Archive | June, 2015

enough

30 Jun

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, “enough” means “equal to what is needed.”

I struggle with that word. Enough.  I hate it.  It gets into my head and won’t let go…My whole life, I’ve struggled with it–all the standard stuff a woman worries about, I think–pretty enough, smart enough, thin enough, funny enough, athletic enough, girly enough, a good enough daughter/sister/student/teammate/wife/daughter-in-law. There are so many ways to fall short of being “enough.”

A couple of months ago, my aunt called me. She’s into alternate healing and we’ve worked in the past to do “energy cleanses.”  When she called this time, we did some work together, which is kind of a cross between a shrink appointment, a tarot card reading and  a yay-personal-cheerleader pep talk.   I don’t really have a better way to explain it, except that it’s fascinating and truly helpful–it gets me into a much healthier emotional/mental state.  Basically, you pick cards from a deck, the card has a picture, and then you talk about what the picture makes you think of and “clear” the bad energy surrounding it by replacing it with good energy.  It sounds a little bit wonky I guess, but trust me when I say it’s super cool.  And our session ended like they always do, with a mantra that comes from some cards that were picked.  My ending mantra was “Where you are and who you are is perfect.”  The perfect mantra for the girl who has never felt like she’s “enough.”

Most days, I feel like I’ve conquered those demons in my brain that tell me that I’m not “enough” of something.  Every now and then, they try to creep back in, and I do my best to quash them quickly.  But with the baby stuff, there never seems to be a way to shut the voices up.  Because we are constantly on a roller coaster–5 years of it.  I can’t emphasize that enough–5 years is a LONG time.  And this cycle has been just as bad as all the other ones, although I do think I am getting better at telling my brain to shut up when it decides to try to tell me that I’m not “enough.”

First, I wasn’t strong enough.  2 months ago, when we started this cycle (yes…2 months…), I came home sobbing.  “You’re not strong enough to do this again…to go through the nightly shots, this time the ones that hurt…the 3-4 times a week blood draws…the twice a week check-ups…and the ending–the terrible, horrible ending that always seems to come, no matter what we do…you are just not strong enough to do this all over again.”  And I got over it…I had to.  I took most of the shots in a way that I am going to go ahead and give myself credit for doing pretty damn “stoically.”  We even got to do shots at camp, which brought it to a whole new level of fun–is this needle really clean enough, there is a lot of bird shit on this table that I’m laying on, not to mention all the spiders, and I didn’t get to ice before…  But we got through the shots.  Strong enough.  Boom.

a new camp activity

mixing drugs–a new camp activity

But as soon as we got through shots, then I wasn’t brave enough to face another IUI.  Because the first one hurt.  And they’re not even supposed to hurt, so I must be a giant baby with absolutely no pain tolerance.  Also, I really am still not over the whole sterile-doctor’s-office-stirrups-catheter-through-my-cervix way of making a baby…I’m incredibly jealous of everyone who can do this the natural, fun, beautiful, sexy way.  Jealousy is not an emotion I’ve ever really felt before all of this–I have a pretty amazing life, and anything I’ve wanted that I didn’t currently have, I just worked hard for.  This is the first time that working hard isn’t working, and it blows.  We are working incredibly hard, to no avail, and compounding that is watching people who are given this amazing gift of parenthood who take it for granted or worse still who bitch about it…  And so jealousy is a new emotion that I am working hard to conquer pretty much every day.  And I really hate it, because it’s quite possibly the ugliest of all human emotions.

