The pool is always cold.
I jump in anyway, wondering as the water sweeps up over my skin, freezing, why I didn’t just lace up my running shoes and grab the i-pod. But deep down, I know exactly why.
Running is the discipline I’m used to. It frees my mind to think. As a life-long introvert, this is generally a wonderful chance to recharge, muse over various situations, or just enjoy the changing leaf colors on the trees. My mind isn’t really a wonderful place to spend time these days, though, and today it’s the last place I want to hang out.
So I’m swimming laps instead. Swimming is silent. With the work of moving myself through the water and managing my breathing, it takes most of my concentration. All I can think about is the next stroke, when to turn my head, flipping over, kicking off the wall, lungs nearly bursting before breaking the surface.
It holds the anxiety at bay for about an hour.
In all honesty, right now, all I want is to go back to that month before we had the idea that we were going to try for a baby and stay there for awhile. There is a part of me that is desperately exhausted with infertility, with treating infertility, with the constant whirl of appointments, with the entire disease. We got one round on Clomid. We got two rounds on Femara. Both of us had expected that at least we might see progress on those even if they didn’t ultimately work. Nothing. Worse than nothing, if you count the fact that the Clomid thinned out my endometrial lining without so much as even a hint of ovulation. Then the injectables were held out to us as our great hope. We’ve ripped through higher and higher level treatments with an absolutely terrifying speed.
Terrifying, because if IVF with ICSI doesn’t work, we’ll have struck out at the biggest game in town. I’m not sure how to live here, where there’s not one more bigger, better treatment option on the horizon. I know even IVF can take more than one cycle, if it ever works. But if this cycle fails, it will change so much for us.
Too many damn feelings to sort through.
Then there’s the irritation I feel at my obsessive need to circle back to infertility, over and over and over. The part of me that nastily states that I should really be considering how good I have it, that lots of people have diseases they could actually die from. That it’s silly to feel this awful, destroyed, gutted – over a baby – when I’ve got so many other good things. That it’s really stupid to be this dramatic when we’ve been dealing with infertility for so much less time than plenty of others. Although at this point, we’ve attempted eight medicated cycles, had five cancelled before we could trigger, had one cancelled due to cysts, and two that were triggered and failed to result in a pregnancy. This will be cycle nine. In a year. Yikes.
I’m determined to get through this cycle, no matter the outcome. I hope like crazy it’s the hormone injections that are making me so morose and my mind such an unpleasant place to stay.
That’s the other appeal to swimming laps. In so much water, a few tears collecting in the bottom of my goggles go unnoticed.