Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Finding Balance

So I feel like lately in the blogosphere there has been a theme of finding balance in your life, and not letting IF control your life. And I think I could definitely benefit from the type of mindset. Because if I'm being honest I have failed miserably over the last few months. But I can't help wondering how I find this balance, when my life is consumed with ultrasounds, blood tests, organizing my life around my trigger shots and iui's. I think most people agree when you're dealing with IF these types of things have to become some sort of priority, or you wouldn't be dealing with them in the first place.

But even so, I have to remind myself that IF is just one part of my life. And while it may feel life consuming right now, I am still in control, and at the end of the day that level of consumption is up to me. Plus I'm a very busy girl, day job, my website, starting a jewelry business, blogging, possibly tearing my house down this year and working on the plans...so you would think I have enough to keep my mind off IF. But yet when I find myself with free time, I always seem fall into the IF trap.

However, keeping my mind off IF isn't really the goal either. Hubby and I are trying to have a baby, this decision alone warrants some attention. And on top of that we're now doing IVF, a very big decision that will demand even more of my time. Who can fault me for putting a big portion of my energy and focus into ensuring this is the best cycle possible. IF is a part of who I am now, so while I don't want it to control my everyday life, I also don't want to pretend like it doesn't exist in my world. So my question is how do I balance?

I think I read in my IVF packet that dealing with stress effectively was a key to reducing it. They said that stress is normal, and let's face it the chances of me not stressing during this IVF cycle are slim to none. But you can manage it, they suggested setting a specific time every day to deal with any concerns/questions you're dealing with. This sounds good in theory, but take this weekend...I started spotting, am I really going to wait for my "allotted time" before I started psycho googling breakthrough bleeding...hell no!

So my question is what is the answer, is there one, or is this just another thing about IF that I have to just deal with? I'm determined to find the answer, figure out a way to balance my life. Because if there's anything I've learned from being on the pill these last couple weeks, is that life before IF was pretty frickin good. No dr. appts, no cycle planning (okay, so I've totally been counting down the day, but whateva), no twwing, just enjoying my life with the hubs!! So now I'm determined not to be the IVF girl, but instead just be a girl that had to do IVF.

Step one of my goal was making massage appointments this weekend for the hubs and myself. I'm so excited, hubby has never had a massage so he doesn't even realize the treat he's in for! Its so the last thing we need to spend money on right now, but I'm looking at it like this is the last weekend before we really get going here, we're on the cusp of what could be the most exciting month of our lives! So why not kick it off with some good old fashioned quality time! But I would love to hear your thoughts, any tips for finding a balance, before my scale completely tips!!!


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you and your hubby are getting a massage! It was soooo nice and it's a great way to unwind before you start your IVF cycle. And I agree about the money, I mean we should spend it on IF treatments, but I also think you should splurge once in a while and we all deserve a treat especially with IF. I hope you have a great time! As for tips on finding balance, ha, I'm looking for that myself. So I'll be checking back. ;)

Anonymous said...

You have your own website and jewelry making business? I want to see. I am always looking for neat jewelry. I wish I knew the answer. It can be so hard to balance.

Andrea said...

Hey Cutie,

I understand every thought that you have penned to paper. It's easy to get sucked into the obsessions of the day to day thoughts of trying to start a family. However, a very good friend, who has been TTC for 11 years said something to me this week that I will never forget. She said "you and Nich were a family before this started". She went on to say "continue to love eachother and the rest will fall as it may, but don't lose sight of that love for eachother". Her words made me think of you, as you have not lost sight of eachother :) You are PB&J!

Overall, I suppose what I am trying to say is that we can not allow IF to define who we are. How do you find that balance? It's tricky, but pat yourself on the back because you are doing a fabulous job of steering yourself in the right direction :) Keep rewarding yourself for your efforts, as that is important.

I'm sending you lots of hugs and well wishes for your upcoming IVF. Keep FAITH and HOPE close to your heart and ANYTHING is possible.

Love to you,
ps enjoy that massage!

Andrea said...

