Lydia (UK): Just be positive
This will be our fifth year on our journey to becoming a family with a child. We have had many an up and many a down on this emotional and physical rollercoaster of trying to conceive. The initial year was probably the hardest, in that we were both excited to start trying, which then turned in to month after month of disappointment. Once we had the referral to the hospital to find out ‘what was wrong’, although this was initially upsetting because it was that acceptance from a professional that something wasn’t quite right, in a way, we both felt more relaxed and sex went back to being about the fun stuff, rather than the “it’s the best time” to get it on.
September last year, we had the full-on IVF stims, two excellent embryos, one we had transferred and unfortunately ended up in a big fat negative, and I had a week ‘out’ to self-care and to find myself again. Then again this February/March, we prepared for and had our frozen embryo transfer, which again ended in a big fat negative.
Don’t tell me to be positive.
Our IVF journey has been a massive self -learning curve, the ups, the downs and everything in between, has helped me identify my triggers to upset but most importantly finding out what makes me happy and makes me ‘ME’ again. At the beginning of our journey, I always believed in being positive and understood the importance that this plays. However, I believe we have to be careful with how we use this phrase and encourage people to ‘just stay positive’.
I completely understand that friends/colleagues want to help you and want you to stay positive so as not to become overwhelmed with sadness/pain/heartbreak – but to truly recover and heal I believe it is incredibly important that you are given a safe platform where you can shout/cry/ scream with anger and be allowed to feel and talk about these sometimes dark feelings without being told how to feel, without being told, “it’ll all turn out ok in the end”; without being told to “just stay positive”. Telling someone to “just be positive” or that “you get out of life what you put out there”, for me almost places blame on that individual having a rough time that they haven’t been positive enough, which is ultimately wrong. It is impossible to be positive all the time, and that’s ok.
For self-healing we have to be able to cry and vent without feeling judged. IVF and infertility is painful both physically and emotionally, but with listening ears, pages in journals and lots of TLC we will ultimately learn how to cope with these crappy feelings and we can ensure that they don’t consume us and we will learn to be ‘ok’.