So you’ve just been through the shitstorm that is IVF. The meds, the money, the hormones, the emotions, the expectations. And now you are sitting here with a big fat negative on your pregnancy test, coping with IVF failure. There isn’t a lot, or anything, anyone can say that will ease your pain right now which is absolutely understandable. Acknowledging that fact before we begin seems important.
This post contains questions you may be asking yourself. Along with some strategies you can use to help you take care of yourself during this time. You can also check out my YouTube video if that feels better.
Hold space for what you lost
First thing’s first is to understand where you are at right now. At this moment in time, you are trying to wrap your head around what the f*ck is even happening. You just lost the future you’d been planning on. The future you’ve spent years preparing for. The future that was so close you could touch it.
When coping with IVF failure, set aside time and let the loss be heavy. Take a bath and cry, punch a pillow and cry, journal and cry. However you get those intense emotions out is up to you.
It’s imperative for healing that you acknowledge where you are and what you’re feeling. You can avoid the pain and the hurt and the grief and if that’s where you are, that is okay. Even normal. Take whatever time you need to process what you’ve gone through. And if that means taking time to just avoid it, then so be it. Try and bring an awareness to those feelings. That data will help you understand where you are and you can use that awareness when you are ready to move on from the avoidance.
But, why does my IVF keep failing?
Girl, I am willing to bet not one person could give you an answer you want to hear to this question. (The most common reason has to do with the quality of the embryo.) You can spend your time googling the answer to this question if that’s what you want. But before you pick up your phone and laptop, check in with yourself.
Check in with yourself
Coping with IVF failure and infertility as a whole is a chance for you to explore yourself. You are going through something that has the potential to shatter you at every turn. And still, you keep going. That takes strength and courage, and I believe that’s why you are a warrior.
So, please, before you go running down Google’s list of reasons why IVF fails or designing a plan to rearrange your life before your next cycle, check in with yourself. Notice your dominant thoughts. Pay attention to how you are speaking about yourself. Become aware of what you are experiencing in your body. There is a deep tendency for us to just push through…mostly because it’s how we survive this time.
However, you don’t need to add things to your already long list of ways to beat yourself up. If you do want to get in better shape or put together a meal plan, go for it. But the last thing you should do is use that exercise or meal program against yourself as another thing you “have to do.”
You’ve already got enough on your plate. You will never get this time back. And you don’t want to look back at this chapter of your life and find that all you did was put together a list of things you weren’t good at. You don’t deserve that.
How can I improve my IVF success?
Doctors will give you a long list of things that contribute to a failed IVF cycle. Poor diet, unhealthy lifestyle, quality of eggs… The list goes on…and on. This is where you get to choose what to take on with your next cycle. You are now equipped with some data about your first cycle, right? You know what to expect in terms of the process and how the meds will affect your body, your moods, and all the other areas of your life this journey touches. Use this data and ask yourself how you can improve your IVF success. This journey and how your body responds is not a one size fits all type of deal. You know yourself the best and now you are equipped with some information for your next cycle…so use it.
Use what you’ve learned to take care of your body
Seriously, ask yourself what you need. Our bodies are geniuses and they also store a shitload of information. It’s also been through a lot with an IVF cycle. Take some time right now to honor your body. Any type of physical exertion. Be it a walk, crossfit, yoga, or some yummy sex (with no expectation), is a good form of release. Stagnation breeds resistance in your body and we aren’t here for that. Respecting what your body needs is essential for coping with ivf failure.
And maybe you are feeling like your body failed you…that’s okay too. Honor that feeling. Building a relationship with your body takes time. It can be so difficult to even want to form a relationship with your body that doesn’t revolve around your cycle.
What if you kept trying to forge a relationship with your body even though you feel like it’s failing you? What if you continued to honor both feeling like it’s failing you and trying to get to know it? Could you find out what your feet like, your head likes? What does your tummy like? Take this process one day at a time. If today’s not the day, honor that. You can always, always try again tomorrow.
What is the success rate of IVF?
You can find success rates for IVF on the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology’s website. They are categorized by age of the mother. And they depend on different factors. But if you’re here, you’re coping with IVF failure so let’s not use that data as another thing to stack in the pile of shit you beat yourself up over. Deal?
Success rates and statistics are all just numbers. They can’t give you what you really need at this time which is support. The importance of having a support system at this time cannot be understated.
Finding support right now doesn’t have to be a struggle either. You can reach out to a support group, a coach or therapist, or your partner. The thing about partners is that they can relate to what you are going through. While they definitely do not “get it,” they still want to support you. And it is their loss too so let them in. Lean on them for support and when you are ready, check in with them too.
Check in with your partner
I’d like to start this off with a little note: While checking in with your partner is a must, let’s not use this check in with them as a way to curtail your own feelings. On this journey, it’s imperative to put yourself first. You and your body are the most important pieces of this puzzle. So make sure you are honoring yourself first…and then checking in with your partner.
That being said, take some extra special time with your partner right now. Go on vacation, have a stay-cation. Have all the goodies and do all the things you would have been restricted from had you got pregnant. Surprise your hubby with something fun you guys love to do together. Go do something on your bucket lists. Get out in nature and enjoy each other. The possibilities are endless. The important part is that you are together and doing everything you can to enjoy what you’re doing. You guys are going through this together so cope together, too. There are parts of this you’ll have to do on your own. Things you’ll need to feel. And ways that you will process that he won’t. That’s okay. But he is the other part of this and it’s important to honor that.
If you’re still asking “How do I cope with IVF failure?”
I’ve got good news, you don’t have to do it alone. Supporting women through this process and the fertility journey is my passion. I have walked the road you are walking. I have felt the intense emotions. The heartbreak, the breakdowns, the emptiness. You are too important and what you are going through is a lot to go through without some extra support. If you are struggling, please don’t do it by yourself.
My coaching program is designed to give you the tools to navigate this process. We will look at the thought patterns and habits that have you stuck. You will engage in a relationship with your body…and learn to love your body.
If you are someone who takes no shit. Who is taking on the world. Who is a freaking badass. We will work well together. We can walk this path together. Click here to explore my coaching options.