If I could have known what lay ahead when I always assumed one day I’d have 3 children there is so much I would have said to that girl with the now clearly unrealistic goals that we all take for granted.
Firstly that message would have been to be more honest with myself and others about how I was feeling,
I spent years plastering on a smile and telling people I was “fine and ok” I spared other people’s feelings above my own and put myself into situations I didn’t want to be in because looking like I was fine was all I wanted to do to the outside world. I’d tell myself to be more open about what it was really like so when I seemed to be “down” or sometimes just moody maybe people would understand I was going through a truly horrific and tough time about the potential loss of a life I’d planned and sometimes it wasn’t alright.
I’d tell myself that living a normal life on the outside wasn’t that important because it made my real feelings confused and harder to deal with.
But really importantly I’d also tell myself that I would be able to cope with things that I never knew I’d be strong enough to cope with: mental and physical pain, trauma, loss, fear, heartache, the fact is that life can be cruel but I would be able to get through it and truly be ok in the end (oh for that crystal ball) I’d tell myself I would keep and make the best friends of all time and people would stand by me through periods of long absence and not being that much fun, I’d find a new amazing group of people who are part of what you’re going through and they will help you learn about so much about good people, Ivf and mental health and it would truly change me and my outlook on life forever and only for the better, I’d become a more empathetic and patient person and my outlook on what is important to me and as a family would change again for the better putting less emphasis on what we have materially and more emotionally. It would bring me and Daniel closer than ever and make me thankful for what we have and how we’ve grown as a unit and now as a family.
I’d also tell myself I would feel jealousy along the way and that is a hard emotion to admit and feel about friends who you are happy for, you will think it’s so unfair we can’t have what everyone else has for free and so easily but that that’s ok and it’s part of the process you and most people suffering with infertility will endure, maybe someday that will fade but oddly not as you expected it to do as soon as you have the success of your own child so to be patient that you might have to work through those feelings for longer than you thought.
Also lastly it would be to tell myself to be more confident and trust my gut, when protocols or jargon doesn’t sound right or make sense challenge it and don’t be swayed by the science or authority of a drs title, make yourself feel comfortable and in control as it’s your life, body and future at stake.
As a summing up to my younger self simply you will be able to take on more than you thought, you will be brave and strong even when you don’t think you can be any more and you’ll have some of the darkest and toughest days of your life to date that will challenge everything, but actually when all is said and done you’re pretty amazing and you can do it xxx