Me Again,

Don't worry to much about the spotting...comes with the territory :) Mention it to your Dr. and I'm sure it will ease your sweet mind.


sienna said...

i'm glad you're treating yourself to the massages. they always work wonders on me when i'm stressed. i feel great for weeks afterward!! i'm really hopeful and excited for your upcoming ivf. holler with any questions :o) *hugs*

Shanny said...

Yay for those massages! I liked this whole post, it makes so much sense!..if only it was easy to get that answer..
Finging balance...I wont be any help, I don't think I found it at all. I pretended that I was busy with other stuff, ok I was busy but IF & IVF never left my mind, as hard as I tried. I do hope you can make it work and if you do find how to do it, you *must* share!

My fingers are sooo crossed for you!!!

Leslie said...

Massages are a great start to minimizing the stress and finding balance = ) I wish you the best with finding balance and with your upcoming IVF! I know working & keeping busy helped me during our IVF cycle -- and taking it step by step did too. GL to you!

A said...

I love that you're getting a massage! I think we find balance in keeping up with our hobbies- hiking, gardening, reading, etc. Even though you have to take a nightly injection, go for a hike during the day. I set my phone alarm each night for 10pm, and even if we're watching tv, I go get ready for bed and read a while before turning out the light when DH comes to sleep.

I thank acupuncture, too, for renewing my awareness that balance is very important!! I've been trying to do yoga, and I've loved it so far. I'll be making a special effort to keep up with our hobbies as much as possible while we're going through IVF!

So glad we can cycle (almost) together! Here's praying for some amazing Christmas bundles this year!

Pre-Heated Oven said...

I hear you....it can be so hard when all that's running through your mind is "Baby, pregnancy, drugs, doctors, bloodwork etc." I have been going to acupuncture and it has helped, and getting physical excercies definitely helps me feel better to. Now that spring is here, I plan on going on way more walks outside to get fresh air and clear my head.
Good luck to you!!

Pre-Heated Oven said...

I hear you....it can be so hard when all that's running through your mind is "Baby, pregnancy, drugs, doctors, bloodwork etc." I have been going to acupuncture and it has helped, and getting physical excercies definitely helps me feel better to. Now that spring is here, I plan on going on way more walks outside to get fresh air and clear my head.
Good luck to you!!

Browniris said...

I think that one of the things that has helped me the most has been to realize that I can't control everything that is going on with IF. Sure, I can make sure that I temp, test, BD on time, etc. But when it comes down to it, I can't control when my body will O, if sperm will meet egg, what will happen during the 2ww, etc. I have developed the mindset of "I have done all that I can" and in a sense I have turned the rest over to God. If you aren't a religious person, that probably won't help you a lot, but it has helped me.

I have also tried to focus on all of the things that are going well for me in life. That is a big reason why I decided to sign up for the 5K...it gave me something to focus on that is a good thing for me, plus it is something that I have complete control over.

I definately haven't stopped dwelling on IF and wanting a baby, but I feel like I am able to keep it in a better perpsective. We'll see how long that lasts!

Sorry for the rambling...I hope that you are able to find some balance in your own life. Getting a massage with your hubby sounds like a great way to start!

Secret Sloper said...

Finding balance-- that's the elusive goal, isn't it? I feel like I've achieved something like balance in the last few months, though no one around me agrees! But I love my yoga practice, I love the days I devote to work/study, I love eating out with LG or lunch dates with good friends, and in those moments I feel balanced-- like the sadness and anxiety and stress is poised against happiness and calm and peace.

But that doesn't mean the stress or the fears go away (which is something my mother doesn't understand). I think as long as you're *trying* to be balanced, you'll be doing better than you were before. Remember, perfection is not the goal!

The Millers said...

Just relax! Take a vacation! It will happen when it is meant to happen!
So did I make you cringe or even want to come through the computer and kick the living crap out of me?! I just wanted to see what it felt like to sound incredibly dumb and insensitive! Yep...I even annoyed myself.
The truth is I do not have the answers. I wish I did. Right now I am just doing everything I can to make this the best cycle possible. After that, I am just leaving it up to God.
What have I done differently than my IUI cycles? I am walking more. Eating better..seriously I have been eating celery, carrots, tomatoes, etc. for snacks instead of my typical snickers, chips, cookies. I have also cut back on soda, which I LOVE! I have had one soda in the last week and a half. Oh, and cannot forget acupuncture!
Good luck finding your balance! It sounds like just your conscience decision to find balance is a good start!!

