Kendall is in the middle of her first IVF cycle and found All Our Eggs as she was searching for IVF blog posts and forums.
1. Describe your experience in 5 separate words.
Overwhelming, isolating, hopeful, perseverance, transformative
2. Do you have a positive mantra to get you through the tough times?
If I’m being honest? No. Every day feels so unique and new. What gets me through one day is often different the next. But if it had to come down to one thing that consistently pushes me forward, I guess it would be “there are no other options”. That may not sound very positive, but at my lowest points when I feel like I can’t do it, it comes down to that. I want this so badly that backing out and not trying this solution just isn’t an option. So I guess my mantra is – take whatever time you need to bitch and cry and throw a tantrum, but then pull yourself together and just carry on.
3. What has been the biggest surprise in your journey so far?
The value of a support system. I started off in this journey thinking that I was being strong by keeping everything to myself and not sharing or leaning on my friends and family. I didn’t understand the point in talking about what is going on – it won’t change anything and I didn’t want to sulk. But I did end up sharing and force myself to be more open, and their support has been beyond what I ever expected or even knew I needed. When I have my lowest moments and feel like I’m crashing down, they continue to be there to build me back up.
4. What’s the best advice you’ve received? “It’s okay to not be okay”.
“It’s okay not to be okay”. There are a lot of reasons why I’ve found this advice to be so helpful and true.
There is always a place for positive words of encouragement and motivation, especially during IVF when motivation often wears thin. But the IVF journey, and infertility at large, is filled with very dark lows and rock bottoms that seem to never leave you alone. It’s during these lows that I just need a break. I need it to be okay for me not to be okay. I need to stop putting on a happy face for others around me or pushing myself to go to social outings when I am secretly fighting tears. I need to stop trying to be so strong and putting on a fearless act day after day, it is exhausting and not fooling anyone. And maybe even more importantly, I need to let myself feel these emotions in their entirety. I need to take in the weight and reality of what is happening in order to grasp it and accept it. Because you can’t really move forward without acceptance. I learned that the hard way. And the only way I learned it was by accepting that it is okay not to be okay!
5. And the worst free-advice you’ve heard?
I’m not sure I have a specific piece of advice that stuck in my mind as being the worst. “Just relax” and similar phrases that insinuate I have any real control or personal fault to the matter are always the worst though.
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