Fertility Network UK
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Starting the journey-anxiety disorder

Hi everyone,

So my hubby and I are at the very beginning our the journey and have literally just had our initial tests. We're under St.Mary's in Manchester and most probably won't get to see our consultant until January now. All we know so far is that I have fibroids and fluid in one tube. My ovaries look good apparently.

I've been in such a dilemma about writing this post because I don't wish to offend or minimise the desperation people feel to have a positive outcome, but I figured there MUST be other women in my position who are starting the IVF journey.

So I have anxiety disorder and have had moments of crisis over the years. On the whole I function well and live a happy life. I have a good job and a social life and I'm a fighter of the demons in my head. I have sleep anxiety, which mostly involves occasional obsession with getting enough sleep and periods of awful insomnia. Subsequently, the idea of carrying and then looking after a baby has terrified me. I really really want to be a mum and so I've tired really hard to not let the fear stop me and to seek advice and prepare a network of support. I'm finding it really hard to start this journey of intentionally trying to bring about a pregnancy when the whole thing terrifies me. I go from feeling so keen to start this process and wishing for green lights along the way, to wishing a doctor would tell me it's not going to happen so the responsibility is taken from me and I can learn to live with not having my own child. I feel guilty saying it because I know how many women are desperate to be pregnant but I just had to share, not just for myself but for any other women who are on this trip and feeling very mixed about the outcome x

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Hi

I suffer from anxiety and I also feel the same. At the moment I am having hypnotherapy to deal with anxiety/positive thinking and I'm finding it really useful, I haven't had anxiety for a good few weeks so I am starting to feel more positive about my next round of ivf. Could be worth a try?

Good luck!

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HiI maybe v wrong and please forgive me if I am but does part of you feel you "should" be having children at this stage in your life yet the other half of you feels quite happy as you are so it's putting you into conflict. I can certainly relate to that.

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Dear Shel81

Thank you for sharing; it reads that you are being really congruent both in your desire to be a Mum and the conflicting fears around the changes this might bring, which actually feels really positive in you putting together a tool box of resources and strategies to help moving forwards.

If 51% of you is ready to move things forward you’ll make it to your appointment and if not, you will have certainly checked things out to make sure you are comfortable enough and decided it doesn’t feel manageable. Sometimes we need to acknowledge we really do have a choice whether we move things forward or explore other nurturing options. Whatever you decide is right for you, there will be support available.

If there’s 49% or less of your thoughts and feelings questioning your decision, then having the right support in place as you move forward with assisted conception can make a big difference. St Mary’s have a super counselling team and you can see their contact details below. I’d suggest getting in touch ahead of your appointment if you think meeting with them might help to manage things better.

cmft.nhs.uk/saint-marys/our...

Depression in addition to anxiety are both wholly appropriate reaction to assisted conception, and common in pregnancy and as parents, especially for anyone with a history of anxiety; the Panda’s Foundation are a wonderfully supportive organisation, providing information, guidance and support as and when you need it, knowing about them and ensuring they are in your coping tool box can also make a difference.

pandasfoundation.org.uk/inf...

If at any time you’ve used CBT to help manage anxiety, it frustratingly can sometimes be unhelpful for fertility ‘stuff’ where big thoughts and feelings are common and appropriate, so challenging them can feel like a waste of time as another thought of feeling often comes along soon after. Mindfulness can be helpful in accepting the routinely big positive and negative thoughts and feelings, not too much meditation; though the 5-10 minute mindfulness body scan meditations on youtube can be useful as you are sat comfortably with your eyes open, and there’s plenty to choose from, find one with a non-irritating voice. But other mindfulness activities can be useful in validating any thought/feeling as being appropriate. Find more via the NHS link below:

nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-an...

Fertility Network UK provide information and coping strategies in addition to here and have a great team of volunteers, and their support groups too. Dip in, check things out, see how you feel and know that support is available as and when you need it.

Warm wishes

Tracey

Fertility Network UK Volunteer Counsellor

Co-author Making Friends with your Fertility

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Thankyou so so much for all of your advice and kind words. I'm going to ring st Mary's tomorrow and get a counselling apt x

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Hi there Shel

Welcome to the forum

I would echo the comments in one of your replies. Counselling, specifically fertility counselling has really helped me. Wishing you the best x

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Hi

I’d just thought I’d say hello as like you I’m just starting the IVF journey and in quite a similar position to yourself. We’re currently being seen at the Liverpool women’s and a few weeks ago I found out I have a fluid on one of my Fallopian tubes and need further tests to “sort it” before we start IVF. I too suffer with depression and anxiety and have waves of am I doing the right thing and “OMG what am I doing”. I feel emotionally ready and really feel that I am ready but there’s a little part of me that wonders if I’m really doing the right thing and how can I look after a little human when sometimes I struggle getting out of bed in the morning but deep down I know it’s what I want and I’m emotionally ready for. I don’t teally have any words of wisdom but I don’t think I’ll ever be “fully ready” to have a baby and I don’t think anybody ever is there will always be some anxiety over it but just try to deal with the here and now and what ever is going on at the minute rather than trying to think too far ahead because that is just a terrifying thought.

It’s good that you’ve had the initial tests and just try to think about the next step. Are you NHS or private? I’ve heard you can access counselling whilst going through IVF so maybe that would be worth looking into, at least it might give you someone to offload too and share how you feel.

Good luck with everything xx

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