Saturday, November 15, 2008

Worry, Guilt, And The Burden of 'What if'?

It's no secret that I obsess about things.

I obsess about even the smallest things in life, so you can imagine how I am with the biggest. I go over things and over things in my mind. Dissecting them, rethinking them, focusing on every last detail. I worry. I play things over and over in my mind. And I find it really hard to let things go, especially when I feel they could have been avoided, if only I'd been more on top of things.

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night sobbing.

I was sobbing so hard I could barely breathe. It was all Dave could do to comfort me. Sometimes infertility hurts to your very core. It's a rollercoaster. One minute you are up, the next you are so low you don't know if it's possible to bear so much pain. It sneaks up on us, squeezes, hurts so bad that you think the pain will kill you. And you can’t stop it. There is no rationalizing it. It comes fast and furious, taking hold and torturing our hearts, minds, and souls. It is a pain I wouldn't wish on anyone, unexplainable and completely devastating. It is simply unbearable.

The fear of this final cycle failing brought me to my knees last night. Even though it's now when I should be most hopeful. It's now when we've had more embryos growing in a lab than we ever have before. It's now when we are have the best chances with the best lab in the world that we've never had before. It's now when we might even have a few new embryos growing in the lab today that I should be jumping for joy. It's now when I should be celebrating that I am crying.

I hate infertility. this stupid ugly beast. She sends fear, her partner in crime into our hearts to torture us. To sap our hope. To remind us that we are kidding ourselves. That is has never worked before, so why would it work now. To taunt and laugh in our face and bring even the most hopeful person to their knees.

But my pain doesn't come from fear of failure. It comes from fear of regret. It comes from the fear that if this cycle fails, if we are forced to face a life without biological children, that I will be haunted forever, that I will never be able to let go of the guilt, of the 'what if' thinking. That I will never stop wondering if I could have done something to change the outcome.

Up until now, this was my biggest fear. I want closure. I want to be able to walk away knowing I did everything I could. That's why I put myself in a position to have no regrets. I ate all the right foods, got all the right bodywork, asked all the right questions, came to the best clinic and lab in the country, double checked my protocol, asked and reasked questions that I needed to know, scheduled regroups and extra appointments with our doctor. Up until now, I did everything I could. I dotted all our I's and crossed all our T's. I listened to all those nagging voices in my head.

Except one.

And that is what woke me up with uncontrollable sobbing, regret, and a feeling that it's my fault for ignoring the voice in my head that told me we were triggering too early. That I should have picked up the phone and questioned it. that I should have listened to that voice that told me I wanted to coast for one more night before triggering. That I should have at least called and told them my concerns.

And now it is too late. Half my eggs were immature, and I can't help feeling that if I had of listened to my gut feeling, I could somehow have changed the outcome and got us almost double the chances.

But what I'm even more afraid of, is that if this cycle fails, if we do get to the end of this and the answer is no, that I will always look back and wonder. The one thing I wanted to avoid. I will always be asking "what if?" And that is a fate worse than anyone should ever have to bear. Because I'm afraid that that question will torture me forever.

I know I need to stop. I need to focus on the good. But right now, I'm just so afraid. And can't stop asking:

What if?


Just Another Infertile said...

I've been reading your journey for a couple months now. This post hit home with me. I know that panicky, middle of the night feeling. You think you are dealing with everything and then it hits you like a ton of bricks from out of nowhere.

From reading your last post, as I was reading your's today I just knew that was going to be your "what if" worry. I too obsess over everthing. I guess you need to ask youself, would your call to them really have changed anything? Would they have really listened to you? Would the best clinic in the country have been swayed by your doubt? You tried to go in for an early stim check and they didn't think you needed one, so you didn't, and that turned out okay.

I'm so sorry you have this nagging feeling. You really have done all the right things.

musicmakermomma said...

I'm so sorry you are plagued with doubt - but you need to trust the clinic right now. You called about the second try embies, and hopefully something good will come from that. You've done everything you can do. There is no way you can know if waiting an extra day would have REALLY made a difference, perhaps the fabulous *11* embies wouldn't have been so high. I understand your fear even though I haven't been in your place, and I am so pulling for you!

