Saturday, August 20, 2011

In-Between Days

Photo by David Speiser.
See more of his bird photos here

Years of infertility has left me with a split personality.  There's "Jenny on the Nest" and "Jenny In-Between."

Jenny on the Nest is who I become when I'm gearing up for or in the middle of an IVF cycle.  This Jenny is a bird whose entire field of vision has narrowed to a single focus: baby bird.  Every minute of every day, every thought, every breath is focused on that goal.  Most mornings start out with a needle being jabbed into her fleshy bits, so that pretty much sets the tone for the day.

Jenny on the Nest is a wanna-be-momma machine. Her diet is impeccable:  a rigidly scheduled regimen of organic free-range locally-grown hormone-free calcim-fortified goodness, studded with a rainbow of vitamins and supplements.  She doesn't drink coffee or alcohol or stand near the microwave when it's running.  She's always looking ahead, to the next injection, the next ultrasound, the next trimester.  She's useless at the office, spending all her time researching whatever stage of the process she's in and measuring her progress against that of anonymous people on the internet.  She's also kind of a bitch. The hormones and the stress and the sheer energy it takes to hold on to hope that THIS time it will all be worth it leave nesting Jenny exhausted and cranky.  She tends to overreact and fly into squawking rages.

Jenny In-Between is who I am the rest of the time. This is the laid-back Jenny. Jenny Light. She knows she wants a child but also knows there's nothing to be done about it until the next cycle starts so there's no reason to stress about it now. She lives in the moment. She drinks wine and eats sushi and is interested in the whole wide world that exists outside her uterus. Sometimes she forgets to eat lunch and grabs a Snickers bar out of the vending machine instead.  She cares about her job and is actually quite good at it, especially when she has that extra cup of coffee in the morning. In-between Jenny is a much nicer person. Trust me, if you had a choice, this is the Jenny you'd want to hang out with.

After the miscarriage, I fell off the nest into a dark spiral of anger and grief. In a way, there was no Jenny at all, just an empty shell going through the motions.

But time has passed, I've confronted those scary emotions and completed the transition back to Jenny In-Between. Now I'm coasting along, seizing the days, enjoying the comfortable life Mr Wren and I have made for ourselves and not obsessing about what's missing from it.

BUT.  I finally sent that paperwork off to Dr K.  In the next week or two I'll get a response.  He will either request more blood work, or schedule the phone consult, and then we start moving forward with the next (and final) IVF.  And then it's back in the nest.  

But for now I'm enjoying the in-between days.

This song has nothing to do with anything but it's been in my head since I started writing this post, so enjoy:


  1. Love that you can savor the moment and live for today right now. I used to be like you - when gearing up to cycle did acupuncture, went gluten free, trued relaxation techniques and hypnosis, exercised until my transfer. This last cycle I was so discouraged that I omitted most of that stuff (but still stayed away from caffiene and alcohol) and this is the cycle that worked! Just sayin'....

  2. Flygirl, that sounds an awful lot like "just relax and it will happen," :) But I know what you mean. Before this last cycle, the one that *almost* worked, I was also discouraged, and more "eh, whatever" about all that stuff than I had ever been before. But since this one is my last chance I'll probably try everything, so if it doesn't work, that will be one less thing to feel guilty about.

  3. You are a delight any time. It is hard to dangle In the in between. The people who care understand. The people who don't aren't worth it.

  4. Hey Jenny -
    I just happed upon your blog (it was on flygirl's blog). I was struck by the photo of the in-between bird. I feel exactly like that right now. I am in between IVF and FET. thought it is not that long of a time, it feels like forever! I am so sorry about your loss, and I hope that Dr. K can help resolve whatever is going on. I like your bird theme - I am a turtle:)

  5. Andra - You are very sweet to say that, but if you ever witnessed one of those squawky rages you wouldn't think it very delightful!

    TurtleMama - Thanks for stopping by and saying hello. The wait for the next cycle feels like forever, right? I hope your wait goes quickly and you get your baby turtle with the FET!!