Most people talk about IVF as a numbers game, and it is, but it also has a huge emotional and psychological impact on many couples and singles out there who go through it every year.
These are my tips to helping get through the experience.
1. Share what you are going through
It may not mean sharing it with the world through a blog (like I have), but simply opening up and telling a friend or loved one about what you are feeling, will do you a world of good. Make sure you pick someone you can trust and let them know what they can do to help you.
2. Be open and honest with your partner
Often we just put one foot in front of the other and ‘keep on keeping on’ without admitting how we are feeling, what is troubling us, what our fears are and what we are going through. Your partner will be your rock throughout this journey and hopefully into parenthood, communication is essential.
3. Take a break from IVF
This is probably the most important thing for your health and well being. Sometimes a break may feel counterproductive, especially when your biological clock is ticking, but even a month off between cycling can do the world of good. Make sure you do the things you can’t normally do when cycling like letting your hair down and having a drink, don’t think too much about what you are eating, go out and enjoy yourself.
4. Make intimacy a priority
When you’re injecting yourself full of hormones and you feel like you have a better relationship with the ultrasound wand, the last thing you probably want to do is have sex with your partner. But it’s so important to keep the passion and intimacy in your relationship. Try to keep things fun, spontaneous and new. You will also be surprised how it helps with your stress levels and relaxation too.
5. Take time out together
Spend time doing things you enjoy as a couple, go see a movie, have a picnic, go out for dinner, take a walk together.
6. Spend some cash on something else
You often feel like you pour every last cent into your specialist’s new Bentley, sometimes it’s nice to splash out and treat yourself from time to time.
7. Rest, rest and rest some more
It is most important to be well rested so you can conquer the hurdles that the day may bring.
8. Join a support group
There are great ones out there, without them I don’t know where I would be, there are some great online ones through Facebook and also some local ones where you can meet in person, just do some searching on the internet or speak to your local clinic, if there isn’t one, start one. There will be others in your area who are sharing your experience, you just need to connect with them.
9. Seek professional help if you need it
There is nothing wrong with this, and more people do it than you know. If there isn’t anyone you feel like you can share your story with or if you feel like you’re not coping, don’t be afraid to speak to your GP or IVF clinic about recommended professionals.
10. Just take one day at a time
It can be completely overwhelming to be always thinking about what you’re going to do differently next time, or what will happen if this cycle doesn’t work, it can send you into a spin of anxiety. Just take a breath and concentrate on the moment.
11. Be kind to yourself
We add a lot of pressure to ourselves to give IVF the best chance of success, but try not to let it become everything. Make sure you take some time out for yourself, read a book, meditate, see a movie, exercise, have dinner with friends, cook, paint, write, do whatever you need to get through.
All the best. xxx