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Wherein I Use Lots of Track and Field Metaphors

17 Mar

I’ve talked a lot about giving up the race. About living my life for me and enjoying it for a change.

But what happens when you’ve got a ticking clock to get to the finish line?

A tug-of-war.

(See? Lots and lots of track & field metaphors.)

Lessons are wonderful. Revelations are great. But what happens when you have to stand against reality and actually put them into practice?

Two weeks ago I went in to see my OB/GYN – The Russian – for a follow up after losing Nadav. For those of you that have been following along for a while, you already know that The Russian is our 5th doctor, and the only one who took active steps to fix our problems. I give him full credit for the fact that Nadav even made it to my uterus.

He’s also bluntly honest. When the IC diagnosis happened, he very clearly stated that it could be that we caught it too late, and I have a 15-20% of losing the baby. He always gives it to me straight, and I appreciate that.

So I knew that when I walked into his office I’d get the truth about our chances for another go-round, when and if we were ready for it. Well, more like when, because we can’t afford surrogacy or adoption, and I can get pregnant relatively easily (at least so far).

Shmerson and I were thinking 6 months at least before we start trying again. At least. But I did want to know what The Russian thought.

So I sit down with the Russian and he says that he is “very optimistic” about me carrying to full term (or at least very close) next time. No bad numbers. Just “very optimistic” as long as we take the right steps (full bed rest, preventative cerclage, progesterone supps).

That made me feel good.

I knew even then that I had one more try in me. But after a decent break.

Then The Russian said we have to wait three cycles.

I laughed. Three cycles? We’re going to wait way longer than that. I told him as much.

Then he made a face.

The kind of face he makes when he delivers bad news. I know that face.

Ruh Roh.

Yeah – so he doesn’t think we should wait more than 3 cycles to start trying again. In fact, he thinks the sooner we start trying again, the better.

His reasoning (yay! A list!):

  • I still have PCOS, and have a history of going as long as 10 months without a cycle. My first pregnancy is what “jump started” my ovulation. Right now, he’s not sure how my cycle will react after this pregnancy, since this one was so much longer than the others.
  • With all of the planned intervention, he still can’t guarantee I won’t have any more early losses because of chromosomal issues, so it may take a while before we get to a viable pregnancy again.
  • I’m three years away from “Advanced Maternal Age”.

In short: tick-tock, tick tock.

Or:

So yeah – that certainly threw a wrench in our “enjoying our marriage and letting this go for a while” plans.

You know what the worst part of it all was? I was actually kind of relieved to get an excuse to try again asap.

I may want out of the race, but my biology is aching for a child more than ever before. I’m a mother with empty arms.

How can I ignore that?

Granted, I no longer want to “make up” for any losses, but that doesn’t lessen my longing for a child. In fact I long for one even more after losing Nadav.

That is a longing I can’t ignore.

But another side of me wants to ignore it. The last two years have taken a huge toll on my life.

Plus, I’m terrified of getting pregnant again.

And I don’t want to deal with SIX MONTHS of bed rest.

And I want to live my life and take care of myself for a while.

And I miss my Nadav.

But the tick-tock is there. Not just according to the Russian, but also ingrained into my biology.

Today I got a massage (another perk of this whole “taking care of myself” kick).

As I lay there, I was mulling over the tug-of-war – something I’ve been doing on and off since my appointment.

The unending longing to hold a baby in my arms, the ticking of my biological clock.

The need to take care of my body and soul. To give my mind and my body a break from all of this.

Finally, somewhere between my feet and my temples, I came to a realization. I think I know what will win in the end. But for now, I can take comfort in the fact that I don’t have to make a decision today.

Three cycles. Three cycles to mourn, to heal, to think, and to enjoy my life for a change.

Three cycles until I find out which side will win the tug of war.

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30 Responses to “Wherein I Use Lots of Track and Field Metaphors”

  1. Jay March 17, 2012 at 23:43 #

    If you have PCOS (or are stuck with an IF diagnosis), you should check out what your vitamin D levels are, and supplement to reach a normal range if need be. More information here.

    http://aboutplanb.blogspot.com/p/science-of-in-fertility.html

    Around 37 % of women with PCOS are Vitamin D deficient and in some of these women, just getting vitamin D replete fixes a lot of issues, including anovulation. It would be fabulous if you belonged to that subgroup!

    I like the doctors who give it to you straight, and I love the ones who do not use the shrug-your-shoulder response to most things. Sounds like you are in good hands with the Russian!

    • Mo March 18, 2012 at 00:31 #

      I actually did have a d deficiency but I’ve been taking supps for over a year now and my levels are back to normal. After my second loss i went blood test crazy 🙂

      • Jay March 18, 2012 at 21:08 #

        Well, it would have been so great if that had just fixed everything, had it not?

