When I started writing about this journey I thought perhaps I’d write a couple of posts about the process and maybe one once I got pregnant. This is now my twelfth post and I’ve not even taken my first pregnancy test yet. I’m not trying to eek this journey out, it’s just that it turns out it’s a bloody long and emotional one.
Despite a depression diagnosis, I’m actually a naturally positive person. No matter how much I tried to stop myself, I still couldn’t stop thinking that I would get pregnant first time. It seems this journey is going to be much longer than I ever imagined. The two weeks wait to pee on a stick can’t be counted in weeks or even days. Counting it in minutes feels much more appropriate; I can feel every.single.one of those 20,160 minutes.
It’s six days since my first IUI treatment as I sit tapping away on my phone. When I woke there had been no crazy dreams. My breasts didn’t hurt. There was no feelings of nausea. I wasn’t pregnant.
I’d spent the evening before Googling over and over the possibility of implantation happening early and hormones being released immediately. Google informed me that essentially it’s impossible. Progesterone is released prior to implementation, but it’s also released prior to your period. So my (non-expert) conclusion is that progesterone paired with an overactive imagination can create some mild symptoms that are incredibly similar to early pregnancy symptoms when in actual fact they are just your body preparing for it’s monthly period.
The last two times I’ve been pregnant I’ve had clear symptoms before any test. I wish now I’d recorded what day the symptoms started. Little did I know how painfully important that knowledge would one day become. This is not what is happening to me this time. My body is just preparing for my period. The symptoms I’d felt were mild to say the least. When I was pregnant the first two times they were strong enough for me to comment on them before I even realised I was pregnant. The two day hangover that wouldn’t end despite having not dunk much (by my pre-mum standards), the legs that ached like I’d run a marathon despite not even having run for a bus. They were all significant symptoms, not this possible, maybe, slightly, almost tender breasts when I poke them over and over again.
I know now what the result will be.
Just typing those words makes me sad. I’ve decided unless something drastically changes I won’t take a test until I’m late, if that happens (which it may well after all this emotional up and down). I don’t think I could cope with a negative test result if there was even a slim chance of it actually being inaccurate. No point wasting these tests either, I’m pretty sure I’ll be using them at some point.
I never took this decision lightly. But once I had decided to have a donor conceived baby I didn’t quite appreciate how stressful and emotional the process would be. And this is just my first attempt at the lowest level of intervention, if this is stressful it’s only going to get worse from here on in. I clearly need to come up with some better coping strategies or I’m going to send myself insane in the meantime.
Now, instead of noticing and obsessing over each possible symptom, I’m being reminded of their absence. There are no wafts of nausea when I clean out the bin. There are no pains in my breasts as my son elbows me. There are no achy legs as I bound up stairs. I felt like I should be in mourning. I
know think that it will happen eventually. But even just this one month of trying has given me an insight into why some people stop fertility treatment before they succeed, it’s so emotionally draining I’m not sure I can keep it up for long.
Then as I get closer to work I feel slight twinges in my breasts and I’m back to feeling hopeful. I’ve talked about hope before. Most people describe hope as a positive feeling. I don’t. Not anymore. Hope, when it’s not backed up with reality, is one of the most draining emotions of all time. I’ve lived far too much of my life on hope over the past few years. Hope looks forward; hope expects change; hope believes there is joy around the corner. I don’t want to look forward anymore. I want to be happy in the here and now. Instead I’m here, and it’s now, and I feel desperately disappointed.
In the evening I went to the cinema with some people from work in an attempt to keep myself busy and not obsess over the whole ‘pregnancy thing’. As I rode home on the bus I started to feel sick. By the time I got home I felt very sick. Could there possibly still be a chance I thought? Or perhaps it’s just that I didn’t eat this evening apart from a bag of chocolate buttons and popcorn then rode home on the top deck of a wobbly bus. I know it was most probably the latter but I can’t help feel a little excited that tomorrow I might wake up with sore boobs and a sense of nausea.
I might try emptying the food recycling bin first thing. Just to check.
Has anyone else trying to conceive sent themselves crazy by obsessing over ever little sign. Especially those doing it through fertility treatment. After all it’s not quite as a simple as when you can do it the old fashioned way.