I just finished a patient survey that covered every major step of my treatment at the fertility clinic. We're talking initial consult . . . to testing . . . to major surgery . . . to IVF . . . to IVF . . . to D&C . . . to IVF . . . to D&C to . . . life after. The fact that all of it went down in less than 15 months seems almost as unreal to me as the equally factual fact that time ran out for our much-longer-than-that TTC mission.
Filling out the survey — using ALL the extra commenting space and then some — was both freeing and tears-inducing. It helped further the feeling that those days are over. I know it, deeply, but I do benefit from any nudges toward the future that come my way. I'm still having these intense moments in which "the pull" bubbles up and it's all I can do to stop myself from thinking about how I might handle one more chance.
The feeling shows up less frequently as the weeks pass. But boy, when it yanks, it yanks hard. That potentially actionable pull is worse than the mad desire that still simmers below the surface: namely, that I might go back in time — to any number of turning points — and make a slightly different decision and, thus, well, you know where that train of thought ends. But because I know time travel is impossible, thoughts like that are easy to snap out of.
The in-treatment routine, however, is one tough habit to break. As thoroughly draining and difficult as it was, I always liked it. You can't do it absent hope, and who doesn't like a little taste of that?
Some days I'm caught off guard by the urge to call my acupuncturist, RE, or even the coordinating nurse I often second-guessed (always correctly, but hey, I still liked her and she was part of the package). One phone call, I think, and something more could happen. And THAT thought ("something more") brings me right back to the reason we stopped. Because I don't think something else would happen. I believe that an additional something of the variety we've already experienced would happen. More. Of. The. Same. That is my belief. And none of those well-traveled roads to the same unhappy destination interest me when I reeeaaaaalllly consider them.
One thing I've done in the New Year to create more space for my healing process is drop out of the online community I frequented for years (the FFriendly one, to be specific). Following others' TTC journeys, ART cycles, and pregnancies in that community's format just wasn't conducive to my breaking away and giving our decision to stop everything a chance to sink in. I knew I couldn't participate, even just to give support or offer information, without getting caught up in wanting it — "it" being whatever I might read or discuss — for myself. So I let my membership lapse, and I've successfully ignored subsequent entreaties to re-up.
That one move has worked out. It opened up some much-needed head space. And that helped kick-start my campaign to keep putting day-by-day time space between making the decision and living with it.
Well, Lost just ended, and I'm pretty sure "watching" while blogging has made me miss an important plot nuance or 20. Oh well. It's time for me to turn in. With any luck, tomorrow will be here soon.