Yesterday my NaPro Dr (#1) squeezed me in for an appointment at the end of a very long week for her, as she prepares to leave for the AAFCP Annual Meeting. This is the first time I won't be attending in 3 years. I'm bummed.
Basically, I just needed to talk to someone other than myself (in my head... just to clarify. I do not go around mumbling things aloud to myself) about the state of my infertility and inadoption, and basically my WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW????? mentality.
The way I put it is that we (DH and I) are no longer in the aggressive mode in terms of treatments. We lack the energy and strength to keep going at that pace (the pace of not-too-long-ago driving into the city for Intralipid injections, flying to Chicago for biophysical uterine profiles, traveling all over the State to finally find a hematologist to prescribe Lovenox, injecting myself with said Lovenox daily, trying Follistim, trigger shots, steroids, getting shingles from said steroids, and basically flooding my body head to toe with so much that it hardly had time to react). Yeah. That pace wasn't fun.
But right now we find ourselves at a crossroads. It's not like we're going to "just give up," because, really, what does that even mean?? In my opinion, to truly "give up" trying to conceive means you are no longer having intercourse on fertile days (in essence, using NFP to avoid a pregnancy) or, contracepting. Because, if you ARE continuing to use fertile days, then you are well-aware that there is always the possibility of a pregnancy resulting. And in that case, there's always going to be the two-week wait - the cyclical "could I be" which is, if you ask me, the very worst part of infertility.
I told this to the Dr, too, and she agreed with me. The NOT KNOWING is the very worst part of this cross. And it's not just the not knowing each cycle if you could be pregnant, it's also the indefinite future - will I ever be pregnant, adopt, have children at all? I would feel 100 times better if someone would just tell me right now if I ever will become a physical mother in this world. And I would feel 100 times better if, after each Peak Day, someone whispered in my ear, "Nope, didn't catch that egg this cycle." At least then I could move on with my life and not live it in constant wondering and worry.
And the stress. Oh, the stress. My NaPro Dr is one of a handful of people in our lives who knows about ALL of our stress factors. And she's the one who said to me that the past two years specifically have been incredibly stressful, and stress can really wreak havoc on the body. She went on to say (and I LOVE her for this), "I am not telling you this because I expect you to DO something about the stress. But I want you to be aware that you have done everything you possibly can to make yourself healthier, and there are outside factors at play right now that you have no control over. I think now is a good time to hand all of that stress back over to God."
Yes. Hand it to God. I would thoroughly enjoy removing this stress from my life and giving it to God... now, how do I do that exactly???
I asked her if she has ever had a patient in our position - who has literally done everything AND cannot (for one reason or another) adopt, and if so, WHAT do they do? And that is when I told her that we don't want to be so aggressive anymore, but at the same time, our desire is still there (and if possible, is getting stronger and stronger every day). What are we to do with that?
She admitted that she never had patients our age who have come to a place where they decided to give up trying to conceive. Usually, it is the older premenopausal patients who try a few years of NaPro infertility treatment and then transition into menopause and into a place of acceptance of not having children. She said she doesn't think I need to "go there." She said I should put trying to conceive on the backburner, and not put myself in the position of, "OK, now what should I try next? Should I take Femara this month? Should I try this or that med next month?" Instead, I should just live my daily life, trying to enjoy the things I used to enjoy, and continue taking anything that I think is helping me to feel better on a daily basis (namely, Naltrexone, progesterone, Trental, and my supplements). At one point during the appointment, I lost my control and started to cry. It was then that I looked up to apologize about losing it, and saw that my Dr had tears in her eyes for us.
I am not giving up. I'm just not racing to a finish line that may or may not be there. More like a brisk walk.
It's a wonderful plan. In theory. But I just don't know how to let all of it go.