Anonymous said...

I am searching hard for this myself. Last night I had a serious tummy ache and hubs was like, You are literally making yourself sick with stress and thinking about treatment 24/7. He's totally right, but I don't know how to turn off the switch!

I love what you said about this being something important to focus on right now, it's not like you can (or should) just hide it away and pretend it's not there.

SO, I guess I'm saying balance is not my friend right now...but I would love to hear what you learn, I need a shining happy example to follow. :)

Kim said...

I think as much as you obsess (we all do) that you actually have a good hold of yourself. Your vacation was a good start to balancing your life and the massages are a fabulous idea!!!!

I think just getting good sleep, eating good, exercising, having a social life and not putting too much energy in one place is a good start. Much easier said than done, but as you said you have a busy life so it's not like your doing something IF related 24x7.

This upcoming cycle is a big one for you, perhaps a life changing one?!?! So while you try to seek balance, don't stress too much if your slightly off kilter, it's to be expected. OHHH and I am a huge advocate of Acupuncture. Check out how much the success rates increase for IVF when used in conjuction with IVF ;)

Anonymous said...

You are so right--you need to spend money on the procedure, but it's also really important to spend money (and time) on yourself. Booking a massage was a great idea. Try going for a nightly walk with your hubby, too, or taking yoga classes. Whenever you find your mind drifting toward thoughts about failure, Google and read success stories. You can find balance. I totally believe you can!

Al said...

I wish I knew the secret to finding balance with IF. I think keeping up with your hobbies, like A said, is a great way. But often, i feel like they're more of a distraction than anything and my mind is often churning on something IF-related.

I think you do a great job of focusing on your marriage in this - you and your hubby had a great vacation in Florida, went to NYC together, I really think you do a good job of focusing on your relationship and not just IF. Enjoy the massage this weekend!

Crossed Fingers said...

I don't have the answer for you - but I do know that trying to find answers out and "stressing" is probably pretty normal. At least I hope so because I do it too... :)

I allow myself a set amount of time to wallow in my sadness before yanking myself up by the boot straps and pretending to be happy until I realize I'm not pretending.

I'm lucky that I have girlfriends who are always asking how we're doing in the TTC department and not judging or telling us to just relax. So I can get things off my chest and then move on to "regular" life.

The Baby Race said...

Nice to meet your blog! And very exciting to meet you IRL on Sunday!

I have had the same dilemma - how do you get your life back where you weren't totally consumed with IF and TTC. It's all I can think about. The massages are definitely a good step. I'm trying to nurture the things that I love to do - eg. photography classes - and get myself back.

AplusB said...

I think my scale is pretty tipped right now w/ IF obsession, although the vacation definitely helped. But the second I "forget" about it, the fear/anxiety comes roaring back. I think these little breaks are what keep us sane. Hopefully in a few weeks your scale will be tipped with early pregnancy and planning for baby!
Can't wait for Sunday :)

Jennifer said...

So very glad that you are finding ways to avoid stress!! You are right, you can't stop thinking about having a baby since that is the goal. But, if you are able to not let that be all you think about hopefully that will help. I'm really hoping this cycle is the one!!

Dear Diary said...

Your hubby is going to love the massage. That's a great idea! Balancing our lives wow that's a struggle that we go through everyday. Hopefully this is our last month so we can move foward!! Have a great weekend =)

AnxiousMummyto3 said...

Enjoy your massage and good luck with this cycle. I hope it is not too stressful for you!

Anonymous said...

I'm constantly trying to figure out how to find that balance, and I blog about it all the time. One specific thing I'm going to do every day during my IVF cycle is listen to Dr. Kabat Zinn's mindfulness podcasts, specifically his body scan. It is a really helpful way to centre yourself.... and it comes with many carry over benefits.

Geochick said...

When you figure out how to have balance will you let me know how you did it? :) I wasn't so good at it (still not) despite the myriad of distractions around me (remodeling a kitchen, work, exercise, book club...)

myinfertilitywoes said...

Found you on Mel's Roundup - great post & I'll be thinking of you as you go through IVF this coming cycle. all the best to you!