When we were TTC I really struggled with the fact that I had no control over whether treatment would work, and ultimately my future. It made me feel really overwhelmed and unsure how to cope with that.
I've mentioned before that I like a plan! I've realised over the years that my way of coping is organising and trying to control the things I can do (my husband calls me a spreadsheet queen!). I was so far out of my comfort zone having to give up control of such a big part of my life.
So, I coped by controlling the things I could do. By making a plan, by taking action in other areas of my life (and, if I'm honest, micromanaging everything, which I'm sure drove my team at work mad!).
One of the biggest things I hear from other people I support is that they are struggling with the loss of control, so I wanted to do something to help with that.
Firstly, I created my IVF Positivity Planner to help you in the way I needed and wanted - to help you to take control, to feel happier and stronger.
I want to use my social channels and website to give you lots of ways you can start to feel more in control, whatever your journey looks like.
I've been recording interviews with some amazing people working in the Fertility industry to get some insight and advice on how you can take back control of your Fertility journey and your life, whatever your situation.
I am sharing the first of these videos with you today :)
As part of my Taking Control series I have interviewed the lovely Angela Pericleous-Smith, a fertility counsellor and chair of BICA. We talk about the importance of support whilst TTC and going through IVF, and the benefits of speaking to a fertility counsellor.
I completely believe that having support through TTC and IVF is vital, and I would really recommend having at least one session with a fertility counsellor when you start IVF.
Seeing a counsellor isn't a sign of weakness or that there is something wrong with you.
Struggling with infertility is a big deal and it's normal to feel emotionally drained. Infertility is the only other department, apart from Oncology, where it is mandatory to provide a counselling service form patients to access, which shows how bog a deal it is, and that you shouldn't feel embarrassed to seek help if you are struggling.
You can listen to my interview with Angela to help you understand how you can cope through treatment, and how seeing a counsellor can support you through treatment.
This article covers lots of feedback I have heard from patients, in the hope that it will help doctors and nurses understand how patients really feel, and also help everyone that is going through IVF know they are not alone.