Success IVF - follow each step

Monday Musing

I don’t know about you but I have often – not just while TTC but in life in general – found myself wishing for a magic wand to get me somewhere.

Or a remote where I could fast forward in time to the destination in my mind.

Or for the elevator to success to arrive and whisk me to the right level where the doors will open to my dreams.

There are still times where I feel a burning impatience in the pit of my stomach. It will always be a challenge of mine to stop, live in the moment – good or bad, and find something to take from it.

Going through my fertility struggles has definitely taught me to be more patient. This is a wisdom hard gained, but one that is benefiting me in lots of different ways.

In most areas of life its important to pay your dues, take the time to learn, appreciate every step on your path so that when you arrive at your destination you know what to do.

I’m not sure that exactly applies to TTC but I’ve come to feel its important to honour each step. I like to take the time to stop, and consider why that step is there, what I am gaining from it, and how it is getting me closer to my destination.

This has allowed me to feel more grateful. Less frustrated. Like I am moving forward – even if its just a small step. Its also made me appreciate just how amazing my body is, how strong I am.

When I finally am successful I know I can look back and with clarity see how far I have come, and how I made it happen and feel pride.

I hope you all enjoy taking steps closer to your success this week!

🙂

Keeping the romance couples TTC IVF

Coping as a Couple While TTC

I don’t know about you but I often find my hubby and I are completely aligned on the outcome we want…but mismatched on how we want to get there.

I’m like a bull at the gate – I like action, launching into things….hubby is more cautious and really likes to think things through.

A classic Virgo, he can be a bit of a perfectionist. A classic Gemini, I can be a bit slap dash!

I often describe this aspect of our relationship as us being inside a giant elastic band. He balances me out by keeping some resistance in the band so I don’t charge forward without thinking. In return I pull him forward a bit more quickly than he would sometimes go himself.

When its come to TTC this has meant at times we have been a bit mismatched. Always aligned with the end goal but not often running at the same pace.

This is not a bad thing, each of us have played cheerleader, motivator and pacer for the other at times. Right now, just as exhaustion is kicking in for me, hubby is going full steam, helping me to pull me forward.

It can also be hard. Infertility an odd experience as a couple. It’s a strange world in which you are going through together, but at the same time on your own. How it effects me, how I cope with it, is different to my hubby.

I think sometimes for women the sense of urgency and the realisation its time to try something new hits home first. When TTC we watch every detail of our cycles, but men don’t have that same exposure.

This can sometimes mean we are ready to make a change….but our partners might take a bit longer to reach the same place.

TTC is a time in life where you need to have some extra focus on nurturing your relationship. If you are not careful infertility can invite in a lot of unwanted elements such as:

  • Mismatch on feelings about treatment options and timing of when to do them
  • Difficulties making lifestyle changes
  • One partner feeling they are making all the effort
  • Not feeling supported, or supported in the right way
  • Shame, guilt, blame, obsession, depression
  • Hormonal mood swings
  • Diminished sex life
  • Diminished social life
  • Financial strain

In an already emotionally fraught time these feelings of disconnect between you can be easily magnified.

However, this experience can also knit you closer together, and help you grow as a couple in a way you never would have otherwise.

My tips for keeping a strong relationship while TTC:

Remember You Are A Team!!

Don’t blame or judge each other or yourself. Don’t take it all on yourself and not let the other person help. Accept it might take each of you different amounts of time to process things, and try to support this rather than feel frustrated by it.

You are in this together – you share the dream – so lean on each other!

Communicate!!!

Everyone experiences things differently, gives them different meaning. You can’t expect your partner to know exactly what you need or how you feel unless you tell them. Listen to and respect how they are feeling as well.

Good communication saves a lot of wasted energy and keeps you close to each other.

Be a couple!!

This one is important. Make time to go on dates. Hold hands. Have sex for sex’s sake not just cos its the right time to conceive!!!

I’d like to finish by saying thanks to my wonderful hubby – a man of infinite patience, who is wise, kind, funny and wonderfully supportive. I’m grateful to have you on my team!! 🙂

What’s your advice to keeping your relationship strong while TTC?

 

 

 

Ask believe receive TTC Fertility

Monday Musings

When you have trouble trying to conceive (TTC) it can be so easy to focus on what is going wrong, what problems might lie ahead, the reasons why things won’t work….

I’ve certainly been guilty of this at times. It can be overwhelming, and often a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I’ve made a conscious effort lately to flip this on its head. I’m choosing to focus on what could go right, what I do want and the reasons why it could work.

More than that – I am choosing to BELIEVE those things are POSSIBLE!

What we focus on we get (even if it takes awhile!) so lets not waste that power on the things we don’t need in our lives!!

This week let’s go out there and focus on something positive – on the outcomes we want, not the things we don’t want or the problems that might come between us and those outcomes!

Have a great week chasing your dreams!!

🙂

 

 

Fertility Mountain

The View From My Fertility Mountain

I always find it amazing how a single phrase can sometimes change your world.

