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Let's Get This Party Started!
Welcome to the first Spin Cycle! I'm Stephanie Fry, author of the guided personal organizer, The IVF Companion. I wrote The IVF Companion to help women before, during, after, and in between cycles reduce stress and have a more positive experience. I'll be blogging here regularly about ways to make your cycle less stressful and overall, more positive.
So let's start in the middle! You're starting a new treatment cycle.
Whether it's your first or fifth, you're embarking on a journey that will likely be fraught with ups and downs, good news and bad, questions, uncertainty, stress, joy and much more. It's a big deal! Here's my advice: Honor the journey you're about to take by having a little (or big!) commemoration ceremony at the start of your cycle.
I did this and it made me feel a whole lot better. As a new cycle approached I was always hopeful, happy and really excited to get started. But as excited as I was, when it came time to take that first shot or pill, the waterworks would start. And when I say waterworks, I mean the flood gates would open.
I was hit hard by the realization that not only was I still not pregnant, but also by the fact that I had to do it all over again. The shots, the tests, the appointments, the procedures, the hope, the hormones and, of course, the potential disappointment, loomed large. They looked liked like a mountain that I just couldn’t climb.
I was a mess and I knew that was no way to start a cycle so something had to change. I wanted and needed to hold on to that energy and excitement so it could drive me through the cycle.
That's when my husband and I started our "Cycle Commemoration Ceremony." Ours was a simple ritual usually performed in the vicinity of the bedroom or bathroom. We would sit and look at the medications laid out again and have a bit of a pep talk and congratulations speech all in one.
It went a little something like this:
We acknowledged that we were at the beginning again and that we were ready to fight this battle together. Next, we admitted that it wasn’t going to be easy and allowed ourselves to be proud of the fact that we had the strength to do it again.
We recognized the sadness and the hope that came with starting a new cycle and with the toast like clink of syringes were on our way.
Eventually the waterworks were replaced with a few glistening tears and, finally, with a strength and resolve that I never knew we possessed.
So whatever you consider to be the start of your cycle, and however you chose to do it, take some time to mark the moment and give this cycle, and yourself due credit.
A pre-cycle pep talk might do the job for you, or it might be a mini vacation, a night out to dinner or another personal ritual that bolsters your spirit and your confidence.
Whatever it is you decide to try, we'd love to hear about it. Share your ritual below. You never know who you'll help . . .