Expecting The Unexpected In IVF
IVF is a bumpy road that is often filled with obstacles and wrong turns. Learning to expect the unexpected before you begin the IVF journey can go a long way toward girding you with the emotional strength you'll need to make it through a very stressful treatment program. Every person's medical situation is unique and generates its own probabilities for failure. Every step of every cycle of IVF can be the point of origin for failure.
You may find you are pregnant, only to experience pregnancy loss or find that the clinical history shows the pregnancy should not continue. Knowing that all this and more can happen is hard to take in, but advance knowledge gives you an edge on coping with the heartbreak. Learn the risks before you begin so you don't get hit without warning.
Many couples describe the two weeks between the transfer procedure and receiving the pregnancy test results as the worst portion of the IVF cycle. During this waiting period you'll want to have something to do to occupy yourself, such as fun hobbies or activities. You may want to indulge yourself with a luxury during this time—for instance, buy yourself that new necklace you've been coveting. Talk to supportive friends as a means of dealing with your feelings.
In addition to these proactive coping methods, think about where you will want to be when you receive the news. You may not want to hear the results while in the workplace, so think about giving the physician your home number to leave you a voice message so you can call back at a time when others won't witness your emotional reaction. You'll also want to consider the timing for receiving the results. You may want to be with your partner or prefer to hear the news alone and have time to digest the results before you share them.
Another issue to consider is how to break the news to well-meaning, even supportive friends. It may be best to fudge the dates a bit when you tell friends when you expect results. If you tell them you expect the results a bit later than is the actual truth, you'll have a bit of private time to come to terms with the outcome, whether positive or negative, before you need to share the news with others.
Last of all, if you've approached IVF with as much foresight, knowledge, and planning as is possible, then it's time to come to terms with the idea that you have done your best and that a failed cycle does not reflect on your efforts. Look at all you've done toward making your IVF treatment happen and give yourself points for each bit of effort you've invested. Find your internal strength and use it to nurture and heal yourself and your partner. You will be amazed to discover that your relationship may even prosper and strengthen as the result of the IVF process.