Temporary State of Madness

Infertility is one of those things that you don’t quite understand how difficult it is until you experience it yourself.  I admit, if I had a patient just like me prior to this, I would have thought to myself, “It’s ok, she’ll be fine.  She has a child already, she got pregnant on Clomid so she’ll conceive again, probably without IVF.  She’s 37, so she still has time.”

The reality is that when I get my period, it sends me into a temporary downward spiral.  I got my period again yesterday, and all of a sudden I feel like a failure again.  All of these negative thoughts take over.  I wonder what I’m doing wrong- am I too stressed?  Am I eating too much sugar?  Am I not sleeping enough?  The reality is probably nothing.  I’ve been telling myself that we’re just starting to try again after the miscarriage, so it probably won’t happen right away.  But I can’t help it.  It’s like the quote about grief being incomparable.  Pain and emotional difficulty- no one can tell me what I’m allowed to feel.  Even myself.  I’ve tried to talk myself out of it.

I started to feel angry about everything, and unfortunately my husband bears the brunt of it.  He worked yesterday on a Sunday, and during the day while I was alone with WZW, I started having some light bleeding,  I figured it was my period, so I started feeling sad, but tried to hold it in, and didn’t tell him about the bleeding.  We had already agreed to do the pregnancy test together when he came home based on the timing since ovulation.  But when he came home, he started doing work around the house and such.  So by the time I did the pregnancy test, it was getting late.

When I finally got the negative pregnancy test and had a chance to let my feelings out, I was a mess.  It was 10 o’clock at night when we both needed to go to bed, but I was crying, and angry that we didn’t do the test earlier.  I felt like he knew it would upset me, so he delayed it.  Now it was going to affect my sleep and the following workday.  I just felt like a crazy, emotional, irrational person.

I know it was the right decision for us to move again (this is WZW’s third home in his 2.5 years).  But it’s stressful not feeling settled, and not being able to find things because they are either buried in clutter/boxes or somewhere in storage.  When I’m already feeling bad, then every little inconvenience upsets me.

With puffy eyes, I got myself up early this morning, and got WZW ready so he could head to daycare.  I went into work, early as usual, and started reviewing my charts for the day.  I got through a handful, but I couldn’t keep going.  Being mentally present to take care of 20-something patients all day requires me to be at my 100%.  And instead, I felt daunted by the day ahead, and still wanted to cry.  I didn’t want to set myself up for another breakdown at work, so I decided to cancel and head home.

So now I feel like a failure for missing work.  We doctors feel like we have to go to work unless we’re on death’s door.  But the fact is, my work requires so much mental energy, and requires me to be engaging for all of my patients.  It would be a disservice to them if I tried to get through my workday given how horrible my emotional state is today.  And God forbid I miss something important clinically because I’m not fully with it.  Since I’m the type of person who got through high school without ever getting a detention, I still feel guilty.  Even though it was the right thing to do for me and my patients.

I really want to be pregnant, but thinking about the nausea with the recent pregnancy, I also dread it on some level.  I know that pregnancy is going to have its own discomforts and inconveniences.  I almost feel a sense of resentment towards this child that doesn’t even exist yet.  Don’t worry, I won’t actually feel that way when the baby arrives.  I’m just being honest with all of the negative and crazy thoughts that run through my head when I’m feeling this way.

I am aware that Clomid can cause mood changes.  I don’t know how long they last, and if it’s possible that part of my craziness is due to the Clomid.  I’ll have to ask the fertility office the next time I go in.  I don’t want to be one of those women who blames her emotions on hormones/medications, but I do wonder if that’s why I feel extra unhinged this time around.

My husband asked if I have unresolved feelings about the miscarriage.  Perhaps I do, but I didn’t think I did.  I think that having the negative pregnancy test again is a reminder of failure and loss for me, so it’s upsetting.  It’s hard to go through this over and over again when we’ve been trying for a year and half.

I know that things will get better, and that this is temporary.  I try to remind myself of that, but sometimes I can’t handle things and it gets really difficult.  And that is ok, too.  Thanks for allowing me to vent.

