The good, the bad and the ugly: Receiving news from the fertility clinic
March 25, 2011:
“I’m at work. I stand in a hallway, away from my desk for privacy, processing the sincere apology from the nurse on the phone that no, I’m not pregnant this time either.
I am calm, circumspect and almost OK with it, but then I crumble realising I have yet to call my husband and break the news.
That’s the tough bit.
I’m ok with failing if it’s just me that stands to be disappointed.
But Dave so badly wants to be a father. And he’d be such a great dad.
The frustration I feel at this wasted chance is so futile. It must be so hard for him to be standing on the sidelines waiting for things he can’t influence to happen.
Fighting back tears, I grab my sunnies and wallet and head for the door to go for a drive to clear my head, only to realise I won’t get far without the keys. Sniffling and avoiding eye contact I return to my desk and dig through my handbag until I find them.
I announce to my nearest colleague that I’m going out for a bit. She is aware something is wrong, but in too harsh a tone I bark, “Everything’s great” as I march out the door to my car.
Inside the car, it’s hot and the air-conditioner struggles to soothe me. I wipe away tears and sniffle some more before gripping the wheel. I back the car out and leave the car park, not really sure of my destination. I drive for a bit and eventually I pull over on a stretch of uninhabited road in the industrial park near the office and kill the engine. After a few deep breaths so I can calm down, I ring Dave.
It’s not fair to give this kind of news over the phone, but he had sent me a text message earlier in the day asking me to call when I knew the result of that morning’s blood test.
So then, alone in the car with no witnesses to see me sob, I call his mobile expecting him to answer and walk out of the room for a private conversation. It doesn’t ring but goes straight to voicemail. I’m not going to leave a message I think to myself, and dial his office line instead.
He answers quietly. I guess he’s been expecting this private call for a few hours now.”
By this point in my fertility struggle, I’d learned a lot about being frustrated with our lack of progress.
I’d learned that positive thinking is great and all, but hoping wasn’t helping us get there.
More importantly though, hoping isn’t the same thing as coping. Being upbeat and perky despite the dashing disappointment is exhausting and a damned near impossible task to pull off.
After this experience with life altering news sideswiping my day, I set a boundary around my emotional energy for things like results phone calls.
I asked the clinic to let me know when the results of future testing were likely to be available so that I could call them instead. Handling the calls this way around allowed me to create some mental space to focus better on what I had to do at work instead of being distracted and operating in a holding pattern waiting for the call.
So,on the days we were expecting to know something (like after blood tests, or on development days for embryo fertilisation) the clinic staff were to give me a time after which I could call them, if I could create some privacy for the outcome.
Adjusting things like that to suit the way I knew my mind worked helped me take back some control. Because no one likes living in a constant state of “what if?” or panic. And when we finally did get our positive news I was able to go straight home to hubby to celebrate!
If you want to feel calmer, more confident, and have more control over your quest to add to our family, then please get in touch for a chat with me about how easily that can be possible for you.
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