Journaling. How downloading your thoughts into written word can help offer a pinch of clarity

We have spoken often about the way that writing down your thoughts can actually help offer a pinch of clarity.

We know from experience that when you are trying to conceive, your mind becomes full to the brim of fear, anxiety, anger and confusion. Everything else becomes slightly blurred and you can feel like you are in a dark tunnel where the light of hope gets smaller and smaller as each month passes. Writing down your thoughts offers a real brain download, giving your head that extra bit of space. It doesn’t have to be a public blog, it can be your own personal journal.

Everything you are going through right now is creating the fabric of your life. It may feel like you are crumbling, but you will get through this pain and you will be a stronger person. By writing down your thoughts, you will be able to read back, in years to come and see how bloody strong you actually are.

Here, one of our readers, Nicole Bates shares her blog with us.

I feel like every day I wake up and am given this robe to wear. It’s heavy. It’s uncomfortable. It’s fibres are made of the scans, heartbeats and pregnancy announcements of everyone I know right now. It’s weighty. This robe is a reminder of what my body has not allowed me to accomplish. It’s the endless blood tests, lengthy waiting periods, applications to clinics, phone calls and emails to various doctors. It’s scent is the medications, injections, side effects, bodily pains, excruciating emotional pain and spiritual angst. This is the robe of infertility. We wear it and it weighs us down, and this is our cross to bare.

Hello there. I’m Nicole Botes. I’m 32 going on 40, sometimes still wanting to be 25! I’m a marketing intern and part -time au pair. I’m addicted to gardening, sunshine and being outdoors in general. I’m crazy about my husband, I adore my friends and I’m blessed with several amazing mother figures. I have three dogs who are my absolute babies!

I started my blog Fertility Matters South Africa at a point in my life where I had already walked the road of infertility for a while. I asked my husband what he thought of me writing publicly about our experiences. He was supportive but wanted to know my motivation. I said to him I’d heard it would be therapeutic. It could possibly benefit me to get out into the open what I’d carried around inside for so long already.

I didn’t even have to think of the name, it was obvious. Fertility is an issue that matters, and I would focus on matters surrounding fertility.

I’ve had countless ladies email me or tell me in comments or messages that my blog has helped them. That it’s been a voice where they didn’t feel they had one. Many a time I feel those who are suffering do so in silence. This is unnecessary and something I feel compelled to change.

My own journey, although quite lengthy, is not as dramatic as many I know of.

I haven’t had multiple failed Ivfs. I have however had many an unpleasant journey to government hospital to initiate treatment. There I dealt with the rudest doctor I have ever had the misfortune of encountering. I used to leave in tears and with zero plan.

After more research and bouncing up and down between clinics, we settled back with our new BFF, our Best Fertility Friend in the form of our doc at the fertility specialist in sandton, Johannesburg. I underwent 3 IUIs in 2017, all to no avail. A very trying time coincided with these procedures, we were losing a family member to cancer. On top of pressures trying to obtain my degree, it was all too much and nothing came of the fertility treatments.

A third of the way into 2018 and we lost my sister in law. This has devastated us beyond comprehension. Naturally anything fertility related was off the cards and barely entered conversation. We as a family needed to attempt to start the healing process.

Some months later and that grieving process has just barely begun. After we felt it OK to try and get back on the Back to the Baby Bandwagon, hubby and I sent off an application to a clinic in Cape Town to do ICSI. For those not in the know, this is a more advanced form of IVF where the sperm is injected into the egg. It’s then incubated into embryo stage as per normal IVF procedure, and then put back into the carrier. How alien does that sound. Not scary at all.

Nonetheless that is our final hope

This blog has helped me so much. This journey, although arduous and frustrating beyond words, has taught me more about my body and my mind than most people know about theirs. I’ve had to learn, I’ve had to wait. Each step is simply an attempt to move forward a little bit. If I can help someone know and understand more in the process, I consider that a bonus!

If I can help someone else heal, I consider that a blessing

Please follow Nicole Botes’ Facebook page Fertility Matters South Africa here and her blog website 

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