Something someone says – which might mean nothing to anyone else – has the ability to resonate to a level where it can completely flip your way of thinking.

I had this happen to me earlier this year, in a good way. I was at yoga, one of my favourite places, on a day when I needed to be there. As a group just by chance we had all just done an IVF cycle at a similar time, so we rode the wave of possibility, and disappointment together.

It was my first unsuccessful cycle. The previous cycle I got pregnant immediately, which unfortunately resulted in my second ectopic.

In hindsight I bounced back too quickly  – I was still grieving the loss of my baby, and my ability to ever conceive naturally. I thought I was ok – it had worked the first time surely it would again?? I wanted to just get on with it. The success of a new pregnancy would surely erase the pain of the loss right??

When the cycle didn’t work I had my BIG COLLAPSE. It was less about that cycle, and more about what had come before – I was physically and emotionally exhausted. All I could see in front of me was fog.

So here I was, in class, and we came to stand in Tadasana, Mountain Pose. My teacher said:

“We spend so much time focused on the path ahead, the mountain in front of us that we still have to climb.  We forget to pause, stand on top of the mountain we have ALREADY climbed and acknowledge how far we have ALREADY come…so pause now and feel the strength in your pose, and take in your view”

In a moment I went from feeling weak and vulnerable to feeling courageous and strong.

Looking down my fertility mountain there were definitely times when:

  • I’d tripped,
  • Where I had to grit my teeth and drag myself forward,
  • Where I momentarily collapsed head in hands and cried that I could no longer go on….

…..but I DID go on!

I stood up, pushed forward and found a strength in myself that I never knew I had.

Until that moment had not bothered to stop and acknowledge this. I’d been too busy focusing on how I’d failed, what I had done wrong, how far I still had to go.

It had not occurred to me to shift my focus and think about what I had done right, what I had learned, what I achieved and how far I had already come.

I gotta tell you the view from this part of my mountain was spectacular!!! 🙂

It allowed me to change my perspective and look down and not only see what was hard but see the patches of light, times where the path felt smooth. Places where new flowers, new parts of myself had grown along the way.

How to Enjoy the View From Your Fertility Mountain:

Acknowledge Yourself

It’s so easy to focus on what we think we do badly…but its so important to stop and acknowledge ourselves for the things we do well.

Change Your Perspective

When things are tough don’t just look at your feet or up at the steep path ahead. Shift your focus – look all around – what are you missing by honing in on the negatives only? Choosing to change our perspective gives us the power to make our view whatever we want it to be!

Remember How Far You Have Already Come

You’ve already shown yourself you have the ability to overcome many challenges. Use the strength and experience gained from previous journeys to give you the courage and conviction that you can tackle the next mountain, whatever that may be!

What’s the view like on your fertility mountain??   What do you need to acknowledge yourself for??

Fertility Journey

Monday Musings

When you are trying to have a baby all of your happiness can become entwined in reaching the ending – “I’ll be happy when….”

It can be easy to forget that the time you are spending now, right now, is an opportunity for happiness also.

If we put all our focus, all our happiness, on that one outcome we miss so much!

We hand over so much of our power to something we cannot control – we are essentially outsourcing our happiness to something external.

With our fertility blinkers on we can forget to find the joy, and instead let the sadness, frustration and anger take over our whole lives…

When we do this we feel like we need something or someone else to shift our focus……but to really feel happiness within ourselves its down to us to do that.

Think week I’m making a conscious effort to find and acknowledge happiness in my journey – as I believe that even in my bad days it really is somewhere around me in the smallest of things if I choose to open my eyes to it!

So go do something that makes you smile – makes you feel alive! – this week!

And BE HAPPY! 🙂

xx

True Fertility Stories

Infertility Closet

I spent three years living in the infertility closet before I ‘outed’ myself on mass earlier this year. Speaking out was both terrifying and liberating.

It was terrifying because I was worried people would judge me, and in doing so add weight to the judgements I’d already made myself.

Even more than that I was worried people would pity me.

Not to mention the influx of ‘Pearls of Wisdom‘ that would inevitably come my way. Could I handle it???

It was liberating because once it was out there I found:

  • I feel more accepting of my situation, less like a victim of it and less self-critical
  • I thought I’d be judged negatively but – the odd POW aside – people have been very supportive!
  • I feel like I am adding value back into a community that has given me so much over my years TTC

To Share Or Not To Share

It’s a difficult question, to which the answer will be different for everyone!

It took three years for me to get a place where I felt it was what I wanted/needed to do…

What tipped it over the edge for me was a dark point earlier this year. I was feeling so disempowered and alone.

Then I read an article that said that infertility was fast becoming the world’s third biggest health issue – and that it was only set to grow.

Wow. Think about how many people out there are going through what we are going through!?!

Yet it’s still such a taboo subject.

I started to think about how much information I’ve amassed over my time TTC.

So I made a choice. I decided not to let my insecurities, my vulnerabilities stop me from sharing what I had learnt – all the things that had helped me cope, to feel sane.

