Sunday, January 30, 2011

Never give up hope

I'm anxious about tomorrow to see how long I'll have to wait before trying again and what to expect from a frozen transfer so I can make some sort of plan. It's good to know the sort of thing that happens in the UK too so I can ask the right questions and feel prepared. So I return tentatively to the BC website and spot a 'negative outcome group' and not a 'BFN group' I might add! I liked the picture of the burst bubble with hope on it but was disappointed that there was an entry with the same title as this post. My least favourite cliche, it belongs in the pit with 'it only takes one'.

I read most of it hoping it was someone who had stumbled across something useful, new research, techniques, funding and wanted to share it. But no, it was the inevitable story about failed IVF followed by a natural pregnancy. Doesn't say of course the age of the couple or why they needed IVF but you can pretty much guess that she had at least one lovely patent tube, was ovulating naturally and  her partner had some swimmers that moved in the right direction. No doubt they were suffering from unexplained infertility which must be agony, not knowing, however, there is always the chance of a natural pregnancy as of course there are rare occasions when even female/male factor infertility lets one through so to speak, a miracle really. So it's nice to read when this has happened for someone who's journey of disappointment you can relate to but it's not helpful to me as it's not an option and I don't think it belongs in the group for people who's previous cycle has failed.

It may be helpful, for example, to know that someone decided on a 5th cycle and it finally worked so all the ladies reeling from failed attempt number 4 may draw some strength from that to carry on when things around them look hopeless. Perhaps a post from someone who has braved egg/sperm donation and is loving motherhood may a comfort to someone who is coming to terms with not being able to have a child that shares their genes.

But these natural pregnancies, while it's nice to share them, should not be offered as some sort of 'this could be you', rather a post just to let the infertile group know you have had a moment of fertility and thank them for their support, express your shock and delight and no doubt everyone with be genuinely happy for this person What about the couples reading with no sperm and blocked tubes and what about other people who don't know about fertility treatment, when they get wind of these stories I feel they need to be put into context as this is where misunderstandings come from.

Many people venturing down the IVF route will know how frustrating it is when people throw cliches at you and everyone has this friend who had IVF and gave up and now has a child naturally blah blah. Even my friend who is a midwife talks about stress being to blame, delivering a baby conceived through IVF and the couple then having a surprise, natural pregnancy just months later because the pressure to conceive has been lifted. If only it really was ALL stress related, how much simpler and cheaper things would be.

Time to get off the internet. I have a friend coaxing me out today who has given me permission to be miserable which helps. I still haven't left the house and the last 5 days have been really, really awful. I can't face making plans and just want to hide here until I feel better but it doesn't work like that. I know myself well enough, hence the course I booked that starts tomorrow to drag me out the door, without it I will just lie around the house worrying and losing perspective.

Oh and before I forget, on the subject of hope, I mentioned in a previous post that it's impossible to truly grieve the pain of childlessness until you have given up hope. Some couples goo so far as to start using contraception again or the male partner considers a vasectomy. Until them, it's impossible to move on because there is always an element of hope. So being TOLD not to give up hope when you are facing a failed cycle of trying to conceive naturally or using intervention is just daft in my mind and it seems as soon as one shares any signs that their cycle may not result in pregnancy everyone jumps in, urging them to cling to hope. I suspect that the people who write this sort of thing either cannot think of anything else to say or are trying to make themselves feel better. It's hard to see another unsuccessful IVF story so I imagine they are unconsciously writing those words of hope to themselves.

The hope is always there, it's built in and it doesn't truly disappear until there is certainty. What helps is being able to explore how you feel, being able to express your thoughts about what seems to be a failing cycle so you can gather strength and feel positive that you can cope with whatever the outcome will be. That's what I have found helpful. I considered going on the website to announce my failed cycle but knew it would be met with very well meaning cliches and cyber ((hugs)), it's too painful for that. Now I really, really must leave the house!

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