Try to occupy yourself so you are as distracted as possible til you get another report - can you go to a movie or hiking or something? I know it is hard when you are not at home, visiting a place where the sole purpose of your being there is to get knocked up! But try to remember that this doesn't define you even though it is consuming your life right now. Waiting with you-fingers crossed.

Sue said...

Lisa- I know how you feel but know that nothing you would have said to them on the day you triggered would have changed anything. I don't care if you kicked and screamed and insisted on talking to Dr. S IN PERSON - they wouldn't have changed your date of trigger. They pick the dates, they pick the protocols, they do the math. I've had questions and concerns with them the entire time, but they've never changed their plan for me. God knows, if they did (by some miracle) change the trigger shot, maybe many of these great eggs would have been too mature and unusable anyway. They seriously know what they are doing. 11 is a great is more than enough. I know how hard it is -I cried for the entire month before going to CCRM b/c I was terrified what would happen if it didn't work. I went there assuming it wouldn't work, but I'd still do all I is so hard. But let go now and trust them...

mom said...

My wonderful daughter
You have done everything right. Everything that was in your hands you have done. It was time to let go and let the experts do what they know and feel is right for you. Try and not second guess them-this is why you have come all that way because they are the best. I feel for you ,I feel your pain . My Lisa today is a new day. Get back on that horse and ride with all the courage and strenght you have.Stay positive -that you have controll of. Get your body in a calm and positive state ready to accept those wonderful embreos that are coming.We all know how hard it has been to get to this point -your dad ,myself, Dave's mom and dad, Chris and Christine , your extended family and friends.Stay strong and stay calm. You can do this. Love always mom

Anonymous said...



elliej said...

Hello from ireland Lisa, I was at CCRM the day of your IVF physical for my one-day work-up and I'm sorry our paths didn't cross, I found out afterwards via the boards that it was a hard day for you. Please, please try to stop second guessing yourself and TRUST that you will be OK. I know how awful this journey is, how insidious it becomes so that you feel that everything is your fault. You have been a warrior throughout this journey and a wonderful advocate for you, your DH and your dreams. At this stage I really believe you have to trust that you were triggered at the right time. Dr Schoolcraft is the best IVF practitioner in the world at the world's best clinic. Even had you called, I really don't believe that they would have done anything differently. 11 embryos is a great number and the famed lab is famed for a reason. I truly believe that you will get pregnant from this cycle and am praying for you. Keep the faith. To quote yourself back at you: YES YOU CAN and YES YOU WILL!!!!

MamaSoon said...

I was wondering if they trigger earlier because your progesterone was nearing 1.0. I am not super sure but maybe when your progesterone gets too high before retrieval it isn't good for the process either. Maybe I am wrong. So sorry you are doubting yourself. Don't blame yourself, please.

Anniep said...

You know what? Since they got 5 more mature in the lab (did I read that right?), I wonder if your body would have gotten the same results, or if it could have compromised the good ones that were ready? As mamasoon said, I bet it was that pesky P2 that was the dealbreaker. That can mess with things.
Regardless of the what-ifs, the lab ROCKS MY WORLD. We have crap swimmers, too and did the PICSI. When we did the genetic counselling for the CGH stuff, I totally freaked out that they had to have the embies grow to day 5. Our crap *NEVER* ever made it that far in the first place, so why don't we just shoot ourselves in the foot and thow the whole cycle away if everything's just going to die in the lab. *ugh*
But you know what? It was OK. The lab worked their magic.
*hugs* to you.
ps- isn't the garden of the gods beautiful? Were you OK w/ the elevation?

babydust81 said...

Hi Lisa...

Being in this journey myself, I understand how you feel. The worry, the guilt and the what if. But at this point of time, after reading all your past entries, I believe you have and Dave have done the very BEST you possibly can. Like what the others have said, if you had trigger a day later, will your body have rejected the currently good eggs. Never second guess yourself darling. That's what FEAR and IF wants you to feel.

I know it is easier said than done but for now the best thing for you is to try and think positive. The embryo feeds on your +ve energy. I believe if you think +ve, the embryo will be more +ve too...
+ve mind = healthy body = better chances.

All the best. My prayers are with you and Dave.