Oh NO

I am back at work today and I have had a complete breakdown, three times. At lunch, in my car. Then again in the bathroom. Then again just now. I have a terrible headache. I feel very spacey and out of it. Anemic? Hormones crashing? My emotions burst to the surface and strangle me. I can’t think straight. My eyes, my gaze—a zombie’s. This is really not good.

In my car at lunch, I was trying to eat, and I got shocked by a tremendous wave of awful and found myself crying out repeatedly. I couldn’t control it. Then I managed to drive back to work and sneak into my office to grab a folder, go down to the dementia unit to bury myself in charts, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. But I had to hide in the bathroom, I had to put down a bunch of paper towels and sit on them, on the cold floor, sobbing and sobbing. I felt very close to passing out. I stayed in there for an hour, waiting until I knew it would be safe to come back up here to the office (my last coworker leaves at 5, and I can then close this door). As soon as I got inside this office, I started crying again. Now I am writing this. I guess I feel stunned. I feel like I have no control over what’s happening.

When I feel good, I seize it. I try to take advantage of it. I am not ignoring my pain—I am trying to take advantage of good feelings. But now this opposite feeling. A falling off a sheer cliff. So depleted and imbalanced (emotionally, physically) that I feel crazy. Who knows what is going on inside me, physiologically. A tsunami of hormones going every which way.

My abdomen seems more distended than ever—did they not get it all out of me? The discomfort is at times unbearable. Even while in Pittsburgh, trying to enjoy everything, I could not get away from the discomfort of my abdomen. I can’t adequately cover the distension, no matter what sort of clothes I try, even maternity clothes. It is embarrassing. I can’t cover it. I look pregnant.

Why am I going through this again? How can I possibly survive this storm again? There is no escaping the up and the down. I want to escape it. I know it doesn’t help anything to want to escape it. I know I am supposed to accept what I have to endure.  I know I make it harder on myself by wishing things were different. But I do wish things were different. I do wish I was pregnant, that I was wearing maternity clothes not because I haven’t fully recovered from my abnormal pregnancy and D & C but because I have a healthy little baby growing inside me. I do wish I could get nursery stuff at Christmastime. I do wish I could send my parents an ultrasound picture at Christmastime. I do wish I could ring in the new year with love in my heart and hope for the future. Not hide from it, like I have hidden from all the rest of the New Years during the last three years.

I feel intimidation, anxiety, even dread. I sometimes have really stupid dark imaginings—I’ll picture myself, for example, enduring twin stillbirths at week 20. I then say, “It’s just a thought, let it go,” but these whiffs of darkness accumulate and hurt me. I hurt. I hurt a lot. I don’t understand why I have to be hurt so much in this life.

I have no idea what is going to happen in the future. I could be trapped in this nightmare for a long time to come. I had thought that I was making the sanest, healthiest, most hopeful and forward-looking choice—donor eggs. I had thought that I was certainly making a choice that would lead me far away from my nightmare of miscarriages. This is why I did not choose to try with my own eggs any longer. This is why I chose to not try at all for several months and focus on myself and my relationship. I did what was best, I made hard but sane, healthy choices—and it led me straight back into the nightmare. I don’t understand! I just don’t understand!

It must be weird to receive such different posts from me day to day. But, then again, those of you who have recurrent pregnancy loss probably understand far too well how incredibly steep the ups and the downs are. I almost can’t handle it anymore. I am exhausted totally. I know I will feel good again, maybe even as soon as tomorrow, but I also know that this, this awful, will come again too. And many more times before this ride is through.

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24 Comments

  1. I am so sorry that you are having such a rough day. I wish I had the perfect reassuring words. Know we are thinking of you and here to read, on good days and bad

    Reply
    • thank you. ): this hurts so much.

      Reply
      • Kali

         /  October 31, 2013

        It does hurt, so very, very much. At this moment I can only hope that the intensity of the pain dulls, even just a little, very soon. I’ve been there, and I’m reliving it now as my due date approaches. We WILL survive and come out on the other side but unfortunately there’s this tearing pain first.

        Reply
  2. I’m sorry this is a dark bad day. I hope you get home soon and get some relief from your distress. Thinking of you from a far xx

    Reply
    • thank you. i am trying. hot shower, some wine. i still feel awful though. if there were a magical pill i’d take it.

