So no one told you life was gonna be this way? Clap clap clap clap clap. Yeah they didn’t, but then again they probably didn’t know. Who is/are they anyway? Moving on. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t recognise the Friends theme song. Or indeed the characters names. Rachel, Monica, Pheobe, Joey, Chandler and Ross. Today I’m blogging about Monica. Specifically Monica during the time her and Chandler are trying for a baby.
I started thinking about this Friends storyline because of a joke someone made. This person asked me “how IVF was going” which fyi is not how to ask about such a delicate subject! When I said we were waiting for a follow up appointment after our first cycle not working, this person joked I better not turn into Monica as that would make me unbearable but so funny. They had no idea. I hold my hands up and say I laughed a lot watching these episodes. I thought it was ridiculous how regimented and strict she was, how trying to conceive had taken her over. I didn’t get it when I was younger. How could anyone be like that? Surely having a baby isn’t that hard emotionally? Why would it take over your life? That was until it happened to me. I became Monica. It’s not so funny when it’s happening to you!
The first few months were fine. I hadn’t been on the combined contraceptive pill for over a year so we just stopped using barrier method contraception ie condoms. We knew I wouldn’t get pregnant straight away but after four months of official trying (we hadn’t exactly been using contraception all the time before officially trying to conceive) the stakes got higher. At this point we were still waiting for my appointment at the gynocologist to come through, the one my neurologist had set up for “better to be safe” tests. This is when craziness started to set in. I began to regiment our sex life. Although I had no idea if I was actually ovulating, I declared that we had to start having sex every two to three days. This sounds great in theory I mean yeah more sex, but honestly it takes the enjoyment out of it. Knowing you’re both tired but that you have to make yourself have sex so you can make a baby isn’t the best aphrodisiac! It’s also really hard when you have an argument which totally makes for wrong sort of mood. Not to mention (in too much detail) when you argue because it’s sex day but the other doesn’t feel like it and so neither end up happy. In fact during this period we were having less sex than when we weren’t trying to conceive and I hated it. Not just because we weren’t giving ourselves the best chance at having a baby but also because I have a high sex drive. This makes things a bit awkward anyway as my husband has a low sex drive. Add in regimented, unromantic, pressure filled sex and you do not have the recipe for a healthy sex life. I went crazy over trying to increase our chances, taking vitamins, researching best positions, how long to hold your hips up for, how often to have sex, what foods to eat and of course looking up early pregnancy symptoms. Month after month I cried over the negative pregnancy tests. I was Monica, trying for a baby had taken over my life! It consumed everything I did.
People who aren’t going or haven’t been through fertility issues don’t understand what an impact it has. Being on an IVF diet doesn’t help the situation either. Everything you eat directly affects you’re chance at having a baby, as if you don’t lose the weight you aren’t having IVF. Not even my husband understood how much it affected my day to day life. He said it was all I could talk about but it was all I could think about. I wanted a baby and for that to be possible I had to make decisions everyday that affected this. I’m happy to say that I am less Monica now. Our first cycle may have failed but it taught me a lot. I have learnt to let go a bit more. To acknowledge and celebrate every step as the milestone that it is! I know that I have to enjoy this bit of my life too because who wants to waste precious time?! I am back on the IVF diet but this time it’s different. I feel less pressured and more nicely motivated. I think the progress jars and list of treats for various losses are helping me to stay upbeat rather than overwhelmed. I guess trying to think positively has really helped too. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my Monica moments I’m just trying to keep them to a minimum!
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