I mentioned before that I started seeing a counsellor after our fifth loss. The main reason that I went was to try and help with the strong feelings of anger which I had a lot of the time after the losses. I wrote before about my second session with the little family tree, which absolutely broke my heart. Then the third session was a lot about my family and relationships, so not as eventful. My counsellor is a psychotherapist and has such a warm, but strong way about her. I think she’s fantastic.
Yesterday’s session was another really helpful one. My counsellor asked me ‘What strengths do you have to get you through this next stage?’ (i.e. from now until Christmas, when we are giving the new drug a try for what will be our last effort at having our own baby). I just sat there and couldn’t think of one. As soon as she asked me, I realised how drained, tired and low I really was about this next stage. She asked if I needed some help, and then brought out some ‘strength cards’. These were like playing cards, but with all sorts of different strengths on – courage, happy, open, resourceful, etc – there were about 30 in total. She then asked me to pick out some strengths which I thought I needed. I know that I picked out Positive and Patient, but I can’t remember the others. She then asked me which was the most important one, and I chose Positive. She asked me if I had this strength right now, and I just started to cry.
It hit me so hard how little positivity I have left in me right now, about this last stage of our journey. Even with the other miscarriages, i’ve always, always thought that it might work the next time. But this time that feeling has just ebbed away and i’m petrified to think that it might work again, because if we lose another baby it’ll be our last one before we stop. Maybe it’s just the culmination of so many losses, or maybe the finality of it all if we lose another one, but whatever it is, my positivity just isn’t there anymore.
She then asked me if I thought that I needed to be positive. I said yes, but that i’m petrified of thinking positively, in case it doesn’t work again. She reminded me that just because it hasn’t worked before, doesn’t mean that it won’t work this time. Right now, there is no evidence to suggest that this time it won’t work. I know this, but hearing it out loud from someone else made it more powerful somehow.
She had asked me before ‘When you get angry, how do you show your anger?’. I couldn’t think of this the first time she asked me, so I gave it some thought and realised that if I hear of someone falling pregnant or being pregnant, my natural reaction is to get annoyed and usually say/shout all sorts of mean comments, even though I don’t mean them at all. She asked me why I do this and I said ‘because I’m frustrated!’. Then she asked me ‘if you had a friend who was in your situation, and she reacted this way to hearing that someone was pregnant, what would you think?’. I said that i’d let her say it all, because its totally natural, given what she’s going through.’ Exactly. She said that it is totally natural, but that when I feel that feeling, I need to tell myself that i’m feeling that way because I’m frustrated, which is totally normal given what I’m going through, but that I need to be kind to myself. This made sense and again made me feel better.
We talked about the fact that i’m very open with people, and that I always feel compelled to update friends and family on everything that’s happening if they ask, even though I sometimes find it exhausting. She said that when i’m feeling that way, it might be helpful to thank people for asking, but say that right now i’d rather not talk about it. I think this is a really key one, as people are trying to be supportive, but sometimes trying to explain the ins and outs of recurrent miscarriage, reproductive immunology, hydroxycholoroquine, steroids etc to people who haven’t got a clue can be really wear me out! So i’ll try this one in future if I’m feeling shattered. It doesn’t come naturally to me, but its about conserving my energy so I don’t feel overwhelmed with it all, which I think people will understand. I don’t feel like this about my blog, because it’s read by women who understand what this journey is like, but just when speaking to friends and family.
She said that next week we will look at ‘crooked thinking’ and thinking of things in terms of black and white, both of which I do and which aren’t helping me. I’m looking forward to this one. She also asked me what I do to take care of myself, and I told her that I have reflexology, as well as the gym and that once I leave work I will make time to do more things which I enjoy and which relax me, which she was pleased about.
So my new mantras are now just because it hasn’t worked before, doesn’t mean that it won’t work this time. Right now, there is no evidence to suggest that this time it won’t work. I’m still shitting myself about trying again, but I have to keep telling myself this, and I will. And also, when I feel upset or frustrated – i’m feeling this way because I’m frustrated, which is totally normal given what I’m going through, but that I need to be kind to myself. Both of these are very powerful and I’ve used them several times even since yesterday – whenever those negative, scared feelings come in to my mind.
Hopefully my period will come sometime next week, then its back on the letrozole I go!
Say it with me one more time ladies – just because it hasn’t worked before, doesn’t mean that it won’t work this time. Right now, there is no evidence to suggest that this time it won’t work.
If it say it often enough hopefully it will come true!