Thursday, 6 September 2012

Just believe

As mentioned previously I am back at the gym trying to get down to my twin sister’s eight month pregnant weight.

It is always good to have a realistic aim.

However, because I have the motivation of Marie Antoinette on her way to the guillotine, I need a helping hand to kick-start my fitness regimen - a personal trainer, or executioner, if you will. Thanks to the joy of Living Social deals I have just had my third session, purchased at a rock-bottom price, as I aim to cultivate my own rock bottom.

The dude in question, whilst not being a patch on the Adonis I encountered last time I hurled myself into the murky world of sweaty weights and ab-crunches, is a nice enough guy. As ever, he started off with an in-depth survey of my goals, and because I have no boundaries (see hairdresser, boss, and let's face it, blog) I ended up telling him that I wanted to get in shape prior to IVF and that I blamed a lot of my rounder-than-desired shape on the fact that I have done, and failed (to varying degrees), four rounds of IVF in the last year and a half.

At the end of last night’s session (and the end of the deal) he was asking if I wanted to continue with the training and, apropos of nothing, decided to give me the benefit of his cod-psychology in advance of my next round of IVF:

“I have noticed with my clients that the main thing they need is belief, with belief you can do anything” he said.

This might be the case when it comes to lifting your own body weight in dumb bells but frankly I am over the idea that belief is going to give me that long-coveted babe-in-arms.

Consider the evidence:

When I did my first IUI I was a true believer. This was it.  Medical science and biology and probably a touch of physics was going to succeed where old-skool shagging had failed. It didn't, and my trust was shaken. Read this positive little post from 2009 and weep.

Then there was the first round of IVF. Baby-making science at its best. I was positively excited. I can't find a blog post to reflect this; I guess I was worried about being too vocal about my optimism but I really did believe this would work.  Of course, it didn't.

By the time I was testing after my fourth round I just knew it hadn't worked. As I say in the first line of this post this was the first time ever I was totally convinced I'd get a negative test. Then, two lines. Despite my lack of belief.

As we sat in the clinic before my eight week scan the husband asked if I was nervous. I wasn't. I'd seen a heart beat two weeks before and had been suffering, consistently, with morning sickness. So yes I felt confident. I truly believed.

And we know what happened next.

So when well-meaning but ultimately clueless folk tell me that I "must believe", I want to scream.

Not only is it utter, utter bollocks, it is like an accusation. Whether they realise it or not, what I am hearing is "the reason you haven't had a child is that you aren't trying hard enough, aren't believing fully enough, don't have the strength of character required." Something that every single one of you reading this knows is bullshit (mostly, unfortunately through your own experiences).

All this kind of crap does is makes us feel guilty.

But I didn't say any of this to my trainer.

I left the gym and walked home, crying.

So fuck believing. Judging by my track record I am far more likely to get pregnant if am pessimistic than optimistic. Maybe next time I should show the universe how little I believe it will work by drinking heavily throughout the treatment and scheduling in some bungy-jumping for my two week wait.


  1. Oh that's such BULLSHIT.

    I detest it - detest! - when people say things like that to me.

    I've had naively optimistic months, pessimistic months, devout believer months, atheist months - months of standing on my head, months of barely doing it, months of eating right and months of fuck all.

    It's all such utter crap. Because we all know that cheerleader in HS got knocked up under the bleachers because she was the poster child for wellness and belief.

    I hope he gets you buff enough to ironically drop kick him in the groin.

  2. Or, maybe you should look for a Living Social deal with a personal trainer in a gym that specializes in Boxing. Or Cage Fighting. Or Kickboxing, at least. That way, you can beat the stuffing out of the next person who tries to make you doubt yourself.

    (Also, the negative stuff doesn't work either. I've tried that)

  3. Hate comments like that! Oh yah I'll believe and all of a sudden ill grown a new uterus you dumbass!!
    But...I will share this with get myself motivated at the gym before my last cycle and now prepping for my very last FET! I keep repeating to myself...THIS I can control!! THIS I can make my body do! I can't force my body to work reproductively, but I can damn well force her to be strong and to keep moving! Before my last cycle (successful) I lost 25 lbs, and did a 25 mile bike race! This summer my goal was a triathlon, and I did it! It feels amazing to finally accomplish something!
    Even though it sucks and it's depressing right now going stick with it and in 5 weeks it'll be routine and you'll be hooked!
    If you can endure IVF you can endure this!
    All my best!

  4. That guy is a jackass.

    I completely get the guilt when someone says that. It sucks.

