So I went to my first counselling IVF appointment today and I must say I did not find it helpful at all. First of all it was located within the ACU unit and next door to the room where your blood is taken. So a month and two weeks after my IVF cycle has ended and I got a bfn, I was once again sitting in the waiting room of the clinic with a whole load of new couples and patients. It felt weird and not in a good way. Two of my doctors and a host of nurses who had treated me walked past me repeatedly and did not acknowledge me. Granted they probably see hundreds of patients a month and so probably don’t remember me, but it made me feel anonymous. As if the system spits you out at the end of your treatment and washes its hands of you when IVF fails to work.
The counselor was nice enough, but she told me that she was available for sessions throughout my entire cycle and I was confused because no one told me I could have counselling DURING the cycle. The counselor seemed surprised that my cycle had ended, perhaps she had incorrect notes? Because it was an initial appointment she asked me to explain everything from the beginning: how long I had been married, if I had always wanted children, when I started TTC, when I was referred, when EC was and ET and the bfn test. Jeez, it sure felt like I was reliving it all and not helpful. At the end of the session she recapped what I had said and then told me what I was feeling: uncertain, grief, sad sometimes, happy other times, hopeful, anxious etc. – all of which I already know!
Maybe it is because I have already done a lot of thinking about the IVF and infertility before or maybe because I did CBT, 10 years ago and so feel mentally strong in myself or because I have supportive parents and husband, but this counselling did nothing for me. I found the appointment totally unhelpful and the setting of an office in the clinic in the hospital was a very immediate painful reminder of an experience that I need to recover and repair from. I think recovering and repairing away from the hospital is better for me.
This counselling is a just too little, too late.
Also, I have to say I feel that I have received 100% more emotional support from everyone on this forum, than from any medical professional throughout this whole cycle. No one has been unpleasant to me, but the whole experience is super clinical and impersonal and I feel as if only the women on this forum understand how I feel. The forum has been a big comfort to me.
Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to share my experience and ask if anyone else felt counselling did not actually help them?