Monday, April 14, 2008

Another milestone

I went to my first prenatal yoga class last Friday. I realized after my last midwifery appointment that I felt comfortable enough with this pregnancy to be in a class full of pregnant fertiles. By "comfortable" I mean that I was feeling comfortable in my own skin. I was feeling . . . 'confident' might be the right word. So much of this pregnancy I have felt like a fraud or a failure as if I cheated to get here. I kind of did cheat, I guess, but I think most of you will know what I mean.

I'm glad I went - physically it felt great, but it was not without its challenges. On the way there I was very nervous. I felt like I was driving to the RE's to get an antral follicle count or a beta. So many things are made harder by infertility. I bet I was the only one going to class that day who was so afraid of the feelings that might be triggered that she was crying. Can I interject an "It's not fair!" here? Trying to parent with infertility is hard enough on it's own, why does it need to bleed into so many other aspects of our lives?

The last time I went to this yoga class (the only prenatal yoga of any quality I have found in Spokane) I was in labor with Ernest although I didn't know it yet. Going back definitely stirred up feelings of that loss. When I realized that was over three years ago, I started to feel inferior again to those people who get pregnant easily. Comically, even though I was walking into a prenatal yoga class with a snug t-shirt on, I tried to hold my tummy in like I wasn't pregnant. "Not me, nope . . . I'm just here to check the schedule. Yeah, that's it."

I walked in, faking as much confidence as I could. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the class that was finishing was a post-natal yoga class - each mother with her newborn. I wasn't quite prepared for that. It was a class I often imagined taking with Ernest and wondered afterward why they didn't have a post-natal class with mothers of dead babies. If anyone needs to get in shape in a hurry and quiet the mind, it is those of us who give birth but don't take home a baby. I quickly exited for a bit to recollect myself and decided I would wait until most of that classes participants made their way out the door.

After that, there were only two moments that were particularly difficult. One was right at the beginning as we breathed. As I relaxed my body, the tears started flowing. Since everyone was supposed to have their eyes closed, I let them go. I think I have gotten so used to crying, I no longer care so much if someone happens to notice. If it seems like it might be helpful in that moment, why not cry? I dried my tears quickly when we were instructed to open our eyes again.

The rest went pretty well. I tried to focus on my breath and kept my eyes closed quite a bit - no need to look around and see all of those pregnant ladies. We did a lot of stretching type exercises and it all felt very good. At the end she had us place one hand on our heart and one on our baby and breathe - connecting our life force to that of the baby. This is the second time I cried in class.

If any of you used the Yoga 4 Fertility dvd, you know that this is how she ends the yoga session. By connecting these "two energy centers" you are hopefully improving your fertility. I followed this religiously at least three times a week for over a year. I tried got grow healthier embryos. After a transfer I imagined sending lots of energy to the embryos I hoped would implant and be healthy. During my last failed pregnancy with my eggs, I sent that baby lots of energy. Suddenly, mimicking those same movements, I felt the loss of every single one of those 37 embryos Brad and I produced. I tried so hard, but I wasn't able to save even one of them. After that, I couldn't wait to get out of class. I got into the car and sobbed for a few minutes. It was over quickly and I think I needed the release after sucking it up for 90 minutes.

In the end, I think the physical part felt great and I have hopes that the mental part will get easier so I plan on going back this week. If it doesn't get easier, I will stop going and doing it on my own. I am not going to torture myself emotionally for something I won't need to deal with long term.

Nothing else eventful going on. I still feel regular movement from Little Butterfly which I continue to enjoy. Our next OB appointment isn't until a week from Friday. Brad is out of town this week (in Turks and Caicos without me!) and I have been missing him terribly. Fair or not, I have come to depend on him to keep reminding me that everything is going to be ok.


Michell said...

I tried yoga once in college (a couple years ago) and it made my feet and legs hurt so bad I never went back. I keep thinking though that I would really like to give it another try.

Fertilized said...

awesome milestone Kami. I am glad that you felt comfortable in your own skin.

niobe said...

It sounds so hard. I'm glad you got through it.

B said...

That had me in tears.

I really connected with your thoughts on being a fraud, those same feelings have gone through my mind when thinking about us possibly doing DE and then (hopefully) getting pg. I imagine getting pg is just the start of the emotional times.

Sounds like you did great - well done girl.

Geohde said...

Kami, I'm glad you got through it, it sounds like it was tough, but worthwhile,


singletracey said...

Kami.. you are brave for putting yourself out there in that class.

I never heard of that touch/breathe technique so I will be using that. I think it a lot but I like idea of touch.

And just so you here it (well read it.. and pretend I speak as pretty as Julie Roberts)

It's all going to be alright ;-)

B said...

Hi Kami, thanks for the nice comment on my pictures..."there" was New Zealand and it was fabulous.

Miss Conception said...

"Trying to parent with infertility is hard enough on it's own, why does it need to bleed into so many other aspects of our lives?"

This statement struck me in a huge way. It is because infertility is not something that has happened to has become a part of who we are. I look at almost everything through my infertility-colored glasses now and it has robbed me of some of the most basic happy moments I should be able to feel.

Busted said...

I'm so impressed you were able to attend this class again. You deserve to be able to cry whenever you want. I'm glad the yoga worked for you.

Pamela Jeanne said...

I know I would feel the same way if I were in your shoes. There's just something so permanent about infertility and the baggage that comes with it -- and then the added difficulty of recalling Ernest, well, I can see why you needed to release the pent up emotions...

MrsSpock said...

I did yoga during IF treatments and found it brought up a lot of emotion too. I can imagine it would be more so surrounded by all those bellies.