SHG’s and Self Help

Well, another hurdle completed…I had my 2nd SHG on Friday to see if my uterus looked tip top shape for a transfer in a few weeks. The Sonohistogram is not my favorite test, but it’s also not the worst. If you haven’t had one, it is over in a matter of moments and when you hear good news it is all worth it in the end. Last week I heard good news… so now it’s just a matter of waiting for the administrative red tape to turn green too (tick, tock).

I will admit that last week I had all the confidence in the world that I would pass my SHG test. Everything with me always looked perfect on paper when it came to ultrasounds, X-rays and blood tests. It is how I learned to hate my “unexplained” diagnosis so much. It wasn’t until we tried IVF two times and watched the eggs and embryos fail…that it helped the doctor zero in on a poor egg quality diagnosis.

This week, I look ahead to the next phases of the transfer treatment and the truth is…it is the next part of this process where I start to have fears and doubts creep into my head. I know my body is healthy…my diet and exercise routine is solid, I know my hormone levels are good, I know there will be no issues responding to drugs, and lastly I am confident that my lining will be perfect too. So where do I need to focus if my body is healthy? Well, I have decided that this go around I need to work and dig into my head space as I feel like it was often in a pretty unhealthy spot for me during IVF #2.

The first IVF I did, I was hopeful and optimistic…when it didn’t work…it was a giant blow. Prior to that negative beta day, I didn’t know there would be no words to describe the grief that followed. I am in awe how some ladies jump back on the treatment horse right away, whereas I felt I needed six months off in-between to help heal, clear my head and try a few more things (COQ10 and DHEA). I was physically ready when I did IVF #2, but now I wonder if my head was healthy. On some level I doubted pregnancy was possible… maybe my ego wanted to show all those people who told me “everyone gets pregnant” that this statement wasn’t true. It was like I stubbornly wanted to have the last word and show the world “see, it’s not possible.” When I think back, I feel like I spent a lot of the treatment cycle bracing for the worst case and preparing myself for another negative result. After all, who wouldn’t want to brace themselves for the car crash they see coming.

I know I cannot go into this embryo donation opportunity like that version of myself that went into IVF #2. I cannot accept someone’s gift and then spend two weeks bracing myself for the worst – that’s ridiculous. Therefore, I feel like I need to get really honest with myself in the next few weeks and look deep inside at a few ugly monstrous thoughts I know are there. I have a few of them and they might surprise you, or perhaps you have them too? For one, I have this underlying fear of letting people down through all of this – my husband, my parents, my in-laws, my supportive friends…and this time…lets crank up the heat by adding a very excited donating family to the fire too. There is also this nagging underlying thought/question where I am wondering if on some level, through my whole life, have I had a subconscious internal dialogue (or self-fulfilling prophecy) going on that created this infertile mess. And, to round it all off, I may need to get all Dr. Phil on my ass and tackle the thought as to whether or not everything I fear in life boils down to a fear of being alone or death…(okay, death might be taking it all a tad too far…but you get the point).

So how does one tackle these monstrous thoughts? The first couple of low cost steps I have taken include reading “Rising Strong” by Brene Brown and listening to the book “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. Both are works of self-help art, which from what I have read and listened to already feels like the right and positive path to get a better understanding of myself and equip me with the tools to get through the donation transfer. Hopefully with the help of their words, I can acknowledge my fears and put them on the shelf so they don’t eat away at me during the two week wait. I also decided to pull out the check book one last time and sign up for some acupuncture sessions to help with the physical and emotional support I know I will need. I am very grateful for the fact that my acupuncturist is like this positive energy angel – she has been there beside me for all my treatments – I can’t imagine doing this next leg of the trek without her. Then there is also my BodyTalk person – another gifted person I am grateful to have found – my first session with her inspired this blog. She has since helped me understand myself better and show me that there is more to this journey than just the physical elements. Lastly, we might as well throw a therapy session into the mix as you can’t help but exhaust all aspects of my work benefits plan for another year.

I don’t know what to expect from this inside exploration, but I will likely end up sharing most of it with you. This blog and the act of writing is a form of therapy for me…putting ideas into words is like an act of translating myself for me. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I think I just outlined that it might take a whole village to just get pregnant too.sbTherapy

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16 thoughts on “SHG’s and Self Help

  1. I think you have such a healthy approach to this cycle! Taking care of both your body and mind are so critical!!
    Ill be cheering you on through the entire process as I want nothing more then to see you bringing home your wiggling baby!! ❤❤❤

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  2. A whole village just to have a child is right!

    I’m not surprised that you feel some added pressure this time around. I felt the same with our surro & her family. It was extremely painful for her when our first round failed, and that was something she had never come close to feeling before since she had been able to get pregnant so easily with her own kids. I felt responsible for her pain, which is ridiculous in hindsight. I know she would never have wanted to put that pressure on me, which I think is important to remind yourself as you prepare for this transfer. If this situation was reversed, how would you want them to feel? Of course they want desperately for this to be your dream come true, but they don’t want you to carry an increased burden of pressure on their behalf. Easier said than done though, right? It’s hard, but somehow you get through it. I really think that someday you will look back on this time and be shocked at your strength, your perseverance. Even though it may not always feel like it, you are radiating so much strength right now!

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    • Thank you! I feel like we all need recognize we wear a badge of bravery going through all this. You are absolutely right that I need to put the shoe on the other foot. Any pressure I perceive is there is 100% my doing, so best if I don’t do that. Appreciate your support! Xx

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  3. My only message is to be not be too hard on yourself. I haven’t had success yet (currently waiting to do second FET after 3rd IVF cycle) but I do know two people who were bracing themselves for the worst (after 5 years of failures) and they both ended up pregnant that cycle…so it can happen. Having said that I am trying to deal with my emotions too, mainly to reduce anxiety in the lead up….but everyone I speak to (who really knows about this journey, including counsellors) say that the first step is to be kind to yourself and not beat yourself up about anything at all…I’m going to try to follow that mantra myself for this next transfer. Sending you all the luck in the world.

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  4. I love this post because you are being so open and honest with yourself and your steps towards positivity are inspiring for me as I go into this 3rd round of IVF – I’m struggling a bit with the mental side of it all.

    I understand those fears you have. Letting people down sounds really strange to people on the outside, but I absolutely get this feeling too because we have told so many people about our IVFs, and even more so for the next cycle. When Chris and I talked about potentially going down the path of Embryo donation he said that was his greatest fear – was adding someone else (that you don’t really know) into the mix of potential disappointment. So he said he just didn’t want to go that way. I never thought of it like that until he explained it like that. I am slightly different in that I tried to reconcile that thought by putting myself in the donors shoes “If I donated my Embryos to another IF couple, how would I feel if it resulted in them getting a BFN?” I know I would be sorry for the couple, but I know I wouldn’t be feeling let down…so I think when you think about it like that the pressure for letting someone down starts to dissipate.

    And I have asked my self similar questions to of myself about my subconscious causing our infertility!!! You are not alone in this fear!!!

    And you are right – we CAN conquer these fears with some self help!!!I’m totally on a positive day today for fighting these inner demons!!! And your post has helped me think of some things!!! I look forward to reading more about your journey to fight them and hopefully both our next cycles will be our BFPs. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I appreciate you telling me to put the shoe on the other foot and you are absolutely right. If I donated embryos I would be disappointed it didn’t work for the couple, but I wouldn’t really feel anything else beyond that. I wouldn’t personally let down.

      I will definitely share my further thoughts. I am hopeful that if I stare my demons in the eyes that I can put them behind me too.

      I am cheering you on in two next cycle. Good luck!!! Xx

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