Tuesday, January 9, 2007

It'll happen when you stop thinking about it so much!

Is this the lamest bit of advice ever dispensed or what?

An online friend who is also TTC posted in her blog that her reproductive endocrinologist told her that most things in life can be attributed to hard work and perseverance. Getting pregnant is exactly the opposite. The harder you work on it, the less likely you are to conceive. Great.

Did you ever play the game where you tried to think of anything but an elephant? It's next to impossible. Consciously telling yourself over and over and over again to stop thinking about getting pregnant is nowhere near the same thing as actually not thinking about it. Even if I do manage to forget about it for a while, there's always that point where I think, "Hey, good for me. I haven't thought about getting pregnant in a whole X number of minutes/hours/days." (LOL, did I say days? That's a bit of a stretch!) Well, guess what? Game over, you just lost.

We watched Match Point the other night and one of the female characters drives her husband half-crazy dealing with infertility. She's optimistic and happy, but clearly baby crazy. Despite a respectable level of self-awareness about how annoying she's becoming, she simply can't talk about anything else... and I'm terrified of turning into her. I so do not want to be that woman. But how do I prevent myself from turning into her? I certainly can't stop it mentally. The more I think about not becoming her, the more I am actively creating the reality I'm trying to avoid.

I *get* that I'm overthinking all of this and I want to stop, but it's just so much easier said than done. I'm a planner. The fact that I can't make ANY concrete plans regarding this part of my life is more challenging than I ever imagined it would be.

The only solution I can come up with is to make myself genuinely busy so that I am forced to think of other things. Even this is hard to do, though. A social calendar full of "one time" events like movies and dinners with friends requires ongoing effort to create and is easily neglected. Before I know it, I'm back where I started, spending my evenings at home researching statistics and best practices on insemination. At the same time, I'm hesitant to commit to anything long term because if I do get pregnant (entirely possible seeing as I am TRYING and all), I don't know how long I'll feel up to continuing the commitment. For example, I didn't audition for my theater company's next show because I had no idea if I'd be able to keep up with rehearsals if I happened to embark upon a first trimester. Well, the show is going into performances in a few weeks and I am most definitely not pregnant yet, so there's an opportunity I missed out on. I've put so many things on hold because I truly believed I'd get pregnant right away. Now it's 3+ months later and I'm still in a holding pattern of sorts. It's like I'm trapped in this Schrodinger's Cat of pregnancy - both pregnant and not pregnant at the same time, at least as far as my future planning is concerned.

I guess the moral of all that is I need to take control of the situation and make future plans as if I will NOT get pregnant. If I don't do this, I'm going to go crazy (and take M with me). And if by chance I do get pregnant, well then I may have some loose ends to tie up and I might be uncomfortable for a few weeks while that happens, but hell, I'll have a pregnancy to cushion the blow. How bad can it be? And why should I have any more responsibility not to make commitments than any other woman of childbearing age? Because I'm "trying?" That doesn't necessarily mean I'll be pregnant anytime soon, as I have learned well over these past few months. Women have unexpected pregnancies all the time and accomodations are made as needed. And so it will have to be for me.

So, I'm registering for Spanish classes that will run through early April, and I'm setting diet and exercise goals that are dependent on my not becoming pregnant in the next few months. When M's mom emailed yesterday about us visiting her in the spring, I didn't rest for more than a millisecond on my gut-level instinct, which was "We shouldn't commit to anything. What if I'm newly pregnant and don't feel up to air travel?" Instead, I thought about how great it would be to see M's family and all the work her parents have done on their house, and I let myself just be excited about the possibility of the trip. If something comes up and I have to back out? Fine. Worse things have happened, and I'm sure the grandparents-to-be will understand. :-)

It's kind of strange putting so much of one's internal dialogue out here in plain view, especially when it involves the embarassing confession that I've let this influence my life as much as it has. I recognize that my big "solution" probably seems painfully obvious and basic to some of you. All I can say is this TTC stuff does weird things to your brain and your emotions. There is so much work - physical, mental, and emotional - that goes into making the decision to start trying, and then the actual attempts themselves, and all of the possibility and hope while you're waiting to find out if you are already pregnant. It's just a weird experience and I can't say that I'm always able to act or respond to situations as well as I would like to.

As always, more information than you wanted to know, I'm sure. That's one thing I'm always good for. :-)

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