Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Lupron Squared

Depot Lupron shot? Check.
Partner's Depot Lupron shot? Check.
Feeling that the roller coaster has left the gate? Check.

Our appointments were good and early today, and unlike the first time around, this time when both of our respective alarms went off, we hit snooze. And snooze again. And snooze once more. Then we lounged about in bed and listened to the uplifting strains of NPR. Finally, with t-minus 35 minutes until departure time, we got up and in the shower.

We made it out the door in plenty of time actually. The RE office is across town and I've made it there in fifteen minutes before, so theoretically, I should have been able to make it again too. Usually I zip on the expressway and scoot the town that way, but in my addled brain today, I thought perhaps the street route might be faster, and I announced to my unwitting Partner as we were pulling down the driveway that I was going to try a new route today. "Okay," she said, somewhat reluctantly.

"I think it will be faster," I said.

Silence in the car reigned for a few minutes. Then she said to me, "Are you ready for this again?" Whish-whoosh went the wipers, somewhat like my thoughts. One minute full of raindrops, the next moment clear. "Yeah," I said. "No," I said. The windshield wipers took up their refrain in the quiet car. Down a hill. Up a hill. And then she said, "You're like this, you know."

"What does that mean?"

"Like when you think something might not work, you don't give it 100% so then you can think it isn't your fault if it fails."

Flashback: I'm thirteen, in high school algebra. It's challenging to me-- I was never good at math until I discovered calculus in college. And it's also true that I didn't have a very strong math background before high school. I can diagram the shit out of a sentence, but throw me an x+y=z and I'm all a-flutter. I try for awhile, do okay, but as soon as I start to flounder in a more serious way, I just stop. All out stop. I don't do any homework in the class whatsoever. I write long notes to my friend Jenny. I might even sleep in class occasionally. I fail the class and have to spend three weeks in summer school with people who wonder what the hell I am doing there since I have a "rep" as one of the smart girls. But you see, I didn't fail that class because I was too stupid. I failed that class because I didn't try...

"I am going to give it 100%," I say to Partner, forcing a smile.

"I'm just saying--" She looked out the window of the car. "It's just something you do."

I'm seventeen-- a senior in high school and it is my last swim season. I have had a varsity letter since I was a freshman. I have been swimming year round since I was twelve, competing in all levels of competition: state, regional, even national. I even practice with the boys team on the off season so I can have a workout before school. I'm a butterflier. Once when I was a sophomore, I overheard two guys, friends of the guy I was dating, talking about me. "She's a real jock," one said. I was mortified and pleased beyond belief. When I was a freshman, I took the varsity spot of a senior. Now I'm a senior and there's a new hotshot freshman on the team. She's going to challenge my lane three spot in the 100 fly. What do I do? Get the fire under my ass and work out extra hard? Push myself in the weightroom and show that little twirp? No. I skip practice, twice. Which means I have to sit out a swim meet. I watch the freshman take my spot, but not because she's better-- but because I skipped practice.

At five minutes after nine, we're still not at Dr. BusyBusyBusy's office. I slam my hands on the steering wheel at every red light. I sigh at every pokey car on the road. Partner comments that my new route sure did seem to have a lot turns. I feel pricks on my eyes, like I am going to cry. "I'm so sorry," I say to her. "I really made a mistake in getting us here."

"It's okay," she says back. "But let's just let it go now. Talk about something else."

But what else do we talk about? Nothing. We turn up the story on the radio. The Lupron shot and our next cycle is the elephant in the middle of room no one is talking about. I'm scared to be excited again and scared to not be excited again. How do I give this my all when it's so much less tangible an algebra class, a varsity swim spot, an unfinished dissertation? It's not like I'll skip a shot or anything. What's missing this time around that Partner is feeling like I am sabotaging this cycle before it even starts? I am... excited. But it's true, it's not the same as last time. Last time I blithely felt I would get pregnant with no problem. This time total uncertainty about this whole process seems much more real.

But I am ready to start again-- no doubt-- and in my heart of hearts, I am excited, but I think this time it will be mounting excitement, not like last time when it was instant. When I can see the little follicles a-growing on Partner's ovaries, that will help. When we go for the retrieval, that will help. When we see the photos of the little blasts, that will help. When I'm on that table for the transfer, that will help. For now, we just have to live together for the next few weeks-- two little lesbians looped up on Lupron.


Blogger ~cj~ said...

Hi Katie,

I had similar thoughts when I became pregnant with Gracie. How could I be excited when my pregnancy with the twins ended in such a devastating way? Better yet - Should I be excited? I could prose questions and doubt for hours... and at the end of the day it boiled down to this:

I am choosing to risk failure and devastation for the possibility of having my baby.

