When it’s a negative

The night before our test I sat in a sushi restaurant, one of my favourites. I declined any raw fish and a glass of wine, the only two things I wanted soon as I plonked my bruised bum down on the seat. As I watched my husband try his cocktail with all the dramatic intensity of a hampster meme I decided it wasn’t worth the risk. I may have to shift awkwardly from butt cheek to butt cheek, avoiding injection bruises and I may have to go to the loo mid-meal to inject my belly with Clexane and I may be feeling that kind of want towards a glass of wine that I can only imagine addicts feel towards their next hit but it was fine, it would be worth it and I could deal with it… I had a good feeling.

Good feelings… I have no idea when we decide we’re psychic but somehow with this kind of scenario we do, don’t we? Both me and my husband had it – this good feeling, we were sure it would go our way this time. Well, I learnt this weekend that I won’t be leaving the 9-5 to sit in a bejewelled tent rubbing a crystal ball any time soon.

It was a negative. Our good feelings were a load of 💩.

This is our second negative now and it’s also the second time I’ve tried to write about it. I started to write about the first but after typing away furiously for a good hour I realised I didn’t have much positivity to shed on the subject and all I was giving to the world was a load of angry helpless nonsense. Having said that, even though I never published it, it probably helped and I would encourage anyone to write a theoretical letter to someone about how they are feeling after a disappointing test result. Write a swearing, name calling sonnet to your clinic, a ‘Why the hell me’ memo to the person in the sky, a ‘F*ck You every person in the world with a baby’ bulletin… whatever gets it all out, because it’s what you’re going to feel and it’s ok to feel it. You would be a robot not to. So do write, just don’t necessarily pass it on. The first is therapeutic the second might be offensive.

Becuase it’s not fair and it’s not fun and there is very little you can offer your head in terms of comfort. You do start to think, Will this ever happen for me? Where will we find more money? I don’t want to do that again… And to be totally honest I have very little advice for the situation. But sometimes it does help to just feel the feels for a day or so. You can’t go through this process without having shit days, embrace them best you can.

The wicked thing about test day is that you can’t help but get excited. You save the test to look at it together, stifling nervous giggles because of your utterly cruel and deceptive ‘good feeling’ then you turn it over and the smiles fade.

The negative result is the toughest thing about IVF in my opinion. Everything else up to this point you do with hope and you have a reason to do it – the negative result makes the hope that keeps you strong dissolve in a think fog of heartache and negativity.

I’m pretty good at dealing with disappointment but I won’t lie – my main go-to reaction for the one-liner? Tears, wine, sleep, friends and more wine. In that order. I don’t promote drinking yourself into a hole of course – a hangover on top of disappointment is something no one wants. Just enough to take the edge off and bring on a giggle or two, even if that giggle does turns into more tears. At least there was a giggle. And you must go and see friends and family, even if you don’t feel like it because you probably won’t feel like it but I promise you you’ll feel better for it.

After a couple of days of blurry eyes and midday naps I’m thinking that a negative means we can plan a holiday, I can sit square on a seat, I can go back to the gym and run out all my frustration. I can go out for dinner and drinks with friends without needing to be home at 8pm for an injection ritual. I can pick up my furry comforter again (Tank- he’s a right heavy bugger).

There are silver linings. You need to find yours as they are the antidote. So far, it’s the only thing I’ve found but it’s one that helps the other feelings come and pass without getting too much of a grip on you. Like everything else, the disappointment of a negative passes and you start again.

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