This fifth cycle of IVF has given me perspective. And not because it is the fifth time. But because it is the first time I am doing this IVF thing as a mother.
The other day, JB forgot to give me my lupron shot before he left for work. He had to talk me through it via Facebook. I sat there giving myself a shot in the thigh with Abigail attempting to steal my alcohol swab at my side.
Way different than when I did this a half decade ago.
The first four times I did IVF, I was childless. As a result, I just assumed that the range of emotions I was fighting during each attempt were due to not being a mother. I figured I was just sad that I didn't have children. But this cycle, I am fighting some incredible emotions. And I have three children.
It wasn't until I found myself sitting on my living room sofa this past week, crying, for no reason at all, that everything came into focus.
I have it now.
There was a reason that the difficult emotions surrounding infertility were worse when I was in the midst of a cycle. There was a reason that it got better when I went off medications in between cycles. There was a reason I cried all the time and was exhausted and couldn't sleep.
Not only do I have perspective now, but JB does too. He's not just a medical student this time. He's a doctor who counsels patients regularly who are dealing with hormones or depression. He is able to talk me through this with amazing clarity. He's able to remind me why I am feeling this way and what I can do about it.
So what can I do?
I can exercise. Exercise helps me to feel better nearly instantly, however, the results are short-lived. (Within two hours after completion, I find myself a bit down again.)
I can get good rest. Good sleep at night and a good nap is tremendously helpful.
I can remind myself that this is a temporary emotion. That this will end. That I have to do this without the aid of anti-depressants because of the pregnancy aspect connected with it. And that at the conclusion of this process, I will return to the Wendi I know and love. I must trust (and know) that she will be back.
I can share. I continue to find it important to let the people around me know that I am a bit down. I don't need to worry about assuring friends and family that "this has nothing to do with you."
I can educate. I continue to feel a responsibility, especially through my blog, to educate. I don't want to portray an inaccurate picture of myself on the blog or in person. I want people to see infertility and motherhood and adoption in the proper light. In the proper, perspective, if you will.
Pumping hormones into your body will result in a person getting emotional. Depressed maybe. In actuality, doing it without children gave me a reason for the emotions. Doing it with children gives me no reason for the emotions. I'm just crying for no reason at all. Sad for reasons that have no source.
And I'm okay with that. I can be honest about that. I can share about that. And I hope it will allow others to share and be honest and open as well.