Happy New Year to everyone! So I felt I didn't lecture enough about the New Year's Resolutions last week, so I thought I'd torture everyone a little more this week. The thing about New Year's Resolutions, as dumb as they seem, is they have a way of giving us a good sense of direction and may even motivate us...if we do them right.
My list of unwritten rules when making resolutions goes something like this:
1) Keep Each Goal Short
If you can't say it in a sentence, you don't know what the hell you want.
"Find a new job or advance at old job if boss quits or jerk in Human Resources who has had a grudge against me since I dated her short cousin in high school has a stroke or corporate office agrees to transfer me but only to the Bermuda office not the Toledo office unless it's during hurricane season."
or, more to the point for our crew perhaps:
"I'll try IVF one more time and if I don't get pregnant, I'll quit trying. Maybe I'll try twice more. Definitely not three times. See how I feel. It depends."
Sounds like a pretty stressful resolution. Perfectly normal under the circumstances but stressful nonetheless. How about jotting: "Try another IVF cycle" and then put the pen down.
Every cycle we go through is a MAJOR achievement whatever the result and deserves a pat on the back from ourselves and anybody else who you don't skeeve when they touch you.
... Like that one creepy touchy-feely boss. "Yeah, thanks,Frank. You can just stay over there. 'Pat on the back' is understood. 'ppreciate it. No, no high five needed either. I'm good. Okay, now you took a step forward."
2) Keep Each Goal Specific
"Lose fifty pounds." Yeah...and? Will this be a soy and styrofoam diet or have you made an appointment for the fat fairy to fly by one night and lop off your ass?
and definitely don't add the burden of: "Lose fifty pounds so I can finally get pregnant!" to your resolution.
I mean do you think a good way to approach taking off fifty pounds of fat is to pile a hundred pounds of guilt and pressure onto your shoulders?
If you have weight to lose, you've already heard about the threat of diabetes and heart failure and stroke so how is tossing "infertility" into the stew going to help? Doesn't matter whether it's true or not that your weight may jeopardize your fertility. It's just too much to take on as a resolution.
"Start by walking a half hour every day and always have water instead of soda" will probably do the trick.
There, look at that. You'll probably lose seven pounds in water weight the first week and you've already shed a hundred pounds of ugly unwanted stress just by focusing on the goal instead of the potential illnesses.
I know it's not easy. We live in a world of doomers and gloomers. I brought that up to my sister-in-law one day. She said to her daughter at the mall: "Get away from that escalator! You'll fall, hit your head, and die!"
Then later she said to her husband: "If you don't start eating better, you'll have a massive heart attack and die!" So I asked my sister-in-law: "Do you have even one scenario in your repertoire that doesn't end in death?"
3) Focus More on Steps, Less on Results (especially results you can't predict or control-which of course is most of life and all of infertility)
Just today I read something on an infertility support forum. Something I see often: "I started IVF in the fall so I'd be pregnant by the end of 2010. I can't believe it's 2011 and I'm still not pregnant! I'm so depressed!"
Okay, we've all done it. Escaped from Infertility Island to Fantasy Island. The problem is: This poor girl wasn't just hoping to be pregnant by year's end, she was counting on it.
She could have set herself up at the beginning of the year for a much more positive end of 2010 even without getting a positive pregnancy test.
"I'll go to another doctor for a second opinion and continue with my treatment if he or she agrees" sounds pretty good. As opposed to:
"Have In-Vitro. Plan my maternity leave."
In life, and especially in infertility, about nine hundred different wrenches could be thrown into that plan before, during and after those two steps. So here you've got yourself all raring to go and you head over to your friendly neighborhood Reproductive Endocrinologist on the corner and are told:
"No...wait!... You probably don't need IVF! Damn...put those syringes down lady, you're scaring me."
Listen, I gotta go. There's a big after Christmas, after New Year's, after everybody's returned all the crap they didn't want and couldn't pawn off on anybody else ---sale.
I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.