Wednesday, August 26, 2009

No Expectations.

Random Fact About Me #1: I have always tested extremely well. ACTs, SATs, LSAT, CPA exam, school exams; you name it, I have aced it. I don’t think this by itself makes me any smarter than anyone else*, but this talent has been a blessing that has made certain parts of my life easier.

Random Fact About Me #2: I have spent enough time working in the corporate world now that I am quite adept at setting objectives, establishing expectations, and determining stretch goals.

Why am I telling you these random facts about me? Because I believe that these personal traits make me a bad infertile person.** Mathematically speaking…

Not Used to Failure + High Expectations of Self = Bad Infertile Person

Sprinkle in a liberal dose of impatience, which I have in spades and it makes for a pretty miserable infertile existence. As my husband regularly tells me, “You aren’t wired for this.”

So for my baseline ultrasound appointment on Friday I am trying to have no expectations.

In the past I have gone into these appointments thinking, “If I have at least X number of follicles I will be OK. If I have at least Y number of eggs it won’t be so bad. If I have at least Z number of embryos I still have a shot.” I have always disappointed myself and left the doctor’s office in tears. I’m trying to banish these thoughts.

Whatever happens it will be OK. There is no scary follicle number. The number is what it is. Because while realistically I want more rather than less, for me it is all about quality and less about quantity.

I’m trying to remember, but it’s hard.



*I can blow my sister away on any standardized test, but she is WAY smarter than me. I just test well.

**Don’t take this to mean that I think there are “good” infertile people, but these are the personal traits I have struggled with the most when dealing with infertility. In my more philosophical moments I have determined that this journey has been a good learning experience for me and will make me a better mother. However, lately I am less philosophical about it. I feel like I have learned enough. I am ready to move on.

25 comments:

JB said...

Yeah, we are in the same boat. Over-achievers are the WORST-wired for infertility. There's just no amount of hard work, brilliance, or clever problem-solving that can fix this. The only hope is that our REs are also over-achievers, and make our successful end results the litmus for their job well done.

'Murgdan' said...

I SO know what you mean. Right here with you. And man do I have a test I'm hoping to ace coming up soon...I've been studying for two years. ;-)

Am a perfectionist.

S said...

I can totally relate to this post. Your random fact #1 is true of me, too, and both my husband and I are accustomed to setting goals and achieving them through hard work and persistence.

Besides the "not knowing" (we are unexplained), one of the hardest things about infertility for us has been having a "goal" that can't necessarily be achieved by doing everything "right."

I will be hoping for good follicles for you at baseline u/s.

P.S. I love your drawings!

M said...

seriously, what is up with IF striking only perfectionists and type-a control freaks?? it's like a form of torture.... to have absolutely no ability to control this process, but be unable to let go! here's hoping for a good u/s =)

IVF 40+ said...

wow - you just described me! I admire your zen 'tude with this round. its true - IF is little known eastern training technique.
good luck friday

Bluebird said...

We sound a lot alike :) I remember the first time a dr. told me that medicine is a science, not an art. (In other words, he had no freaking clue what to do, but we were just going to keep trying things until something did.) I'm pretty sure I snorted in his face ;)

Meg. said...

I agree with M. The ratio of perfectionist-control-freak infertiles to easy-going-passive infertiles must be at least 200:1.

Wuzzupwitdat?

Good luck on Friday!

kerri said...

ah, my bad infertile soul sister... dh tells me the exact same thing!

i'm right there with you in having learned enough... :)

good luck friday!

Megan said...

Maybe the non-control freak / perfectionists can relax enough to get pregnant!

twoweekwait said...

My husband and OBGYN had an "intervention" with me that went along the lines you just made for yourself. i.e. Kate you're used to achieving the goals you set, you're used to doing great on tests. This is just not like that. It's HARD to let go of how we are used to operating the rest of our lives in this one area where we crave control the most.

sunflowerchilde said...

I identify completely. Out of the 6 months I did IUIs, I had ONE cyst, but I wasn't expecting it at all and burst into tears, to the complete consternation of the doctor and nurse. I also test well, and find i can never keep my expectations under control.

Amber said...

It's ridiculously hard to let go when you've lived your whole life doing everything well. I had it all planned out and then IF blind-sided me and it's something that I can't control... I love the comment about the passive people relax enough to get pregnant. LOL!

Kara's Mom said...

I am right there with you. I set goals, I reach them. period. AND, I'm impatient. So, infertility and I do not get along either. Good luck to you on your next cycle.

PJ said...

I don't neccesarily test well, but I have always been one that believed that if you really worked hard, I mean REALLY, really worked hard, you'd get what you wanted. And this whole infertile thing is really a slap in the face where that is concerned.

gwinne said...

Oh, do I agree with this one. Academics and infertility do not mix. I have finally gotten to the point that hard work does not pay off.

jenicini said...

Wow, there are a lot of us! Your comment pool is full of people who feel a lot like you.

I use to be a terrible test taker because I got so nervous I would freak myself out. One day, I just said "F this!" and promptly went out and kicked that test's butt! So maybe letting go of my fear and worry is what I need to do for IF. Hmm.

:D

Lorza said...

I am the worlds worst at waiting. I sometimes wonder if this is a sick joke in the universe..you know that saying "Pray for Patience and God will give you trials and tribulations to help you develop patience."

or however it goes. ugh.

Tara said...

I am right there with you. "Stretch goals" - good Lawd...sometimes I just want to smack people when I hear that word.

Only goal for this cycle is a BFP! No goals about numbers!!!

Hoping for the very best!

xoxo

susan allport said...

I thought you'd find this new take on omega-3s interesting: http://www.prevention.com/cda/article/the-vanishing-youth-nutrient/6dec72fe5deb2210VgnVCM10000030281eac____/news.voices/in.the.magazine/september.2009.issue/0/0/1

lifebytheday said...

I love this, and totally agree. Since when did doing your best not work?!? Hang in there! ;-)

Erica said...

Dropping by to wish you luck tomorrow at the baseline...

Lisa L. Leibow said...

I, too am a goal-oriented, high-achiever who rode the roller-coaster of treatments for infertility. It is this experience that taught me to find comfort in knowing I was doing everything in my control. Then, to let go a little and realize some of it is out of my hands. Good luck on your journey.

-Lisa Lipkind Leibow
www.LLLeibow.com

Jennifer said...

Wow - I can relate to you, as well. What is really interesting to see is how many others of us feel the same way. I wonder if there's a reason for this. Maybe you hit the nail on the head when you referenced people who have had everything come pretty easily in life somehow "need" this struggle of infertility to make us better mothers. I, too, have wondered about this, but have also adopted the attitude (as best as I can) that "it is what it is." I do feel in the bottom of my heart that we will all be mothers one day - we just have to give up some of our control and let nature do her thing. Great post!

Alice said...

I hear you! All my past successes and "gold stars" don't seem to matter in this IF journey. Sometimes I feel like I had it too easy with certain things in life and now the powers that be are testing me. The feelings of failure are tough, but hope trumps all. Good luck with this cycle!

Lin said...

I can totally relate! IF feels like the first thing that I can just "work harder" and ace.

I looked ahead...so glad to see that you "aced" your baseline!! :-)

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin