Infertility Decisions: A Story of Nine IUI's
"Stuck in irons, straight into the wind."
I like that phrase.
Particularly when it comes to fertility treatment.
Sometimes we just get to a place where making a decision feels impossible.
For example, I did 9 IUI's (intrauterine insemination, sometimes referred to as artificial insemination).
If you're an experienced fertility treatment patient, if you've looked infertility right in the eye, you know that sounds excessive.
It is excessive. Not just because it was 9 IUI's. But also because my fertility doctors and medical team were suggesting other options. I wasn't willing to hear them.
I was stuck.
I was young. I was kind of dumb. I'm not connecting those two things and insinuating that you are dumb, if you are young. I am not insinuating that young is dumb. I'm strictly talking about myself here!
I was young. I was kind of dumb. And I was scared.
Not a winning combination. A truthful analysis however. Definitely a combination that would create the feeling of being stuck.
I like the phrase, "stuck in irons, straight into the wind".
It's a sailing term. Roughly, it means that the bow (front) of your boat is headed directly into the wind, making it impossible for the sails to fill with wind. So you just sit there, with wind all around, unable to make use of it.
Fertility Treatment Options: When to Look Around
That was me. There were lots of fertility treatment options all around, I had great doctors who tried to lead me into different treatment protocols and I sat there, stuck.
When in a sailboat, stuck in the wind, one needs to gently move in almost any direction to fill the sails. The rudder turns the boat one way or another, and fills the sails, if there is wind.
Maybe I'm being unduly harsh about my younger self. If I add a little compassion then perhaps it's true that what I needed to do was sit there as long as I did to find the course of treatment that I was comfortable with.
I don't know anymore.
I do know that sitting quietly and considering has a lot of value. And that action is necessary. We all have our ways of finding balance between those two and we all come to different conclusions.
Sometimes it's moving ahead, despite feeling scared about our choice; trusting ourselves and our doctors that it's time.
Sometimes it's sitting quietly. Longer than it makes sense to other people because it makes sense to us.
Check in with other people that you trust and respect. Let them reflect back to you how you're feeling and what you're thinking.
Decide whether it's time to move around and catch the wind.
Bear with me.
I haven't written a blog about the weather in a long time.
So here goes.
Rain or snow?
It's October, I live on the east coast of the United States.
Let's go with rain.
Unless it snows.
For those of us who experience infertility, these rapid changes in temperature, precipitation and forecasting feel very familiar.
Changes in medication and treatment, even in the middle of an IUI (intrauterine insemination cycle) or IVF (invitro fertilization) cycle are fairly common.
Just like the weather, the smallest of details add up and create change.
As one of my best friends always quotes, "a butterfly flaps it's wings in Paris and we have a hurricaine in Florida".
Anyone out there have trouble with these swiftly changing plans? Anyone out there feel out of control?
Welcome to infertility.
My friends are floating around in my head today. So is my sister.
Here's what I consider.
The Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Oh, what I wouldn't do for an extra dose of wisdom today.
Fertile Yoga tonight in Brookfield/Danbury.
I'm looking forward to seeing you.
Until then, I'm just keeping an eye out for what's going on outside.
Sometimes that's just easier than checking the weather forecast.