Home » IVF#2 » Ugh.. Where Can I Buy Some Sleep?

Ugh.. Where Can I Buy Some Sleep?

It’s 4:44am right now, and I have been trying to fall back asleep since 2. We went to bed at 11:30 tonight last night, and I think I may have finally fallen asleep at midnight.

I have been having problems sleeping on and off ever since July, and it has progressively gotten worse since then. I think that all of these treatments have my hormone balance all out of whack and it is affecting my sleep cycles… Oh and my anxiety levels! I’ve talked about my recent struggles with anxiety here, and how my family doctor encouraged me to take Cipralex (Lexapro), an SSRI. I wavered in my decision several times, got desperate after 13 days without a good sleep and filled the prescription, and then our last FET failed, and the potential of doing another full IVF had me reconsidering starting the Cipralex.

Here’s why:
Cipralex is an SSRI, a serotonin re uptake inhibitor. Normally, when serotonin is released between your neutrons (nerve cells), there is a sort of pump-like mechanism that gobbles it all up (re uptake). The Cipralex turns off this re uptake mechanism (inhibits it) and allows the serotonin to linger a little longer for your body to benefit from it. This happens in many places in your body- of interest to those with mental health issues, there are receptors in the brain. But there are also receptors in the ovaries, which is why I’m hesitant to start it right before an IVF cycle. The IVF stim cycle is such a crapshoot on a good day, and seeing as how my first IVF went so well, I kinda don’t want to add any new factors to the mix.

Last IVF:
On lupron (20IU–>10IU)
On Gonal-F (200IU)

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Part of me feels like once I get pregnant, and I mean safe zone pregnant, the anxiety and sleeplessness will go away. But following some of your journeys, I have come to realize that the worrying doesn’t really stop, and the sleep issues might get worse. Another part of me feels like if things are still super shitty, it wouldn’t be a big deal if I waited out the minor heart defect risk of the first trimester, and started the Cipralex during the second. I am willing to deal with the temporary risk of infant withdrawal symptoms.

So yeah, this is the shit that I am worrying about at what’s now 5:17am! Totally getting ahead of myself, over planning, trying to control shit that is unreasonable for me to control, feeding my anxiety with more anxiety… I suppose this is what my life has become. Sadly, seeing my therapist on a weekly to biweekly basis hasn’t helped much beyond that first visit. I know that therapy is so patient/therapist specific, but I feel like my anxiety is beyond the mending capabilities of talk therapy. I also feel like the only thing other than being pharmaceutically altered that will help me feel better is finally getting pregnant and staying pregnant. I know this is a tall order, and I am still working on not getting super upset that everyone on my Facebook is pregnant or has children already.

Anyway, it is amazing that I have lived 32 sweet years not knowing what anxiety feels like. I have empathy for those who suffer from mental illness. It is a struggle wrought with a lack of understanding or compassion. For many people, there isn’t a “solution” that helps them cope with life or even affords them the simple enjoyment of a day. And while there is a lot of encouragement to “talk about it”, the stigma remains, and people are forced to stay in the closet about it. Being a gay woman, I’ve already spent too much time in the closet.

Now, where does a gal go to buy some sleep at this time of night? (It’s now 5:40am. Faaack!)

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31 thoughts on “Ugh.. Where Can I Buy Some Sleep?

  1. Same problem hun! It’s so hard!!! I have taken zzzquil…. That stuff gets you a night of sleep 😉 just make sure it’s safe to take while your on everything. It’s well worth the $15 🙂

  2. I went the Cipralex route after an ectopic in May 2013. I was on that until September/November 2013 with a slow taper. I did find that it reduced my anxiety and allowed me to sleep. My racing thoughts stopped and that was what was keeping me awake. I also gained about 23 lbs after I went on (admittedly grief/stress and hormone stuff also tagged along for the ride) and the wt gain was why I went off the meds, that, and a constantly ‘flat’ feeling.

    The flat feeling started to bug me because while I wasn’t anxious, I did feel lethargic and depressed in a new, low level sort of way. Since nothing seemed to be working to make me feel normal, I tapered off.

    The taper period SUCKED. I felt a tiny bit cray for about 2 months.

    After my last loss in October, I started meditation for my anxiety. I was having panic attacks about every 2-3 hours during that drawn out period – I think hormones were a major culprit – I also couldn’t sleep at all.

    I am still meditating 10- 20 minutes a day, almost every day. I really resisted the idea of meditation because when I’d tried it in the past it was very frustrating. It still is. But I also have great sessions wherein I get calm and stay calm for a couple of hours and then have a residue effect for most of the day. That’s what keeps me going. Those times when I don’t feel flat, I can sleep and I’m me, without pressing anxiety. That’s what I want all the time, so I am hoping that over time meditation will retrain my brain to slow down.