I admire your courage.
Thinking of you.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Pamplemousse said...

A little realism instead of blind giddyness? Not that I am saying you were giddy last time or anything. You talking to me??

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Manuela said...

Oh, sweet cut yourself a little slack, ok? You deserve it... what you went through is an incredibly difficult thing and you can't be expected to just 'get on with it' as though you were just going through the check-out at the grocery store or something. Of COURSE you are going to be experiencing ambivalence the second time around... it's called self-preservation! And the good news... is that unless you're performing the dildocam exams for Partner, or personally performing the egg retrieval... I don't think you have to worry about not performing at your best. chuckle.

Much affection to you both.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with pamplemousse. A little reality is setting in. Nothing wrong with that. Don't be discouraged about what you're feeling and no matter what anyone tells you just b/c these feelings are not flat out joy at the process of starting another cycle they will have nothing whatsoever to do with the outcome of said cycle. I wish you the best of luck with this!!!!

6:41 PM  
Blogger Nico said...

I completely agree that a bit of ambivalence this time around is to be expected. It gets much harder to be excited when you've gone through the sadness of a failed cycle. But there's also promise and hope to temper that with. And I'm hoping big time!

7:02 PM  
Blogger PortLairge said...

Hi Katie
I feel the same way. It is hard to be excited when the pain of a failed cycle is something we will never forget. You will get more positive and geared up for it as the cycle progresses. Good luck.

10:44 PM  
Anonymous MFA Mama said...

Oh, Katie. I know how you feel. When I was pregnant the second and third times, and knew I would probably have preterm labor, and that a second-trimester loss was a real possiblity, I played similar mind games with myself. It's so hard to get excited about something that could be so devastating, but at the same time COULD end up being wonderful. I didn't take any pictures of my belly or do pregnancy journals or anything like that, because I was too afraid to have to do something with the "evidence" after a loss, and I knew that would kill me.
My only advice to you would be to celebrate EVERYTHING anyway. I wish now that I am DEFINITELY done bearing children that I DID have the belly shots, the journals to look back on, the sweet little memories I was afraid to make. Yes, a loss would have been horrible. Yes, that might have made it harder. But don't forget to leave room for the possibility that this could be the time you conceive your baby, and these could be the memories you tell your child about some day. Make them good ones if you possibly can, just in case, instead of the other way around.
Incidentally, I'm going to be a nervous wreck all month because of this and it's all your fault.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Trista said...

Katie, this post really resonated with me. I do the same little self-sabotagy things. I play the same mind games. My partner has the same unenviable task of trying to point out when she thinks I'm doing it. It's a heaviness inside me, a weight that drags down even though I'm going through the motions, little decisions that cause delays that then (can)cause big problems that are then not my fault. And, when writing your post, you exquisite sense of timing shone.

I know that now that you're aware of what's going on for you emotionally you'll deal with it. And, like the other commentors, I think it's perfectly natural and ok that the unadulterated joyous expectation of your first attempt is gone.

Good luck, and know that I think of you often.

12:05 PM  
Blogger elswhere said...

I do the same thing--undercut myself so I won't have to hope and then be disappointed. But it sounds like you're not doing that now.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous mamacate said...

I dunno, I might be alone on this one, but I think that when you're wrestling with IF, hope is a very dangerous object, to be handled with care. I had enough time on the IVF coaster (one year, pretty much non-stop, and that's not counting the months of IUI and miscarriages before that) to try out quite a few different stances going into a cycle, and I don't think it's necessarily healthy to try to cultivate hope or excitement when it's not really what's going on. As I read your post, I kept thinking "what is she saying--she's going to not show up for the transfer? Or is she just not going to go shopping for baby clothes?" Because those two things are seriously different. The first is obviously self-sabotage if in fact you really want to go through with it. But the second, IMO, is just plain good sense. If there's anything I learned from the whole IVF nightmare, it's to be EXACTLY where you are. I don't know why people seem to all be patrolling members of the mood police (see cancer, baby for description) when you're TTC, but ATTITUDE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, so in what way are you not giving it your all?

I would say that DP may be projecting some of her fear onto you. And I think you should call her on it.

I'll shut up with the assvice now. But please go easy on yourself and let yourself feel whatever you feel. And if you need someone to yell that YOUR ATTITUDE ISN'T GOING TO AFFECT THE OUTCOME in all caps at any point during this cycle, just give me a shout, 'kay?

11:08 PM  
Blogger chris said...

Fingers and all that crossed for the two of you.

Take care.

8:18 PM  

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