Every month the two week wait challenges. How can I not think about what may or may not be going on in my body? How, after the two weeks of medicines, doctor's visits, and procedures, can I be expected to just sit still and not obsessively wonder "what if"? I feel like it's a test I fail every month. I try to distract myself with other stuff, but it is very difficult to distract myself when I am simultaneously treating myself as though I might be pregnant as far as what I eat and what I do. It's impossible to pretend everything is "normal" while monitoring caffeine and not popping an Advil when I have a pounding headache.
After about six days, the hyper-vigilant body monitoring starts to assert itself. Do I feel more tired? Do I feel any cramping? Are my boobs sore? Why am I starving when I just ate? I hate how I have no inkling whatsoever as to what is going on in my body. You hear of people who "just know" they are pregnant, and I can't trust anything about my perception of my body. Is it because I want to feel these things so badly that I have no objectivity? Is it because I don't really pay attention to these same symptoms the other times in my cycle? In actuality, I am often starving and tired, so those are completely unreliable. One month I sat on the couch and started to feel so groggy that I just lay my head down for a second and woke up 1.5 hours later. I SO thought that was a sign, but it wasn't a sign of anything other than my being tired. Last month I had excessive saliva (TMI and gross, I know), which I can't say I usually have ever had except when I was actually pregnant for 10 weeks. NOT A SIGN. Sore boobs--with all the progesterone and other hormones, these are not reliable bellwethers of anything other than being female. Having no reliable signs forces me to vacillate between 1) telling myself there is a 99% chance this didn't work in an effort to keep my hopes and expectations low and 2) berating myself for noting every hunger pain and symptom even though I've told myself they don't matter. Ugh. I just can't stop it.
Waiting in limbo every month is full of mind games. You face ahead of you two imagined paths. In the first, you will take a pregnancy test, find that it is negative (again), and need to hop back on the hamster wheel within a few days to start more medical treatments. In the second, you imagine taking the test and finally getting the elusive positive. Just typing that sends a palpable sensation of RELIEF across my body. What would it be like to just be able to breath and escape this frustrating cycle of failure and unknowns? Yes, I would be trading it for something I know first hand is riddled with dangers and worries, but at least they'd be different worries and a step closer to where I want to be. I have done a pretty good job this month of not imagining what the due date for this fantasy baby would be and when we would tell people and a million other delusional fantasies that play out without much conscious effort on my part. I am grateful for that. I am also happy that within the next five days, I will have a certain answer--something I can deal with either way.
Today I feel very tired of going through this loop. I feel angry that my age has me backed into a corner where I can't take six months off from fertility and "be normal" with my husband and within my own fragile psyche. I am resentful of having to keep dealing with this crap. I know I do have a choice, but it feels like no choice, since I feel certain I will regret stopping now because I am burned out. I do so long to take an "infertility vacation" to regather my sanity and normalcy and identity beyond the scarlet I. I am not going to end this by trying to sugar coat these negative feelings and force myself to be positive. I am where I am, and I am doing better at just accepting the ebb and flow of pain, hope, fear, resolve, anger, strength, denial, and loss. I feel physically and emotionally spent. I can't mother my nonexistent baby, so today I am mothering myself by letting myself feel what I am feeling and being gentle on myself (my therapy mantra). I made a huge pot of french onion soup last night, and today I am making lemon chicken soup. I am nurturing myself as best I can as I wait, wait, wait for the path ahead to reveal itself.