I haven’t felt calm for more than two years. Sure, I’ve had brief periods of relaxation – mostly wine-induced – but on the edge of my subconscious there has always been been a tiny voice screaming, “You have to do something! You have to do something! Do something now!”
The voice was referring to the baby situation (some might call it a biological clock, but I think it’s more complex than that). However, it extended well past scheduling specialist appointments and Googling “homeopathic fertility methods.” Every aspect of my life has been affected by this anxiety. I’m often impatient and irritated at work. My catchphrase at the office is a deep, exaggerated sigh, and my cube mates often giggle when I let out one of these overly dramatic, oh-so-put-upon exhalations. I stress out over the state of my home’s chaos, such as how many dishes are piling up in the sink, how much laundry is piling up in the hamper and how much dog hair is accumulating in the corners. Even as I sit on the couch watching TV, my mind often keeps going a million miles a minute thinking of all the things I should be doing.
We went for our initial consult appointment on Friday. The office was gorgeous, and huge. It took up the entire floor of a building and reception had no fewer than 30 people waiting. We were ushered into the consult with two other couples – an awkward proposition at first, but once the meeting started we quickly got over being self-conscious. We were all there for the same reason.
All the tests took 4 hours. To my surprise, they said we would get a 98% acceptance or denial into the study that very day. We were sent to lunch, and promised that upon return, we would have our answer.
I have had two panic attacks in my life that I can recall. The first one was last year, in February, and that story almost bears a whole other post. Suffice it to say it had to do with a psychic prediction that foresaw us getting pregnant in February. I managed to stress out my body enough to delay my Aunt Flo three full days. Cue panic attack #1.
The second happened this past Friday. As the clinical trial coordinator sent us out to get lunch while our tests were analyzed, my heart started racing. My mouth went dry. I felt like I was going to throw up, pass out and levitate all at the same time. While Eric scarfed down a burger and cheese fries, I quietly died in the corner of the Goodburger on Columbus Circle. He couldn’t understand my meltdown. I couldn’t understand his lack of a meltdown.
When you’re trying to have a baby and you’re not able to, people like to tell you to calm down. “It will happen if you just relax! Don’t think about it so much!” Yeah, ok. I feel like the phrase “easier said than done” was created specifically for this sentiment. The amount of stress created by trying to force myself to relax was almost as bad as the stress that already existed. Does that make sense? I’m sorry if it doesn’t. Let’s just say I was doubly stressed out.
We got back from lunch (by this point I was shaking visibly) and were finally, finally escorted back into an office. The coordinator Matt took his time getting to the results. He said, “You seem like good candidates for the study.” I made him confirm three times that yes, this in fact meant that we WERE accepted into the study. I breathed the hugest sigh of relief and started babbling thanks and nonsense, while Matt (a non-native English speaker) looked at me puzzled and said, “But I do not understand? Why you freak out? You don’t need to freak out.” Eric just laughed.
That’s it folks: we are in. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my chest. I feel like a gigantic part of this stress I’ve been lugging around has melted away. This weekend I sat under my dog hair covered blanket, dishes in the sink, laundry in the hamper and smiled, completely unconcerned. The funny thing is that Matt suggested that we start using condoms. You see, oftentimes people accepted into clinical trials can accidentally get pregnant from being too relaxed, and our next visit will be too early to test for such a phenomenon I think this may be the definition of irony. Or maybe not. Like Alanis, I’ve always had a hard time defining irony.
Anyway – this is good news! I will try to keep you all updated as much as I can without saying too much. Just know that if my hopes have ever been sky high, now is that time. It’s like an inevitable that I have to now patiently wait for. But I just think it will be worth it.