Since beginning our assisted fertility journey, we’ve learned that there are few things in this process that you can really prepare yourself for. In fact, I don’t know that we could have prepared ourselves for half of what we’ve had to endure so far.
In addition to appointments, injections, emotions and everything in between, managing our expectations has probably been one of the toughest things to conquer.
Infertility is not a straight, paved, beautiful road.
It’s a long, winding, bumpy, unpredictable path. There are roadblocks along the way and sometimes we end up on roads that just lead us nowhere. So when it comes to managing our expectations, it’s definitely a challenge.
It feels like there’s a constant battle in my head between positivity and reality. Some days I’m truly so positive, it’s like nothing can bring me down.
Then there are other days I look at the reality of our current situation and decide that I can’t be too hopeful. I need to protect my heart for when the inevitable happens.
When I’m being realistic, I feel like I need to portray a certain level of positivity so that I don’t feel like I’m being too negative or that I’m giving up.
There’s often no in-between.
When it comes to fertility treatments, the reality is we only have a 10 to 12 per cent chance of conceiving through IUI — and that would be if everything was reproductively perfect with the two of us (which is not the case). So while I’m positive that it “only takes one” and it could very well work for us, I also know the odds aren’t in our favour.
I am trying to stay focused and present, taking it one cycle at a time, but it’s also natural to jump to what the future might look like. I can’t help but think about what comes next if IUI doesn’t work and then, what comes next after that. How can I really manage my expectations when future planning basically feels like admitting failure?
So for now, I try to keep myself in a realm somewhere between positive and realistic. I allow for hope but also look at the realistic side of things when it doesn’t go our way.
In short, we remain cautiously optimistic.