Friday, 2 June 2017

IVF Superstitions

I'm fairly certain that I'm not the only person out there who has developed a set of very specific superstitions relating to their IVF treatment. They're probably sort of obsessions at this stage, though that sounds kind of bad, I prefer to think of them as little habits and routines, which spins them in a more positive light.

I was thinking about this yesterday when I was planning a blog post ahead of time and I chickened out of writing it because I couldn't bring myself to write how many days past transfer I was for that day because it seemed somehow unlucky to assume I was going to make it to that many days past transfer, especially considering how last year's frozen transfer ended so disastrously.

Which in turn got me to thinking about how we ended up taking the train to our most recent transfer partly because that was what we did on the cycle that worked. I suppose it's only natural to want to try and recreate the events which led to your last success.

Back when we were originally planning on taking the car for Bo & Luke's transfer, Mr Click mentioned stopping at a particular carvery on the way home. I immediately shot him down. And why? Because we've stopped there for lunch twice after previous transfers and both of those failed. It's got a black mark against it now, even though that's just a sad coincidence.

On the two that have failed I've also done a bit of walking soon after the transfer, whereas I was very chilled after the cycle that took. Going by that logic I came home from the transfer last week and put myself to bed and relaxed all weekend.

One little quirk I've developed is having a lucky totem. This time around it's my unicorns; Ixi has come along to every appointment (crammed into my bag, poor little guy) and each appointment he's come to has gone smoothly so he's obviously doing his job. The rest of the time he lives beside my bed and it's quite comforting to reach out for him when I'm feeling a little down.

With Olaf and Elsa it was a poster pinned up on the door which was to be theirs. Each time I passed it, I'd tap it for luck. And I had two little charms which I wore on a bracelet, again, I'd fiddle with those when I needed something to distract me.

I think during a cycle, particularly during the interminable two week wait, you need something tangible to hang on to and have some control over. So much of your time during a treatment cycle is spent either waiting to find out what's going on in your reproductive system or at the complete mercy of the hospital and the drugs you've been prescribed; we have to retain our sense of power in any way we can.

And I think for many IVFers we do that with our little routines and superstitions.

We might not be able to control the outcome of the two week wait, but we can control whether or not we eat at an unlucky restaurant or whether or not we're wearing our socks which make us feel like things will go right.

We might not be able to see whether or not our tiny embryos have implanted in our uterus, but we can cling onto that little reminder that they're in there and hold it in our hands in the way that we hope some day to be able to hold our children.

So while it might seem kind of silly, and I kind of hesitated about even posting this blog post today, I think I'll just carry on doing these little things in the hopes that they'll help us get the result we want. And even if they ultimately play no part in the grand scheme of things, well at least I'll feel like I've done everything in my power to help them along.

Even if that does mean occasionally going out with a small crocheted unicorn stuffed in my bag.


  1. Whatever makes you feel better is just fine.

  2. So glad all continues to go well. Sounds like you are having fun with your superstitions, which is great. I especially like the unicorn purse passenger.

    I have nominated you for the Mystery Blogger Award. You can find details on my post: You don't have to participate (it does take a bit of time), but I hope you do. Cheers.

    1. Thank you and thanks for the nomination, I'll check it out. :-)


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