Cut Yourself Some Slack

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If you are going through the grueling process of trying to get pregnant and it just isn’t going to plan don’t beat yourself up about it. It isn’t your fault. You are not to blame. Be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can.

Work Wind Down

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This is my last week of work before my maternity leave commences. I can’t really believe it has come around, but then again I can’t believe that any of this is real. So while I am excited to have some feet up time, as my teaching job is fairly active, it feels very bizarre. During my last pregnancy I got so ahead of myself thinking of maternity leave, the birth, the nursery and life with the baby. This time I am never thinking more than a week ahead as I don’t want to take anything for granted. That is why people who ask me about events that are more than a week or so ahead get met with a slightly panicked expression or a total dismissal. Family and social events in the future are so abstract that I can’t even imagine them. Thinking that far ahead makes me extremely anxious and it brings up all my fears that the happy ending we are desperate for will be cruelly snatched away once again. So for now I can’t commit to  anything beyond the imminent future. It’s just too damn scary.

Work has provided me with sanity and a much needed distraction from the consuming nervousness which may have prevailed. Let’s hope that the final work free weeks are not too slow or anxiety ridden. Who am I kidding? I fully expect a few freak outs!

Inspire Others

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Couples tend to be secretive about their fertility issues. Understandably there is a need to preserve some privacy over what is a personal, intimate area of a couples lives. However I implore you to shake off feelings of inadequacy or embarrassment. It is not your fault your body doesn’t function how you want, in the same way it is not your fault if you are short-sighted. Instead you should be proud of the strength you have shown to overcome your challenges and persist in your efforts to make your dream of a family come true.

I have been amazed and inspired by the spirit and determination shown by couples who, like us, have battled infertility. I have been touched by their compassion and support. If we are lucky enough to be blessed with the baby which is currently growing in my tummy, I will be proud to have an IVF baby.

Dear Santa

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While Christmas is an exciting time of year for many, it is also a time when those who have experienced struggles, loss or grief can find it especially difficult. Many couples facing infertility or pregnancy loss will have hoped that they would have a new baby by this Christmas. I have seen many comments on blogs and forums that express disappointment over their situation and a reluctance to embrace the festive period.

I am the least Christmassy person you could ever meet (I just don’t get the hype!) so it was never going to be an issue for me. This time of year is not momentous for me in any way. But I can appreciate that for many it is a time for family and that can be hard when you hoped yours would look very different.

My advice is to:

  • avoid placing too much emphasis on what is essentially one day of the year – just like any time of year there is hope and a multitude of opportunities and possibilities ahead
  • look at what you have got, rather than what you have not got – you may not have the baby you are desperate for but you have many other wonderful things in your life
  • embrace the distraction – consider the time off work or the socialising the perfect thing to occupy your thoughts. If you don’t feel sociable get cosy with some comfort food and watch elf and home alone!

The Uncertainty

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This quote sums up this year perfectly. Firstly it applied to the excruciating wait for our IVF to begin again after we lost our baby earlier this year. I was so desperate to be pregnant again and so scared that the IVF wouldn’t work. However it is even more apt now as we wait for a successful ending to this pregnancy. I suppose all aspects of life are heaped with uncertainty and ambiguity and unless you are fortunate enough to have unwavering faith that a greater power will make everything go how it ought to, we must just be positive and stay hopeful.

Positive Thinking

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This can apply to many areas of ones life but when you are waiting for a baby the wait seems excruciating. Even being pregnant, and having overcome the challenge of actually getting pregnant, it still throws up these feelings. It’s impossible to believe that after this long a happy ending will actually happen.

Appreciate It

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Obviously feeling nauseous and tired can be relatively unpleasant but everyday I feel blessed that I am in the position to moan about it. I always promised myself that I would refrain from excessive complaining as after losing our last baby all I wanted was to be pregnant again. In addition to that I am fully aware that there are so very many women out there who are struggling to get pregnant who would kill for some pregnancy discomfort. So I am basically thrilled to feel crap!