        I was too busy talking about the science in my first comment, but I absolutely hear you on giving yourself that time. TTC (and pregnancy) can be absolute torture.

        I really like what you said on my blog (jump in when/how your gut thinks its right), but I’ve always ignored my gut because of various practicalities, and irritatingly, I’m going to have to, with respect to timing, for the next round.

        In your case, whether its 3 months, 6 months or the very next time you ovulate, I hope you can find that one cycle where everything feels right, and jump in there. And AMA? 35 is just a magic line they came up with. I know your odds are significantly worse at age 43 vs 32, but at 32 vs 36? Its can’t be that different.

  2. Amy March 18, 2012 at 00:42 #

    How daunting and yet somehow comforting (I hope) all at the same time – great to know that you have good chances of carrying to term, bottom line. But I do not blame you a bit for not being excited about six months of bed rest, and of course it would be so very terrifying to think of being pregnant again so soon. I hope you get lots and lots of massages over these next three cycles, and that the tug of war doesn’t become too vicious.

  3. Coco March 18, 2012 at 01:11 #

    Stupid clock anyway. And couldn’t they come up with a nicer way of saying it? Advanced maternal age? Sheesh. How about “beautifully mature.” 😉 Well, I do hope that the tug of war isn’t too difficult. Take care of yourself and take time to heal. I really like the idea of a massage. Maybe they can rub over your ovaries, increase blood flow, and give you more time on that clock?

    • Izzy March 19, 2012 at 23:25 #

      I’ve actually had abdominal massage that helps stimulate the ovaries and position the uterus for conception. Not to mention it felt amazing and I learned techniques to help with tummy aches!

      Mo, I know I’ve said it a million time before but you are SO strong. The battle between want for child and time for healing must be excruciating. I think 3 cycles is a good amount of time to ponder, and if you decide to wait another couple cycles until you’re ready then you just do what’s right for you. Either way I’m thinking of you xoxo

  4. Kristin March 18, 2012 at 01:59 #

    {{{Hugs}}} I’m glad you at least get a little break.

  5. SRB March 18, 2012 at 02:21 #

    Three months is such a short time, and such a long time too. You now have three months of Mo + Shmerson time. A lot can change in three months. Winter is at its end, soon it will be spring, and in three months it will be summer. Everything will look clearer in the sunlight. 🙂

    And ugh! I can’t stand terminology in IF. It’s all so…negative and blame-y, especially in female diagnoses. Fun fact: ‘advanced maternal age’ used to be (and still is, in some texts) referred to as “senile pregnancy.” For serious. Jerks.

  6. babycrazykiwi March 18, 2012 at 02:22 #

    Great doctor giving it to you like it is. All the best for the next 3 cycles of healing my girl. I hope its what you need to move forward and I hope that you don’t have to deal with any more pain!

  7. Bon March 18, 2012 at 02:29 #

    xxxx

    btw: that “head explody” gif — ewwww!! 😛

  8. slowmamma March 18, 2012 at 06:03 #

    It’s good to know that you are in good hands. And boy do I understand why you don’t want to jump right back into the whole pregnancy saga again right away – as much as I understand how much you need to jump back in . The good news is that you will have lots of support during those long months of bedrest. For now, enjoy these months!!

  9. Cristy March 18, 2012 at 06:42 #

    Well, the best laid plans . . . , right? I’ve always appreciated how honest the Russian has been with you and Shmerson. Whether it was your lap surgery all the way through to present day; he’s always been straight. That said, I think you’re wise to give yourself the time you need to heal and live. Though 3 months isn’t that long, a LOT can happen in that time. Please know, though, what ever you decide, I’m in your corner rooting for you the whole way.

  10. St. Elsewhere March 18, 2012 at 09:03 #

    Dear Mo,

    I love your Russian…and even though you kind of broke my illusion about how he looked, the last time I said this, I think I love him more for being so no-bullshit.

    After I lost CBub, I had very different opinions about how long DH and I must wait to try again. I had no timeline in my mind. Dr. B who had been looking after me in that pregnancy said that I must wait for 6 months…Dr. T the latter-pediatrician who took care of CBub said that I must wait a year.

    However, I had already resolved to take SuperGyn’s opinion on this matter…and she said – 3 MONTHS….3 months…

    Apparently, your body remembers the fact that you were pregnant…your body is now conditioned for it…the chances of conception are actually very high immediately after a pregnancy…this is a very fertile time…

    Three months is good. Use this time to recover your strength….and try with full zest.

    Nadav is watching over you.

    xo

    BTW, I had B12 deficiency (thank you, metformin), and I was put on that supplement….

