The news that clinics were able to apply to open for treatment again on the 11th May was very welcome, and it’s great news that Manchester Fertility are now back open for fertility treatments.
They are working hard to help you get started with your treatment and keep you safe while you are in the clinic. They understand that if your treatment has been delayed, so they are working to make sure everyone is seen as soon as possible.
I wanted to share some things to help you focus on the positives and help you take back control of the things you can do and feel in the best state possible for starting treatment:
Use the time to make sure you are in your optimum state for conceiving – It’s really hard being told that there is a delay to your treatment, it can feel like time is slipping away, so try to think of this time as extra time to make sure you are ready for treatment by looking after your physical health (eating healthily, getting enough rest, drinking enough water, limiting alcohol and caffeine) and your emotional health (getting enough support, taking time for self-care, recharging your batteries, reducing anxiety where possible).
Rest! We are all so busy all of the time, this virus and the enforced lockdowns/ social distancing has forced us all to slow down and rest more, so take the opportunity to recharge your batteries, reduce stresses where possible (I know this situation brings new ones too) and slow down.
Spend time doing the things that help you relax and recharge your batteries - As you can’t really go out at the minute you can do things like reading, meditating, watching Netflix, keeping in touch with friends and family via zoom. Things that help you feel calmer, more in control and distracted as much as possible.
Get some time out in the fresh air where you can - Walks in nice open spaces where you can get fresh air and some exercise. You can appreciate your surroundings, get some space to clear your head and it gets you out of the house for a bit.
Spend quality time with your partner away from treatment - The pressures of work, so-cial commitments and treatment can put a lot of pressure on relationships and mean you don’t have much quality time together. See this as a gift of quality time together to have nice meals at the table, film night, games night, talking to each other. I under-stand it can also feel a bit overwhelming when you are having ALL your time together, so keep in touch with friends, plan in solo time for things like reading, walks, exercise and its ok if you get frustrated with each other, we’ll all the same :)
Get support in whatever way works for you - The type of support people need and want is very personal, so think about what type of support works for you - something more anonymous, a more public forum like Instagram, or more in-depth counselling support.
Think about other things you would like to do and achieve - it’s a perfect time to start a new hobby, learn something new, make changes that you’ve been thinking about . Make a list of some things you have wanted to do for a while but always feel like you don’t have time to do (it doesn't have to be anything major and only when you feel up to it, there's no pressure!):
- Decorate a room or do some DIY
- Start learning a new language
- Sign up to an online course to learn a new skill or enhance your current skills
- Update your CV if you want to move jobs
- Plan a holiday or mini break (maybe for later in the year/next year)
- Find some new recipes for healthy eating or different things to try
- Have a spring clean – clear out the things that you have been putting off sorting
- Start a journal – Journaling has been found to improve your emotional and physical health, by reducing stress, boosting your mood and im-proving memory function. Writing down your feelings is a great way of releasing those emotions in a safe way, whilst also giving you some calm time for yourself, especially if you are isolated from your usual support network.
Who am I, and how can I support you?
I’m Sarah and I am a fully qualified Life Coach working in the field of fertility. I work with fertility professionals to increase their patient support, and I coach and mentor couples and individuals who are going through one of the hardest things they have ever had to go through.
I am also someone who struggled to conceive for 5 really tough years, before having my son through ICSI, after a heart-breaking failed first cycle. Following this, I retrained and also set up online and face to face support groups, to support others in the way I wished I had been supported through our treatment.
Through my work with fertility clients, running support groups and my own personal IVF journey, I have a deep understanding of the impact to emotional and mental health that infertility causes, and the support that is needed.
My main goal is help people who are going through fertility treatment to feel happier and stronger whist TTC and going through treatment. I help them make changes to aid their fertility and be in the best emotional state to conceive.
So not only do I have the skills and knowledge to coach you through this really difficult part of your life, but I also have the understanding of the deeply emotional impact of struggling to conceive and going through fertility treatment. I’ve been there and I know how hard it is, I won’t tell you to just relax and I won’t judge you on anything you say – I’m likely to have felt the same thing myself.
The work I do is all about talking through where you are struggling, what you need to do to feel better, helping you create a plan to do that, and then supporting you on the actions you take.
How can I support you starting treatment again?
I’ll help you make a plan – struggling to conceive and starting treatment can be really overwhelming, especially in the current circumstances. When we are trying to cope with all the emotions and feeling like we don’t know what to do, it can help to make a plan, to help you feel back in control.
You may also need or want to make lifestyle changes to aid your fertility. You may want to change jobs, reduce stress, and make changes to your life. It can make you feel like you are stuck in a rut and the changes seem too big to make. I can help you make a clear and achievable plan to make these changes – taking it a step at a time, day by day making small changes to help you reach your big goal – so that it doesn’t seem so scary.
I’ll help you stay on track and keep you accountable – we often have all good inten-tions of making changes, looking after ourselves, not worrying, etc. But sometimes it can all seem too overwhelming to do, or life takes over. I’ll be the little (friendly) voice in your ear, checking in that you’re keeping going, so you don’t get disheartened and lose all motivation - so you make the changes you need and want to make.
I understand completely - I’ve been there, I get it. You can talk as open and honestly as you want, and I won’t think any less of you. I love that my clients feel they can tell me things they haven’t told anyone else in their life – sometimes we need to get it off our chest and out of our heads – to know that its ok.
I’ll support you through the process - This journey is exhausting and heartbreaking, I’ll be there to help keep you going. I’ll send you support throughout your treatment and I’ll be there if you need to offload on someone.
I’ll help you cope as a couple or a single lady through this tough time - When stress and tension can make you resent each other, and different coping mechanisms can make you think your partner doesn’t care as much. I’ll help you work through it to-gether and take the focus off the all-consuming baby making.
I’ll get you focusing back on you and what you want from your life - We often forget all the other things we’d like from life when we are so focused on trying for a baby. It’s important to take care of yourself and make time for things that make you happy, so we will definitely be focusing on this.
I’ll help you manage your worries about treatment and your future - This process is hard enough as it is without our minds working in overdrive, worrying about every lit-tle thing – from the signs in our body, to other people’s pregnancy announcements. Add to that the fact that we are currently in a global pandemic, with lots of extra wor-ries about our families, health and jobs.
I will help you work through these worries to work out which are legitimate worries, and which are things that don’t deserve your precious time and energy. We can then create a plan to manage your legitimate ones to get you feeling calmer and less stressed.
IVF Positivity Planner
After my own experience - I wanted to create something that gave people space to journal about how they were feeling on a daily basis, but that also gave them tools to help them feel better, to make changes to their lives that they were struggling with and help them focus on the areas of their life that make them happy.
So…. I created the IVF Positivity Planner to help them cope on a day to day basis and have hope that they can live a happy life, whatever the outcome.
If you would like more help and support through this worrying and uncertain time, my IVF Positivity Planner can help you focus on looking after yourself emotionally, setting goals to make changes and it gives you lots of advice and support on coping when trying-to-conceive.
I know all too well that it can seem difficult to make changes when you are feeling over-whelmed, that’s why this planner is here to guide you through it, to keep you going when you are wobbling and to help you take back some of that all-important control and focus on you.
The IVF Positivity Planner is designed to help you feel calmer, more informed and more in control of what is happening. If you would like to buy a copy of my IVF Positivity Plan-ner to help you feel happier and stronger through treatment, you buy it at www.ivfpositivityplanner.com
If you would also like to receive more of my blogs, you can sign up to my newsletter here
Last updated: 29th May 2020