What being a CARE Buddy means to me
After a long journey and the loss of five babies I found myself at CARE in Nottingham. I’d always known about IVF but never in my wildest dreams thought it was something that I’d ever have to contemplate.
I tried everything the doctors advised before finally booking an appointment and walking through the door at CARE. I was so scared that on the way in I was in tears, I think more from the apprehension of wondering what exactly does IVF involve; what’s the process?, will it hurt?, will it work?, will it make me an hormonal wreck? etc. Aside from these worries there was also the thought of costs, time off work, telling family etc etc. I am a natural worrier and had almost talked myself out of it on the way up the M1 to my appointment. Overall I had absolutely NO idea what to expect.
The reception staff were very welcoming and lovely, but I sat in the waiting room shaking, looking around at everyone else in the room with every thought running through my head, wondering how everyone else felt and were my feelings normal. I was thinking how am I going to do this but knowing that there were possibly no other options made me go ahead.
On the notice board I saw some information about a buddy system and walk n talk event run by Kelly Da Silva so I picked up a leaflet and put it in my bag. After my appointment and scan I was told that I needed a Hysteroscopy. This made me even more nervous and even though I had it a week later I didn’t know what it involved, what the process was etc. The whole process of getting to CARE, and the Hysteroscopy made me so stressed and this was before even getting started with IVF!
Eventually I had my first meeting with the nurse and I filled out all of the consent forms etc. If my husband hadn’t been with me I think I would have quit there and then because I was scared and didn’t really know what was coming next. How the hell was I going to inject myself and how was it going to make me feel. I was so fixated on having to go into theatre to have the egg retrieval that I felt sick for the whole build up to it. Every time I came out of an appointment I had more questions I hadn’t thought of whilst I was in there.
I sat at home thinking I was all alone and how unfair it was, I couldn’t stop crying, I didn’t want to be going through this. My stress levels were at an all-time high. I sat and read through the buddy leaflet and decided to make contact with Kelly to see if others felt the same and to get some ideas on how to reduce stress.
Over the last year Kelly has put me in contact with a number of ladies going through the same thing and it has been a massive help. To be able to ask questions, share thoughts, emotions, get advice from someone who totally understands is fantastic, especially as you can contact them at any time of the day. There are a ladies who I text constantly and others who I have met up with. We have some group chat’s where everyone is so friendly and supportive. If one person is having a bad day the others are always there to pick you up. This is one of the hardest, most stressful things I have ever gone through in my entire life so to have a little support from others is really nice.
I decided to go along to one of the walk n talk events, I love walking and it has been my way to reduce stress. I am quite an anxious person so I was a bit nervous going along to my first one to meet people I didn’t know but as soon as I met Kelly she made me feel really welcome and relaxed. The walk was lovely, finally I could talk about the IVF with people who wanted to listen. They were genuinely interested, caring and experiencing all of the feelings that I was. I was telling people my most private thoughts on first meeting them but it felt so natural. I picked up helpful tips and things to try. I continue to go on the walks and have made some lovely friends. It really does help. The fact that Kelly can do this with her own journey is remarkable and inspirational.
Everyone has their own story, their own infertility case, their own journey but having someone to support you is invaluable. Thank you Kelly!
For more information on CARE Support events please click here