Although we have officially already begun our second IVF cycle, I start my down-regulator’s this Friday which can only mean one thing; hello pre-menopausal symptoms! Truth be told, I didn’t find them too bad last time, although taking 3 tablets a day means side effects get worse the more days that pass by so I’m ready for the onslaught as best as I can.
I can’t actually believe that we’re here again; right back at the beginning with our hopes and dreams understandably getting high and expectant once again. We may have had a failed first cycle, but we can certainly say that we learned lots of lessons. The main one for me is to just chill. Over the past couple of months I feel I’ve learned a lot about myself, the main thing being that I am a worrier! I can’t help it, it’s just how I am, but I have taught myself to stop worrying about things I can’t control. Aside from taking my tablets at the right time, receiving my injections and turning up to the clinic when I’m supposed to, there really isn’t very much I can do to determine the outcome of our second cycle. If there was a procedure where they could cut open my stomach and physically implant the embryo into my womb and secure it there with superglue then believe me I would do it, but unfortunately science has not quite advanced that far yet! So we have to deal with what we’ve got.
I recently read Izzy Judd’s book titled ‘Dare to Dream’, which deals with her and her husband’s (Harry Judd of McFly fame!) ‘path to parenthood’ through IVF. Izzy got pregnant after their first cycle but unfortunately miscarried. She then went on to have her daughter Lola as the result of her second cycle and is now amazingly pregnant naturally with her second child. I absolutely loved this book and the thing I loved most about it was how many similarities Izzy and I share. Like me, she suffers from anxiety although granted hers is a hell of a lot worse than mine. She also overthinks everything which is me down to a tea; I spend hours lying awake at night thinking all the worst things that could possibly happen in life; some so ridiculous I won’t dare mention them on here for fear of embarrassment at how dramatic I am! But that is only me on the inside; on the outside I try not to show that side of myself to too many people, for the simple reason that they’ll probably think I’m nuts!
Going through our fertility struggles however has taught me that bad things happen in life and there’s absolutely nothing you can do to stop that; what you can control is how you deal with them. So I’m determined that I’m not going to worry my way through our second cycle. Whether this has a bearing on the outcome or not is neither here nor there; but it will make it much easier to deal with for both Dave and myself. I’m going to concentrate on the here and now and what is happening today. I’m not going to look back and compare every stage with our last cycle, I’m not going to look ahead and think what might happen if it fails again; I’m just going to take each day as it comes and focus on putting all my energy and good vibes into that particular day and making it through to the next day. And I’m definitely going to stay off Google!
Another thing Izzy recommended doing was taking some time to be selfish, and this is definitely something that I have started doing. I don’t think of myself as a selfish person; in fact I feel like I’m always trying to be something to someone; a good wife to Dave, a good mum to Roman, a good daughter, a good sister, a good auntie, a good friend. And of course I will always continue to try and be this way, but what I’ve decided to stop doing is investing in people who simply don’t invest in me. We understand that people have their own lives to lead and everyone has such hectic lives these days, most of my friends and family have full time jobs, kids, a house to run, hobbies, events, wedding, holidays etc, but they all manage to stay in touch with me, phoning, texting, emailing, whatsapping, snap chatting, even just to say “Hi, how are you today?” It doesn’t matter what you say; sometimes just knowing you’re there is enough. My dear friend sent me this quote the other day, and that is all that she needed to say.
We are very fortunate that the majority of our friends and family have been amazing. But the relief I feel from cutting certain negativity out of my life has been amazing. It’s like getting a new haircut! Taking this step has really helped me and I feel in a much happier place going into our next cycle. I just have to accept that there are times in life when you have to put yourself and your own needs first, and now is definitely one of those times. I am still there for all my friends and family and know that those who are still in my life have my back no matter what, and that is a really great feeling. Add to that the amazing new friends I have made through the IVF community, and I feel like our friend bank is very full, and we are so lucky for that.
Needless to say, there will probably be some hard days ahead. No matter how positive you try to remain, the tablets, injections and procedures you have to endure can really take their toll and I know there will be many days when lying on the sofa is the only option. We know to expect that this time round however and I’ve prepared my body and mind the best I can for another beating. As far as I’m concerned I’m going to give my body up to the professionals and I’ll look after my mind. Let’s just hope the two can meet in the middle somewhere.