Less than 35 years ago, IVF was not a household word and, to this day, not that many people really understand what couples have to go through to have a child with this procedure. As a society, we appear uninformed about how to best support someone going through IVF.
As a current IVF patient, Leah Johnson is passionate about educating others about IVF to reduce the stigma around talking openly about infertility and fertility treatments. She knows first hand the amazing difference that effective support can make.
1. Get Educated
Support someone through IVF by learning about the process yourself – knowledge is power. If you understand the medications, steps, procedures and timeframes, you will be able to make educated and useful comments and/or ask appropriate questions. There are many free resources, blogs and videos online that can get you up to speed so you are informed when or if they want to talk.
2. Don’t Ignore The Elephant
They might not want to tell you all the details of what is going on however ask how they are doing and let them know you are there if they want to talk. If they say they don’t want to talk about it, then respect that, however if you avoid the topic altogether it may make them feel that you are not interested. Simply asking how they are doing shows them that you care.
3. Don’t Ask Them If They Are Pregnant
Family and friends can often be so eager for the person to have a baby that they ask constantly and this is very frustrating and upsetting for the person. Trust me, she wants to be pregnant just as much as you want her to be but ease up on the pressure!
4. Mood Swings and Weight Gain
It is common for women who go through IVF to gain weight and experience mood swings due to the large amounts and high dosages of medications and hormones. Do not comment harshly about these things and try and remember that there is not a lot she can do to control it. Try to remember that they are most likely under a lot of financial, emotional and psychological stress already.
5. Offer Your Help
Don’t be general as they will mostly likely say no if you simply ask “do you need help?”. Instead, offer specific help such as “do you want me to come with you to your appointment tomorrow?”. Whilst they may want privacy, offering specific helps shows that you not only care but also know what is going on for them
6. Support Their Decision To Cease Treatment
No couple can endure fertility treatments forever. At some point they will stop and this will be an agonising decision that will involve more grief. Don’t encourage them to try again or try something different. Just respect their decision and allow them to put that chapter behind them.
7. Tell Them You Are Pregnant In Writing
If you fall pregnant whilst supporting someone else during IVF, be mindful that your happy news may be a painful reminder of what they are missing. Telling them in writing (text, letter or email) provides them the opportunity and dignity for their initial reaction to be private without the pressure for the immediate response a face to face or public announcement requires. It also demonstrates your respect and empathy for their feelings.
8. Be Cautious With The Pregnancy or Babies Talk
It can be very difficult to watch other people delight in the joy of pregnancy or babies while making their own is such hard work. Always remember whilst your nausea and swollen feet may be awful, that person sees these as signs of joy and hope!
9. Don’t Think It’s All Over Once They’re Pregnant Or Have The Baby
Pregnancy is not the end of infertility. For them, the journey won’t even begin to feel like it’s over until they hold their baby in their arms and, even then, it won’t erase the pain of something that consumed their life for years. When they’ve had to fight to make that baby happen, they are likely to be even more protective and cautious than the average pregnant woman.
Written by Leah Johnson
Written by Bec Anderson
Dear judgey parent passing me by,
Here you are glaring at me while you have seen me pass you walking into school and 15 minutes later again on the way out of school and she has not let up. The uncontrollable screaming, sobbing and yelling. You glared at me while I sat at a different chair from my 3 year old waiting for my other child to finish school while her screaming became louder, if that was even possible. You had the biggest look as you passed me as I was getting her into the car.
No, I have not raised my voice.
No, I have not smacked or grabbed her physically in any way.
No, I have not said mean things to her:
No, I have not said she could not have something.
No, I have not starved her.
Today, like most other school days, I had to wake her up to come to school pickup. I packed her container of biscuits, the shoes she wanted and dressed her in the outfit she wanted to wear before putting her to bed. 2pm rolled around and I picked her up gently out of her bed, I carried her sleeping on my shoulder to the car, gently placed her into her car seat and put her seatbelt on.
I drove to school with the music down low and missing the pot holes. I parked at school and turned the car off.
Now, please, you who are judging me tell me where I went wrong? What did I do wrong or not do right??
You seem to think you know! You seem to think I am a terrible mother.
The truth is, as she woke when the car turned off, she demanded to change her dress and I had to say sorry, we can change it after we get your brother. So the crying starts and I try to put her shoes on but she doesn't want those ones on so I ask which ones she would like to wear while giving her a hug (there are 4 pairs in the car for this reason). She does not want any and is demanding to walk in barefoot, across driveways and loose gravel a block and half away from the school gate, then into school where I'm sure that too would be as unacceptable as having her scream!
