Ulgh, I’ve had one of those days where I’ve been a right negative ninny on the IVF-front.
I didn’t sleep well, so I woke up feeling knackered before the day even began. Then we had a meeting at work, where every other person was pregnant (or it seemed that way). And this was swiftly followed by a text from a friend announcing she’s expecting! This was all before 9am.
When I got home from the office, I had a little cry. It’s the first one I’ve had for a little while, actually – I’d been doing well for a couple of weeks post-IVF no. 1 came crashing to an abrupt end last month. But today I felt sorry for myself.
All these negative feelings and emotions and thoughts had been bubbling up under the surface all day, and now they came out in full flood. ‘Why me?’, ‘Why don’t we get any free rounds on the NHS?’, ‘Why is nothing ever straightforward in my life?’
I feel a bit better after my cry. My dear, dear other half was so kind, and listened and gave me a big hug. And I guess there’ll be days like these, and this too shall pass, and all those other great platitudes.
So with that in mind, I’ve written down a few of the negative thoughts I often have, and the ways I am learning to reframe them.
1. Why me?
Honey, it’s not just you. According to the NHS, one in seven couples have fertility issues. That’s 3.5 million people in the UK. So why me? Why not you?
2. It’s not fair – nothing in my life is ever straightforward
Nope. But life’s not fair. You could be living in Syria, Yemen or any number of places devastated by war, or be ill from cancer or have lost a limb in a car accident. But you’re not. You’re well and all your loved ones are too. By most people’s standards, your life is sweet. Be grateful. Life could be a whole lot worse.
3. Everyone else is pregnant
No, they’re not. Yes, some of your friends have recently had children, and a couple are pregnant. And you know what, that’s brilliant for them. But not everyone else is pregnant – see point 1.
4. I’m getting old – soon it’ll be too late
You’re 36, not 46 (no offence to those who are 46 and struggling to conceive!). You have good hormone levels… well, except your pesky prolactin level, but that can be brought down by medication. Lots of women have children through IVF in their late 30s. And you’re still in your mid-30s! There’s time.
5. What will I do if I can’t get pregnant, ever? I’m scared
Ulgh, I know. But, you know what? You have a good chance of this working. You really are in a better position than many other people. You’re healthy, you look after yourself, and your hormones are good. Be thankful for the positives. And let’s cross that bridge if and when we come to it.
6. Why don’t we get any free rounds on the NHS? It’s not fair
Oh, the whole ‘it’s not fair’ thing. See point 2.
Other than that, the NHS is on its knees. And it’s wholly unfair that you decided to live in an area where the CCG discriminates (sorry, but it does) against women of child-bearing age. But always ask yourself this question: what can I do about it? You can appeal, so do it. Meanwhile, set the wheels in motion for IVF. no. 2. You’re doing that? Good.
Remember, there are lots of women your age who are getting NHS support. But there are thousands more who are in your shoes and don’t qualify. And many people who’ve had their free round, and now have to find the money for a private go and can’t afford it. You are lucky to be able to afford it, and private = top of the queue. Bully for you. Now get on with it and stop whinging.
As you can see, my sympathy for myself ran a little dry towards the end of my list!
I’ve got to say, I feel a bit better for getting that down. And there’s plenty more where that came from – I’m sure I’ll end up dredging up a whole more ‘woe-is-me’ thoughts on another down-day. But that’s it for now.
What are your main negative IVF thoughts, and how do you reframe them? I’d love to hear ‘em.