For some reason every time we started an IVF cycle, I had a positive, hopeful attitude that this time would be the last time we have to do it. The first time I was actually excited to start the process and felt grateful to have this opportunity available. When the embryo was being transferred to my womb I could see it on the screen and thought: ‘How amazing, I’m so lucky. People that get pregnant the traditional way don’t get to see this beautiful moment.’
I made jokes about how good looking the embryo was and felt lucky to have this chance. When it worked first try, we felt like the luckiest people in the world. The symptoms that most would find unpleasant – I relished – as I wanted this so much. I was actually excited to be feeling sick! So I think I can say I had a pretty positive attitude about the whole thing. Even after getting over the devastation of the miscarriage that followed, I felt grateful that I had gotten pregnant and held on to the hope that gave me. I approached each cycle that followed this way. I didn’t understand how people could complain so much about IVF – I know if I had been lucky enough to have a baby, I wouldn’t even be talking about it.
But by my 7th cycle and several miscarriages later, my once hopeful self had become a little tired. I’ve read articles about women who’ve had success after one cycle and they were so traumatised at their experience – they were a victim of infertility. I couldn’t help but think ‘They have a baby – why are they complaining?’
I don’t even feel like a victim and would never want to be seen as one. I feel grateful for all the good things in my life and I know that the route to unhappiness is comparing yourself to others. But I still want to talk about this. Why? Because despite my gratitude the pain is always there – and I know that many couples feel like this and feel like they’re the only ones.