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Trying Times – Diary of an IVF patient: Receiving news from the fertility clinic

Trying Times – Diary of an IVF patient: Receiving news from the fertility clinic

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.

Am I the right person to help you while you add to your family? Make a time to video chat on zoom with a BYO beverage here.

Ready to start working together? Awesome, let’s get started here 

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What is the Freedom Fertility Formula and how does it work to support IVF and mental health?

What is the Freedom Fertility Formula and how does it work to support IVF and mental health?

The Freedom Fertility Formula is a life-changing blend of coaching, counselling and mind-body techniques aimed at helping couples welcome their longed-for baby sooner.

 

Freedom Fertility Specialists Claire Caldow and Mandy Worsley join Reproductive Health Group’s clinical director Professor Luciano Nardo to discuss how the Freedom Fertility Formula could help you.

This amazing video explains what I do and how I can help – even when you can’t get in to see your clinic soon enough for you.

The ladies in the video are fellow specialists in my community, based in the UK, and we are working toward the same goal of helping women and couples welcome their babies sooner. #communityovercompetition.

They are speaking with a doctor from the UK based fertility clinic Reproductive Health Group, who are in partnership with our community of Freedom Fertility Formula specialists to support their assisted reproductive technology (IVF) clients towards better success rates. Mandy and Claire are both patient support partners there.

It’s a succinct discussion that anyone struggling with fertility frustrations would find informative.

It explains what is involved, how it helps, and why this type of mind-body connection work is an important part of the treatment of fertility concerns.

So, if you’re struggling and would like some help, please get in touch or book in with me using the buttons below.

I can’t wait to help you.

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What your partner needs you to know about IVF and dealing with fertility treatment

What your partner needs you to know about IVF and dealing with fertility treatment

what your partner needs to know about IVF

Fellas, You might think that your contribution to the fertility treatment process ends with providing a sample or two of your little swimmers – but you could not be more wrong about IVF.

You are not just a bystander.

Buckle up buddy, because you chose each other to take this crazy ride together.

For you and your partner, this is about to get real.

She is going to need you like never before – literally in ways you haven't been prepared for.

This is not PMS. This is not a drill.

Chocolate and tissues are not going to be enough.

In case you weren't already aware, there are going to be good days, bad days, rough patches, good and bad news, and needles – hundreds of fucking needles – taking blood, injecting hormones and, just for fun, you might like to try acupuncture while you throw everything at this menace called 'unexplained infertility'.

And you, my friend, are going to have to step up and be there for her like never before.

So let's get clear on What she doesn't need from you during IVF (actually ever, but especially now):

  • Pity or blame;
  • Pettiness and frustration;
  • Pressure in the bedroom;
  • Pressure to be awesome in all other aspects of her life right now;
  • Penny-pinching: because heads up, treatment can get expensive really quick, so I recommend the pair of you set some limits and expectations now about the resources you have as a team to put toward your shared goal of parenthood.

You can access my guide to making decisions together ahead of IVF here.

What she actually needs from you is:

  • Understanding that her body is going to go through a lot and it's going to drag her mind along for the ride. She's not crazy, she's trying really hard to make you a Daddy;
  • Unity – you're a team in this mess and she needs to feel that she is enough for you – with or without a baby, even if it would crush you to not be a father with this perfect creature, your other half. You are whole and a family already;
  • Unconditional love – A shoulder to cry on, arms to hold her and make her feel safe, loved and supported even on the darkest days or for no reason at all;
  • Unlimited patience and the space to come to decisions, feel her feelings and deal with them in a healthy way, especially if you experience loss;

And if you do suffer a loss, she'll need:

  • Unlimited time to grieve, in whatever way she finds healing.

Your grief is important too, and your way of grieving will be different to hers, but it is just as necessary for you to grieve your loss too. So, please remember to look after yourself when you are looking after her. And please don't underestimate the power of a good cry, an angry boxing session with a trainer, or time taken writing out your thoughts to clear your head.

That goes for both of you.

Ultimately what she really needs is YOU. In her corner. AT ALL TIMES.

But especially when:

  • Treatments get too invasive, painful or just too much;
  • Someone makes an insensitive comment about your situation that sets her off;
  • Your mother asks you again when she's going to be a grandmother;
  • She knows her body better than anyone – including the doctors – and she needs you to help her stand her ground;

And I can't recommend strongly enough that you seek out the support and guidance of a professional to help you steer through the choppy waters ahead.

It doesn't have to be me, but I am here for you if you'd like to talk. I see women individually or with their partners, and please believe me when I say the process works much better when couples face it as a team.

Fertility is not a women's problem, it is a family issue, and one that is better coped with when supported by our loved ones, like you.

I wouldn't wish fertility struggles on my worst enemy, so please don't leave your partner to manage all of this on her own and expect her to present you with baby at the end of it. It's rough and harsh and you'll both be changed in the process, whether you admit it now or not.

Take care of each other whatever happens, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Much love and baby dust,

your friend in fertility