LOT of transitions to deal with. So many! AHHHH. Which also means a lot of opportunities where you will need to redefine your “flow”. Juuust when you think that you have your shit figured out, BOOM, ‘nother transition. Here are a few of the transitions that have really thrown me for a loop:
1. The “One Year Mark”: When we first started trying I never dreamed we would make it past a year without conceiving. I figured my body needed time to re-adjust from being on the pill for so long and then that’s it… we’d be parents! When we hit the one year mark and I went to my doctor for a referral to the fertility clinic everything shifted. I had to learn to accept that I might actually need medical help to conceive. I had been doing ok with “flow” up to this point but it was thrown for a loop from this point on.
2. Diagnosis: I mean… HELLO!? It was like WHAM right between the eyes. Sure, I mean I know we had been struggling to get knocked up, but I didn’t expect THAT. It went from just taking a long time to conceive to… infertile. Literally. That’s what it will say on my file. Diagnosed with infertility due to diminished ovarian reserve. WHAM. It was a transition I didn’t want. It’s a transition I’m still grappling with. It was like “I don’t WANT to be infertile, fuck you very much!” Unfortunately, mind over matter didn’t change the fact that apparently I am. Trust me, I tried. “Flow” became almost impossible for a while after diagnosis. Everything was shifting so quickly that I couldn’t really find my legs to stand… let alone find the “flow”.
3. Adding medication: Once I felt like I had taken a nanosecond to understand that I would need help to have a baby I had to quickly shift gears again. There wasn’t really a waiting period between diagnosis and implementing a treatment plan where I was able to adjust to my new reality. It was like… “You’re broken. AND you’re running out of time! Here, take these pills.” Okey Dokey. They put me on Clomid and I really hated it. It made me more depressed and less upbeat and less funny. All sucky things. Meds impact “flow” too. Hard to get in the zone with a new routine when the meds make you feel depressed.
4. Needing to do IUI: Eventually, I felt like I established a sort of peace with needing meds. I was juuust starting to understand what Clomid did to my body and keep myself in check during the months on it. Then it wasn’t working well enough… still wasn’t pregnant. Time to bump up treatment. Next stop IUI! Yup, insemination. Greeeeeat. *Porno music* no more just humping then? This transition was at least intriguing for me as I got to see my eggs a lot over the cycle and monitor things and feel a modicum of control again. The illusion of control really allowed me to briefly find my center again. “Flow”! Mostly because I was so sure it would work right away!! Unfortunately, the hubby found this transition much harder to deal with. It really has driven home for him that we can’t just have really great sex and conceive. It made him NEED to take action and be involved in the process. I get it infertility is a hard pill to swallow.
5.Booking IVF Consult: We are in the process of our second IUI, due to the clinics procedures about mandatory 3 months off before IVF it is likely that this will be our last one. After this we have to wait until February, then go have an IVF consultation with Dr. Green-Eyes, and then I start jabbing myself with needles. YAY! I think this transition is going to be one of the hardest. Straight up test tube baby. That’s how hard it is for me to conceive, it will need to happen outside my body! I can’t talk too much about the transition though as I haven’t made it yet, but the consult alone is scary. I’ll just try to retain some sanity through it and probably will not achieve “flow”.
6. Every two week wait: The thing about trying to convenience is that you get treatment transitions but also plain month to month transitions. The two week wait brings up new and old feelings every time I have to endure it. Thinking about all of the new transitions that will arise from this two week hell-hole. Option A, I am not pregnant. This means that I have to go back up to transition number two and relive my diagnosis and what that means for me. It means that I have to think about transition five… IVF. SIGH. Or… Option B, admittedly the preferred option, I am pregnant. That would be cool, but it will also bring with it many more transitions. To parenthood, more responsibilities, etc.
And I guess that’s really the point, isn’t it? Life=Change (Transitions). My friend Amy’s squawk box post was about this concept too. Learning to let go in this journey. But that lesson hardly stops when you conceive. I have many friends that have made their way through infertility to parenthood and they all say the same thing… learning to be flexible is an important lesson and will serve you well when you have children. I need to learn to quickly find my “flow” and I will be happier for it. SIGH! I still have some work to do at enjoying the fluidity of life. It does not come easily to me. I think that this journey has at least impacted me in making me more adaptable. I don’t roll with it like I should, but I have learned to roll with it better than I used to. And to accept disappointment when the transitions are not the ones that I was hoping for. Maybe when this difficult journey to parenthood ends I will find I am a better person for it. Maybe it won’t have all been bad!