Great Expectations

So. The IVF adventure has begun. I am now snorting and injecting hormones like a crazy woman. The side-effects are minimal. Just, you know, hot flushes, double vision, nausea, fainting, bloating, pain, vomiting… usual stuff for a Tuesday afternoon.

Of course, sticking a needle straight into your stomach comes with the advantage of a highly sympathetic husband, ready to cater to your every whim, as well as… no, that’s the only advantage I can think of.

In my experience so far, as you go through the process, doctors, nurses and counsellors all spend a considerable amount of effort telling you (and your significant other) to keep ‘managing your expectations’. At my last appointment with my IVF doctor, as she had just decided there was no time like the present to jump on in and get started, her very next sentence was: “And you must remember how important it is to manage your expectations.”

I get what these people mean. I really do. I know several women, some of them very close to me, who’ve had IVF and all of them had to give it several goes (one 11 times) before the stork finally couriered in their sparkling new spawn. Thing is, I don’t want to “manage my expectations”. It goes against all of my philosophies about positive thinking and sending out to the ether expectations of what you want rather than what you don’t want. As far as I can work out, what is meant by ‘managing your expectations’ is actually about you avoiding disappointment and trauma as much as possible. But I don’t want to avoid my emotions, I want to experience them. I’ve always been one to feel what I’m feeling, you know? Why would I want to expect to be disappointed and upset? Wouldn’t it be better to expect joy and happiness and what I want to happen and then just let myself experience the disappointment of it not happening if that’s the case?

What’s all this fear of the ‘negative’ emotions about? They are as legitimate as any other emotion, so why be so afraid of them? Better to howl at the moon with the anger and disappointment of a failed attempt, get it out of me with anguish and passion, than store it up, shove it down, avoid it, and let it fester, I say. Much healthier all round, and for everyone involved, I think. I have Italian blood. It comes naturally, all this feeling and expressing.

So, I’ve started IVF. I expect a cute, blonde haired, blue eyed little miracle. If not, I’ll howl and hug and mope and cry and then start over. That’s how I’m planning on managing my expectations.

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15 Comments

Filed under Family, Friends, Health, Inspirational, IVF, Love, Melbourne, Motherhood, Sex, Women/Feminist

15 responses to “Great Expectations

  1. Suze

    And those of us who love you will howl and hug and mope and cry and start all over again right along with you.
    Look forward to our blonde haired, blue eyed cuties running around the park together.
    xx

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  2. Great words, dear Simonne. We love you xoxox

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  3. PG

    Your writing has often moved me to tears, and this is one, because I know you so well, strikes a deep chord in me.

    YES this is exactly how you should be ‘managing your expectations’. Expect the greatness that we know is inside you, and deal with what comes…whatever emotions they are, for whatever reason they come. And Suze is soooo right, we will be with you on this magical journey – through the ups and downs and all the way to the happy little bundle of joy that is waiting patiently to join you on this magnificent journey called life! (Especially with you and CJ.)

    I don’t get this ‘manage your expectations’ crap either. It’s like that stupid saying, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew” Fuck that! I say: “Bite off more than you can chew; then chew HARD, baby!”

    Mon, I’m lovin’ this attitude from you and you get busy makin’ babies, honey! (You too, Suze!)

    A truly beautiful, personal posting, written superbly. šŸ™‚

    xoxoxo

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  4. Dear Simonne,
    I’m so with you on that one. I’m rather tired of the way our society thinks that feeling bad, angry, sad, glum, even experiencing grief…is wrong and should be avoided. How can you have joy if you’ve never known sorrow?

    I think you know something of my experiences with motherhood, I won’t go into detail here…but I remember a time, sitting in a doctor’s office sobbing with grief, and being asked if I wanted a prescription for antidepressants. ‘It will dull the pain’, I was told. My answer was an emphatic NO. I wanted to FEEL what I was feeling and I didn’t give a &*$# if someone else found it a bit uncomfortable. It was how I was supposed to feel in the circumstances.

    Rage and laugh, cry and feel the bliss of joy. That’s what motherhood is about (it’s a hell of a journey and I wouldn’t swap ANY part of it)…that’s what life is about. I wish you and CJ all the best on your journey…it won’t be easy of course, but you’ll know you’re ALIVE!

    Love,
    Christina

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    • PG

      I couldn’t agree more, Christina! What a lovely message for Mon. As I have recently discovered, you’ve really gotta feel it to heal it.

      Like

  5. Jade

    I saw this commented on by a friend on FB (Anna) and I just had to read it. I love your comment on emotions. So here is me, a total stranger also going to believe you have a beautiful baby soon!
    Good luck

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  6. Sally

    This is absolutely true and absolutely made me cry too. Its also one of the best things you have ever, ever written.

    Like

  7. Am honoured to be a small part of your journey – thankyou for sharing it with us.

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  8. Dawn

    I agree Sally. In my day, any expression of emotion was met with acute discomfort, especially by a male Doctor (and they were mostly male). It was worse for my mother and her mother before her. Brave soul that you are, pave the way and howl at the moon and have your dark night of the soul if you need, but above all, be yourself. Maybe you need to let them see there are other ways to “handle” things and that that way is ok too. Maybe, just maybe – even better. By keeping us all in the loop, we can howl with you – whether with joy or despair – because we all love you and because we’re being allowed to. It’s the greatest gift you can give, to share yourself with others.
    xxxxx

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  9. Thank you all. Christina and Dawn, thanks for making me cry! šŸ˜‰ xx

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  10. Simonne honey, I could *not* agree more – good for you! I was similarly bemused, but in the spirit of following my IVF doctor’s orders, I did at first try ‘managing’ (as in downgrading, because that’s what they really mean) my own expectations, and found it completely counter-intuitive and false. I ditched it and went back to my own management method pretty quick smart, which is much like yours, but I’m delighted to see you’ve figured all this out for yourself in damn near record time. It took me a little while to snap out of the imposed frame of mind, so I tip my cap to your insightfulness and spunk. Thinking of you with everything crossed. xx

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  11. Raj

    Seriously, I agree, It is far better to expect joy and happiness rather then just letting yourself experience the disappointment of it not happening.

    I am with u in this.

    Like

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