Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Into the Mystic

In spite of my recent positive shift in attitude, I have been feeling really disconnected from this upcoming cycle.  Usually, I would be getting excited, even hopeful, at this point in the process.  Being so close to getting the ball rolling is usually the point when I begin to check on what my due date would be, look through baby name books and get serious with my healthy eating.  This time is different.  Maybe it is because of my nagging reservations about using a donor.  Maybe it is because after so many heartbreaks, I’m just having difficulty mustering up excitement.  I’m not sure why I feel this way, but I am sure that I need this outlook to change.  I need to be at least cautiously optimistic before I start the fertility meds, or I will be a wreck going into the “meat and potatoes” part of the cycle.

In fairy tales, when a princess is feeling low, she often gets a little help from a magical character, object or creature.  Cinderella had her fairy godmother to help her.  Sleeping Beauty had the final fairy’s wish to give her a possible out from the bad fairy’s curse.  So what mystical solution do I need to get things back on track?

In the past, I have pursued acupuncture, meditation, hypnosis, vision boards, attempting to harness the power of the “law of attraction,” praying and even consulting a psychic (when you are desperate, you can throw skepticism out the window).  I’m not saying that all of these alternative therapies/practices are “mystical,” but, with the possible exception of prayer, they are generally outside of the norm in our culture.  My fertility clinic encourages the combination of Eastern and Western approaches to treating infertility, so they sort of guided me into the acupuncture and meditation.  In fact, I spent well over two thousand dollars on acupuncture during my second and third years of infertility treatments.  I've taken a hiatus from my treatments since November, when I just couldn't stand to even think about trying to get pregnant.  Although my migraines were better and my immune system was stronger when I was getting acupuncture, I didn’t get pregnant...and really, that was all I cared about.  Some of the other “mystical” remedies made me feel good emotionally during ART cycles, but they also didn’t get me to my goal of pregnancy.

I am pretty open to any suggestions about bettering myself and increasing my fertility.  But there are some things that have been recommended to me that are so outside of my scope of reality, I just can't stomach them.  For example, one time a person was brought into the support group I used to attend, at the clinic I go to for ART, so that she could share her "gifts" with us.  She owns a crystal shop and does life coaching and “spiritual healing.”  She spent the whole time (that would normally be allotted to our venting and comforting one another) talking about how we needed to “raise our vibrations.”  She claimed that by use of crystals, meditations, etc, we could raise our vibrations to the level that spirit babies (disembodied baby souls waiting to slip into a mother’s womb) would respond to.  Apparently you have to think only happy thoughts during a journey with infertility, because sadness, anger and depression will scare the spirit babies away.  When asked about how you set aside open wounds so that you can "raise your vibration," her answer was less than satisfactory.  I should note that she also started off the night saying that she had dealt with infertility and had beat it…only to later explain that she “beat it” by realizing that her business was her baby.  Yeah.  Not really the same thing in my opinion.  She also told the husbands who were attending the meeting that they were responsible for keeping their mates' vibrations high by being good vibrators themselves.  The discussion about the men being “good vibrators” was the highlight of the evening.  It almost became a game to see how many times we could get her to say "good vibrators."  Some mystical remedies are easy to reject...being good for little more than a laugh. 

But now I wonder, what is left?  Do I turn back to the “old faithfuls” for comfort?  Do I venture off into some new, uncharted alternatives?  Friends have recommended a female shaman in our area.  I’ve previously passed on Tibetan monk cleansing rituals that are supposed to be healing, but maybe I should be pursuing some outside intervention.  I haven’t tried cranial massage therapy or reiki yet.  What do I do?  Which one is going to be the magical fix to the funk I am in?  Which one will help me reach my goal of pregnancy?

I have been looking into weekend retreats lately.  There are a couple of ashrams, a monestary and a couple of yoga retreat centers close to where I live.  I’ve gone on silent meditation weekend retreats in the past and have found them to be very liberating.  When you are forced to be silent, you work through all of those dialogues with yourself that you generally push away because you are too busy to deal with them.  Once those are out of the way, you begin to become quiet – mentally, physically and emotionally.  There is a non-denominational spiritualism that automatically takes over…and it feels really good. (Plus I lose a bunch of weight by eating…or should I say by "not eating"…the vegan food they serve).  But I am never able to keep up on “my practice” once I return to everyday life, and slowly the good feeling and self-certainty dwindles away.  So far, I haven’t made any commitment to going on such a retreat.  I know that I can go any time, but I also know that we have a huge payment for our donor cycle due soon, and it is difficult to justify spending money on extras right now.

I wish I knew where my mystical fix could be found.  If I knew for sure that any of the aforementioned possibilities would help, I would find the money to pursue them.  I’ve had a miserable cold for two weeks now, so I will likely start acupuncture again so that I can be reasonably confident that I will be healthy going into the IVF process.  But I’m not so sure that will turn my pumpkin into a carriage, or my uterus into a baby shack.  I don’t know if anything can break the curse of seeing the glass as half full, or break the curse of infertility, but I feel like I have to do something.  I really need some hope of success right now.  What is the magical thing that is going to help this princess get out of her predicament?  I can't yet answer that question yet, but at least I can tell you that it won't be a "good vibrator."  Even my fairy tale isn't that weird. 


Lindsey said...

Haha, this post made me laugh. I can buy the whole acupuncture and yoga benefits because they are proven to increase blood flow to the pelvic organs which leads to a thicker healthier uterine lining but the shaman/aura crap, I just can't, I'm too logical and I need to see some scientific way it might help. Plus I'm just too immature to not laugh at the "good vibrator" type comments!

Endo_Life said...

Great post! Once I am healed from this surgery I will be having reflexology.

A reflexologist came to our endo meeting/support group and did a taster for a few of us. I was impressed with what she showed me in those 10 minutes. So in a couple of weeks I will be having my first session. Have you ever tried it? I would be interested to hear what you thought if you have.

Love that the partners/husbands should be "good vibrators"

New Year Mum said...

Share your hope of finding the mystic answer... I'm still searching :)) Hope your cold gets better... good old-fashioned rest and lots of TLC is always great too xo

amiracle4us said...

I wish I had that mystical answer as well. The thought of failure is overbearing and after multiple failures it gets hard to see the positive and hopeful aspect of treatments. Do things that make you happy and smile...thats what I am trying to do. MASSAGES TOO!