Going through fertility treatments, especially IVF, completely changes your life. It’s an emotional, physical and financial… strain, but it is also wonderfully rewarding. With me not speaking publicly to anyone prior about our issues, I never got the inside tips, the advice on what to expect going through IVF, I went in blind and naive.
Now I’m not going to go into much detail on this one because my fabulous husband, Sameer is currently sat next to me writing an in depth blog post all about cost. But IVF is a pretty penny, it doesn’t just tug at your purse strings… it rips it right out of your hands. So beware that there is a substantial cost. In Canada there is also government funding, but like I said I’ll leave that for Sameer’s post. Sorry I know I’m a tease.
I did get a taste of this while going through IUI’s, but be prepared for this to take up a great deal of your time. The monitoring stage is basically a full time job. You have to be at the hospital or clinic at least every other day to check the process of your precious little embies and your lining. In my case I had to go to the hospital for monitoring and it was a first come first serve kind of thing. I would be there at 5:30am on the dot waiting until they opened at 7:30am. Told you it was a full time job. But then there is also the injections, they have to be taken at the same time each day. This means that you need to be in a space you feel most comfortable and with whoever will be injecting you. This was a challenge for us while traveling. I remember being in NYC, our injection time was 5pm everyday, this meant stopping whatever fun activity we were up to run back to the hotel for a 5 sec shot. Ugh.
There are a lot, so many injections. Although this varies for each person, for me I had 4 a day… yep 4! All to the abdomen. My poor belly. I would get myself so worked up for these injections, I would freak, so much so that I would end up scaring Sameer… poor guy. But finding a routine or a distraction is key, sometimes we would just watch TV, but mostly our distraction was blasting Queen at top volume. WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS. Also what was super surprising for me is that injections don’t just end once you do the transfer, I was put on progesterone in oil (PIO) for 12 weeks starting 3 days prior to transfer. Progesterone in oil helps thicken your lining and secure the embryo, which is amazing, but it sure did suck having that massive needle stuck in the top of my butt every morning at 6am.
Be ready to bloat up like a blow fish. It’s a cruel trick of the body to make you look pregnant when that’s all you want. The bloat is real, although I didn’t bloat up as much as I thought I would, it was still most definitely uncomfortable. This was actually the stage in which I started to tell people what we were going through because I was scared I wouldn’t be able to hide it. I didn’t want them to think I was pregnant.
I thought I had felt every emotion possible already, that the pain couldn’t ever get any worse. I was wrong! Although again every person is different, I didn’t expect my anxiety to take such a turn for the worse. I became very closed off, angry, and the worst version of myself. Anything and everything would trigger me. The best way to deal with this was my husband and puppy, they were godsends. Filling my days with distractions and as many smiles as they could drag out of me. So just be aware that not every day is going to be perfect, and that it’s ok to be off.
Be ready to have all control taken away from you. If your like me then this is the worst. The control was ripped from under me when our fresh transfer was cancelled. I was devastated, a complete wreck. I had to basically start all over (minus the retrieval). I was put back on meds and another 5 week wait. There are so many little and big things like this that happen throughout IVF, that you literally have no control over, no matter how much you wish you did.
IVF is a journey, thats for sure. It’s full of highs and lows, paralyzing sadness and pure bliss. The only real way to prepare yourself for IVF is to just take everything as it comes, one wave at a time.
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