Sister, can you spare an Ambien?
I’m half glad that none of my doctors have ever suggested or agreed to prescribe Ambien – but this week I’m really hurting. I can’t get my brain to shut up for a New York minute, never mind long enough to fall asleep or get anything approximating restful sleep. I’ve used OTC sleep aids and sometimes they help but, more often than not, they’re just no match for the 24/7 anxiety broadcast happening in my cranium.
I keep worrying about how to approach this problem, trying to figure out whether we should try to get into one of the top 10 infertility clinics – with the ensuing additional costs – or try to find something closer to home. Then I think we need to find a clinic that specializes – or at least has experience – in dealing with our particular issues (DOR and MIF). Which could still be a crap shoot if we don’t like the RE. I don’t even have an ob/gyn I can fall back on just to actually run some new labs right now. I’m so tired of having my head spin like the girl fromThe Exorcist has taken the reigns.
I’m mentally exhausted by all the non-stop chatter. Sometimes, I really just want to disappear into a fog of oblivion. But then I worry about the potentially addictive properties of prescription drugs – to say nothing of their interference with a woman’s cycle, hormones etc…and I think…well isn’t that just the Catch-22 from hell??
These past few days, I’ve not just been plagued with the constant – and familiar – fears surrounding any DOR diagnosis. Especially in the absence of an RE, a scheduled IVF etc. But, in addition, I’m now constantly worried and freaked out about the increasing risks of birth defects inherent in trying to conceive once you’re over 35. That, in itself, makes me almost want to NOT try. I know it’s not PC to admit this, and I’m certainly not looking for a designer baby – but I just could not handle serious birth defects. Go ahead, judge me, hate me – you can think I’m a horrible person for admitting it, but I know there are plenty of others who feel or think the same thing but just keep it under their hats. I get it. I’m not comfortable talking about it with people face to face most of the time – especially because of all the surrounding issues I definitely won’t delve into. But there it is.
So I keep thinking all day, all night – about how all I really wanted was to just have a normal life with my loving, lovable husband. How we never really even talked about the whole baby/family issues because we instinctively knew we both wanted the same thing. In hindsight, I wondered why we didn’t talk about it like so many other couples – maybe we did long before we got married but, honestly, I can’t even remember. All I know is that when I’m with my husband – snuggled together on the couch while we’re watching a movie, holding hands as we walk, smiling and laughing…I’ve never felt such searing pain as the thought of possibly being deprived of biological children. I’m lucky enough that my husband loves me no matter what – and that, as much as he wants children, too, he’s fine with alternative family building options and he can live without them. He just wants ME to be happy. And that, of course, makes me feel even more guilty – and like even more of a failure as a woman and as a wife. Because while we both have IF issues, the reality is that his are easy – if not inexpensive – to overcome. Mine, on the other hand? Shelf life built in from the get-go, and with no awareness of the potential pitfalls, I guess the sad truth is that I was in denial for far too long – and now I’m paying the price.
I tried to fall asleep before leaving our bedroom and snuggling up on the couch, solo except for the rhythmic snoring of one of our fur-babies who’s installed near me. I want to bury my face in his fur and cry – but I don’t, because I figure that I’m not the only one who’s dealing with all these issues, the anxieties, the insecurities, the palpable anger and frustration. I’ll probably end up reading the rather crappy book I inexplicably got into last night just to give my brain something to focus on that doesn’t involve the dare-I-dream babies I wish I could believe we’re still meant to have. I know that, for most men, a boy is a source of pride – but, for me, all I’ve ever thought about when I did think about having children (without any sense of desperation before) was having a little baby girl…all pink and cute. I think about so many things that I want to do with our children, but I know that if it doesn’t work out, I have to learn to live without them – if not for my own sake, for my husband’s. Isn’t it funny how you can go from not really thinking about something to becoming borderline obsessive?
Of course the other side of the coin is that the constant sleep deprivation isn’t just wreaking havoc on my day-to-day activities – it also affects your cycle, your moods, the nuts and bolts of your fertility (however compromised that may be from the get-go). Which then leads to more anxiety, less restful sleep, etc – you see where I’m going with this.
To boot, my lack of quality sleep and the anxiety are apparently having some decidedly unpleasant physiological side effects – break-outs and muscle spasms that, honestly, make me just want to lie in bed and pull the covers over my head and, like Phoebe, cry out “Don’t look at me! I’m hideous!”.
So…let’s just say that if you’ve ever seen an overturned garbage can after some critter got into it during the night, you’ll have a good idea of the metaphorical mayhem that reigns supreme in my head these days…