Myth to be busted: People think IVF always works. Everyone who uses it is successful and has a baby.
Now I realise that this is National Infertility Awareness Week and I'm not in the correct nation, but I couldn't let this week go by without participating. This might seem a weird myth to choose to bust given that I'm in the midst of my first IVF cycle and, of course, hoping that it works for us, so we can finally start our much-wanted family. I'm also feeling pretty positive (though realistic) so there's no pessimism behind the choosing of this particular myth.
The reason I have chosen it is because I was really surprised to come up against this belief amongst some of the few friends and family members who know about our infertility struggles. Maybe it's because, by the time we embarked upon IVF, I'd done so much research that I was well aware of the odds of success. I forgot that the average woman on the street is not aware of these statistics and probably thinks IVF is a surefire way of getting pregnant. Which seems to be what my Mum, my brother and my best friend thought.
My brother's response took me by surprise but, at the time, was the positivity I needed. I told him by email and he replied saying 'Fantastic news! It's about time our family got a new addition'. Although I am the 3rd of 4 siblings, I'm the only one in a serious relationship and considered likely to produce a grandchild/niece/nephew in the near future. Maybe my brother thought long and hard about his response and opted for positivity over commiseration or sympathy.. knowing my brother, that seems unlikely! It seems more likely that he was convinced that I would soon be pregnant and the pressure to reproduce would be off his shoulders for a while! Of course, I'm still hoping this is the case... :)
My Mum and my best friend were both just really surprised when I told them the odds of success - my Mum went quiet, her typical response to something she's not happy hearing, whereas my friend was more vocal... 'Really?!' After the shock died down, they are both determined to stay upbeat and only talk about a positive outcome..
'So the baby will be due in Jan/Feb?.. not the best time but at least you won't be huge during summer'
'You'll be pregnant over Christmas.. how lovely!'
'We'll start looking at flights to come and visit...'
Sometimes this approach is great.. sometimes I want to share their positivity and daydream about that BFP and a happy, healthy pregnancy and birth (can you have a happy birth?!). Sometimes I want to scream at them... 'Don't you know there's a high probability that this won't work?!!'
I reckon that to anyone reading this who is struggling with infertility, this is old news and they are well aware of the stats. So this post is more to people reading this who have friends and family on this journey... positivity is good and we need it much of the time. But remember that realism also has it's place and this journey is a marathon and not a sprint :)
Click here to learn more about infertility: http://www.resolve.org/infertility101
Click here to learn more about National Infertility Awareness Week: http://www.resolve.org/takecharge.