Monday, January 23, 2012

Reflections


Today, as I was driving in between meetings, I started to reflect on how much my life has changed over the psst 2 1/2 years, but more importantly, the past year. It was almost a year ago that I re-entered therapy after a very complicated loss following my first IVF in December (2010). What had happened is that my initial Beta came back at 54. My clinic said it wasn't that bad but I was concerned. I went back for a repeat Beta two days later, which was the day before New Year's Eve, and it went up to almost 300. I was both relieved and happy. Well to make a long story short my HCG level ultimately plateaued and I was diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy and treated with Methotrexate to dissolve the pregnancy before it ruptured my tube. For a couple of weeks my levels came down but then plateaued again. My doctor decided to give me another round of Methotrexate. Again, my numbers went down for a while, plateaued, but this time they went back up. My doctor was stumped and decided to treat with both a D&C and Methotrexate as something wasn't right. A couple of weeks after the D&C my numbers were finally back to negative (took 13 weeks total) but we also received some other shocking news. Not only did I have an ectopic, I also had an intrauterine pregnancy and that is why my numbers were so screwy. We went from having just an ectopic to having a heterotopic pregnancy. Needless to say, I was having a very difficult time dealing with this loss as this was my fourth loss and I never really took the time to heal after the previous ones.

I entered therapy with the assumption that I would finally grieve my losses and then I would feel better and would be able to move on. To my dismay, it didn't work out that way. My therapy sessions turned into an exploration my childhood, one I would rather forget. I was basically forced to relive everything that had happened to me. This was not what I bargained for. There was a small part of me that thought that maybe this could be helpful, even though it was heart-wrenching, so I tried my best to get through my sessions. I eventually found myself hating therapy and I was actually feeling as though it was doing more harm than good. I stopped going the end of June.

Since that time, so much has happened. I went through four more IVFs, I had surgery to remove a uterine septum, surgery to remove polyps, surgery to remove adhesions throughout my pelvis, and even another loss. You would think that I would be more of a mess now than I was, but I am actually doing amazingly well...considering. I don't remember when it happened exactly, but sometime this past fall, I found this amazing inner peace. All the worry about my lack of control over things suddenly diminished. I realized that the past is exactly that, my past. Yes, it will always be a part of me, but it doesn't have to control my life...and it not longer does. Nothing that has happened throughout my journey with infertility has been my fault, and I can finally say that and truly mean it. Ultimately, I let go. The other thing I struggled with for most of my life was worrying about what others thought of me and trying to get everyone to like me. I finally stopped letting other people influence how I treated myself. Here is a great example: I was talking with a co-worker on the phone who had known about my loss (this was after my second loss) and I don't remember how we got on the topic but I was talking about the process that led up to it as I was hospitalized a week prior to the loss for a bowel obstruction and dehydration. This co-worker of mine then had mentioned how a friend of hers also had a loss but "their story, even to this day, always stayed the same and never changed". I was absolutely in shock by this comment. It was being insinuated that I was either making things up or lying outright about my loss. After I hung up I started crying hysterically and I actually ended up going home as I was sick with anger and confusion. How could a person accuse another of this? I ended up emailing her shortly after I got home about her comment (I still have the email to this day) and I got the response that she was tired and she didn't know what she was saying. It bothered me so much that I discontinued the blog that I had started as I felt as though everyone would feel the same way she did. I was very new at this "loss" and "pregnancy" stuff and I just couldn't fathom how another women, knowing the process of creating a child, could be so insensitive. I was lost and confused and I needed support, not criticism and ridicule. Up until this past fall that comment resonated with me frequently. Every time that I thought about it, I would cry. Maybe this event would seem insignificant to some people, but apparently it was made at just the right time during my state of vulnerability, that it just impacted me the wrong way. I never said anything further. I let this one person's comment have such an impact on me that it changed the way that I thought and let it influence my decisions. I still can't believe, to this day, that I let that comment affect me for so long. I have forgiven as my heart needs to be at peace in order for my mind to be.

So, in conclusion (sorry for the lame wording) I am a different person. A stronger person. A better person. I no longer let my childhood effect my life, nor do I let the negativity of others penetrate my inner peace. Life is good!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting-made me think on some stuff that's been in the back of my mind lately. Feeling you on the childhood stuff. As you know, I've had my trials and tribulations with family issues as well.

    People generally have zero idea what infertility and loss puts you through...and their comments reflect it. I've had co-workers use my retrievals as an opportunity to throw me under the bus, had friends tell me that they guess this was just what was meant to be, others tell me I should probably give up. Each of those comments stick to me like glue. I need to believe that people wouldn't say things if they knew how much they hurt. But honestly, I don't think people think before they talk 99 percent of the time.

    How any of us could have an idea how difficult this could be, I don't know. I have to say I was pretty naive about it all when I first got started. Over time, it has gotten less, well, of a surprise for me when things go wrong, or there are setbacks; not because I'm such a well-adjusted person, but I'm just numb to the disappointments. I'm hoping with time that the resilience and strength that infertility has forced us to have becomes the key take-away from this (along with a baby), and not the sting of comments from insensitive friends and ongoing disappointments over things that we really have no control over (dammit).

    Thinking of you and wishing you the best, as always.

    Kelly

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  2. Sometimes people’s comments hurt more than they or us even know and it's hard to let it go. I had a "friend" once tell me "Maybe, not getting pregnant is gods way of telling you not to have a child" I was so hurt this was a "friend" I was always there for without judgment. We stopped being "friends" that day. And for the rest of my journey it really bothered me. One day I decided I had to forgive and move on. So I wrote a note nearly 2 years later and it said "I forgive you, even if it doesn't matter to you it does to me. I pray one day you are as happy and at peace in life as I am" then I put it in with our little girls birth announcement and mailed it. I've felt so much better since that day because I finally let it go. It's not easy but it's for our own well being.
    You have changed and grown in so many amazing ways in the time I've known you. Your strength and determination always amazed me. I not only so proud of you but honored to be your friend. I hope you continue to allow yourself to grow people in this world could learn so much from you so never stop sharing you story and wisdom. HUGS!

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