Friday, September 28, 2007

Two and Two

Two updates, coming right up. But first, Rule Number Two:

Visualize Success.

Some people believe there is real, magical power in extreme positive thinking, in living "as if", or at least repeating, mantra-style: I have the body of a supermodel, the bank account of Oprah Winfrey, and a healthy baby on the way. Life is fabulous. I don't mean to demean this practice (or supermodels, or Oprah, or babies, or fabulousness). I also don't mean to suggest that I believe there is no such magical power. Frankly, I don't know, and truthfully, it doesn't matter, because, magic or not, in many circumstances, I am convinced that visualizing success works.

One thing I do know: doing so forces a change of perspective. It is good to ask yourself, when feeling fat and poor and sad, whether your intention is to take your mind off of the pain (by consuming a pint of ice cream, a lottery ticket, and a good movie, for instance) or to make peace (with your flab, your childlessness, and your second-hand everything), or is your intention to make change? There is no correct answer. The important thing is simply to ask!

I like David Allen's line (I've quoted this before): "Whatever has your attention needs your intention engaged." In other words, in order to visualize success, you need to address the question: In this particular circumstance, for me, what DOES success look like?

It's a good question for me right now. So much is changing.

I'll give more details soon, but in a nutshell, two things:

1. Tomorrow, my stepson will move three hours north to complete the academic year, possibly all five remaining academic years before college, at a better school, living with his mother. My mixed feelings contain a double-shot of relief, and smaller jolts of worry, guilt, and sadness. For J~, of course, it is much more intense. He is alternately excited for his son, worried for him, and completely devastated. J~'s entire existence, for the past thirteen years, has been defined by and revolved around his role as parent. Through tears, sitting in his car in the office's parking lot at lunch hour today, he told me he feels the loss so deeply, it seems to exist at the cellular level.

2. We met with a reproductive endocrinologist this week. A good meeting, a thoughtful, down-to-earth, and knowledgeable doc with lots of good information. The upshot: lab orders for tests that we mostly don't expect to take, since they are invasive and seek out long shots, and frankly, we're just not desperate enough to go there. Since IVF has never felt like an option for me, it boils down to this: nothing to do but try again. Chances of another pregnancy being successful? Fifty-five to sixty percent. That's better odds than I imagined. But I don't much fantasize about having a child like I used to. Perhaps it's self-protective. Perhaps it's denial, but "visualize success" for me lately is more about a writing and art career than it is about babies.

However, if I've learned anything over the past few years, and the past few weeks, it's this: life is nothing if it isn't constant change.

Who knows what I'll be saying a month from now.

8 comments:

missedconceptions said...

I too think that thinking positive is one of the only ways to get through this. If you don't have hope, why bother to try and conceive a child?

Did your RE talk about baby aspirin? Apparently it helps in recurrent miscarriage, and is inexpensive and easy to obtain.

Dee said...

Thanks for that. Visualizing success is not something I've thought about previously or read about for that matter. Thinking positive - I do that! And it DOES work. It certainly makes me feel better, hence the chances of success in whatever I'm trying to do improve.
Looking forward to what you'll be saying a month from now.

Katalyst said...

Just curious- have you HAD your progesterone levels tested? Pretty noninvasive and simple solution if you have an LPD for me. If I remember right, you saw a heartbeat, so I'm really wondering about LPD in your case.

tbear213 said...

You wanted to know how the d&c went well it was actually not bad at all. I was very afraid but they where very nice and after they put me under it was all good. I woke up very soon after no pain not much groggyness ( is that a word )I only bled that day so I guess I would do it again if in the same position (apparantly blighted ovum)
Although I know nobody has the same reaction to any procedure everone's body and mind reacts differently to all situations

Anna said...

If any of those tests include being checked for clotting disorders, it really might be worth doing. You may already know this, but 10-20% of women with repeat miscarriage have some form of clotting disorder (or thrombophilia). After two miscarriages, I was diagnosed with antiphopholipid syndrome and now I'm on my third pregnancy, taking Lovenox, and things are going well so far -- knock wood and all the usual post-m/c tentativeness. We finally saw our first healthy heartbeat. It is such a relief to have an explanation and a possible solution. I'd love to see you have the same relief.

Anonymous said...

AMy, delurking to say I do relate to how you feel about IVF, as that was exactly how I felt too. I stopped when it came to that point. But there are so many other things that could be wrong that it might be worth taking the labs. I have three friends who had recurrent miscarriage and none required IVF - mainly because the issue was with staying pregnant, not getting pregnant. Two had the problem solved (after 3 and 4 consecutive miscarriages respectively) with progesterone. Although the tests showed there was nothing identifiable wrong with either, their doctors said it wouldn't hurt since some women find this really works. The third had some other problem and required a different medication. All now have children. One of these friends told me about a research study that demonstrated that 86% of women who had no known cause for their miscarriages went on to have babies - so no answers in this case is actually a good thing.

tbear213 said...

I always feel guilty posting here I have one child but he turns six this month and I realy want another I lost the next aug 14 th or so they said I want to try next month but I'm scared my period last month was normal for the most part but one day was very heavy I called my aunt an rn it was that heavy any advise on how to get pregnant now or should I wait I'm scared and 35

Anonymous said...

The keep trying theory can be very successful. 5 losses here, tons of tests, a few medically assisted cycles, and then an IVF with PGD (and found out that at most 20% of embryos were genetically perfect) which failed and then, the next month we got pregnant with our first (genetically perfect) daughter and then 10 months after she was born we got pregnant (no menstrual period in between!) with our second (genetically perfect) daughter. Both daughters conceived and carried without intervention. It just happened. Keep trying!! Evelin