Pardon the emotional mess

The other day I freaked the fuck out over some numbers.  Allow me to explain.

I have always been a perfectionist, by which I mean I didn’t want to do anything if I could not do it well.  I never had the ambition to be the best, but I wanted to be well above average.  And if I couldn’t be, then I gave it up.

Fortunately, I naturally excelled at many things without trying very hard, including schoolwork and music (but not including sports).  I took all kinds of lessons as a kid, but I always hated to practice.  I got good grades, even though I didn’t study.  One of my older sisters taught dance lessons in our family room, and I was one of her students.  But if I didn’t like that particular class or was having a hard time learning a new step, I simply ran upstairs to my room.  Mid-lesson.  I may have been a bit of a spoiled brat.

I often wonder, if I really had tried when things got difficult, how much better would I be?  As a person.

Well, I just had my first big test.  And while I didn’t fail, I didn’t ace it, either.  One chart I found, courtesy of Dr. Google, put me within a few points of the 10th percentile for my age on my AMH.  I’ve never scored that low on a test in my life.

This round of tests knocked me down.  I was feeling pretty shattered that whole day.  At one point, I committed the cardinal sin of infertility, actually saying to Hubby, “Can’t we just adopt?”  (This was partially fueled by the fact that I had seen several white adults with black children in tow–not necessarily adopted children, but it started the wheels turning.  And led to a whole conversation about why we can’t actually “just adopt,” at least, not until he has a job and we’re settled somewhere.)  But at this point, my need for a child is so great, so all-consuming, that I don’t care how s/he gets here.

So I got back up.  I am admittedly impatient, but becoming a mother and making Hubby a father may be the only difficult thing I’ve wanted badly enough that I’m willing to do the hard work to make it happen.  That likely includes IVF.  I’ve always known we were destined for it, but somehow looking at those numbers shot a hole in any hope I may have had that we could do it any other way.  I know now that there’s no reason to be so defeatist about it.  That it’s just a number and actually, in the whole scheme of things, probably means very little.  But it was like a grade on my fertility, and I didn’t like seeing that it was below average, something I’ve tried my whole life to avoid.

Still, I know that time is not on our side.  Before we had started Hubby’s treatments, and even now that (I hope) we’re making progress, my mantra has been “one of these days.”  One of these days we’ll start treatments.  One of these days we’ll have some sperm.  One of these days I’ll get myself checked out.  (Look how well that went.)  One of these days we’ll be able to do IVF.  It seems we’re already running out of days.

A couple things about this video: 1) You may have heard the song about a gazillion times by now, and 2) How many other people connected it to infertility?  Come on, who’s playing along?  (Warning: there are a couple of children at the beginning of this video, but just for a moment, I promise.  The rest is a lot of thrashing around and Dave Grohl whipping his hair a lot, so it kind of rocks.)

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18 thoughts on “Pardon the emotional mess

  1. I hear you. I took me a LONG time to accept that IVF was probably the only way we were going to be able to have children. When hubby came home a month ago and said his endocrinologist was adding this FSH and LH and re-instated the ever so small hope of it happening on it’s own, I’m finding it hard to accept the IVF again. Even as its only a month away, I still find myself thinking about it as a “someday” – like hopefully we won’t have to. Ugh

    • I thought I had accepted it, long before we even started Hubby’s treatments, but lately, everybody’s been so positive (and by everybody, I mostly mean Hubby and doctors), that I let this other fantasy creep in, one where I wouldn’t have to go through the emotional and physical pain of IVF, the uncertainty, the expense. And I let those stupid numbers shatter my fantasy, perhaps even a little prematurely. We still have to get Hubby re-tested next month. Maybe it’ll be fantastic news (or maybe not).

  2. I’m sorry your test results weren’t what you hoped for 😦 I constantly think in terms of “one of these days” so I know just what you mean. I hate the sickening feeling that time is running out but we’re doing all we can in the day-to-day, so I guess that’s what matters. One of these days we’re gonna get our kiddos!!!