      Reply
      • Kali

         /  October 31, 2013

        Valium helped me through the worst of it. It didn’t fix it but helped to take some edge off — at some point crying uncontrollably so that it physically hurt wasn’t cathartic anymore.

        Reply
  3. Danielle

     /  October 30, 2013

    I am sorry today was so rough! I know all too well about the extreme ups and downs and how quickly they can change. I sometimes think this is what what bipolar disorder must feel like, and it’s completely exhausting. Sending you hugs!

    Reply
    • that’s a good analogy, bipolar, you’re right. they call it “rapid cycling” bipolar disorder in the psych literature. one day up, next day down. sometimes up in the morning, down in the evening, or several ups and downs throughout the day. a marathon. thank you for sending the hugs.

      Reply
  4. I’m so sorry your feeling this way :(. It’s just so damn hard. You try so hard to make the right decisions but in the end you still have no control over what happens. Thinking of you and hoping tomorrow is a better day.

    Reply
    • thank you so much—yesterday was slightly better, and today is slightly better, so that’s progress. no, no control—i keep thinking that this is the lesson the universe is trying to pound into my stubborn head, no control. ): thank you for thinking of me.

      Reply
  5. I’m sorry it was such an awful day. A year ago today was my first donor’s ER. I thought DE was the easier option as well. Now I’m about to pick my 4th donor. All we can do is keep trying or stop cycling. As you know, time will dull the pain. Hugs.

    Reply
    • Kali

       /  October 31, 2013

      Wow. I am 9 months from my first donor’s ER, and still waiting for a transfer from my 2nd donor. The miscarriages really slow one down. Nevertheless, I am going to keep faith that so long as I don’t have another miscarriage, I can go faster with the next few cycles than the one that ended in miscarriage. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply
    • Ah, dear. Both of your journeys are that of warriors. Sometimes I think we are seriously the toughest, most resourceful, most resilient people on planet earth! Others—the most fragile. I wish you both so much luck and the fastest resolution possible. I have to steel myself for the possible reality that I might have to go through this again and choose another donor, too…and who knows, even another…no idea what’s going to happen. Glad you are there. xoxox

      Reply
  6. newtoivf

     /  October 30, 2013

    I really am so sorry. Of course you wish it were different… acceptance isn’t something you should expect of yourself right now. Sending you strength xx

    Reply
  7. I am so sorry for your pain. I will be praying for you..

    Reply
  8. I’m so sorry. It is so terrible. Try to be gentle with yourself.

    Reply
  9. Here for you no matter if you’re up, down or in between. I’m sorry it’s such a bad day. It takes my breath away how bad days can be when suffering like you are, like we are. Totally get where you’re coming from. I was beginning to write a post about the impossible extremes in RPL, finding it so hard to articulate what I’m feeling. The lows are so low. Sending you warmth and kindness and strength lovely xx

    Reply
  10. Tess

     /  October 30, 2013

    It’s grief, similar to the type of grief one experiences when a close loved one dies. Crying uncontrollably, with little trigger — anything with any emotional heft can trigger it.

    You just need to get through this. Try to distract yourself with fun, light, frivolous things. Watch TV that is very very light and funny. Go to silly movies or to a garden show or read comic books — do things that have nothing to do with babies or tragedy or stress or anxiety. Go to restaurants, get a massage, or take walks along the water or in the woods and play calming, beautiful music. Don’t expose yourself to any content that is about babies or children.

    Limit the amount of time you can think about fertility. Don’t let yourself anticipate future tragedies that have not yet happened. The hormone shifts are going to make it difficult to feel better quickly. It’s going to be difficult to distract yourself, limit your anxiety about fertility treatments, and start to heal. But if you can invest in the healing process, you’ll feel better faster.

    You’ll need to cry more before you’re done – don’t be freaked out by it. You’re just not healed yet. Consider seeing a grief therapist who specializes in infertility issues and anxiety. Just hold on – this will pass. xoxo

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for the tips—I watched “New Girl” last night (silliest show ever) because of your advice, and I drank a glass of wine while talking to a good girlfriend (I had not wanted to talk to her, was afraid I would ‘lose it,’ that the conversation would not go well, but it ended up being the best thing for me.

