We’ve all heard of pregnancy brain — supposedly it’s that potent mix of hormones, vomit and anticipation that combines to make pregnant women forgetful and spacey. Experts debate its existence, mostly dismissing it as urban myth, and yet most pregnant women can regale you with at least one or two (or 20) examples of that time they put the flour in the fridge or forgot their own name.
Pregnant Women Don’t Have a Monopoly on Insanity
There is another very real, very active form of baby-induced mind mush — and that’s the infertility brain.
I have a secret (and I bet that some of you do too). I may look normal on the outside and mostly act normal too, but on the inside my mind and body are consumed with infertility — both emotionally and physically.
I guess this is always true for me, but never more so then when I am mid cycle, as I am now.
Sometimes the most brilliant ideas in life are seemingly the simplest. That was my sense yesterday when a client came in and told me that she had asked her fertility doctor and staff not to give her any information during her current in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle.
She does not want to know what her numbers are. She requests not to know how the follicles are measuring and many eggs are retrieved. And please don’t tell her how many fertilize. She wants to know only the number of embryos available for transfer and for freezing. Not their quality. Not their cell count. She has a need not to know.
These are but two examples of the introductions I hear each day. Women come in to see me and before I learn anything about them, such as where they live, what they do for work or for fun, or how old they are, they recite their recent fertility history. The words seem to roll off their tongues — three IVFs, four IVFs, sometimes even more. Often I have to remind myself to pause and think about what this really means. And I have to ask my clients to pause and tell me something more about themselves than their fertility stats.
It seems like a split second ago, my husband and I were traversing the slippery slope of getting through the holiday season, childless once again. We have now spent more holiday seasons as parents than we did coping with infertility, but the empathy remains. Never too far from my frontal lobe is the indelible impression of how delicate life is and, consequently, what an absolute miracle it is that I am a mom, as ours was one of the more unique roads to parenthood.
It’s that time of year again. Holiday cards are coming.
Maybe there will be a few less this year? Postage is up, snail mail is out, and most of us are watching costs as the recession drags on. Nevertheless, you need to be prepared if you are coping with infertility or undergoing fertility treatments.
The cards are coming. The cards are coming, and they ain’t pretty.
Dr. Mark Perloe from Georgia Reproductive Specialists talked about stress and infertility around the holidays. He had tips for patients and those considering taking the first steps on their infertility journey.