Part of it for me was knowing how to talk about it – how do you explain how this all feels??

Then I realised that exactly how I articulated it didn’t matter. Everyone will experience this differently, understand it differently, give it different meaning.

It became about the essence.

Those experiencing fertility struggles will connect with the emotional current of what I’ve experienced. Those reading to understand and support a loved one might gain some insight.

My Advice:

If you aren’t sure how open you should be there is no right or wrong – you need to ask self the questions about benefits and costs to you and your life.

Fertility struggles are hard enough without making yourself unnecessarily uncomfortable. If you do decide to share your story my suggestion is this:

Share the level of information that you feel comfortable with to the people who you feel comfortable knowing that information.

Talking about what you are experiencing is meant to help not hinder the emotional side of your path to parenthood.

You also need to consider your partners feelings – my hubby is quite a private person so blog this can be quite confronting for him! But he understands why I do it and I share our experiences with his blessing.

My Thanks

I’d like to close this week by expressing my heartfelt thanks to all those who have poured out their hearts (and most personal medical, physical and emotional experiences) out in blogs, articles and forums.  You all helped me through the last three years more than you’ll ever know!

I invite you all this week to give a shout out in the comments to blogs, articles and stories that have helped and inspired you on your journey!

Lets acknowledge and share these resources in the hope that the next person’s path to birth is smoother than ours have been!!

Fertility

Monday Musing

Fear is something we all have – different levels of it for different things.

It can be a great motivator, or a great excuse.

Some of the things in life we have really wanted but we have let them go because we have been afraid of chasing after it.

What if we fail? What if we get hurt?

But….

What if we don’t??

What if we pushed past our fears and ran towards our dreams??

Fertility struggles can bring up a lot of fears. Fear of not getting pregnant, fear of not being good enough, fear of needles!

Lots of reasons to give into fear and just give up…..But we don’t!

Because we want it more than we fear it!

And because we want it more than we fear it we discover how strong we are, what we can face to get there.

And because of that when we do get there the reward of our achievements will be even more precious to us!

Have a great week overcoming fears and achieving steps towards your dreams!

xx

Solving the Infertility Puzzle

The Infertility Puzzle

Fertility struggles can feel like a big jigsaw puzzle.

You start off thinking ‘won’t this will be fun!’

The picture on the box looks great, so you tip all the pieces out and start putting it together.

But then it starts to get hard. You sort your way through the pile of remaining pieces trying to find the piece you want next….

Occasionally another piece goes in, and you think ah-ha – we are getting somewhere! And then it stalls again.

You have times where you are so sure you have the right piece, only to find its just the tiniest bit off…

If you are like me there are times where you are doing ok with the challenge. Sure, you’d like it to be a bit easier but you are motivated, focused, and making (albeit slow) progress.

Other times it all feels too hard. Should you just give up? Why did I start doing this in the first place?  Is this going to be one of those puzzles where I get to the end and find a piece really is missing ??

Should I just put the pieces back in the box and tuck it away on the shelf?

Or leave it out, unfinished for a while, hoping for some renewed energy to tackle it again??

The infertility puzzle for me is made up of many things:

  • Diagnoses – each little explanation as to something else that is NQR is a new ‘piece’ locked in place…
  • Time – time trying, timing conception, time for appointments, injections, time waiting – fitting these time ‘pieces’ in around your “normal” life
  • Emotions – love, hope, joy, disappointment, frustration, sadness – large, often awkwardly shaped ‘pieces’ to find place for

Each of these things individually in life can be difficult to piece together so that everything fits and is picture perfect. Do we ever really achieve that in any area of life?

So no wonder it can feel like an overwhelming pile of pieces to sift through when you have all those elements to put together!

My keys to solving the infertility puzzle

Remember the WHY

I get so caught up in the WHAT and the HOW of all this that sometimes I feel disillusioned, exhausted, and well, over it.

We put ourselves through so much physically and emotionally – it becomes really important to remember WHY we are doing it in the first place. The WHY is what makes the rest of it worthwhile.

When this happens I go to spend time with my friends babies, or I meditate to reconnect with what my heart really wants – the purpose behind it all.

Break It Down

I often find myself looking at the picture on the box, the outcome. I then look at the big pile of pieces to get there and it seems enormous.

It makes me wonder why is my puzzle so much harder than others? Or is it not harder, just my inability to put it together?

I can be like a bull at the gate – just want get there now. This makes the pile overwhelming – so much so it ironically often makes me freeze or procrastinate.

The trick for me is to break that big outcome down into goals. Find the corner pieces. Fill in the boarder. Build in the obvious landmarks. Then it’s a smaller pile to fill in the murkier bits. Each is a step forward, I can see my progress.

Willingness to Try Things

Instead of viewing the pile as trying to find a non-existent needle in a haystack I try to look at it as a pile of possibility. I pick through it and try things that might work!

Its ok if they don’t, I’ll just try the next bit.

What are your tips for helping to solving the infertility puzzle?