      I do need to limit that time I think about it. It’s good to say to myself “Okay, you’re done for the night,” and turn on a television show. Things like that.

      Thank you for all of your advice!

      What I am thinking I am going to do is quit my job and take a month or two to heal. And then try to find something part time for a little while. We’ve discussed the finances, the health insurance, and it will be hard, but I need the time to take care of myself and heal. I’m scared, but I think this is the right decision. We’ll see…xo

      Reply
  11. Kali

     /  October 31, 2013

    Every single emotion you’re having is normal–then throw the hormones on top of it and you have a perfect, painful storm. I’m in the midst of my current cycle, yesterday I broke down crying hysterically during my uterine scraping. It wasn’t physically painful, I just lost it. My due date for the last pregnancy is next week.

    All the strategies to lessen the pain of grief–they don’t work. I just talked to a friend who lost her father a couple of months ago and she was so sick of everyone –she just wants to be alone and putting on a face for people is work. I understood her.

    And I feel the same about donor egg as you do–I DID THE RIGHT THING, DAMMIT! And I hate the friend who was pushing me toward it–it’s not logical, it’s not her fault, but guess what, it hasn’t been the solution and she DID. NOT. KNOW. BETTER. THAN. ME.

    I’m not going to give you any “honor your pain” cliches or other BS that tries to make this horror sound like there’s some nobility to it. I just want to let you know that sometimes it’s easier to not fight the pain. I have not succeeded in fighting it, so I surrender to it, fighting only to be functional. I cry when I get home. Immediately after the miscarriage, I worked at home as much as I could so I could cry while typing.

    Grief counseling may help. An infertility specialist would be best–my therapist is not an infertility specialist and she often doesn’t get it (“Well, don’t think of it as a baby next time, don’t get attached”–???!@#?)–nevertheless she does help with staying functional and understanding that I don’t have a choice but to feel the grief, and she’s the one covered by my insurance, what I can afford right now.

    I am wishing you a speedy recovery.

    Reply
    • Oh MAN—your therapist said don’t get attached, don’t think of it as a baby, oy, oy, oy. As someone in the business, I’m smarting from her lack of getting it, lack of listening well. But it sounds like she does all sorts of other good things for you and I know that affordability is often the clincher for me, too, so it’s awesome that you are taking the very good with the sometimes bad. And I need to find a therapist. But I am also pretty sure I am going to quit my job, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to afford it. But I have some plans in mind, some healing plans, some self-therapy, that I think will be enough.

      Yeah, I’m done fighting. I have cried after work every day this week. And I’m also allowing myself one glass of wine a night for the rest of the week (then I’ll rein it in, because alcohol can be sleep disruptive). But you’re absolutely right—fighting it is hard, surrendering a little easier (though not easier on the eyes!).

      That thing about your friend—if you want to, I’d like to hear more about that. Did she aggressively push you, and were you reluctant, did you want to keep trying with your own eggs? What is the relationship like now? I’m sorry—-it sounds so painful!

      I don’t know if you caught my post about completely breaking down during my scratch biopsy, but in any case—I am so sorry you had a hysterical break during your scraping, god do I feel you! It was awful. No, not just the physical pain (although for me that was insane) but the whole process. We’ve been seriously traumatized. It makes all of these “procedures” seem so barbaric at times. At times I wonder—what the fuck am I doing? Why do I keep doing this? Should I stop? Isn’t this totally crazy? Then I think—no, hold on, you are almost there. It’s crazy-making.

      I wish you peace, and more peace. xoxo

      Reply
  12. Tess

     /  November 1, 2013

    I think with profound grief it’s not a matter of fighting but more a matter of giving your body a break from it.

    After a close loved one died unexpectedly, I would get perpetual headaches from crying so often. And the crying could be brought on by the slightest trigger– watching a sentimental movie.

    Distracting myself helped me get through it. Fun, frivolous entertainment — anything that could take my mind off of it for short gaps. Nothing really will make it better but time.

    In terms of quitting the job – something I was told after the tragedy was to not make any major decisions in the first couple of months while experiencing deep grief.

    take care, xoxo

    Reply

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