I love a good wedding, who doesn’t? So with everything I had been through at the start of this year, and what I was about to embark on I was really looking forward to a summer full of hen parties and weddings, or that’s what I thought!
As fertility treatment is such an emotional process, most clinics offer counselling to help patients cope with each step of the process. For me this day was a total eye opener, which challenged me to think about things I hadn’t stopped to think about until then!
For those of you that have never had counselling, which I’m guessing is the majority, it’s very difficult to explain what it’s like and how it makes you feel, but I will try my best to explain.
I knew it wasn’t going to be anything like having a heart to heart with a friend, but I hadn’t realised just how hard it would be to talk about your deepest thoughts and feelings in that environment. Anyone that knows me will be surprised to hear that, as I’m a very open person and honestly believe that a problem shared is the best way to unravel problems, but I’m not sure anything can prepare you for counselling.
The counsellor was extremely perceptive, I guess it’s their job, but I was amazed how quickly he had got me sussed! The counsellors at these clinics must meet so many different women, each with their own unique journey which have lead them to this point. I wondered how many were similar to mine?
It was a good job there was a large box of tissues on hand because as soon as I started talking it was huge release and I couldn’t control my tears, but it felt like a weight had begun to lift just by being there.
I talked to him in some detail about how I felt annoyed at myself for not getting a grip of my life sooner. The overwhelming sense of frustration, but at the same time I felt relief that I was now taking control.
He gave me some good advice on managing expectations for the actual treatment day, something I hadn’t even given a second thought to. He explained that he always advises women to have very low expectations of how many eggs that could be collected on the day of retrieval. Although this was totally against my ‘glass half full’ approach to life, I knew I had to be realistic to ensure I avoided even further disappointment, especially as I was starting off on the back foot.
We also talked about the post treatment dip, as he put it. I totally understood what he meant, like when you’ve been looking forward to something for a long time then when it’s over you to feel a bit down and sometimes loose direction. I told him that I had loads of things to look forward to in the summer, with friend’s hen parties and weddings. His reaction was not at all what I was expecting. “Just be careful” he said, “as weddings can sometimes put pressure on people, those in relationships can reflect on where they are in life and look back at their own marriage and single people can often look at what everyone else has and long for the same”. To be honest he had a good point, as I hadn’t considered how this was going to make me feel, after all no one enjoys being the single one at weddings!
The question was, how was I not going to let being single put a damper on the summer that I was so looking forward to?