Mindful IVF

The dreaded 2 Week Wait

I can’t think of the number of IVF 2 Week Waits I have worked with over the last 16 years and if Im honest 50% of the time its the worst 2 weeks of my patients lives…. however the other 50% its the most amazing 2 weeks of their lives…. As the have got to where they want to be. How can this be….

For me, I’m amazed by the wonderful gift IVF provides for so many Irish couples. People just like you and me….

Trying to imagine a world without IVF is a scary thought, without IVF, there would be so many couples who would never get the chance to experience the amazing gift of having a child. While researching, I noticed in Ireland that last year there were over 8,000 IVF cycle transfers. Whereas in the UK….. take a guess…. Go On… pick a number…….. Its an unbelievable 65,000 cycles last year…… Thats alot of cycles. With more than 1% of all babies now born in America through IVF. So even though there is still a little, taboo about it. Its definitely getting better.


This week, Im supporting 10 couples doing their IVF transfers…. and another 8 couples from last week that are now on their two week wait, thats giving me 18 couples starting or on their two week wait….. and in that group of 18, its either the best or worst 2 weeks of their lives… If you had a choice which group would you like.

In the depths of my brain, a place where I never like to travel to far into too often, theres a voice talking, actually the voice is shouting at me….. ‘Who is going to get the positive result, who is going to get the negative’…. and again it repeats in my mind, which of these couples will get their positive pregnancy test and which will have the absolutely devastating result of a negative test.

Knowing that at least 6 of these 18 couples are not going to get the positive result is horrible. Its impossible to not get connected to each of the couples journeys…. I’ve been trained to not get too emotionally involved, but its impossible not too. We deal a lot with emotions like fear and anxiety in the clinic. The fear of failure can be driven from passed failed IVF cycles and everyday anxiety from everyday problems that we all experience. Add a little fertility difficulties with a pinch of IVF.. Well you get what I mean.

As I write this, I pause, hoping and praying that I am wrong.. As we wait for their test dates, getting their emails, calls or texts saying to me. ‘Gordon, the test is negative, we are devastated beyond belief….I can’t stop crying, what went wrong’ ….. my heart sinks as i have my breakfast trying to put on a little fake smile to everyone at the table before I head into a full day of the unknown.

As I put my laptop into the boot of my car, and my scrubs into the back seat. I get an email through to my phone, its 8.45am. it reads. ‘Gordon, it hasn’t worked again. We’re still in shock, we did everything right, thank you for all you support, our review meeting is booked for next week to see what went wrong… (they never find a reason… ever……)

9.12am I open the doors for my clinic, my phone is ringing, I run back to my office, the phone stops ringing and diverts to my message minder, I check the number, its Jenny, her test date is in two days time…. So in my head Im thinking, she’s tested early or her period has arrived…. God please have tested early and gotten a ‘Positive’ PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE…. As I listen to the message, its not good news…. ‘Gordon, Ive got some brown spotting, I rang the clinic and they told me to test in two days. Can you give me a call please.

The door bell rings. Its the first patient of the morning… She looks like she’s been crying all night and hasn’t eaten in 3 days…. Her husband is with her, well I assume its her husband, Ive never meet him before. There about to do an ICSI day 3 transfer…. Breathe Gordon Breathe ……. Not fast you ejit, slow….. slow your breath……. I smile and wave to them….. Something I always do, no matter how much of a shitty day I’ve had….. ‘Hey Guys take a seat, I’ll be with you in 2 minutes’

Get it together dude, they need you….. Breathe…. slower…… My mind calms…. I focus…. close my eyes and turn back to reception……. and say….. Ok guys, lets create some new babies today…… There it is…. its so subtle… hidden in their eyes…. behind the fear… the anxiety….. thats all I need, deep deep behind the lack of sleep, not being able to eat, there it is…. I see it….. ‘A little hope’ thats all I need, we’re not letting that get away…….. come here you ……. And there, my amazing day begins……

We all have fears, we all have anxiety, thats what makes us who were are. But its what we do with this… How we perceive it…. How we get back in control of how we feel. I know people think I have some magic wand that takes it all away when they come to our clinic…. Its not magic…. Its belief…. Its belief in hope, belief in the future…. That everything will turn out ok….


So take a look at my new animation… And when your on your two week wait… Make your choice…. Who do you want to be..

Its now 9.15pm, Im pulling out of my clinic…. Its been a long day…. for my patients. Its been a long day for me… a lot of work has been done, and hopefully a lot of potential for the future. To create the potential of life….

Im about to switch my phone off for the night…. And I remember, Jenny…. I never returned her call…. So I dial her number….. She answers…. crying down the phone to me as she answers… I can barely hear her voice from the tears….. ‘Gordon…. IT’S POSITIVE……. IT’S POSITIVE.’