How to Protect Your ❤️ Heart ❤️ During IVF

IVF is soul sucking. It’s the absolute worst. Yes, EVEN IF you get a baby at the end, the emotional and physical toll is beyond exhausting. Despite keeping positive focus on the end goals, the journey to get there is a rocky, rocky road.

As I mentioned in my previous post, there’s a lot of things that are draining during this time and self care is as important as ever. Since most, if not all, of those drains are beyond our control, here’s a few small ways to fill yourself up and build a soft little cushion of protection around your heart.

Binge Watch Something Scary or Funny

Skip anything sad, or emotional, or even “feel good.” “Feel good” quickly becomes “feel bad” when it’s centered around a heartwarming family story. I don’t want to watch 5 seasons of a beautiful family. I want to watch someone being chased by a werewolf, cursed by a witch, or drained by a sexy vampire. Nothing with babies.

David Bowie Baby.PNG

Exceptions will be made for Labyrinth because the sex appeal of David Bowie vastly outweighs the appearance of that dumb baby. Jareth the Goblin King ALWAYS gets a pass.

Indulge in Your Favourite Snacks

Come on. We know that you didn’t come to IVF lightly and amongst the many, MANY things that you tried included all the “fertility diets.” So, after the gluten free, the keto, the low sugar, the high protein, and no alcohol, go ahead and indulge a little. This process is rough. Eat the cupcake. Drink the wine.

Enjoy the Company of Strangers

There is some great content online produced by folks who are living the IVF life along with you right now. I find it oddly satisfying to read or listen to their experiences, which often include the EXACT same complaints and frustrations that we all have. It’s true that misery loves company but it’s even MORE accurate to say that with commiserating comes clarity and comfort in knowing that we’re not alone in this struggle.

Matt and Doree

I particularly enjoy Matt & Doree’s Eggcellent Adventure and have been binge-listening for the last year. I love how open they are with describing the process and I find myself nodding along as they describe the annoyances, the low points, and how frustrating it all is.

Only Share What & When You Want

You don’t owe answers to anyone. Whether it’s good news or bad, you’re not obligated to provide updates to friends or acquaintances. Nobody needs to know that your hormones are out of control or that you literally want to punch the next pharmacy rep who phones to ask for a review of their service. By the same token, use your support network. Let them know if you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed so they can take something off your plate. And let them know when you’re feeling optimistic and energized too – but only if that’s truly how you’re feeling.

Social Media Detox

It’s just not possible to effectively mute and unfollow every pregnant couple or every baby-related social media post. Instead of wishing away every baby picture in your feed or trying to filter through your network, just take a break.

Post a note on your networks so it doesn’t look like you vanished without a trace and then peace out for a few days.

Leave a comment with your other tips for self care during IVF!

 

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Self Love Reminder Mantras for Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!

I hope you all had time to print and deliver some Feminist Valentine’s to your loved ones.

For past Valentine posts I’ve written about the importance of self-love and I continue to feel strongly about our abilities to love others being most powerful when we first know and love ourselves.

Today I thought I’d share some reminders to help with a little self-care. On a day when our social media platforms are filled with pictures of chocolates and flowers and silly declarations of superficial love, let’s focus on caring for our own hearts for a while too.

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You are Loved

I promise that you are. Your friends and family all know that you’re a gem. Not to mention, if you’re reading my blog, then I for sure love you.

You are Allowed to Take Up Space

In our culture where we’re constantly told to be smaller, thinner, quieter, nicer, this might be my favourite mantra to repeat to myself. Whether you’re surrounded by bigger voices or faster speakers, or anyone really, just remember that your body and your brain are also valid and important.

When it comes to physical space I often practice this idea in line ups. If the person behind me is standing just a little too close, or leaning a little much, (and it’s almost always men), I turn around slightly. When you face someone it’s a reminder that you’re human. I plant my feet and put my hands on my hips, turning enough to create more space. It might sound silly but it works!

Your Ideas are Interesting

As an introvert I often have many more ideas flying around in my head than I actually ever articulate or express and, obvi, not ALL ideas are good ones. It still bears repeating as a reminder that you have valuable thoughts that are worth contributing.

You Have a Beautiful Heart

Now, this one I know is definitely true and definitely important to remind yourself of. You are allowed to feel good about being you. You can contribute to the world in wonderful ways. You belong.

rigby-valentine-snow

Now, go eat some chocolate my Valentines!

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