    Sorry for the long comment – I just think this is stuff we should all talk more about since it’s soooo common and share our experiences!

    *BTW – an easy, not annoying or preachy meditation tool that I find really helpful is headspace – it’s 10 minutes and you’re done.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I am a “feelings” kind of person- and I like that I live with my heart, so that flat feeling would drive me nuts too. The weight gain is frightening too- maybe that’s the price of sleep in this case. The taper sounds awful- in my line of work, I really can’t have a “cray” period, which is I guess why I’m off of work right now. The meditation has been recommended to me before, and I have tried some forms of it- guided imagery type, but just can’t settle my body or my mind enough. I’d be willing to give it another try though. Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. I suffer from anxiety too. It’s very hard to sleep when your brain is constantly whirring with “what if” situations. For a little while I used melatonin to help. Having a good routine around bedtime is also supposed be good. And this is really basic, but counting has always helped me (perhaps a touch of compulsion with my anxiety?), though if I’m trying to stop thinking about something I have to make it counting by multiples or something to have enough focus pulled from my thoughts. And counting just upwards can be problematic as then I start to worry about how high I have counted, so I count forward and backwards. Probably WAY more than you need to know, but hopefully something helps.

    • Yes, I’ve been taking the melatonin nightly, and generally try to keep a good bedtime routine. I haven’t tried the counting though. Funny about the multitude of ways you have to challenge yourself! Sadly, even as a math teacher, I am terrible at doing arithmetic in my head. Do you have your math AQ?

  4. I have been dealing with a lot of anxiety too. I started taking 5-htp. Amazing stuff. I can fall asleep and feel rested in the morning. At my local cvs it’s like $10 a bottle for 30 and I take two a night. It’s awful cycle when your anxious and can’t sleep and then become over tired and more anxious. Good luck I hope you find a solution that works for you

  5. Anxiety was the curse of my life! Landed me inpatient for 2 months and then outpatient for almost 2 years to do hard work and get it under control. As far as the sleepless nights go, what C and I used to do, when we were TTC and felt the anxiety and depression start to take the reins after a months of IF, we found hynosis to be very helpful. One in particular was Jody Whitely (you can find her on youtube) and she has these hynpnotic beditme stories that LITERALLY knock you out within like 15 minutes. I will warn you, her voice sounds very strange at first, but i suppose it’s to help with the hynois. Try that and see if it works for you. It has Cals snoring in like 8 minutes, and she doesn’t typically snore!

    • Yeah, I remember you recommending her stuff last time I posted about my sleep issues. I should give her a try again. Problem is that I have to wear headphones to listen unless I disturb DW. Maybe I will try sleeping in the spare room and listening without headphones… Thanks! 8 minutes is impressive!

  6. I feel so bad for you that you’re so sleep-deprived. Its awful. If you’ve only beem struggling with anxiety since TTC, maybe you’re right, it’s not talk therapy you need, it’s a baby. TTC is an incredibly stressful life event. For example, LA makes me so unhappy and anxious, and as much as i believe you must make peace with where you are (figuratively), I also believe that there are certain dreams (for me, living in the country, for you, having your babies) that with eat away at your soul until you have them, and you will fight for until you’ve arrived. It’s not malcontent; it’s knowing what your heart wants. Also, have you tried taking benadryl or unisom to sleep? Benadryl really helps with both anxiety and sleep. I usually take it a few times a week, although not during pregnancy. Also, i listen to audiobooks when i cant sleep on my headphones – totallh turns my brain off. Once again, i wish we could mee up for tea or a walk! Good luck with the stimming; I hope you fall into a deep slumber soon!

    • Yes! I totally agree, with all of your statements. I think that there are some “dealbreakers” in life like there are in relationships. Sometimes they don’t present themselves as such, until over time some realization happens because life keeps bringing you back to the same issue. For me, baby is definitely one thing, and living with easy access to the ocean is another. Being a born and raised Vancouver girl, I find it hard living so far from the ocean. I have been here for 11 years now, and still yearn for it. I hope you get your countryside. It would be so lovely to share ideas in person. Maybe one day… As for the sleep, I’m trying Benedryl again- I previously had been taking only 25mg, so I’ve upped the dose to 50mg. I hope it works! Thanks for the suggestion 🙂

  7. Sleep deprivation is a torture method. I am sorry you’re going through this, I hope you’ll find something that works.

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