Friday, April 27, 2007

Thinking out loud

Thank you for the thought-provoking comments. I tend not to delve too deeply into some of these issues, so it is good to be prompted to think about certain things. Heh, you never know, maybe the blog will become my therapy because you guys will prompt me to think more about stuff!

First, about the therapist. Yes, she was recommended by the not-so-nice acu, but she was also recommended by the lovely acu. The reason I keep going to the same acu office is that I love one of them to pieces, and I rarely have to deal with the not-so-nice acu. Unfortunately, the lovely one is the junior acu and hasn't been out of school too many years so has to defer to the senior acu on treatment plans, etc, and is I guess not as experienced in dealing with bawling patients. On the whole, however, I think if the lovely acu says that patients have a great experience with this therapist, it is worth giving her a few sessions. Irrespective that she may also be recommended by the senior acu.

And she is experienced in infertility. She wrote her PhD thesis on infertility, and went through infertility herself. Now, she never actually did any treatments as her and her husband made the decision not to, so her perspective of IVF is not that of someone who has been through it, but she tried to conceive naturally for many years. In fact, she said right up to menopause last year at the age of 54 she would mourn each cycle. And she got married and started TTC at 39, so that's quite a long period of time, although I think by 42 she had given up really trying. She says she has many many infertility patients, some of whom travel to Big New Clinic like me, some of whom travel to other out-of-state places, and she has done seminars on mind/body aspects to infertility with docs from my old RE's office.

She has promised that we will do a lot of mind/body stuff, and will be working through a lot of the exercises from Alice Domar's book, so I am hopeful that that will involve lots of coping strategies. So I hope once we get down to work next week, that it will be less fact finding, and more helpful. If not, I don't have to go back again.

She may very well have an agenda on the relationship thing. I will be more alert to that. But I think (I hope) that the focus on being open to a relationship is only temporary. It's the first thing to suggest if someone takes a look at my life as a whole and sees that I'm not happy, and once I start saying (and believing) that I AM open to a relationship, hopefully the focus will move on. I figure that I can be "open" without actually needing to go off in a frantic search for someone. Being open is not the same as actively doing. OK, I may need to put myself out in the world a bit more, but that doesn't necessarily have to involve meeting future romantic interests - maybe I'll end up meeting more female friends. Besides, nothing is going to stop me from cycling at Big New Clinic, unless Big New Clinic themselves refuse to treat me. So, nothing will deter me from that course. However, the next cycle may very well be my last IVF, and my last attempt at conceiving with my own eggs, so there ARE a lot of big picture, whole life things that are affecting me right now. Facing that last cycle, and knowing when to stop is all very scary to me. There is going to be an "after" the next IVF, which may involve a baby (or preferably two), or may involve a bleak future filled with problems. The need to deal with the latter of those two scenarios weighs heavily on my mind, so I do need big picture help as well as immediate coping strategies.

But, of course, everybody has a bias, and I have reporter's bias. I often zoom in on the portion of what a person is saying that makes me most uncomfortable. So I came away thinking all about the "open to relationships" thing because that hit a nerve with me. I have not been open to a relationship. Therefore, when I perceive someone as criticizing me for that (she was not criticizing - just putting my emotional reaction on it here), it hits me more than her saying that she also thought of trying on her own before meeting her husband, or anything else that I may have perceived as agreeing with me. So I could have skewed the importance that she placed on the relationship issue.

Oh, and on the question of whether I want a baby because I really want to have an intimate relationship. No, I want a child or children. I want to procreate. I want to spawn! It is unrelated, in my mind. Sure, I may or may not be closed minded about wanting a relationship with a guy, but I do not see a child as any sort of substitute for an intimite adult relationship. So I don't think I'm trying to fill a void, I really don't. Well, the void of not having children, but to my mind the relationships you form with children and a loving partner are so totally different that I don't equate the two. I do have loving relationships with other family members, and I do have relatively close friends, so it's not that I don't have love in my life. What I don't have right now is a supporting, loving person that really understands the pain of infertility and who can say something useful in support.

In related news, I finally checked just how much insurance coverage I get for counselling. And it is crap. I hate my insurance! I get 50% of what I pay for sessions, but only after a $750 deductible has been paid, so the first 4-5 sessions are only going to be building up the deductible. Insurance companies are evil. How could you ever afford therapy if you didn't have a good job? I mean, sure, this is an out-of-network benefit, but the in-network benefit for therapy was only 60%, so it wasn't much better.


calliope said...

You know I got the "are you sure you don't want to stop ttc and try to focus on finding a husband" speech my first session. Wanna know how I shut her up? I said, "I think the idea that I NEED a man is a generational thing." My shrink was maybe 15 years older than me...but she agreed. I do think, sad as it is, that a lot of women feel that we are denying that we ever want a man/husband in our life by trying for a baby on our own.
Hell, I often have to remind myself that the reason I am so gung ho to do this NOW is 100% biological. Thank goodness we live in a time where we don't have to have a man to procreate.

Orodemniades said...

Well, I still don't like her, but then in general I'm really leery of therapists (having had a couple of bad experiences and a handful of middling ones). I'm glad that she's had experience of infertility, but I also think you need to be sure she's not unconsciously wanting you to repeat her choice.

Which reminds me, does she have children or is she childless?

I think you have every right to be cautious. Gods know the future is clouded enough as it is.

Oh, one more thing, do you have a work visa, and would it be impossible or merely incredibly difficult to change jobs if things don't pan out as you hope?

Anonymous said...

I personally think it's good to be seeing someone that can address all aspects of a situation. It gives you and opportunity to consider everything and then come to your own conclusions. Sometimes we are so deep in our own grief that we cannot see any other sides to the situation in our lives.

It's also good that your favorite acu likes her too.

I can totally see ditching her though if she remains focused on the relationship thing and resists moving on. Considering her background and expertise I doubt that will happen.