IVF Babble

Coping whilst Hoping, by Jodie Nicholson

If we could bottle positivity and pass it on we’d be the most popular person on earth (and one of the happiest)

But how do we maintain positivity whilst fighting one of the hardest battles we’ll ever face?

Truth is, I couldn’t….. well, not always.

I found techniques that allowed me to manage the overwhelming process and I found ways to control the crazy emotional rollercoaster to allow me to feel like I wasn’t always hanging upside down.

My saviour was writing, it’s free therapy and the process of getting things down on a page allowed my mind to compartmentalise my emotions, the clarity this offered brought with it a calming sense of peace that I found comforting.

Other coping techniques I found useful were:

Talking – to anyone, about anything: you don’t necessarily need to talk about infertility to process it, I found that just offloading created space for all the static rushing around in my head. Don’t be afraid to open up, even if only with yourself, be honest and be kind, you’re doing amazing.

Reading – if you haven’t already read the book “The Secret” I’d highly recommend. This book completely changed my life and taught me how powerful our mind and thoughts can be.

Of course you can also grab a copy of my book “I(v)F ONLY!” From any major book retailer.

Asking – for help when required. Probably the hardest technique to learn but I promise it’s the most empowering of them all. Once you’ve learnt how to do this you’ll be able to apply it to any situation throughout your life.

Loving – yourself! If I learnt anything throughout my journey it’s that I’m bloody awesome! Yep, that’s right! I put my body through hell to become a parent and my body survived. I mean, she sure does deserve some recognition for that. As does my mind. We often lose ourselves in battle and it’s important to acknowledge our achievements. You’re amazing, don’t ever forget that.

Prior to embarking on my journey, I certainly wasn’t very positive.

I was petrified.

I really struggling when preparing to start IVF, mostly because of my fear of needles.

How the bloody hell was I going to cope with a needle every single day? I needed positive encouragement just to go for a blood test.

Realistically I knew I had  no choice and I knew I’d do it regardless of the pain, but… what if it hurt?

I’m such a wimp

I’d waited four years for a start date for treatment and when it finally arrived  all I could seem to focus on was the bloody injections.

I decided, in a moment of absolute wisdom NAWWWWT to read some support groups, hoping that they’d all tell me the injections were a doddle, yeah right… Every single one of the comments I read detailed how painful the injections were.

Many offered tips on how to make them more manageable – the fact that people who had experienced the injections felt that others may need “tips” to cope with them did not make me feel any better about the situation.

Some of the tips made me feel even worse:

• Ice the area first – but not for too long as this will harden the skin making it tougher to pierce with the needle.

HELL NO!!!

When offering what you think is helpful advice regarding injections to someone absolutely petrified of needles, DO NOT use the word “pierce” EVER.

• If injecting in the thigh, make sure to tense your muscle, not doing so can allow for fluid to gather under the skin and this will burn.

Sounds great! Sign me up for some thigh burns.

• Bruising and swelling around the injected sight is likely.

Fabulous! Just what these thunder thighs need – more swelling.

My imagination was worse than the reality of the daily “stabbing” (as I rebelliously referred to them).

Midway through the injection stage, my Husband pointed out that I had adopted a rather comical coping technique when sitting for the injection: I would pant (yes, like you’d expect to see in labour)!

I don’t know how he kept a straight face to be honest.

So whatever your coping technique, if it works for you then go with it! And maybe think about sharing your hat you find works, you never know, it may help someone on their journey.

Jodie Nicholson
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