Friday, 18 April 2014

I want myself back!

I’m really struggling at the moment.  I feel like crying most of the time, which is not like me.  I’m not always rainbows and butterflies, but I am usually more upbeat and get-it-done than melancholy and down-in-the-dumps.  It could be the fertility drugs I’m on, which have an impressive line-up of side effects, but it’s also circumstantial.  More baby announcements, hearing a pregnant work colleague talk to another, whose wife is expecting their second baby, about feeling the baby move and how exciting it all is.  At my desk.  I had to get up and leave with the plan of having a good cry-it-out in the ladies, but given the acoustics in the bathroom I opted for a quiet office to take some deep breaths and pray.  They were gone when I got back – praise Jesus!

Usually going for a run helps me when I’m feeling down or upset or angry, but I’ve been advised not to while we’re trying to get pregnant – and after all the effort everyone’s going to to try and get me up the duff, I dare not.  After we’re done I can go back to it with wild abandon.  But I could really use a good 5km right now.

Another fact getting me down is my past.  Every so often the choices I made and the things I’ve done rear their ugly heads in my ‘new’ life.  I usually push it out, but given my current mental state, those thoughts have been lingering and are getting harder to shut out.  Sometimes I let myself dwell there – to feel it – but then I feel worse than before.  At the Good Friday church service today I was reminded that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, and my slate has been wiped clean – white as snow – but instead of feeling uplifted, I feel unworthy.  I just feel so sad.

Without running, and with my current shitty mental state – sadness, anger, shame, loneliness, jealously – I’ve noticed I am eating more than I should too, and eating things I usually do well avoiding.  I could write the book on comfort eating!  I feel like I’m eating hand over fist to try and make myself feel better, when really it’s only going to make me feel so much worse because my clothes won’t fit anymore, I won’t like my reflection and my self-esteem will take a nosedive, and getting back into running will be a longer and more painful (and jiggly) process.  To boot, one of the side effects of the drug I’m on is weight gain.  Freaking. Awesome.

I just can’t seem to shake this funk.  I almost can’t wait to stop going through this fertility treatment process so I can get off those drugs and get myself back.  But I want to see out our three attempts.  I want to give this everything I’ve got.  I told our specialist on Tuesday that when we've done our three attempts, we're going to call it a day, and he said he really respected that choice.  He is a beautiful man.  So when/if it doesn’t work, I will still hate hearing pregnant women talk about their pregnancies, seeing or hearing birth and pregnancy announcements, ultrasound photos and general baby business.  Why WHY can’t it be me?  I will still cry – I’m a crier from way back – but at least the cocktail will be out of my system, and I can run again to shift my mood.  At this rate, I’ll be set for my first marathon later this year!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Roll the dice!

So if you’ve never read a post of mine before, let me catch you up.  I’m Jen, I’m a wife and mum of one beautiful three-year-old girl, I’m a runner, I work part time, I have a cat, pretty cool friends and family, my workplace has been a bit unstable in the past but the dust seems to have settled for now – I’m even fishing for a pay rise (Brave?  Stupid?).  And we can’t have any more children.  Without a doctor getting involved anyway.

After trying for a year, my husband and I sought help.  Nine months later (ironically enough) we tried our first “assisted cycle”.  It didn’t work.  But we’ll try again twice more before “hanging up the ovaries” as it were.  Because I’m 35.  Because it’s so bloody expensive and we don’t have much money.  But mostly because it’s a crazy hormone-fulled, pill-popping, blood-test-jabbing, doctor-jumping, legs-in-stirrups rollercoaster ride that we can’t sustain.  And because, while I would love a whole minivan full of kids, I love my husband more than a dream of what should have been.

When I first asked for a referral from my GP a year ago, he said “Buckle up!  This isn’t for the faint hearted”. And Lordy was the man right!  The side effects of the fertility drugs are crazy!  One woman described it as “PMS on crack” and I think that’s pretty accurate!  Then add in back-to-back doctor’s appointments starting as early at 6.30am, daily blood tests for four days in a row, early-morning dashes into the city and the anxiety and anxiousness you try your best not to feel during the two-week wait to find out if it’s worked or not.  ANYONE would be a basket case.  And I don’t want to live like that.  I don’t want my husband to live like that.  I love my husband and choose to protect our marriage rather than force it through this process of trying for another baby that God might not have for us.

I have been thinking a lot lately about fostering children in need.  I believe God keeps showing us things that He wants us to pay attention to, and for me that’s been news articles about foster children, the system, the global need.  And I can’t ignore that!  Perhaps God’s answer to us having more children is no, because He wants us to help children who are already here who need love, security and opportunity. Even if it’s for a  weekend, a week, a few months or years.  But I know it’s not the season yet. Our daughter is still so young and I’d like her to be older before we start this process because it will involve her greatly.  I just get so impatient sometimes!

Getting back to running has been a big help in shifting my focus and de-stressing about all of this (focusing on moving your legs, breathing and not falling over or passing out will do that to a girl!), but during the next two rolls of the dice, I have to stop to give everything a good shot.  I miss it, but I’m not going to waste $800-a-shot and all the jabs and pokes for a few early-morning runs!  My sneakers and the marathons of the world will wait for me.  I’ll be back.