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The Shoe Edition

Now that more time has passed, I’ve been feeling better.  Emotionally, what I feel now is disappointment in having this setback, and having to go through everything again.  I feel bad that some women have such a difficult time emotionally.  The author of the Lenny essay that I previously referenced said it best, but essentially she was aware that logically, she shouldn’t feel so deeply affected by her loss, and yet grief is incomparable.  As a doctor and now as a woman who’s been through it, I just feel bad that anyone feels that kind of hurt, and wish they didn’t.

I think it helps that celebrities are being more open and talking about their miscarriages.  And on social media, many regular women are also able to open up about their experiences, which hopefully makes it easier for those going through it to know that they are far from alone.

About two weeks after the miscarriage, my home pregnancy test had become negative, and then not too long after, I got the LH surge on my ovulation kit.  My bleeding got lighter and lighter but never fully stopped, and then about a month after the miscarriage is when I had my first period.  With that cycle, I resumed my appointments at the fertility office and started back on Clomid.  So we’ll see how that goes.  Everything feels like eternity: waiting a couple of weeks from ovulation to see if the pregnancy test is positive.  Knowing that I got pregnant in January, and now the earliest I’d conceive again is April.  I know that in the scheme of things, 3 months+ is not that big of a deal, but it feels like forever when you’re already feeling impatient.

On a lighter note, I decided to write about shoes.  They’re not Paleo and not OB-related, but they’ve been on my mind as I’ve been in the market to buy shoes for WZW as well as myself.  It’s mind-boggling that shoes for toddlers can cost $50 at retail price.  We first received Stride Rite shoes as a gift for WZW and have found them to be of good quality.  We found that out when we bought a cheaper brand, and the tread was shallow to begin with.  In a short time, WZW wore out the soles and we had to get a new pair.

For an active and growing little guy, we want good shoes, but knowing how quickly he goes through them, I can’t bring myself to buy $50 shoes.  He got his current pair at Christmas, a full size larger than he was measuring, and now he’s at that size.  So that means he will need a new pair soon.  I decided to look into other brands, and have heard about Pediped, but those are expensive as well.  I was talking to some moms recently about shoes, and one said that her 5 yo daughter will only wear See Kai Run.  And another brand that came up was Momo Baby.

I decided to Google “best toddler shoes” and found this list:

https://www.lucieslist.com/best-walking-shoes-infants-toddlers/

She mentioned another brand called Tsukihoshi that I’d never heard of before.  I would have liked to try Pediped or See Kai Run, but couldn’t find an affordable pair in my son’s size, so I just ordered a Tsukihoshi pair.  Any other brands I should consider?

As for me, I decided I need some slippers to wear around our house since we have hardwood floors, and I need more support.  Plus despite removing our shoes at the door, my socks inevitably end up dirty.  I’d previously found a pair of comfortable flip flops from Vionic, which are supposed to provide good arch support.  It just dawned on me to check, and they make slippers as well.  Score!  And then of course as I’m looking through their site, I want everything else they carry.  I can only vouch for the style I own, the Tide II Toe Post Sandal.

https://www.vionicshoes.com/women/sandals/tide-ii-toe-post-sandal.html?76=266

It has great ratings and I once met a woman who had the same color and style, and she told me it was her second pair.  Now I’m planning on trying other types of shoes that they make.

I’ve worn my Cole Haan Air Tali wedge shoes with a low heel a ton, and had a similar pair previously.  Unfortunately, I bought another pair that had the same low heel height but not the wedge and it wasn’t as comfortable, and I didn’t end up wearing them all that much.  With Cole Haan, definitely wait for sales as they seem to have them frequently.

I’ve also gotten TOMS wedges with a significant heel height that were surprisingly comfortable.  I got a second pair of the same shoes in a different color, but the fabric used was more stiff, and dug into my skin a little.  These days, I have no interest in wearing heels since I have to worry about chasing after a toddler.  Or in some cases, carrying a screaming, kicking one.

One woman said she likes to splurge on Rothy shoes because they’re cute and comfy.  I looked at their site, but none of the shoes have any heel.  For me, since I’m short, I prefer to have a low heel, so I think the Vionic brand might have some better options for me.

These are brands I’ve come across or had personal experience with (no paid advertisements here).  It’s always so satisfying to be able to find a really cute, comfortable pair of shoes that I can wear all the time.  Any other brands/styles you swear by?