An open letter to the woman on her IVF embryo transfer dayAug 30, 2021
One of the most exhilarating yet scariest moments on your IVF journey is your embryo transfer day. It has been such a tumultuous time to get here. You’ve injected yourself with hormones and your stomach is filled with bruises. You’ve gone through the rollercoaster of emotions with monitoring scans, egg collections and embryo fertilization. The agonizing wait to see how many embryo’s make it, and whether the result measures up to your expectations. It’s a marathon and the finish line is literally in sight.
A LOT of preparation, money and energy has gone into this moment, and now it has finally arrived. The moment you’ve been working toward. You have your transfer socks, you’ve mapped out the nearest McDonalds to get those magic fries on the way home, and you have your plan in place for the two week wait.
And now that it is finally here, you’re a bundle of nervous energy – filled with mixed emotions – and feeling a lot of pressure.
So here is letter is for you, on your transfer day……
I am so proud of you and all you have achieved to get here. We forget how much we go through, so today I would like to celebrate you and the strength and determination it has taken you to get here. I know that this is not how you pictured creating a baby, none of us do, but at the end of the day, it won’t matter. In the end, what matters is the result. And you are so close.
Beyond today is a sea of uncertainty. Let’s face it, life is already uncertain, but after today it is going to be amplified. You will try to regain some sort of control by trying to predict the future, however I encourage you to come back to the here and now. There is no need to struggle to find the answer. Now is the time to rest.
While we don’t like uncertainty, we need it - because without it, there is no growth. We stand still, we learn nothing, and we stay the same. In order to embark upon your new chapter of motherhood you need this growth. Take a moment to look back on all that you have endured to get here today. I have no doubt that you have done things that scare you. I am so proud of you and the woman that you have become. Even if you don’t feel strong, you are. Today it is time to acknowledge your strength and courage.
You may feel that familiar sense of fear, bubble up to the surface. That’s ok. It is normal to be scared, because this means a lot. I am giving you permission to feel the fear, and let it flow. Don’t fight against it. You have fought hard enough to get here, but you don’t have to fight anymore. It’s time to drop your sword, let go of the rope that you’ve been in a tug of war with, and release it all.
It is also time to let go of what was, your past experiences, and embrace the possibilities of what could be. This is a new path. A new transfer. A new embryo. And you are a different person. You are not a statistic. This is the path you are supposed to be on. So I am inviting you to open your heart to the possibility of what could be.
There is no right or wrong way to feel right now. You don’t have to be completely hopeful or positive. Nor does this moment have to go perfectly. If this is meant to be, it will, regardless of your thoughts or emotions.
You deserve to enjoy this moment, but if you can’t, that’s ok too.
Over the next two weeks – try to stay in the moment. There is no need to look back and wonder whether you did everything you could. It’s pointless and you’ll be wasting precious energy. You cannot change anything apart from this present moment.
You may also be tempted to seek certainty by convincing yourself that this won’t work. You may even jump to the next cycle and start thinking about a back-up plan. Each time this happens, don’t punish yourself – this thought process is normal. You’re trying to protect yourself. Show yourself compassion and gently bring yourself back to the facts. You are pregnant until proven otherwise. AND you deserve to enjoy this moment, so there is no need to lean into the what if’s.
You will be tempted to go outside yourself for reassurance. But there is no certainty in googling or relying on other people’s stories or symptoms. This is your story, your body, your embryo. Relying on your past experiences may not provide you relief either. So, remember – this is a new experience for you too.
Distraction is key, so fill your day with meaningful tasks. Declutter your wardrobe with the music turned up loud. Do the things that make you lose time – like binge watching your favourite TV show on Netflix. Sit outside in the sunshine reading a book or listening to a podcast.
Drop the guilt about not being productive. Your body is working and doing it’s best RIGHT NOW to create a baby. And that takes a lot of energy. So rest assured that you are already being productive without even realizing it.
Remember to create a bubble around yourself. Surround yourself with those who will support you in the way you need. And keep out those who are filled with fear and negativity. This is your space, and you are entitled to set some hard boundaries.
But more than anything, my beautiful warrior, I want you to know that you are amazing regardless of what happens next. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and keep putting one foot in front of the other. THAT is the only way we move forward. Every day and every step you take is getting you closer to your baby.
I have my fingers and toes crossed for you. You’re not alone.
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