It’s Not Me, It’s the Hormones

tired dog

So I had a post-surgery appointment today. The good news is that I’m doing great! Healing quickly, in less pain than ever before in my life. The bad news is that the exhaustion that I thought was my body recovering from surgery is most likely actually from all the post-surgery and pre-IVF hormones and the anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medications that I’m taking. I think that this blog will be most helpful to you, reader, if I keep things real. So, in addition to talking about infertility, I will also be talking about what it’s like to go through infertility (and hopefully pregnancy and beyond) with a pre-existing anxiety disorder and history of depression. As you likely know first-hand if you are also struggling toward parenthood, there are all kinds of scary statistics out there about the level of stress that going through infertility causes. OK, I’m getting off topic. We will geek out about infertility and stress in a later post, complete with scholarly references. For now, let’s just leave it at my anxiety medication and hormones for infertility treatment are not playing nice. I’m exhausted all the time, and I now realize that this state of affairs won’t go away with one more week of rest. I have to find a way to cope and get work done while I’m this exhausted, possibly for months on end. I’m not sure what I’m going to do to cope yet. In the past I’ve broken my work up into small, doable chunks and rewarded myself for completing each chunk. I’ve also used the ideas of self-compassion and self-care. Now that I’m aware of the cause, I’m confident that I will find ways to slog through: one small step at a time.

Resources that I’ve found helpful:

Gamify Your Infertility (because why not): SuperBetter

Get support and, if you need it, help from an expert:

Recovering from Surgery When You Are Impatient

Have I mentioned that I am impatient? Well it’s no exaggeration. In preschool other 4 year olds used to scold me by singing the “Be Patient” song to me. I haven’t improved much over the years. For impatient people, recovering from surgery is a bitch. If are dealing with infertility, you probably already know about getting caught in the Infertility Time Warp where ever single cycle feels like slowly creeping years, especially cycles when you are not undergoing any sort of “active” treatment. Yes, giving myself daily injections is unpleasant, but it does make time move slightly faster.

Before I underwent my laproscopy, I wondered what the recovery would be like. Of course, everyone is different. For me, the pain went away quickly. I even felt less pain than before the surgery, likely due to the endometriosis that was removed. The part that is still kicking my ass two and a half weeks later is the exhaustion. It takes energy to repair your body after surgery. (I also had two other procedures done in addition to removing the endo; more on that later.) So I feel good, but I get tired after doing even small tasks. If I rally for a whole day and say work from home, which for me involves sitting on the couch while I write or talk with people on the phone, then the next day I’m wiped and have to take multiple naps. It’s frustrating to feel good, but not be able to do very much, even when it’s good for me.

Another aspect of the frustration is feeling like I’m so close, but having to wait. I’m doing a medication protocol for three months while I recover leading up to a frozen embryo transfer in mid-November. “You’ve already been on this road for three and a half years, so what’s three more months?” A rational person might ask me. Well, impatience is not rational. As my hope gets renewed, the waiting gets harder.

Beginning with the Middle

Hello Reader,

Welcome to somewhere in the middle of our infertility journey. I am writing this as I recover from laparoscopic surgery. Infertility blogs have been a huge help to me so far, but lately I’ve been feeling isolated as I search for others in my position. All of our journeys are different, but I hope that putting mine out there helps some of you.

After four failed transfers with “unknown cause” infertility, we’ve finally found a possible cause through a long process of elimination. The surgery was to both diagnose and treat endometriosis. I will now do a not yet fully researched medication protocol leading up to another transfer. Through this whole process I’ve searched online for insights about what each step will be like, because as the title of my blog states: I am impatient. In this blog, I will walk you through what each step of my process is like. I’ll start in the next post with the surgery and go from there. I hope that this helps those of you out there who are also impatiently struggling toward parenthood.