Saturday, July 12, 2008

Stress!!! (The New and Improved Approach to IVF)

As I kick off IVF Cycle FOUR (*sigh* I can remember how hard I cried, two years ago, when the nurse suggested that I might need IUI to conceive again), I find myself thinking about what this cycle will be like. What have I learned? Is there anything I can do to make it less hard on my spirits? How can I keep the whole thing from “getting” to me like it always does? I’ve tried optimism (Cycle One—isn’t everyone optimistic on their first?), pessimism (Cycle Two, where I learned mid-cycle that my fibroid had doubled in size and any pregnancy could very well be doomed), and avoidance (Cycle Three, where I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening). None of these have helped me from getting The Crazy, especially toward the end.

This cycle I’m going to try a novel approach: stress. “But IVF is already so stressful,” you say, puzzled at my naiveté. And you would be right. But what I find the most stressful about IVF (aside from screwups by the nurses, or the RE, or, most often, myself) is the waiting and wondering and depression and exhaustion and roller-coaster hormones. So maybe, just maybe, the ticket to a successful cycle (in the emotional sense, not the “it’s a boy!” sense) is to just be so freakin’ busy that you can’t even come up for air to think about it.

It looks like I’m about to find out, because I am totally screwed at work. I’ve been spinning my wheels on a brief for several weeks, unable to even make a dent in it because I can’t figure out how the statutes and the case law fit together and what the hell I’m going to argue (it involves administrative exhaustion in the area of labor law). Then last week I got assigned an emergency motion in another appeal, and somehow, after a marathon briefing period, the case was scheduled for oral argument in just over a week! (Which never happens, and probably is due to the fact that I did a really good job on the motion—serves me right.) So now I’ve got oral argument to prep for, a brief due at the end of the month, and I’m taking a 2-day trip to NY in the middle of all of this. Oh, and I’m teaching a class in NY and have to prepare for that, too. AARGGHH!

Panicked, I filed a motion for more time for my brief. But this court is very stingy about extensions, so I could only ask for two weeks. And then I looked at the calendar and started kicking myself, because the second of those two weeks is going to be all wrapped up in my retrieval and transfer and bed rest and such. So I am truly and completely hosed. I’m pretty sure I’m bringing home work every weekend for the next month.

So okay, this is stressing me out pretty badly. But a thought has occurred to me: what if this is exactly what I need? Now if this were my first IVF cycle, and I didn’t know what to expect, it might be way too scary to be on deadlines like this at work. But I pretty much know how my body is going to react to it all. And while it will suck to be this busy, at least the stress will keep me awake and alert at work, rather than face-down on my keyboard (here’s hoping, at least). And as long as the work is going well (I do really like my job, you know), maybe this will be exactly the kind of distraction I need.

Of course, if things don’t go well, I’ll be a weeping hormonal puddle on the floor of my office, begging the gods for mercy. I’m kind of hoping to avoid that scene.

Or I could just end up buried in socks. (Don’t laugh! It could happen to you.)


Rebeccah said...

I so love McNulty in the socks! As for the "stress + IVF = success" theory, why the heck not? Think of it as a different protocol ; )

Io said...

I think stress might be just the thing! (Here's hopin') And hey, ending up buried in socks with McNulty sounds like fun!

kate said...

Ah, shit. When it rains, it pours...
I'm sorry for the busy-ness at work (it is your fault, though, for being such a badass lawyer chick), but I think you're on target here. Do whatever you can to distract yourself through this cycle.

KITTY! KITTY IN THE SOCKS! Oh, dear, I LOVE the kitty. I have to admit that I was really devastated the day H came home from the allergist and said for sure that he was terribly, horribly, awfully allergic to cats. It's like the back-up to the back-up to the back-up plan if this whole baby thing never works itself out (which involves me adopting tons of cats and ending up as the crazy cat-lady), is no longer a possibility. And that SUCKS. Fuck.

Malloryn said...

Well, that nurse at your RE's office helped you start down this road by not calling you... why not continue with it? I'll keep my fingers and toes crossed that stress is the answer. It'll be hard to get stuff done but whatever.

McNulty is awesome... but McNulty buried in socks is even better!

Ms. J said...

I love the Stress Approach. Why not try something different?!

By no we've all learned that avoiding smoke, artificial sweeteners, caffiene, yadda yadda, hasn't done a friggin' thing to improve our own statistics . . . it calls to mind the evil thought we all have about how,IF WE JUST: went on welfare, hooked up with an abusive guy, drank a case of beer each day, smoked crack, etc., THEN we'd have no problem conceiving, eh?!