Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mission: Optimism

The past few days I've been riding the emotional roller-coaster.  Some moments I'm incredibly optimistic for the future, seeing good signs and hearing stories of hope at every turn.  Other moments, not so much.  Part of the lows are being fueled by the drugs on currently on, another part is the weather, but the truth is the doubt and pessimism are coming from a part of my subconscious.

On October 31, results from a study were released concluding there is a link between mood and mortality.
Headlines on this research titled "Happy people live longer" began to circulate and many began to speculate why.  Many wanted to know how this data was collected, as there is really no standard to measuring "happiness." But where a lot of attention went was wondering what choses these individuals were making that was extending their lives. Did they take more vacations? Laugh more?  Did they turn down that career-forwarding job and opt for something that was less stressful?

It's no secret that there's a direct connection between mood and fertility.  Alice Domar, one of the leaders in the field of mind/body intervention just published a report showing a significant difference between IVF success rates between the control cohort and the cohort that participated in a mind/body program.  The connection is so striking, that RESOLVE has many links on its website promoting finding support following diagnosis and prominent bloggers, like Keiko Zoll, began talking about the importance of remaining optimistic during treatment.  Women in the trenches of infertility are encouraged to laugh more, focus on the positive and even quit overly stressful jobs, all in the hopes of boosting their fertility.  Some may scoff and announce "BS," but the data is hard to deny.

So, based on this, what's my issue?  I know all of this. I've participated in a mind/body program.  And I love doing yoga!  The problem?  Well, like most pessimists, I'm lazy.  It's been easier to feel sorry for myself and focus on what I don't have.  A big part of it is that I'm tired of defeat: I've charted, peed on more HPTs than I ever dreamed of, meditated, avoided alcohol and even say a psychic (not my proudest moment).

It wasn't until this morning, with help from Jay,  that I realized I've been pouting.  Sure, it's not fair that half of all pregnancies in this country are unplanned and that most of expectant mothers have never experienced (and never will) the heartache of longing for a child.  But that's not where my focus should be.  My focus needs to be on the fact that though I'm here, there's hope.  There's a good chance of all of this working, so I need to stop focusing on all the things that could go wrong and instead focus on where I'm currently at.

In the spirit of that, today is being spent rallying support, opening up to friends and busting out the knitting needles.  Grey and I are planning a ski trip and preparing for Thanksgiving.  And instead of focusing on what I don't have, I'm choosing to focus on what I do: an amazing husband, two awesome furbabies, a job I love and hope.


  1. This is wonderfully inspiring. It is so hard to find hope when life is so gray. And that is a super interesting study from Resolve. I have hunted high and low for a support group in my area and found nothing that is within an hour of my home. Maybe this is my calling to start something... Enjoy that knitting and your ski trip!

  2. I am currently in the midst of my first IVF cycle and I am also a hopeless pessimist. I could not have found your blog at a more perfect time. Thank you so much for sharing!


  3. Hi Cristy! Stopping by from ICLW.

    Thank you for this post. You have reminded me to be thankful for what I DO have.

    Really excited for you on your upcoming ski trip!

  4. Stopping by from ICLW! I know it's hard, but I have always believed that things you have to work for are better appreciated. I just wish we didn't have to work quite so hard.

  5. Found your post from ICLW. Wow - your words speak to me so much. I too am a forever pessimist and usually quite negative. The two pregnancies I have experienced, (although both ended in m/c) have been when we weren't 'trying' and just being happy. I definitely agree with the study you mentioned - however it is easier said then done to just 'be happy'. Here's hoping we both find something good to focus on each day!

  6. Hi there, here from ICLW.
    Love your post! I'm currently in a position where I have only this natural cycle left before I have to make a decision on how to continue with ART (I'm 38, we've been trying for just over a year, and I had a very early miscarriage in the summer), so I'm not on the IVF rollercoaster (yet). But I've been in my share of dark places ever since my miscarriage. And I know that I have to brighten up - at least to stay healthy. But, like you, I'm lazy. So I really love how you're resolving to get some optimism back in your life!


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