Thursday, February 10, 2011

work . . . paying for it or makin' me pay?

Sorry I haven't posted in a couple days - I'm in the middle of a 60 hours in 4 days stretch.  (and yes I am tired)

Given that fatigue it makes me wonder - is the very thing that I am doing that allows me to afford all of this inhibiting it all from working?  This dawned on me in the middle of the night when I sat down for a few minutes in the middle of a string of c-sections and realized I was cramping.  Not the 'I've just ovulated' little ovary pain. . . . nope this was full blown uterus get ready for your period cramping (but I've got 1.5 weeks before thats supposed to come back).  So for as much as last nights shift contributed less than the cost of the follistim for one cycle, being exhausted and overworked could have possibly blown the whole thing.  (Or if I go positive for a moment could it be the pain associated with a 5 day blastocyst implanting itself - probably not because I don't think it hurts, but a nice thought).

This got me thinking and I had a little geek epiphany . . . Okay I'm about to get a little nerdy here but hang with me  . . . .

Infertility is like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

What's the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?

Oh good I was soooo hoping you would ask! (okay lets see if I can break down quantum mechanics .. .)

So according to Wikipedia:
"states by precise inequalities that certain pairs of physical properties, such as position and momentum, cannot be simultaneously known to arbitrarily high precision. That is, the more precisely one property is measured, the less precisely the other can be measured."

Say you have a particle in a box that is moving around and you want to know 2 things:
1) where it is right now?
2) how fast is it traveling?

What the principle says is that the very act of trying to measure one of these things screws up the other.  (may not work in real life because my I phone can tell me both pretty easily . . . but for particles it tends to make more sense)

Hang on . . . we're almost there. . .  (My quantum physics professor would be appalled that this is the only thing I remember from his entire class, and even more disappointed that I think this is the only practical application - but alas, there is not much particle physics in everyday life.)

So heres how it applies - I feel that the very act of thinking about infertility makes the possibility of getting beyond it that much less likely.  I think it may be the only truth to the advice "just relax and it will happen".  (Although, while I have heard that this works for some people, let me just tell you . . . I just relaxed . . . and I'm still here trying.)

I have tried so hard to do everything right.   I think about daily where I am in the process and what comes next and the "what if this" and the "what if that".  I spend lots of time driving to and from appointments and talking with insurance companies and pharmacies.  I can't say that I am especially stressed out about the whole thing, because for as negative as I can be I know that this will ultimately work if for no other reason that I will not give up.  But there is only so much I can backburner it in my head and only so much I can forget about what I want when I stare at the newborn I just delivered and the look of absolute joy of the mom when I hand the baby to her.

So is the act of thinking about it and the act of doing things to make it happen (i.e. working a 30 hr shift over last night and another one tomorrow) the cause for the lack of success?  I don't know.  I don't think I am going to win the lottery anytime soon so I am probably stuck.  Whatever happens I just want to stop feeling like I am being counterproductive.  I wish there was an intermediate at this point to tell me that I am on my way and just need a little more time to make it work, but alas there is nothing.  And I fear after last night that may be my own fault - but I don't see another way.


  1. Just wanted to thank you for your blog. It must be cruel torture to have to deliver babies as a career while going through infertility. I think you are very brave. You'll get there. Dreams really do come true.

  2. IG...don't beat yourself up. I don't buy the whole "relax it will happen" mantra. Sorry the wait has been so long and sorry you are experiencing doubt. Take care.

  3. I guess you just have to make sure you take a little time for yourself every day...even if it's only ten minutes to sit quietly and focus on deep breathing. That way hopefully you can keep balancing the full-time doctor gig and the full-time TTC gig.

  4. I have a feeling that Rebecca is going to geek out on your quantam physics reference. I, on the other hand, was just thankful that I was able to work the system and avoid ever taking a physics class.

    And I'm going to assume we've got implantation cramps and your body is just trying to keep you guessing so its a surprise. Is there a law that says the body has a separate conscience than you? If so, that's what is going on.

  5. Lol. I love that I'm so predictable! As Oak says, I am totally geeking out about your quantum mechanics reference!! I'm trying to restrain myself!

    And, seriously, I do know what you mean about feeling like if I could *actually* stop thinking about it, I wouldn't be infertile. I admire you so much for how strong you must be to do what you do and deal with IF. But, no, really and truly I don't think you're doing it to yourself -- no matter how exhausting your job must truly be. I convince myself every day that the chemicals I deal with (totally safely) are what is doing it to me. But, it's highly unlikely.

    (Ok, a little geeking out -- I always think of Schrodinger's cat during the 1ww...)

  6. As Lulu said, I wish you luck in the balancing act. How is it that TTC seems to take over your life? Completely?
    I also wanted to say that I love your blog! It is so nice to have your perspective while trying to navigate one's fertility. For what it's worth, you were on my list for those blog awards that float around, specifically The Versatile Blogger & I Love This Blog. Your words have definitely helped me through my journey already. Thanks for that!

  7. Hi... I'm new to blogging and found you through 'bean dreams' :) I'm a doctor too and share your pain of having to work/be on-call days on end and under huge stress while also TTC !!! Not a great career for having a family hey ?? I feel for you being in O&G though... I'm in an area quite away from pregnancy and babies. Good luck in your fertility journey and looking forward to sharing it with you xo