So anyway we went to the IUI appointment, and nothing about it was how I wanted it right from the get-go…it wasn’t my doctor (who was away on vacation), but rather some strange (I-don’t-know-him-strange, not creepy or weird strange) foreign man.  He’d seen us on Friday for one last routine check-up, and at that appointment had cancelled the cycle pending blood work because I had too many follicles, and it was too dangerous to proceed.  I spent Friday and Saturday morning being devastated that the past 18 days of being strong enough for nightly shots had been for nothing, only to find that blood work came back showing it was, in fact, ok to proceed and we were rescheduling the IUI.  So I was already stressed about the viability of the cycle, my safety, and the safety of our potential future children.  At the actual IUI appointment, Eric was sitting in a chair across the room rather than holding my hand, sitting right beside me (because we were in “his” office and not our usual room that I’ve grown accustomed to).  I got up on the table and braced for the worst–I just kept telling myself, “it’s just a few more minutes of pain and misery, you’ve come so far, just be brave for a little bit longer.”

But the strange foreign doctor was reassuring, and the minute I tensed up and it started to hurt, he stopped to tell me to relax, to take some deep breaths, then pushed on my abdomen while continuing to insert the catheter through my cervix.  It didn’t hurt at all…it wasn’t comfortable, but it wasn’t painful either.  All I can think is that the last time I was stupid and let an intern complete the IUI (because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings by telling her to stop and let the doctor do it).  I think she had no idea what she was doing, I was nervous and crying because it was hurting, which I think made her nervous, and the entire thing snowballed into one disastrous, painful experience.  Glad to know I was not being a baby about the last time–it really DID hurt.  But I was brave enough, and this time it didn’t hurt, and we got through the IUI.  And it was supposed to be easy from there on out–just some waiting.  No big deal.

Except next my body was not good enough, and was not reacting the way it should…AGAIN.  Normally, after an IUI, you wait 2 weeks, and you either get a period and you’re not pregnant or you don’t get a period and you are.  I normally don’t get a period (but I’m obviously also never pregnant), making me an anomaly and the subject of inter-office conversations in my OB/GYN office and perplexing my RE (“well this is frustrating”).  So fully expecting NOTHING, imagine my shock and dismay when I started bleeding 1 week after the IUI–not normal.  I called the doctor’s office.  “Nothing you can do but wait it out.”  Awesome news.  I moped, but then I got in some great runs–they may not have felt particularly great, but I got them done, even despite (or maybe because of?) mentally being in a bad place, proving to myself that while my body doesn’t do what it should when it comes to reproductive functioning, it does what I ask of it (95% of the time anyway) when it comes to exercise and physical activity.  Double middle fingers, body.  I eventually stopped bleeding, and continued the waiting game.

But now, a week later and two months after we started all of this and still with no “official” answers, I’m not patient enough.  Today was supposed to be the day I called my doctor’s office when I didn’t get a period so they could send me for blood work and officially confirm another failed cycle. I was so happy today to finally be done with this cycle for real.  If I am pregnant, I will be shocked.  I bled for 5 days…there should be no chance. I tested Saturday night, and shockingly (*sarcasm*) it was a big fat negative.  In a morbidly curious way, I wonder how many pregnancy tests I’ve actually failed–the number has got to be huge by now.  So whatever.  I can’t really explain the strange mix of relief at the end of a failed cycle (because at least you have an answer, even though it’s not the one you want) and hopelessness and sadness that it’s over.  Today was going to be it, I was going to be able to emotionally get off the roller coaster for a couple of weeks for our camping trip before starting one more try for the summer…but today when I called the doctor, they told me to “wait a little bit longer” before blood work to officially confirm the end.  The nurse admitted that my being pregnant is extremely unlikely, but without a period, it’s not over.  “But I had a period–a week too early because my body is completely fucked up!” I wanted to yell at her.  I think she sensed my frustration because she just kept saying, “I’m so sorry, hun.  Be strong for a little bit longer.”

The truth is, though, that I am tired of being strong for “just a little bit longer.”  Strong enough.  Brave enough.  Patient enough.  Because no one seems to know what is wrong with me, and I am tired of being an anomaly.  And maybe it’s time to accept that I am enough without a baby. That we are enough without a child to raise, and we will have enough other adventures to fill our lives with love and laughter and happiness.  And I really wonder when enough will be enough.

enough