  11. St. Elsewhere March 18, 2012 at 09:09 #

    I am a few months away from Advanced Maternal Age….when I was filling out my forms at SuperGyn’s that term always made me flinch….I don’t know why, but it did.

  12. Heather March 18, 2012 at 13:04 #

    Back on the saddle again, hey…. good luck and I really hope this next one stays on board and into your arms.

  13. findmynewnormal March 18, 2012 at 13:09 #

    I’m not a doctor so I can’t comment on when the right time is medically. I know each situation is different in that regard. We were told to wait 9 months to allow the C-section to fully heal.

    But I am currently living through a pregnancy after loss so I feel comfortable commenting about that.

    It is amazingly scary and stressful. Much harder than I thought it would be. I would not recommend entering into it before you are emotionally ready, no matter what your doctor says.

    Perhaps you will be ready in 3 months, but if you’re not then I would suggest that you wait until you are. Because second to losing my son, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

    • Mo March 18, 2012 at 20:40 #

      Thanks for the honesty. I feel like I need to prepare myself no matter how long we wait

  14. marwil March 18, 2012 at 14:04 #

    Have you been in my head lately! I know that tug-of-war too well myself. Time is a strange thing and you don’t have to decide anything now as your wise conclusion is 🙂 But I’m glad to know you do have another go in you even if it will be hard to go through. xo

  15. beruriah March 18, 2012 at 20:32 #

    I was pregnant again after three months. It felt kind of like jumping off a cliff, and not knowing if you’d hit the water or the rocky side. But because we made it, it was worth it.

    Absolutely it’s hard on your body. I felt like an elephant–and I don’t mean size wise. So much time pregnant, all in a row. It was hard on my body, but worth it. I would stretch and exercise as much as possible now, especially anticipating bed rest. And it was kind of surreal, becoming pregnant with Samuel the month Natan was due. Yet worth it.

    There’s no clear right answer, and I appreciate your doctor’s frankness.

    • Mo March 18, 2012 at 20:39 #

      Wow crazy- I’ve been using the cliff metaphor for a couple of weeks now. Thanks for the advice, and the light at the end of the tunnel!

  16. Rebecca Pallack (@RPallack) March 18, 2012 at 20:57 #

    I know full well what advanced maternal age is like when trying to conceive and keep the baby in you since I’m 42 and in a few short months I’ll be 43. Its scary. I hope that soon you’ll be pregnant again with a healthy chromosomal normal baby and that you don’t have to be on bed rest for longer than necessary. Good luck!

  17. libbylogic March 18, 2012 at 22:12 #

    Your Russian is a wise man. I’m glad you have him. Oh, and I LOVE the bunny…

  18. Anna March 19, 2012 at 02:40 #

    The Russian sounds like just the type of doctor I would want and need. Three months seems like no time but you don’t know you’ll feel in three months time – you might just be ready. Hope you’re taking good care of yourself.

  19. Serenity March 19, 2012 at 18:05 #

    I like your doctor. A lot.

    The tug of war is the worst part, for me. I’ve drawn so many lines in the sand, and I haven’t suffered nearly the loss you have. I think it’s smart to live in the moment for the next few cycles and then see where you end up. Because I know, for me, my desires change daily.

    Holding you in my heart.

    xoxo

  20. Trisha March 19, 2012 at 22:54 #

    An honest Doctor is a great thing to have…even if they don’t have the greatest of news. I would much rather be told all the odds even if they suck. I’m glad your doctor is being honest. Take these 3 months, get your self healthy mentally and physically. Decisions can wait for now, you are what matters.

  21. Wannabemom March 20, 2012 at 01:30 #

    I totally hear ya on the “tick tock”. Part of me wants to wait and just “be”… but I just keep getting older! I’ll be 34 in June and creeping up (actually it feels more like running full tilt) on that nasty “advanced maternal age”.

    I don’t have any answers or words of wisdom. Just my clock ticking along with yours.

  22. EmHart March 21, 2012 at 12:10 #

    I am glad you are feeling ready to take your next steps and jump back in the saddle. You will have all my hopes and wishes and thoughts that you don’t have to wait very much longer till your take home baby is in your arms.

  23. Emily @ablanket2keep March 22, 2012 at 04:50 #

    I really like your Dr, but like others have said make sure you are ready. Love ya!

  24. Alissa March 23, 2012 at 07:15 #

    What’s great is that you can start again when you are ready. Wait three cycles…then reevaluate. If you don’t feel ready or something is not right, wait another cycle. I know your doctor wants you to try again soon, but you have to be at peace with your decision. You’ll know when you are ready again. And when you are, we’ll be there.

  25. Port of Indecision March 26, 2012 at 02:14 #

    Oh my.

    That’s a lot to take in. Damn Russians.

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