At this point I manage to get shoes on her and out of the car as you come by for the first time as she is screaming "I hate you".
I sat at a different chair so for 3 minutes I hold back the tears a little more.
I am sure EVERY parent has had a meltdown situation, some more than others.
Please, as your children get older, don't forget how that felt and instead of the judgey stare or the disapproving frown, how about a pat on the back or a face that says I feel your pain!
Own the meltdowns my friends - it means you didn't give in to the 3 year olds demands and did what you felt was best for your child!
The Townsville Rugby League community have come together to host a fundraising weekend for the McGrath Foundation on 2-4 June 2017.
The group came together when Nikolas Mitchell, a 13 year old student at Townsville Grammar School, was moved by his best friend’s family’s experience with breast cancer. Nik encouraged his mum to get involved in supporting the McGrath Foundation to show support for his best friend.
From there, what started as a small event continued to grow – Not only has Nik’s club jumped on-board, but also the Blackhawks, and the Cowboys are now throwing their support behind the weekend.
Players of all ages will proudly wear their McGrath Foundation Pink socks and will be raising funds over the weekend.
There is currently only one McGrath Breast Care Nurse in Townsville and four in North Queensland. The money raised will go towards funding more McGrath Breast Care Nurses to support those families experiencing breast cancer in communities across Australia.
As part of the fundraising efforts, there will be a Women in League function held on the Sunday and you are invited! Entry to the Women in League Marquee is by a Gold Coin donation and there will be raffles, lucky door prizes, champagne and nibbles, along with a special Girls U15 Exhibition game.
To RSVP for the Women in League Ladies Day event, please email Prue Fullford by Monday May 29.
Can't attend a game but would still like to help the cause? You can!
Visit the Townsville District Rugby League Community fundraising page on the Pull On Your Socks website to make a donation or to find out more information about the McGrath Foundation.
Above information & image supplied by organiser and is correct at time of publication.
Event information may be subject to change without notice. Please contact organiser directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for any information regarding the event or the fundraising efforts.
Written by Leah Johnson
Congratulations! You have been selected for a job interview!
While preparing for the interview may be a little daunting, here are some simple tips to help you prepare:
"Deegan is a happy and funny 4 year old boy who was born at 34 weeks, 6 weeks too soon and as a result he suffers from Spastic Diplega Cerebral Palsy. Our aim is to raise money to fund this life changing surgery, which will remove the spasticity in his legs easing the pain in his muscles and to fund the ongoing physical therapy that he requires pre and long term after the surgery in order to maximize its effectiveness."
The above statement, plus the rest of Deegan's story, can be found on the YOUCARING fundraising website for this little fella trying to achieve his dream of walking unaided.
To realise this dream, Deegan needs to travel to the United States for surgery and ongoing therapy costs related to his condition. Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy Surgery has the potential to change Deegan's life for the better with the possibility of a pain free and active future!
The amount raised so far sits at just under $850 and with a goal of $90,000 needed, friends and family are rallying around Deegan with fundraising efforts and donations.
Written by Nicole Wilson
Getting a babysitter for the first time can be somewhat daunting and overwhelming, but we decided to take the plunge and have a well-deserved night out with friends and texted Jackie from Jaytee Babysitting (https://www.facebook.com/jayteebabysittingservice/).
Written by Leah Johnson
There are many different places you can search for job vacancies. These include job search websites (Seek, Indeed, MyCareer, CareerOne, JobSearch, GraduateCareers and SmartJobs), printed media (Australian daily newspapers, magazines and trades newspapers), recruitment agencies (you can sign up to as many as you want) or the yellow pages (identify businesses/fields that interest you, call those employers and ask if they are hiring).
Written by Nicole Wilson
Since becoming a mum and taking leave from my job, I found that sitting around my house, especially with a toddler, can at times make me want to pull my hair out.
At least every morning we try to do something, either by ourselves or with mummy friends, just to make the day go faster, but to also make little miss a bit worn out so she will have a nap and give me time to have a well-earned coffee.
Some of the best things to do in Townsville we found to do include parks and the Aquarium. We love going to a new park every week and checking out the different suburbs of Townsville. North Shore has a variety of different parks, Bushland Beach is unique because it has the beach so close, but one of our favourite parks would have to be Sherriff Park on Love Lane, because there is a variety of playground equipment for differing skill levels and it is so open and shaded.
The Aquarium is also awesome, for $40 a year for a single pass (1 adult + kid/s) you get unlimited access to an air-conditioned, undercover, safe space that has a café with excellent coffee.
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