Monday, August 02, 2004

timing is everything

After a relatively low-key weekend (lots of reading in bed, renting movies, and ordering out), my back feels almost normal again. Investing in a hot water bottle was definitely a good idea, as was popping a couple of advil every few hours and sending my husband out on errands. I'm still not 100%, but I hope to feel normal enough tomorrow to head back to the gym where I haven't been in ages.

We spoke to my in-laws on Saturday evening and they were their usual too-optimistic selves. My father-in-law wants to continue to plan a trip to Sweden next summer, something we first started talking about before the whole infertility mess came about. He doesn't seem to get that things are so uncertain in our lives right now that its not really the time to make long-term plans, especially those that involve overseas airplane travel.

He kept quoting statistics to me over the phone, statistics I'm quite sure he made up on the spot since even our urologist didn't have any success rates to give us. "There's a 25-50% chance that the surgery will work and you'll be able to conceive naturally." Really? Because that's not what all the research I've read suggests.

"Everything is going to be fine, just fine." They kept repeating that as though it were their new mantra and while I'm glad that they're trying to be positive, just once it'd be nice to hear them say something along the lines of "We know this is hard, but everything will turn out fine." It's the acknowledgement of the stress and the anxiety and the uncertainty and the difficulty that I want. Not made-up statistics, not "You'll have a baby by next summer."

So by the time we got off the phone, I was riled up. Really riled up. Because my in-laws didn't seem to understand that even the experts haven't been able to tell us which course of action to take. Because they didn't seem to get that, even though we're relatively young, we want to have a baby sooner not later. Because they didn't seem to get the time involved (whether we choose IVF or variocele repair) or the possibility of it not working.

And so my husband and I had "the talk". The weighing-all-of-the-options-based-on-what-we-know-now talk. And I admitted that I don't want to be an "older mother" having my first child at 35. I worried aloud about the idea of moving back to the States next summer either pregnant or on my way to being pregnant, finding a job and then having to take off again for maternity leave. I fretted about taking one of two jobs that are coming up for me this Fall, only to let them down when I leave for 3 weeks to go to DC for my IVF treatment. No matter what we decided, it seemed, the timing was never right.

The thing is, I want a baby more than anything. And I want a baby soon. I want to be a mother, have always wanted to be a mother. And certainly my career is important to me too, especially since its been on hold for almost 2 years since I moved to Mexico. And I'm desperate to move back to the US, to be closer to my friends and my family. But it doesn't all add up. Doing IVF this Fall means any job I accept will suffer for it and I'll have the added stress of starting a new job while trying to focus on making a baby in a lab. If my husband has the surgery, we'll have to wait 6-9 months to find out if it worked and if it does, it means I'm trying to get pregnant at the same time that I'm looking for jobs in the states, doing an international move. And if doesn't work, we're right back where we started, only a year later.

I realize that none of these things are insurmountable, but I happen to be a planner, a control-freak. And suddenly, I don't even have control over my own reproduction much less the other aspects of my life which are affected by a pregnancy or IVF. It's confusing and overwhelming and even though, I really think that my husband heard me, really listened to all of my concerns during "the talk", the decision we're facing is a difficult one. I am at a total loss as how to proceed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It’s 11:00 in the morning and your energy is waning. Minutes seem to tick by like hours and your mind feels foggy. You’ve still got six more hours to look alert and act productive and get over performance anxiety, so how do you cope with the afternoon blahs? Follow these six tips!

1. If you have a job that involves sitting at a desk all day or staring at a computer screen, take five minutes to stand up or lean back, close your eyes and stretch, especially in your shoulder and leg areas. Being seated all the time can make your whole body feel stiff and sleepy. A good stretch session helps limber up your body and gets the blood flowing again.

2. Avoid the tempting lure of caffeine or sugar-laden foods such as coffee, tea or chocolate. Caffeine may perk up your energy levels temporarily, but it also has a bad habit of leaving you sluggish after the effect has worn off. Instead, choose whole grain foods, fruits and vegetables to give your body the fuel it really wants! Eating healthier will boost your mood, elevate your alertness, change performance anxiety and make you feel better all day long.

3. Along with healthier foods, take a quick 10-15 minute walk during your lunch break. Just a few minutes will give you a burst of energy that refreshes you and makes you feel more alert – while burning off your lunch calories in the process!

4. Sometimes, afternoon slumps can be your body’s way of telling you that it needs something. You may be feeling tired if your blood sugar is low (which happens especially after the effect of those caffeine and high sugar foods has worn off!). Packing a low calorie snack like graham crackers, granola, fruit or vegetable slices can give your body a boost and keep you from feeling hungry in the late afternoon and caving in to the urge to devour the entire contents of the vending machine after work!

5. Drowsiness is often a sign that you’re not getting enough water. Drinking more water throughout the day not only helps keep you awake, but also keeps you from feeling those hunger pangs that inevitably creep up in mid-morning. Taking a large sports bottle that you can drink from throughout the day is a great way to get your recommended eight glasses a day as well!

6. If afternoon fatigue is a recurring problem, it may be a side effect of medications you are taking. Allergy pills are well known culprits, as are some blood pressure and anxiety/depression medicines. Don’t try to circumvent these effects with caffeine, otherwise you’ll overload your body with stimulants while it’s already trying to deal with drowsiness, and you’ll feel mentally and physically exhausted. Instead, try a short 15-20 minute catnap. You’ll be surprised how refresh you’ll feel when you wake up! (Don’t try this at work though – I know it’s tempting!)

If you follow these tips on a regular basis, you’ll not only make it through the afternoon blahs, but you’ll also feel better physically and mentally, sleep better at night, and wake up rejuvenated and re-energized the next morning. Make it a GREAT day! performance anxiety

10:41 AM  
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