Saturday, February 18, 2012

Psychologists are no fun

Most REs have a policy that anybody using donor sperm has to go see a psychologist first.  My REs in CA had the same policy, but I skillfully (and forcefully) wiggled out in each case, there was no way I was going to spend 300 bucks out of pocket for an issue I had already researched by myself.

No dice with NYU's practice, I had to go see one. So I went, plonked down 350 dollars, but was given a reimbursement form and was told I'd get my money back.  So no pain there, but cannot say the same for the actual visit.

You definitely get your money's worth, I nearly spent 2 hours with her.  Every time I really have a conversation about using donor sperm, about doing this by such a non-traditional route, I start crying. But then, I also cry everytime I read that page in Love Story when Jennifer tells Oliver she has cancer,  and I cry everytime I see that animal shelter ad when they play that song, "In the arms of the angels" and all the animals look at you with those melting eyes. Just remembering that ad can make me cry. To sum up, any emotion (sorrow, empathy, anger, just any strong feeling) instantly triggers my lacrimal glands.

As a result, what was expected to be an easy conversation with rational and had depth, stayed a  conversation with rationality and depth, except I cried for about 30 % of it, intermittently and sporadically. The emotional response does not piss me off, but the tears do.  It pisses me off that I had to redo my eye makeup. It pisses me off that I had to take painkillers and sinus decongestants just to ensure that I did not have a blinding headache for the rest of the day. Argh.  Among the things I wish I could change about myself, this is in the top 5.  When you are in the midst of making a strong argument, you want to appear cool and collected. If  the topic under discussion pushes my emotional buttons, I'm usually bawling while trying to make a point.  Its SUCH a liability. My brother once accused me of turning on the waterworks as a way to get the upper hand, but that is not true- I have the opposite issue, I cannot figure out a way to turn them off.

Anyway, the psychologist covered a few interesting points about donor sperm and having THE conversation with your kid and all that fun jazz. I'd talk about it now, but it has to wait for later because I'm going to watch a pretty silly movie with two smoking hot men (Tom Hardy and Chris Pine)---the perfect end to a day like this! Update: The movie (This means war) is deeply silly and abandons logic at many points, but I recommend it none the less, the eye candy more than delivers, and its also very funny in multiple bits.Successfully took my mind off my afternoon, yay.


  1. oh jay, sorry the psychologist appointment was so teary and painful. that's interesting they made you see a psych. at my nyc clinic, i tried a few iuis with donor sperm after our sixth loss and they didn't have me talk to anyone at all. maybe b/c I am a psych? maybe b/c none of us had the slightest expectation it would work (i didn't even blog about it, i thought it was such an exercise in absurdity for me), and it didn't. glad you're getting through the hurdles so you can get started at nyu. thanks for your immunological thoughts on things, btw, and your recent comments in general. very helpful. 

    btw, just had my D3 tested and it is up to 36 - so guess all that supplementing helped!

  2. I too cry when I'm getting to the heart of the matter. I can't wait to hear what the conversation sounded like.

  3. I have a hard time with the tears. I have mastered a wee bit of the outpour, but when she blows it's a mighty thing indeed. Anger is also my number one reaction to them. I'm sorry that it made you feel unglued. I do hope that it was insightful in some ways. I have the best mascara for this scenario, which I'll shoot a note at some point. My rotten news on the baby front was always followed by a get my ass back to work.

  4. Oh well, as strong as rational you are, you are human none the less. Of course that's emotional conversation, I think it just shows the shrink was not a total waste of time. Get ready for many many tears when your adolescent kid will tell you you ruined his/her life. Also emotional, also very human and normal. . Your crying because you get on a VERY hard road by yourself, that this road has been so bumpy already, that at this point you're more afraid of how long it will take you to get to that hard road, and not on how hard the road will be...oh please, thank God you cried, or I'd think you're some kind robot (pretty cute one though).

    To make you feel better...I was 30+ when I cried in front of my boss because I was not treated equally to my labmates. Feel free to laugh as hard as you want :)
    Much love from Philly

  5. What I hate most is that I cry when I'm really angry, just when I want to appear strong & tough!

  6. Your title had me alarmed, Jay. I would argue that psychologists are quite fun, if I do say so myself. In all seriousness, it sounds like it was quite a chore to take all of this out for yet another exploration of your motivations and understanding about becoming the recepient of donor sperm. I think crying is not a sign of carziness. Actually, it would be signf of great health if the person is crying when talking about something of great importance in their life, with a lot of emotion attached to it.
    My lacrimal glands are also overachievers, so I am feeling a great sense of kinship with how you described your experiences in this post.

  7. I'd find it irritating to be told that I had to see a psychologist, too. It's one thing if it's by choice. The truth is that ANYONE facing impending parenthood has ups and downs, stuff to work out.

    Sorry about the waterworks:( I've only lost it a few times but when I have I've done it well and truly. Once, while giving my medical history I couldn't stop crying. And I always feel like kicking myself after. But the truth is that when you've been through stuff, it's very hard to have those conversations without becoming emotional.