I learned at an early age that our minds have a great effect on our bodies. I learned this because all of the anxiety and worry associated with school directly translated into discomfort in my GI tract. It wasn’t until I read Conquering Infertility by Alice Domar, though, that I realized that the mind has a great effect on infertility as well. To be sure, nothing short of surgery was going to unblock my tubes, but my mind could certainly help with my response to stims and overall mental health while enduring the roller coaster that is infertility.
The first time I read the book, it was during my third IUI. I had a fantastic response to the stims and poof, I got pregnant. Coincidence? There were many other factors at work, but I can’t help but think that my response was due to using my mind toward that goal. The successs of that third IUI continues to haunt me – not only because it ended in miscarriage – but because I have convinced myself that everything must be the exact same as it was that cycle for me to get pregnant again. After all, it worked and it hasn’t worked any other time. My mind understands that this is pretty stupid, but there is also a part of it that is still holding on to this theory.
The result: I find myself trying extra hard to relax so that I can get the maximum effect from the stims. And of course, I’m trying too hard. Everytime I feel myself relaxing, I tense to remind myself to relax. Not helpful. And then I worry that I’m not relaxing enough. Even more unhelpful. And now I’m worried because it’s taking even more medicine than before to produce some good eggs. This, too, makes it even harder to relax. It also doesn’t help that I have been reading a lot of blogs recently where the women have very poor responses to stims. During the time I banned myself from blogs and IP boards, I was blissfully unaware of how difficult just stimming can be to get a maximum response. Not so anymore. This has added to my anxiety.
So, what was supposed to break a vicious cycle of stress has been manipulated into something that causes a vicious cycle of stress. The only thing now that “brings me down” is knowing that Dr. Uterus isn’t concerned. That’s about it. I think the best thing I can do right now is just not think about it. At all.