  3. No need to apologize, it’s so hard to accept and have faith in that it actually will work out. My husband often take the reassurance route when I’m upset and simply says ‘shit happens and it’ll only take longer that we first thought, we’ll get there, it’ll be alright’. And I can breathe again, and maybe he’s right and maybe not, but in the meantime I need to somehow have trust in that. If not, I would go crazy!
    Just a few thoughts from across the water 🙂

    • Thanks, marwil. Hubby has done his best to cheer me up, and I do feel much better than I did a few days ago. Sometimes I just need to get it all out, and I’m grateful I have a safe space to do that here.

  4. AMH is one factor in TTC. Its is not definitive, nor does it define you as a person. Using an RE for IVF or whatever you decide to do, can help you with these issues. All it takes is one egg. One good egg, and one little sperm to work.

    I know you are struggling and I’m really sorry. Just try to take one step at a time. No more no less otherwise it all just gets too overwhelming.

    There is a quote I saw on Pinterest that I think applies here. “I hate to spoil the ending for you, but it’s going to be ok”

  5. I was hoping to avoid this, but I’m going to share a personal bit of information with you. My AMH is .16. Last month I started on day 2 with Zero follicles. And wound up with the highest grade blastocyst. Today’s appointment on day 3, again, Zero follicles. Where will this lead? I dont know.

    I was only tested for AMH because my Dr. thought it was so strange to have no follicles. AMH is a single factor in fertility. It isnt definitive, and it doesnt affect egg quality. My DR doesnt put a lot of stock in the idea that AMH is the “gold standard” He believes that it, combined with E2, FSH and P4 tell a whole lot more about the bigger picture. And after 27 years as an RE, I have to assume he is correct.

    Those papers you were reading? I am sure I can find lots of other sources of data that give a more balanced and complete picture of what AMH means.

    My degree is in Mechanical Engineering. I am methodical, type A, I am a perfectionist, and I have felt defeated at times during this process.

    You are not alone. And what I said earlier? It still applies. One good egg, one little sperm.

    I hope you take this with the good intentions I write it with. You are not alone.

    • Thank you for sharing, Jeanette. I know you didn’t have to. I haven’t heard anything from my RE about these results. Maybe that’s why they freaked me out so much. I am planning to make an appointment with him, but not until after we get the results for Hubby’s next round of tests, to see where we go from there.

      I really am feeling much better about all this than I was on Tuesday.

      I hope this cycle turns out as well for you as the last one did. You’re right, it only takes one!

  6. Seriously, are you me? It’s bizarre reading your posts when you describe yourself and your family because it’s like we’re twins. Hang in there, because not being able to let go of that need- not desire or want, but need- means having to forge on full-steam every time. I feel that every month, I know how hard it is. And now I have to go look up AMH.

  7. I’m sorry. There are A LOT of people around these parts who understand rather perfectly how you are feeling. I hope that helps a little. For various reasons, we only started our tortuous journey towards children when my eggs were indeed old. I was sure that there was almost no hope and, I guess you know, our road sucked pretty badly. But I now consider myself a success story and this community is full of happy endings. Remember, you haven’t even begun to TRY yet!

    • I know–that’s the ridiculous thing–I’m counting myself a failure before we’ve even tried. I’m going to drive myself completely insane before this whole thing is over. But I so appreciate the support!

  8. *hugs* honestly, we all have these moments with IF. We all have a freak out. often. So no apologies necessary.

    After the appointment last week, I was on the very edge ready to jump into a full panic and start with the self blame and hatred. To pick apart every single moment of the appointment. But thankfully the people we were with knew what the possible outcome may be and prepared. They asked us right away what happened and then they swept us up in the whirlwind of a city we didn’t know. Showing us places and letting us explore. Keeping us busy.

    And really, that’s what we are all here to do. Give us the news and then we will help you move on. Its one test of many, but because it was probably your biggest test so far, you wanted to break it down and study each part of it and find the failure, place the blame. I’m very much like this, all the time. But its one test, one of many. It’s easy for us to get caught up in the moment and find the bad at the beginning of the journey to the point that we don’t even want to bother with the end point. So get it out, we will talk you back down and then you get up and move forward again.

    • Thanks, Kimberly. I’m so glad I have my bloggy friends to help me through when I feel like I’m falling apart. And I love that I can try to do the same for someone else.

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