by Sara Marshall-Page
I went through my fertility issues and IVF alone. I knew nobody else going through it, I knew nobody else who had been through it. I desperately wanted to turn to somebody who could relate to how I was feeling, who was either experiencing or had experienced the same emotions as me.
I entered every stage of the process blind as to what was coming next, with only my diary to turn to when things got me down.
Ironically, I was sat next to women in the clinic almost every other day during my cycles of IVF, who knew how I was feeling,who were going through exactly what I was going through, but not once did I look anyone in the eye.
Perhaps I should have turned to the girl next to me and said “are you doing ok?” I know I would have loved it, had someone turned to me.
Instead, we all sat in silence until the nurse called our name.
Maybe the reason for isolating yourself while going through IVF treatment is because you think it will make the pain less if the treatment fails. If no one else knows, only you get hurt. I suppose the fear I had, was that if I shared the ups and downs with someone going through treatment, how would I continue a friendship if they got pregnant before i did?
To avoid the emotional lottery, I immersed myself in the anonymity of books and forums full of complicated acronyms.
On reflection, I should have just given companionship a go. To have been able to call, text, or even meet up with someone in the same position as me, on a Friday night whilst all my other ‘normal’ ’ mates were at the pub, would have saved me much heartache. Instead, I sipped my decaf tea and pulled the shutters down.
I have since found out that there was a brilliant woman living opposite me who was going through IVF at the same time as me.
If only I had known! Our twins now go to school together and we have become incredible friends. We shared our IVF stories over a large glass of wine the other day, and agreed that to have had an Fertility Buddy would have been amazing.
There is much comfort to be had, from being in the same boat as someone, whether it’s for a moment or something that becomes a long term friendship.
Find an Fertility Buddy, because a shared experience could mean an easier journey and to realise you are not alone.