Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I Think I'm Feeling Something: The Two-Week-Wait

Are you checking your boobs every hour to see if they're sore? Think you're feeling queazy?  Counting the frequency of your visits to the bathroom? Buying up all the pregnancy tests (HPT) at your drug store? Googling "signs of pregnancy"? Then you must be in the dreaded two-week-wait (2WW). Yup, that world of limbo, filled with hope, anxiety and fear -- what if this cycle didn't work, again! I hated that period of my IVF cycles. Sure I could have chosen to be hopeful and excited for the big HPT day, but truthfully, my pessimism always reared its ugly head.

I was always the most hopeful at the beginning of my cycles. Lining up all the drugs I would be injecting myself with  and creating a spread sheets of it all made me feel empowered. (Have I mentioned I'm Type-A?!). Then there were the daily visits to the clinic; I walked in there like I owned the place. I checked in, chatted with the nurses, prepared my disturbingly bruised arms for blood draw, patiently waited for the RE to use the magic-wand and tell me how many follicles were forming in there. While technically I didn't have any control over the outcome of these visits, I felt like an active and informed participant of my cycles. I would even psych myself up that this cycle was finally going to give us the baby we always wanted.

The egg retrieval day was a pivotal day; my mood and outlook slowly changed, I became on edge and ready to dump the cycle in the growing pile of failures. But before I could reach the point of complete jadedness, transfer day would come and DH would bring me back to a better place. After all, we were possibly one step closer to our baby/babies, right? I would lay there while he'd sit next to me and lovingly look at the black & white image of our embryos. Sure the embryologist might not have rated them a perfect A5 but everything we'd read (DH tirelessly reminded me) indicated that the grading didn't mean anything. So, I would follow DH's lead and for the next couple of days I'd manage to maintain a sliver of hope. I would listen to my meditation tapes and visualize my little embryos floating around, looking for a place to call home.

But before I knew it, I would wake up irritated, as if my mind had been taken over by the witch of doom and gloom. I would tell DH that this cycle didn't work and that we're never going to have a baby. I would shift between pure anger at our infertile selves and tears of desperation. DH's ability to handle my pessimism always went in stages: Stage 1, show understanding and compassion; Stage 2, remind me that it is all an unknown and that we can't give up yet; Stage 3, complete exasperation and a stern request that I no longer poison him with my negativity. Things were tense around the house. I would try to keep quiet (for his sake) but the torture of the unknown never ceased to keep me underwater. My mind would play tricks on me and rob me of any willpower to be optimistic. Oh and then there were the progesterone shots. That 1 1/2" thick needle shoved hesitantly by DH on the upper quadrant of my butt never got easier. Why am I putting up with this shit? Am I crazy?

And the final day would come. I had made the mistake before of taking an HPT too early, but I learned my lesson pretty quickly. The night before the test, I would toss and turn; I'd vacillate between the anticipation and dread of the early morning hours. I would wake up, slowly make my way over to the bathroom, unwrap the HPT like a delicate gift and pee on it. I would pretend to be patient but finally, I would face my future. Squinting to make sure I was seeing correctly the outcome of a month long cycle -- is that two lines or one? HPTs are evil I tell you. Finally I would resign myself to my apparent fate and make my way to the clinic to get the final beta numbers. That clinic that gave me hope at the beginning of my cycles would morph into a temple of doom where I, along with my hopes, would perish in the flames of infertility. Dramatic, I know, and yet even to this day, those are vivid memories of my countless two-week-waits.

Clearly I handled the two-week-wait as poorly as one can. Tell me about how you cope with it?


A City Girl in the Burbs said...

"Honey, are you noticing that my breasts got a little larger? Feeling a little bloated up there, and I am sure I am feeling a little tenderness." And off I'd go to the computer, googling, "breast tenderness and signs of pregnancy", and the cookies in my computer would remind me that I had indeed searched this one before!!

"I got up two times to go to the bathroom last night!" I'd exclaim thinking that I was sure it really didn't have anything to do with the amount of water I had the night before! After all, I have "always" had that much water before!!!

And those endless talks (physically) geared towards my stomach area, gentle rubs telling our fertilized "eggies" to find comfort, and just, please, just for this one time, to stick around... please...

B said...

My 2wws are powered by TTC naturally, rather than through IVF, but I'm just the same. God I wish I could just be all serene about it, but I go mental.

It seems very unfair that finding out you aren't pregnant coincides with PMT. I find it very hard to cope with, these days.

Slackie O. said...

Excellent question - this is something we all suffer through, no matter what treatments we are using. I think we all go mental at some point in this wait.

In order to do justice to the idea, I'm going to post in response!

Barbara H said...

My 2ww'a are again fresh and new to me. My DH and I had tried to conceive for 8 years and suddenly found me pregnant! Surrise and then loss at the beginning of the 2nd trimester. That was 8 years ago. For the past few years we had given up... the emotions were too raw. The hope too painful. But in Jan 2010 I started on insulin and I realzed that my body remembered it was a girl again! (tpe 2 diabetic since 2004). So in April I started thinking it might be time to try again! In May got the go ahead from the Endocrinologist to TTC again. Just heading into the 2ww again this week. So far being open and honest and blogging about my experiences is getting me through and mostly PRAYER!

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