IVF – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Part 2)

IVF – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Part 2)

In my last blog, I wrote about my experience so far with IVF. I wrote about what to expect, the costs, the time, the mental strain and although honestly, I also realise it probably didn’t paint the prettiest picture. The truth is, IVF ain’t pretty! But I do believe that all trials in life can have a silver lining, a chance to bring growth but it does all come back to perspective and if you are WILLING to have an openness to this when times get hard.

As I wrote my last blog, I was right at the end of our 2nd IVF round. My transfer of my little embryo was imminent and truth be told, I had high hopes. I knew the first round working was a long shot, but the second (and also after an IUI before this)… I thought to myself “surely this must be the one!” I knew I wanted to do part 2 of my blog and I had this vision of me writing about the positives that IVF can bring if you allow it, and end with the celebration of our good news and miracle. BUT, guess what… second transfer FAILED.

If I am being real and vulnerable here, it threw me and hit me like a tonne of bricks. For a time I felt sad, negative, hopeless and exhausted. It’s ok to feel things, it’s ok to hurt BUT it’s also a choice if you stay in that place or you rise up and move forward. Like I said above, even the hardest times can be used for GOOD if you allow it.

So here I am, 9 weeks on from that moment, my little embryo was gone and I can sit here now and share with you the POSITIVES that have come from my IVF journey. These positives are going to withstand regardless of whether or not this journey EVER works out for us, as long as I am able to continue to live each day willing to see them. If you are starting this journey or having any kind of fertility issues, I hope this blog encourages you, that it is a nice follow-up to my first blog letting you know all the side effects, money and time is NOT wasted REGARDLESS.

Each person will find their own silver linings, but these are mine and I encourage you to take time to search for yours, whatever the situation may be.


I was terrified of this process and put it off for years. I would find an excuse, a holiday, a financial reason not to go ahead. Finally, when I bit the bullet, the sense of relief, pride and growth that I have attained has been invaluable and I truly feel moving forward in life, this process has taught me to face fears head-on and sometimes the “putting off” actually causes more inner turmoil than what it’s worth. Nothing empowers you like facing a fear head-on not once, not twice but three times and I ain’t giving up yet!


It’s funny how when times get tough you see who is really in your corner and “trim the fat” so to speak. It can be a touch confronting and painful at times but also a great lesson to see the quality over the quantity of people in your world. I have been really touched by the friends who have remembered appointments, been with me, called on transfer days, sent little cards and reminders. To the ones that have gone above and beyond, THANK YOU. This has been a positive of IVF that I will always remember.

It has also brought along new friendships and allowed some friends who maybe I kept at a distance before, to actually flourish as we have been walking in similar seasons of life together.

Although as a couple, this has been a hard road I have never felt more a team. My husband has been a rock through this even though he doesn’t understand at times. It has helped us understand each other more, strengthened bonds, created memories only we will share and all in all I have never felt so close to him and so happy in my marriage (more below on this one!)


Round one of IVF, I was a bit of a closed book. I was determined I would hide my tears, keep up with work or even take on more, train as usual, keep up my social life. I CAN DO THIS! I thought…

Well, rude awakening I absolutely could not! BUT instead of communicating with my boss how I was feeling, that I was so overwhelmed, the fatigue was killing me and actually sharing my struggles. I SHUT DOWN. I became resentful, angry even and this helped NO ONE.

Same at home, initially I was irritable, quiet and fighting the fight alone.

BUT I did learn that in order to do this process well, I needed to let my walls down, communicate how I felt whether or not people understood, accept that it’s ok not to do what I normally would, to cry openly. BASICALLY TO BE VULNERABLE.

This added to point number 2. By the end of the 2nd round, I felt closer to those in my inner circle because I was being REAL and this, in turn, has helped me become MORE CONFIDENT and COMFORTABLE in my own skin in a time where women often feel CONFIDENCE is stripped. AGAIN, all comes back to perspective!


Hands up if you’re a people pleaser? I’m not as bad as I used to be but I do hate letting people down. In the past, I have said yes when I meant no inside, booked in too much leading to overwhelm, stressed at the thought of someone not liking me because I didn’t do what they wanted.

IVF has kicked this nasty little habit in the butt!! I flat out can’t do what I used to. I am knackered, my brain feels like it’s moving at the pace of a snail some days when I’m on meds, I fall asleep at 7 pm and instead of feeling like this is me FAILING, I have learnt that life will bring SEASONS and that is all that this is.

This journey has again, made me more comfortable in who I am and prioritising what I need which I actually think is a great life lesson learnt.


This one hurt…

IVF brings with it some changes. I was up a few kgs on the scale no matter what I did. At times I couldn’t fit into my clothes. My skin was bad. These things really challenged me mentally. I won’t lie, I felt ugly initially, I wanted to cut my food intake and train like a beast to try to move the weight or at least control it.

This was something that I struggled with years ago during my eating disorder days. I thought this was well behind me, but… here it was again.

I won’t lie. It took a few people really challenging me on this before I could accept it. In fact, it took one failed cycle for it to really sink in.

I had to look myself in the mirror and face some old demons. It was hard. But each day, I feel stronger now in that area. Learning that sometimes the end goal has to outweigh the temporary sacrifices, reinforcing to myself that my worth is not based on a number, how my skin looks or what size of jeans I am wearing.

As a woman, this was a valuable lesson and I continue to learn from this daily.


This was a weird one but IVF brought with it the strange side effect of food aversions. The big salads I love all of a sudden made me want to spew. The “low cal” go-to options I was so prone to choosing no longer tasted good to me and in fact, made my bloating ten times worse.

Not only that, I had specialists telling me to eat full-fat items, push my calorie intake right up, consume different proteins, etc. I am a creature of habit so let’s just say “change” isn’t my forte.

But as much as my relationship with food has improved tenfold since becoming a coach and helping other women in this area, this process has only solidified and continued to grow me in that area. Allowing me to focus more on food quality and nourishment rather than eating more aesthetic goals. It has reminded me that food can truly be one of our greatest assets when it comes to our health and wellbeing and that is something we should respect and not abuse and also EDUCATE others on.

It allowed me to relax in terms of tracking, be more flexible and that it is ok to takes times off things like macro tracking, etc and that again, it is a season.


I like to get what I want when I want it (hello afterpay… kidding!). But in a world where we can so easily attain things on demand, I feel like we lose the ability to budget and set goals.

IVF taught my husband and me to communicate more about finance, set more goals and I am proud to say we have not gone into any debt throughout this process. It was a great growth area that will only aid us in the future.


These positives only skim the surface and they are mine, if you are going into IVF, yours will be different. This is a more personal blog than informative like my first but I hope this serves as a reminder that whether it be fertility-related or another trial you are facing, you can ALWAYS get through it with some WINS under your belt. It’s all about YOU and YOUR willingness to change the perspective. I didn’t get it right from day one of this journey and no doubt I will have days again during future rounds that I will struggle — that is ok! We are all human, but each time you choose to stop yourself in your negative tracks and focus back on your gratitudes, you WIN.



February 21st, 2020