In order to survive and finish the IVF race, you need to make sure your racing team is working well together. A long struggle with infertility may take a toll on your marital relationship – as well as your relationship with others – causing distress and isolation.
You will want your marital relationship to feel on solid ground and your support system ready to assist you before starting a cycle. Facilitate communication with your partner by setting aside a limited amount of time to talk about IVF, possibly 20 minutes every day.
Discuss ahead of time whether you want to be together at appointments, on the day of the pregnancy test, or when you are expecting a call from the doctor. Decide which friends you will tell about the procedure by identifying who can give you the support you need (remember that patients often wish that they had not told so many people at the start.)
It can also be helpful to designate a friend as a “spokesperson” who will let others know – when you are ready – what’s going on. Consider joining an IVF support group, if it is available in your medical practice. A great deal of healing can come from others who understand.
Finally, counseling may be helpful if you are feeling depressed, very anxious, or emotionally stuck. Getting the support you need early may avert big problems down the road.
This is the third installment in a series of articles entitled “The IVF Race.” Read the rest of the articles in this series for suggestions in helping you finish the IVF race feeling like a champion, no matter where you place.