Good attitude

Okay, it’s waiting time, folks. Waiting for the nurse to call with the results of yesterday’s egg collection. Should be sometime this morning, so listen out for the phone now…

In the meantime, I was thinking about something someone said to me the other day. That I had a “good attitude” towards all of this. I think they’d read this blog and mistaken general sarcasm for good humour, but either way, I wasn’t sure it was so much a “good attitude” as plain curiosity.

In case you didn’t realise, IVF is a confusing, frightening, scary time. No, really. There are tears and all. Well, okay, not mine, at least not so far – indeed, to date I’ve been obscenely calm about the whole thing. Considering the warnings that my emotional state would likely resemble a popular amusement park ride (and we’re not talking the ghost train), I’ve actually been coasting along all very zen since I first began shooting up hormones.

Maybe it’s the writer in me. I already look at every new experience as something to strip-mine for future writing fodder and IVF is a juicy subject. Why else would I be blogging about what the rest of the world seems to consider an intensely personal, difficult journey, but I just seem to think should be shared on a global scale for a bit of a laugh? This experience, no matter how it turns out, is great writing material. So yes, a writer’s natural curiosity, not to mention inherent tendency to leech the emotional-marrow of any highly charged situation so as to stock up the internal writing-bank, probably goes a long way towards explaining my lack-of-upset so far.

But so does feeling more in control of my own fate.

Here, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I never actually felt confident of falling pregnant when we were trying au-naturale. Yes, I know billions of women have managed it before me with hardly any effort at all, but something deep down inside me – you know, right where it’s all meant to be happening – was dubious of my ability to actually do it. After nearly 20 years of being active in the rumpy-pumpy arena without once catching a baby, the knowledge that sex and pregnancy are integral partners in the same joint venture had become something of an intellectual one. I think that after a good couple of decades experience telling my body that sex does not necessarily equate to breeding, it was difficult to convince myself it should be any different now, just because we’d decided we wanted one.

Or something. Yeah, I can be a bit of an armchair-Freud at times. Anyway.

Turning to advanced medical science to get me up the duff at least leaves me feeling like I’m in control of my fallopian tubes and not the other way around. And yes, I know that’s just weird, considering being forced to undergo expensive, intrusive medical intervention to do something most people do without even thinking about it is hardly ‘taking control’, but we’re talking emotions here. You know, *feelings*. They’re not meant to make any sense, at the best of times.

And it’s a fact: the want-a-baby/can’t-have-a-baby combination carries a massive emotional charge in our society. We’re talking using a butter knife to retrieve the crumpet stuck in the toaster type of charge, the sort that zaps you strong enough to stop the heart and leave nasty, scarring exit wounds, not to mention a fear of common household appliances for ever more. (Metaphorically speaking, of course.) It might not kill you, but it might feel like it has, as least for a little while.

So, anyway. Big emotional stakes. Lots of complex medical intervention. Confusing times. Paperwork enough to drown in. And because I’m all very interested to see what happens next, I’ve somehow become known as one with a Good Attitude.

Which is all cool with me, am totally happy to be good attitude girl, except there’s a dark flipside to that.

See this whole good attitude thing came about when I was chatting to someone who knows someone (it’s a small world, isn’t it?) going through their twenty-millionth IVF cycle. A couple of years back they’d had success on round 2 and were trying now for their second child, but they’d been trying and trying and trying and it just wasn’t happening. They must have spent tens of thousands, not to mention the emotional energy equivalent to a hundred extroverts at a gregarious-personality-types convention. But with no luck so far, they were facing, finally, the decision.

Or rather, The Decision.

When to stop. When to say, no, it’s not going to work, we have to say this is it. We will not have this child we want so desperately. There will be no children (or no more children.)

These someones were, I’m told, not so calm or interested or curious or amused by the proceedings as I have been so far. And frankly, I don’t blame them. If I ever got to their position (and cross all fingers and toes I don’t), I doubt this apparent ‘good attitude’ of mine is going to last that distance. Month after month of internal ultrasounds and injections and blood tests and mood swings and hospital visits and paying thousands of dollars every time. Month after month of hoping, just hoping, with everything you have, only for it not to work.

I suspect if I ever find myself at that point, I won’t be feeling so in control anymore.

So yes, it’s all very well me playing interested-writer, let’s-all-blog games. I’m only at the beginning of this bizarro journey. And others who have been through a lot more than me, with tears or without, and survived, far more deserve the Good Attitude tag than I do.

Anyway… waiting for the phone to ring… waiting, waiting… will give you all the update when I have it…

Kind Regards,

The Patient

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Published in: on March 1, 2011 at 8:57 am  Comments (1)  

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