    I've tested the correlation between my beliefs and actions and the result. Nada. Bupkis. S I'm just working on getting fat. Fuck it.

  5. Hugs. I've gotten that comment too. We failed four IVF's and none of it was for lack of belief. That's total crap. It makes me think of cancer survivors too -- they are always described as having courageously fought and won their battle against cancer. But what does that mean about the people who lost? They weren't fighting hard enough?

    Ughs, hang in there.

  6. "With belief you can do anything." Argh! Right up there with "Work hard and you can achieve anything." It's total rubbish. A cliche trotted out by people who have never ever really thought about what they are saying.

    These days, I'd actually not let anyone away with that comment. But you have to feel strong enough to do that, and it takes time to get there. (Or angry enough, and I'm becoming a grumpy old woman ...!)

    Even the simple response "well, I tried that, and it didn't worked" might shut them up. Double Argh!

  7. It's like good things happen to good people so whe it doesn't happen you think you are bad and flawed. Honey I don't know whe it will happen or if it will happen but don't let a steroid induced over testosteroned crazy PT get you down xx

  8. that 'power of positive thinking' stuff is such bullshit. I literally want to slap people who say that crap, or similar.

    After another let down today I just read your post from the first IUI. Feels so familiar, and not in a great way... good luck at the gym though, I hear you on the sister-envy and will be doing some kinds of crazy pre-IVF get-in-shape activities too so with you on that.

  9. But you must believe!

    In other news, did you know that the cure for cancer is simply to have a positive attitude?

    The cure for complete wankers is the same as ever: either a lump of 2x4 applied (with force) to the back of the wanker's head; or our own personal set of ear protection devices similar to those worn by the deck hands on an aircraft carrier.

  10. What an effin idiot! I know he meant well but that was a stupid thing for him to say. I hope you don't quit the gym because I do think that helps. Hugs, lots and lots of hugs.

  11. Hmm not his best sales attempt. What a jerk.

    If you schedule bungee jumping or an exotic, really, really expensive vacation for the two week wait irony will take care of it.

    Or like, spend all your money on something really bizarre like a boob job (that will certainly take care of it) and deplete all your savings so when little tot gets here you're eating ramen noodles (do they have those for brits?) and beans.

    I hate that guy for you. You are doing everything right. It will sort itself out.

  12. Ummm, he's a guy. They are truly clueless. These are the same kind of guys that probably said "It's ok, we'll be fine" when the Titanic went down. Just clueless. However, you have more tenacity than most, so I do "believe" that you will accomplish a pregnancy due to your "never give up" attitude.

  13. Yeah. I was once told I'd 'failed' a job interview because I said that I didn't think I was always in control of everything. This after years dealing with my younger brother's cancer. Some people just don't get it. Ever. But as my wise father reminds me, being angry at them won't change them, but it will destroy me. So I'm all for focusing on getting fit, strong and generally at peace with myself, even through IF. Good luck!!

  14. I hate that- the guilt job for not beleiving enough.
    On the other hand, he is clearly lucky enough to have never failed at something he dearly wanted.

    Having tried both the overwhelming belief/hope, and the neutral/disbelief routes- neither seems to be a guarantee of success. While my husband was not very happy about my lack of optimism, I found it did help me cope better through most of the cycle (didn't help with the end though)

  15. I totally agree. I hate the guilt that people make us feel. We have not believed enough, we have not wanted it enough, we have wanted it too much, maybe we should just relax and all that shit!

    I am now getting more guilt form people now that we are talking about moving on to adoption. People keep saying 'don't give up'. I am not giving up (well maybe I am giving up on my shitty body) but I am moving on to the next stage (what ever that means!). I really want to say to people: you try stabbing yourself every day and then having your heart ripped out out at the end of it. Time to get off the emotional crazy roller coaster. Thanks for making this transition so much easier!

    Sorry, this was such an angry reply to your post!

  16. Fuck believing. And while you're at it, fuck sobriety, exercise, holidays, meditation, acupuncture, caffeine-free drinks, deep breathing and JUST RELAXING AND NOT THINKING ABOUT IT.

    Fuck it all. On the cycles where I was peace-love-mung beans I didn't get pregnant, and on the cycles where I was steely-eyed and clenched-jawed with negativity I didn't get pregnant.

    As someone mentioned upthread, this is akin to telling people they can cure cancer with positive thinking. It's cruel, and it's wrong.

    Herewith endeth the rant.


I've resisted word verification for ages but I'm getting so many spam comments at the moment that I think it is time. Sorry!

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.