Positive thinking and Realism

Yesterday, on day three after retrieval, one beautiful 8-cell embryo was transferred to its natural element :-).

8 cells is as it should be on day 3 they told us and they estimated that this one has 30% chance of making it and implanting. It was a clear winner amongst the 6 eggs that got fertilized out of the 8 retrieved. We had decided on a single-embryo transfer even before we began the IVF process and the IVF clinic also favors it generally in initial attempts.  The remaining 5 embryos will be assessed today to see if they are good enough for the big freeze.

It was quite amazing to see the microscope picture of our little embryo that can’t even be seen with the naked eye. Magical.  The doctor who did the transfer was just so sweet and calm. She is like an angel really. I expressed my appreciation and she got all touched. The whole experience was quite beautiful despite the stirrups and the bleak hospital room next to a lab…

Now I have officially entered the realm of the two week wait and the battle between hope and fear is commencing. At the moment I still feel quite positive and at peace. I’m trying to hold on to that, while also trying to accept and surrender to the fact that what is going on inside me is entirely out of my control. Nature is at work for better or for worse and all I can do is avoid interfering. I’m a realist. Statistically there is about 30% chance of success and this means a bloody big chance of failure.

As I’m pondering on these not so promising success rates, I hear that voice in my head. The voice of current dominant ideology, i.e. “positive thinking”. Believe it and it will happen. This dogma of thinking positive isn’t just a helpful suggestion to make you feel better, but seems more like a moral obligation. You have to think positively! Negative thinking will create negative outcomes. What you fear you will draw to you etc. etc.

This is one obligation I can certainly do without at the moment.I need to remind myself that I truly do not believe that neither positive nor negative thinking will make any difference with regards to the outcome. To that end, I love watching the animated version of Barbara Ehrenreich’s dig at the positive thinking dogma in “Smile or die”. Click here to watch on YouTube. It’s fantastic.

As she argues, it is cruel to suggest that people going through difficulty in life have themselves created it with their minds. Or that for instance cancer or infertility can be cured by way of positive thinking. Indeed it would be cruel to myself to think that my chances of becoming pregnant within the next two weeks should in any way be influenced by my ability to think positive or not. Realism gives me the freedom to feel however I feel at any particular moment knowing that the outcome is entirely beyond my control.

In this way I embark on my two week wait armed with a healthy dose of realism, mixed with some non-obligatory positive thinking for general well-being. It might make the wait more bearable and less characterized by premature suffering. I will suffer soon enough if the blood test is negative on the 9th of December. Until then I can allow myself some happy spells by thinking of the tiny little seed of life inside me :-).


7 responses to “Positive thinking and Realism

  1. Exciting stuff! I hope your positive thinking pays off!

    • Thanks Belle. It is paying off already – by making me feel good:-) That, I think, is the only way that it can pay off. The rest is out of my hands. And besides I might feel the opposite tomorrow…

  2. Sending all my best wishes! I found knowing that the first part was done made the two week wait much easier. Also keeping busy and having nice slow walks kept me pretty positive.

    • Thanks:-) Yes, so far at least, I also feel that the wait is a breeze compared to what went before. It’s such a relief to have it over with and that everything went fine.

  3. Congratulations! The TWW is so tough, but you’re right to dwell on the positive and the possibility that it represents. It takes courage! Have you tried Circle and Bloom meditations? I tried them this time around and they really helped me stay positive (until I went and POAS and got an early negative that turned out to be wrong!). Stay strong, sending lots of love and hope to you xxx

    • Thanks for the meditation recommendation. I will look into that! And based on your experience I’m even more determined than before to stay away from the testing 🙂 This process is tough enough as it is, so I have to try to spare myself from the unnecessary grief you went through with your false negative.

  4. Great news! I am glad the cycle came out well, and hope you have some blasts on ice. Positive thinking is important!

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