Human life is full of stressors and even when we learn to cope with our own issues, things can get complicated when we have a life partner and share a common goal with someone else.
A couple may experience many things together that push them out of their familiar, predictable world, but while most are short term, some can last for a long time. One experience that can strain a relationship is embarking on an IVF journey.
A couple has to step out of their comfort zone to begin the IVF journey. It’s not a linear process; they have to deal with many unexpected disappointments, setbacks, and delays when trying to have their own child.
This article takes a deep dive into the IVF journey and offers suggestions on how to navigate it successfully.
The IVF Journey
The IVF journey is different for everyone. Many things can cause infertility, and success rates can vary from one person to another. It’s naïve to assume that statistical data creates a clear picture of what to expect.
Here are a few possibilities on the journey:
Sometimes, inactive male sperm is the issue, which will require a sperm donor. At other times, a woman may not be able to use her own eggs and have to rely on an egg donation program. In either of these instances, the child will be genetically related to one parent.
Some women are successful in their first round. Some women get pregnant in a few months. Some women may take years to conceive.
While a successful transfer after the first attempt is cause for celebration, a failed transfer does not mean a woman is not a good candidate for IVF. Despite doctor’s always warning about this possibility, many women still fall into momentary despair.
Everyone is different. Besides a large possible number of reasons for a failed transfer, human bodies respond differently to IVF even among people of the same age with similar issues. So, to avoid feeling disappointed, you should avoid comparison. It makes the journey that much harder.
After every failed transfer, a couple has to regroup, reminding themselves of their story, their journey, their commitment to stay the course. Courage comes from affirming that you will become parents and your dream will come true.
One way to avoid feeling crushed is to record thoughts and feelings in a journal and read your earlier entries for inspiration. Every round of IVF medication, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer opens the heart because it starts an emotional bond with the embryo.
After about three failed transfer, it may be necessary to have an Endometrial Receptivity Assay to get a better understanding of the reason for sequential failure. This medical procedure involves some painful endometrial biopsies.
Because of the fluctuation of hope and despair and the variety of medical procedures, it’s essential to commit to staying positive. This makes it easier to deal with waves of envy, sadness, or frustration that wash over you. Practice self-care. Focus on things that bring you joy.
Join a Support Group
While staying positive individually and as a couple is essential, it’s also important to surround yourself with optimistic people. This might also include joining a support group so that you can share the difficulties of your journey with people who understand.
A large amount of irrational fears often springs up when you feel vulnerable; for instance, fear of hurting other people’s feelings, fear of losing friends, and even fear of becoming too joyful after conceiving because support groups members are still struggling with infertility.
Joining a support group is a way of managing all these turbulent emotions, putting things into perspective, and keeping up one’s courage.