The ducklings have arrived!  The ducklings have arrived!  I wasn’t able to get a good photo of them, because their mama got upset when I tried to get close.  I TOLD J that the ducks would have their babies, but that they just had them later.  And there they are.

I just got back from an appointment with my therapist, and I feel a little exhausted.  She’s not actually my therapist.  She’s really much more a psychiatrist who happens want to be supportive and have regular check-in sessions with you.  J started calling her Dr. Ham&Cheese, because her name kind of sounds like that.  Dr. Ham&Cheese specializes in helping women dealing with infertility.  It’s great seeing someone who knows about the IVF process in such detail, and has seen so many women through it.  But it’s tough sometimes not having an actual therapist/patient relationship.  She’s very vocal about what she thinks I should or shouldn’t do, for instance.  That’s usually not how it is with a therapist, at least not in my experience.  I don’t remember being so aware of a therapist’s disapproval in the past.

Today, for instance, was the first day I’ve seen her since starting to taper off the Zoloft.  She’s pretty clearly against my doing that.  She’s convinced that it’s most important to treat the mother – that if she’s healthy and happy then the baby will be, too.  She – and apparently a huge group of practitioners who specialize in helping women in the same situation – believe that an anxious or depressed mother can have more of a negative affect on her baby than one taking SSRIs.  She believes that the studies about SSRIs and birth defects are very poorly designed and unreliable.  She thinks it’s fine to be on SSRIs all through a pregnancy, but at the very least, that it’s pretty imperative for a woman who’s gone through IF (if she exhibits signs of anxiety and depression – and I, personally, haven’t met one who’s gone through more than one cycle who doesn’t) to stay on SSRIs through the anxiety-ridden first trimester.

I mentioned to her that there’s just no way to do a proper, controlled study on the affects of those drugs on a developing fetus.  That’s J’s concern.  She concedes that, but says that they DO know that depression has a negative affect.  I just don’t know.  I know I’m partly swayed by J and his feelings about the situation.  He normally has a very laissez faire attitude about medications, while I’m the uber conservative one.  I’m the kind of person to worry about what’s in my skin cream or dish soap while trying to conceive, and I used to avoid taking any medications at all if possible.  (Boy, has that changed.  Between my thyroid, IVF medications, and vitamin supplements, I now have to remember to take a HUGE number of pills every day.  But I digress).

It’s really tricky for me to figure out.  I have a deeply entrenched belief that any psychiatrist is going to always be pro-medication.  During one session with her I said that sometimes it was hard for me to see – like she does- when my symptoms clearly indicate a need for an increase in dosage.  I said that often that way of being feels “normal” for me.  She said – and this really stuck with me – that my expectations for normal were very low.  Ouch.   Maybe they are.  I don’t know.  But I have to remember the source.  As J says, “to a carpenter, everything looks like a nail.”  Today I told Ham&Cheese that I was analyzing every symptom I’m having and wondering if it’s an indication I’m pregnant.  She looked at me knowingly and said that was a classic sign of anxiety.  What woman who’s gone through what I’ve gone through doesn’t do that to a certain extent, though?!  You tell yourself not to, but you still do, right?

J actually just called as I was writing this.  Of course, I promptly started crying.  My confusion, worry about doing the wrong thing, lack of sleep, and stress of the two week wait were too much all at once, I guess.  He was very sweet and said that his biggest priority is that I’m doing well, and that he thought IF ALL THINGS WERE EQUAL I might as well try to go off the medication, just to be safe.  But that, if I really need it to help me through all this, he was fully supportive and wasn’t worried at all.  I guess I’m just going to take it one day at a time and see how I feel.  Obviously, it’s not ok for me to consistently wake up at 3:30 am and have nightmares every night, but hopefully that’s wearing off.  Hopefully, I’ll adjust to this new dose and can reduce again soon if I get a BFP.  But I’m promising myself to pay honest attention to how I’m doing.  I think there’s a part of me that feels ashamed to need help at all.  I know so many super strong women who have gone through what I have – and worse – without it.  There’s a part of me that wonders what’s “wrong” with me that I can’t do this on my own.  Am I really a “depressed or anxious” person?  Should I really be on something all the time?  Is my normal sub-par?  I guess I don’t need to worry about that right now.

I told Ham&Cheese that I was scared, partly because I really feel like it might have worked this time.  I miraculously feel hopeful and positive about this cycle (yes, I just knocked on wood, multiple times). I’m SO afraid of the steep plunge from the heights of hopefulness if it’s a BFN. I’m also afraid of feeling stupid and naive for hoping and believing.  I guess I’ll be able to deal like I have every other time.  But maybe, maybe, this time it’s different.  Maybe there will finally be a duckling for me.

– Patience

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