IVF is an emotional roller coaster that we have to be prepared for not only physically, but also emotionally. In my opinion, we do not speak about this particular side of IVF enough.
My partner and I are new to the world of IVF, but we are completely aware that this journey will be full of emotional ups and downs. The fact that we do not even know what is going to happen to us during the process or what the outcome will be… it just does not make it any easier.
Instead of listening to others, focus on listening to your own body and soul.
The whole process of preparing for our first IVF cycle looked quite fascinating, and, surprisingly, simple at the same time, especially the technical side of it. However, we do not know how we are going to react to the treatment itself and how we are going to face all of the upcoming challenges. But most importantly, what is the outcome going to be?
It feels impossible to prepare for everything. However, there are two things that are extremely important in order to get through all of the challenges together: a solid foundation in a relationship and, above all, communication. Talking about feelings, fears and even doubts in these new, unknown life situations with maximum understanding and open minds is key to tackling them together.
We visited a specialist who handles the emotional side of infertility and fertility treatments. We had sessions individually and together as a couple. It was very liberating for me to speak openly about my feelings, especially when discussing my fears. The therapist and I discussed all the emotional phases that me and my partner are most probably going to face during the treatment. It still feels like a very abstract way to describe what lies ahead of us, but at least we got another guideline that can help us get through all of it. By the end of our sessions, we built a list of some great suggestions and tips for our upcoming journey. These are not magic tricks but they can probably be useful for anyone who is on the same path as us.
- Instead of listening to others, focus on listening to your own body and soul
- Try to limit the use of Google. Chances are that googling will only add to your stress.
- Plan your days ahead. This can help you to reduce anxiety and stress
- Go for a walk or perform light exercise, such as yoga. Your body will produce dopamine and release endorphins. These are known as “happy” hormones and they have the ability to lift you up when you are feeling down.
- Try to do something creative every day. Activities such as painting, drawing, colouring or even baking can increase positive emotions, reduce stress and decrease anxiety.
- Keep a diary. Writing your feelings down on a page will help you express yourself better. Journaling can also help you reduce stress and prioritise your fears and concerns.
- Learn how to relax. Meditation is a great way to harbour self confidence and improve stress and anxiety, which can be a part of the IVF process.