It’s been two months since my last post about our infertility journey, and while nothing new has happened… lots of thoughts have been running around in my brain as we are preparing for this next big step in our journey – our first attempt at IVF in April. And as I always do when thoughts are running amiss in my skull – I wanted to write so that I could get them out and make some sense of them.
We most certainly have been keeping ourselves busy this winter with lots of business projects, trips, and checking lots of things off various to-do lists during off-season. And while I have been trying my very best to cherish right now – it can be difficult when I’m feeling this cabin fever working in front of the computer every day during this cold, long winter. Especially lately my mind is constantly wandering to our next step in the process. Even when I try not to think about it – I have freaking dreams about it!!! I kid you not. Kind of crazy dreams, if I’m being honest – and I’m not a fan!
The weirdest part is that I can’t really pinpoint how I’m feeling about all of it….? And I’m also not sure how much of these feelings I’m having are tied into the loneliness and isolation of off-season in the wedding photography business as well. (I mean, working from home alone nearly every single day – trudging along on behind the scenes projects – always on the computer without much social interaction and nearly no actual photography happening isn’t the best recipe for health and happiness… at least not for me! haha.) I’m used to work being a wonderful distraction from my all consuming mind… because when I’m pleasantly busy and working a lot on various aspects of the business (weddings, emails, budgeting, meet-ups with clients, sessions, marketing, workshops, and more) – time flies by and it is easy to focus on NOW and not let my mind wander to worries and what not. But this time of year the monotony of the day to day at home alone really leaves a lot of space for my mind to wander – which isn’t totally ideal. (Although, come to think of it – maybe this is just what I need? To rest and be still and figure out what I’m feeling for a change instead of just working my way over things??? Hmm.)
Anyway – I’ve figured out the main three feelings I’m having regarding our impending treatments:
1. Excitement. I’m feeling genuinely hopeful and excited for this next step! I’ve heard so many success stories from people who have done IVF and it has me really hopeful that this will finally be the thing that helps make our looooong time dreams of family happen.
2. Nervous. This one is pretty even with my feelings of excitement… they tend to go together I feel like. It is the not knowing exactly what will happen that makes me nervous. The amount of appointments, time, and energy this will take during the same time our busy season really starts going that makes me a bit on edge. But I guess this is only a glimpse at what being pregnant and being a parent is like – right?! Having to release some control and trust that it will be okay and to take it day by day? Your normal routines and commitments will have to be adjusted… so I should probably get used to that feeling – huh?
I’m also nervous because this process really messes with your body. There are a lot of added hormones happening (shots you administer DAILY, not just once per cycle like during IUI treatments)… which can affect your body and mind is so many ways. There are health risks involved, and that scares me too. I don’t really know exactly how my body will react and that freaks me out a bit. I’ve heard of women who go through the egg retrieval but their body is hyper stimulated from all the drugs and they have to put the embryo transfer on hold until their body has calmed down and a cycle or two have passed. I’m nervous about all of it – although I’m trying really hard not to be.
3. Scared. I really try not to let myself think about this feeling much and tend to hang out in the nervous/excited emotions whenever possible. But this one is nagging in the back of my brain and I can’t help it. I want it to go away – but it won’t. I touched on this feeling briefly in the #wcw post I wrote for Lauren’s blog (HERE). I’m scared the IVF won’t work. I’m scared it will work. (I know, crazy, right?) I’m scared of how much this will change our lives. I’m scared that we will finally get pregnant only to have a miscarriage, or something equally tragic and heartbreaking. I just don’t know how we could deal with it after everything we’ve done to get here. I don’t know how people (some of our closest friends) make it through those tragedies.
Now, I know as well as anybody – that dwelling in these feelings doesn’t help anything, especially #3. I know that “worrying is meditating on shit” – and that I should focus on thinking positively and imagine a happy outcome… but we all have our moments. For the most part these are just passing thoughts in my brain. I don’t sit on them for long and I honestly can’t remember the last time I cried about any of this… so maybe that’s good? haha. (I think it was when we found out our 3rd IUI didn’t work back in November…?)
I guess the point is that so often we all plan for the future and starting thinking one step ahead – instead of living in the current state of our lives and enjoying it for what it is. I want to cherish all these moments we have right now – because we never know what will happen on any given day. We were reminded of that harsh reality recently when something so unexpected and scary happened to a loved one, who is thankfully now recovering. Nothing is guaranteed to anyone in life, and we need to revel in each moment no matter how inconsequential and mundane it may seem at the time. I don’t want to focus so far in the future that I glance over the beauty that is this very second in this very day.
And so I am doing my very best to do that in the meantime as I prepare myself mentally, emotionally, and physically for this next step. I’m allowing myself to feel, but not to wallow. I’m allowing myself to think, but not stress. I’m allowing myself to be vulnerable… and reminding myself that these feelings are more than normal, and more than okay. I’m allowing myself to love, to feel, to laugh, and to relish all the messy, crazy, beautiful things that it means to be a human. And I’m reminding myself that I am stronger than I often realize and capable of handling more than I can imagine.