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Supporting a friend going through IVF

(6 Posts)
girasol Tue 07-May-19 21:29:49

Hello, a good friend of mine is just embarking on an IVF journey and I'd be really grateful for your advice on how best I can support her.

Unfortunately she lives at the other end of the country from me so we don't get to see each other very often. Also, she has been through some tough times over the last few years with health, family and employment issues some of which are ongoing, and I think she's very conscious that she's embarking on the IVF at a time of stress and anxiety caused by these other things, which presumably reduces the likelihood it will work.

I really want to be supportive of her as she's such a lovely person who has had more than her share of bad luck. But other than sending her messages saying 'I'm thinking of you' I really don't know what I can do. Are there any tips you can give me for things that you think would help her? Ways to destress and relax, and anything else you can think of?

Thanks in advance.

Mseddy Tue 14-May-19 00:13:10

Hi. I'm still on the waiting list for an appointment so I can't be very helpful with what she will need throughout her treatment but I just wanted to say the fact that you are on here asking this is a huge deal! She's really lucky to have a friend like you. I am struggling to explain how I feel to my friends and struggling with feeling really isolated from them at the moment. Knowing one of my friends had gone this far to try and understand what I'm going through and learn how to be there for me would mean the world. Sorry I cant be more help. X

LittleOne3 Sat 18-May-19 16:39:15

@girasol Hello, I've just seen this thread and wanted to say you sound like an amazing friend for asking this question. I am just going through my first round of IVF and have seen both great and terrible friend responses so maybe I can give a little bit of insight...

Firstly the messages asking how she is doing are perfect. For a long time I only talked to my DH and bless him, as much as he loves me I was stuck on repeat and there was only so much he could take! It helps to have someone else to talk to.

Secondly, don't expect your friend to be overly excited about the IVF. IVF is only successful 33% of the time, it isn't guaranteed. When you get negative pregnancy tests for years, then abnormal test results at the doctors, you become quite prepared for things to go wrong. It's not being negative, it's being realistic and it helps us cope. Let your friend lead with the emotions - I find it frustrating being told to 'be positive' all the time.

Ask her when her next appointment is and check in after it. I have had loads so far and DH has only been able to go to 1 with me. It's nice to be able to tell someone about the results.

You could both listen to the podcast 'BFN' (big fat negative). I love it - it's about 2 women going through infertility and the tests/myths/emotions of it all.

There is also an app called mindful ivf which is free and might be helpful for your friend, just relaxes you/stabilises you a bit.

Encourage her to see if her clinic offers counselling. Ours offers 3 free sessions, although there is quite a waiting list. Your friend may have a few things to work through if she's had such a rough year of it.

Anyway, obviously everyone deals differently so take from the above what you think will work best from your friend. You obviously care and sound like a fabulous friend so good luck xx

girasol Sat 18-May-19 21:33:37

Thanks so much for your replies. Mseddy - wishing you all the very best with your IVF journey, I hope you don't have to wait too long before you can start it in earnest.

LittleOne3 - thank you soooo much for your response, that's exactly the kind of practical info/recommendations that I was after. I've passed them all on to my friend.

girasol Sat 18-May-19 21:35:51

REPOSTING WITH PROPER TAGS
Thanks so much for your replies. @Mseddy - wishing you all the very best with your IVF journey, I hope you don't have to wait too long before you can start it in earnest.

@LittleOne3 - thank you soooo much for your response, that's exactly the kind of practical info/recommendations that I was after. I've passed them all on to my friend.

LittleOne3 Sun 19-May-19 15:03:56

@girasol No problem. If I come across anything else that I find helpful in the next few weeks of my IVF treatment I will let you know

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