I also explained to my Dr about the Creighton Model follow-up I had two nights ago that really upset me. One of my clients had emailed me frantically to meet because she and her husband (who came to me while breastfeeding their first baby, and have been using the system to avoid pregnancy while he secured work... for two years), because she had had two dry cycles in a row and they had decided to try to achieve a pregnancy last month. Surprise- it didn't work immediately this time!! Omgosh, you mean, it may not happen when I snap my fingers??!! So I calmed her down and had her come in for a follow-up to get her lack of mucus figured out (backstory, by the way, is that she had been diagnosed with Stage III endometriosis as a teenager, and it was never removed, and yet she achieved very easily when trying for her first). She was lamenting the fact that they wanted an April baby and planned on trying last month because it would have been the PERFECT timing for a baby, what with her maternity leave, and his summer vacation, etc. etc. Then she said, "And my sister and some of my friends have been trying for a long time, and I kept telling them 'Just be at peace,' but now that I'm in the midst of it, I can't seem to find the peace..." IN THE MIDST OF WHAT, EXACTLY?!?!?!, I wanted to yell at her! Instead, I smiled politely and said, "At the risk of sounding offensive... when we try to make plans for ourselves, God laughs." She nodded and said she totally got it, but was so confused and yada yada...
The whole time I wanted to hit her over the head with her chart and say, "Listen, Fertile Endo Girl, one failed attempt on a DRY CYCLE does not an infertile make. Go home, take B6, and you'll be pregnant next month!!! An April Baby????!!!! An APRIL BABY??!!!! Yeah, I would have liked a baby before I turned 30, I'll take one any day of any month of any year!!!"
But I sucked it up, counseled her, and she and her hubby and adorable 2 year old all went home feeling much better.
And just when I was starting to feel like a great Practitioner, I head to work yesterday morning (at the other NaPro facility) to hear from my colleague that one of my new clients called to cancel her first follow-up with me. And when asked why, she explained to my colleague that she felt very judged during the Intro, and that she took some issue with the fact that I suggested abstaining for the first cycle of charting (every.single.client is given the exact same suggestion at the Intro Session, as all you charters know). She was not an infertility client, rather a mother of 6 who had very recently had a miscarriage. My colleague talked to her about how the Intro is meant to be scientific in nature, and by no means was I telling her what to do that would be best for her marriage, etc. but I can't say that I still wasn't very hurt by that. I go above and beyond in my work as a Practitioner of this system, and for someone to feel judged by me presenting a powerpoint presentation to them is just icing on the crap cake I've been eating all month.
So, I've been down in the dumps lately.
Then, today, I have a phone texting exchange with another charting client of mine that lifted my spirits. She also had a miscarriage earlier this year, and has been a difficult client for a variety of reasons - I had her come in for a follow-up after the miscarriage to discuss it with her and to see how she was doing, and she told me later how much she appreciated it. Today, this was our exchange:
Me: How are you doing today? I've been thinking about you.
C: I'm encouraged... and you? Last time I saw you, you looked so refreshed and renewed. I feel God is doing something brand new in your life!
Me: :) You have no idea how much I needed to hear that right now. I am feeling very overwhelmed with infertility and my 30th birthday this month.
She: Mmmmm I had a feeling... but remember something... the life of a seed has to die before it births into a new creation and it seems like forever until you see it burst forth above the dirt. But underneath what looks like stillness is action we cannot see. THAT my dear friend, is where God does His best work: in secret.
Me: You are a beautiful child of God :) Thank you.
She: And PS, 30 is a beautiful age! I sure am glad for the day of your birth. You have been a great encouragement to me! Allow the people around you to celebrate the YOU that you are! It's a beautiful you! And please don't allow the enemy to take away your joy! Fight him with Praise to Jesus (the devil hates that!) and fight him by encouraging yourself aloud (repeat after me now): Right now my God is thinking loving thoughts towards me... right now my God is making the impossible POSSIBLE... right now my God is more than enough for me, He will supply all my needs. He is my Elshaddi. He always looks out for my best interests!
And REMEMBER THIS: When you're about to become greatly blessed, the devil will greatly try your faith and thus try to steal away your blessing. FIGHT HIM and ask for His angels to surround you as you do so.
Honestly, I have not ever seen this girl socially outside of follow-ups. She is merely a client. I really believe God prompted me to text her today so that He could respond to me through her words. They helped me so much that I thought I'd share them with you, too.
I can't say I'm feeling much better, but at least my soul is doing ok right now. I told my DH that I can literally feel my skin crawling because I'm just so stressed, and he promised me a nice, relaxing evening. On that note, I just heard him walk in the door, so I'm off to relax...