Friday, March 19, 2010

Fly, Arrow, Fly

Back when I was first learning about hypothalamic amenorrhea, I came across several places that described the typical HA sufferer as white, female (well, duh), intelligent, well-educated, and controlling. Well, I don't exactly remember if they used the word "controlling," but it was something to that effect. In any case, I was implicated completely. I'm as white as they come, have a graduate degree, and always did well in school (as in, straight A's all the way through until one class in grad school, which still kills me. But I'm over it, I promise). And, yes, I'm naturally someone who wants to be in control. Of almost everything. In fact, when P and I did our premarital counselling, our counselor (a professional) gave me a little booklet about OCD. Hint, hint.

I'm willing to admit that I like to be in control. This is, after all, why I was so good at controlling my diet and exercising regularly, thus getting myself into this HA mess. As with most personality traits, it's both a strength and a weakness. I'm awesome and being discipline, organized, efficient. I get things done way faster than expected. I never (repeat, never) had to pull an all-nighter to finish an assignment or study for a test--because I had always planned ahead enough to get it done in advance. I plan all the meals we're going to eat each week ahead of time so I can use our money wisely and save time by only making one grocery trip a week.

But I have dreams (nightmares, really) about being late, being unable to get something done, about chaos. These are the things that literally keep me up at night, as pathetic as that sounds. And I dread planning meals each week because of my perfectionist tendencies. I have a strongly held belief that there is a perfect plan out there for our meals--one that would be perfectly efficient, healthy, varied, balanced. Etc. So I labor trying to find that perfect plan. Just in case you're wondering, it doesn't exist. Perfection doesn't exist in our broken world. That sounds hopeless, but it's really quite freeing when I can believe it.

God gave me the perfect (okay, I just said perfection doesn't exist, so I guess I'm using it figuratively here) husband to help me learn to let go a bit. Thankfully, he's almost as much of a planner as I am. I believe I would actually go out of my mind if I were married to someone who liked to fly by the seat of his pants (someone like my little brother, for example). P gets anxious if we don't have the next five years planned out; I get anxious if we don't have the next week planned out. So I help to let go of the next five years and he helps me to let go of next Tuesday. It works quite beautifully, actually. Thanks for orchestrating that, God.

This infertility thing is, needless to say, a huge, painful, stretching experience for both of us. I can't sleep at night worrying about my temperature the next morning. P gets frustrated that we are losing the possibility of having a baby in 2010. And we both just have to let it go, and help each other let it go.

That doesn't negate the fact that I still feel better now that we have put a bit of a plan in place. I was feeling really lost for a while because I didn't know what came next. Or how soon it could come. Without being able to see an RE, it seemed like we would just be floundering on our own for months and years on end. But we have a plan. And it was actually P's idea, so I don't have feel guilty about being too impatient and pushing things forward too fast. He wants a kid just as much as I do.

The plan? Assuming AF shows when she's due early next week, P will go in for his SA on Tuesday. I guess the results of that could change things entirely, but it's likely that he will be at least borderline normal. Then I will start acupuncture next Friday. I already booked my appointment. I'll go ahead and pay for the six-month plan and start going weekly, taking the herbs, eating warm foods, whatever. If P does have sperm issues, I might even be able to convince him to go in a few times.

After (and maybe even during) that six months, we'll start researching the process of adoption. We've always wanted to adopt, so this is not totally out of the blue. The idea of providing a home for parentless children, of creating a diverse family, is beautiful to us. We just always thought we'd adopt after having a couple biological kids. But why not now? It's expensive, it seems insurmountably complicated, but I guess we feel more at peace with the idea of dropping a lot of money and time into adopting rather than infertility treatments. We would probably look into international adoption first, since we plan to live overseas in the future anyway, but we'd really be open to anything.

That's our plan. It's faulty. It may be selfishly motivated at some points. It's unlikely that things will proceed as expected. But it's relieving to have a direction to move towards--a target to shoot for, I guess. If some wind comes along and blows our arrow in another direction...well, okay. We're learning that things work better when we release the arrow rather than trying to hold on to it as it flies.


Alex said...

I really like your plan. It works for the two of you, and that's all that matters. Enjoy your acupuncture - I really don't understand what it's doing, but it makes me feel so darn good!

Leslie said...

That sounds like a good one. I need a plan myself, but don't really seem able to come up with one.

What does the acupuncture do?

AnxiousMummyto3 said...

I agree your plans sound great. I know what you mean about the loss of control, I have really struggled with this too over the last couple of years. You sound like you are doing okay with it though. Keeping my fingers crossed for DH's SA!! Good luck :)

Anonymous said...

Ceejay, I found your blog through the fertilehtoughts forum and I think you are pregnant. You have all of the symptoms!

Heather said...

Your plans are awesome! (and as an adoptive mom, adoption is way cool! I have a bio child as well)

I love planners. I'm so much the same way... :)


KD said...

I have HA as well... I TOTALLY get the whole "control" thing... the bad dreams... hang in there!! Your plans sound GREAT!

Cheryl said...

I think your plan is fantastic, adoption is a wonderful option (how are you getting on today). Also acupuncture has resulted in amazing results with some ladies wanting to conceive also it has been known to move breach babies. I have a story to share about how i had a baby after years of trying so never give up you can see my site at infertility blog.
Please let us all know how your journey is of date.
Cheryl x