Friday, 27 June 2008

Depleted Optimism

I've decided that I need to increase my level of optimism. I am entering into a new IVF cycle, with a new FS and a new protocol, even a new hospital, and I should be hopeful and excited about it. Who knows, this may well be my last shot at motherhood (but please don't quote me on that, I'm almost out of steely resolve too).

My Darling Husband is an eternal optimist with everything in his life. In his business he constantly bites off more than he can chew and then just chews like mad, never doubting that it can be done. I am the naysayer of the relationship. I'll even admit to being a little resistant to change. DH comes up with grand schemes, for a holiday, for rebuilding our house, for the business. Like a puppy, he comes bounding up and starts playfully nudging my hand "let's do this, why don't we do that?". Then he hits a brick wall. Me. Within seconds I can come up with 10 reasons why we can't. The usual one is "we can't afford it" and, oh, how he hates that one.

With IVF, he is certain that each cycle will be successful, which is probably why he finds the whole thing so hard. Each month he asks when I'm ovulating. I have PCOS, I do not ovulate normally. Do you not understand why we're doing IVF? But each month he is optimistic, despite the diagnosis, despite 15 years failing to conceive, despite 12 unsuccessful cycles of ART treatment, that we will miraculously fall pregnant 'naturally'.

Oh how I envy him that optimism - its almost like a religion. He kneels at the alter of Optimism and will not waver in his beliefs. How good would that be! But how do you 'catch' that sort of religious fervour? DH thinks his optimism stems from playing sport. The mentality that even if your team is down by a huge margin, you can't give in to negative thoughts, you have to keep playing as if winning is still possible. He cites a beautiful example, forever embedded in Australian sporting folklore. An Australian was competing in the speed skating final at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, five competitors were skating around and around in a circle with our Aussie coming way last. On the final corner the leader slipped and fell taking out the three competitors directly behind him and our man was able to glide right on past to win Australia's first ever Winter Olympic gold medal. He later said that was exactly the outcome he was hoping for. So very Australian.

At this point I should explain that this train of thought began at 3.30am, but don't worry I'm almost done! I am wondering if it's possible to change from being a pessimist to become an optimist? I really want to be positive about this cycle, after all there are many things to be excited about, so I will attempt to change my spots. Negative thoughts and pessimism consider yourselves banished.


Stacie said...

You know, I have a lot to be optimistic about nowadays, but I always am the one who struggles with it (I've had a lot of shit thrown at me lately). My husband is like yours and always believes that the best things are coming right around the corner.

So, I am trying a new thing. When I have a lasting negative thought (you know, the kind of thought that doesn't easily go away), I try to immediately come up with 5 positive things. Sometimes the positive is as simple as "I am doing okay at this very instant" and sometimes I am a little deeper (although, sadly I am not as deep as I would like to think). Anyway, it does seem to be lifting my mood and making things seem a little less daunting, so maybe it's working. I don't know, I just thought I would throw that out there for case it could help you, too.

Wordgirl said...

Your kitties are gorgeous !

I feel like I too am the pessimist -- somehow I'm an optimistic pessimist -- I want so badly to be an optimist -- but my life has trained me in the other direction... G is much like your DH -- very optimistic that nature will take its course -- so much so that you honestly wonder if they've been listening in all those appointments...but I have to say each assisted cycle I'm the tiniest bit optimistic -- and the optimism grows...and then deflates at the very last minute when you can't deny that its failed -- for me its the up and the down of it all...but the bigger picture? I'm less optimistic than I used to be -- certainly...

May this be the season for optimism rewarded and banished pessimism...



(loved the olympics story btw)

Morrisa said...

I am definetly the pessimist in my marriage. I haven't been able to figure out how to change it, so if you figure it out let me know. :)

Joonie said...

Actually my DH is the eternal pessimist. He couldn't believe he has a normal SA. He couldn't believe when his sperm actually fertilized my eggs. He couldn't believe when our embryos made it to day 5 for transfer. Of course, he had no trouble believing the ectopic pregnancy. Of course it was going to fail, no child of his will ever be born! Living with that kind of pessimism has forced me to become the optimist in the relationship. Really what choice do I have?

Let me tell you that optimism does not come naturally to me. What I do is fake it most of the time, and you know what fake optimism works too. DH says all I do is delude myself, but hey if delusion is all I have, I'm not giving it up that easily!

Lisa said...

My experience is similar to Joonie's. DH is a stone-cold pessimist, and I'm a realist forced to put on an optimistic face. You know the old saw "fake it till you make it" -- it DOES have its merits!!

Now, what I can easily do is feel genuine optimism for someone else. I'll keep watching and wishing for you. New cycle, new team, new outcome!