Then the day came. The day of my long-awaited appointment. It seemed surreal that after all the anticipation, all the ignoring, all the adjusting, all the distancing, all the moving forward, all the reclaiming of my role as a wife/friend/daughter/sister, it was now time to plunge back into the role of the patient. By the time the day came I was completely dreading what I had been praying would speed toward me just a few weeks earlier (I'm just so very hard to please, aren't I?). By the time the appointment came around I wasn't even sure what I wanted anymore. I knew I wanted a baby in the ever-present aching way that I had become accustomed to, but climbing another mountain toward said baby seemed more than I could wrap my head around. Just when I had let my hyper vigilant mommy shield down, it was time to go back into battle. I met a dear friend (the one who has been through all this garbage too) at a cafe before the appointment and broke down in tears the second she sat down. "You're just going to let the doctor give you information" she told me and it helped calm me down. Sitting down and gathering information. Alright. That seemed civilized. I could do that.
The appointment did begin in a quite civilized manner but gained speed like a tornado and ended up whipping us into an all-consuming vortex. I went in prepared simply to talk about surgery to correct my uterine septum and left with knowledge of a potential blocked fallopian tube, an appointment for a (quite uncomfortable, i'm told) HSG test, and down 12 vials of blood which were waiting to be analyzed for everything from genetic markers for disease to insufficient ovulation. All of a sudden we were scheduling a sperm analysis and bandying around terms like In Vitro Fertilization if X, Y, and Z happened to go wrong. Whoa whoa whoa whoa WHOA!!!!! I thought. I just barely wrapped my mind around this whole having to have surgery for a separated uterus thing! It was clear we were not in Kansas anymore.
I left the appointment feeling flooded with the very information I thought would be comforting. My only life raft was the systematic plan that the doctor had laid out. The plan is complex and filled with PS's, Also's, and caveats (I won't bore you with those), but I tried to boil all the elements down to the very bare minimum : 1. do the HSG to make sure my fallopian tubes don't need intervention, 2. schedule uterine surgery, 3. recover, and 4. try again. Being the natural born worrier that I am I scoured the plan for actionable items. What can I do to make this go smoother, quicker, more successfully?? And then it hit me. There is NOTHING I can do. All I can do is put myself in the right hands (check), have a basic, but not neurotic level of information to be an informed self-advocate (check, for the most part, although some of this stuff has made me seriously doubt my understanding of the human body), and show up when I have an appointment (have you seen my planner?! check!!).
It turns out the biggest actionable item on my part is reminding myself that no amount of googling, or fretting, or obsessing will change the plan. For better or for worse, this is the situation that I am in and now I just have to continue checking off boxes until that baby is in my arms. There will be plenty to do then I hear. Ideally I will get to a point where I can even luxuriate in the feeling of everything being out of my hands. I'm shooting for a very zen, Buddha take the wheel approach to this one.
The interesting part that perhaps some of you can relate to, is that in the midst of all these things that I cannot control, there are a great number of things I actually can control that feel insurmountable (or simply uninteresting) in the face of all the medical commotion. For example, I could be developing a really on-point workout plan to lose the last of that post-miscarriage depression weight, I could be writing these blog posts well in advance instead of scrambling at the last minute, I could be kicking my private practice into hyper-drive. However, focusing on the things I can't control keeps stealing focus from those I can. Call it being human, call it just being ME, but I think finding a way to switch this imbalance of allocated energy is a big part of the work of moving forward. There is a fresh frontier of gray area between being gentle with myself and letting myself off the hook that I continue to butt up against and weed-whack through. I'll keep on finding ways to transfer my desire to take control to those things I actually can control and as I do you better believe I'll continue to report back from the frontline.