As a two-time In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) patient, I have learned a lot! During my rounds of IVF I looked for advice from nurses, doctors, and other IVF patients to help calm my nerves and feel at ease. These 10 Tips for In Vitro Fertilization are gathered from both of my rounds. I hope it will help other mommas seeking relief!
1. Get to Know Your Care Team
When you first go into your consultation appointment, you will meet the nurse and the doctor who will be in charge of your care plan. These two will most likely be the ones who will return your phone calls regarding questions or concerns you may have. It is good to get to known them, understand their style and personality, and make sure it matches yours or provides you with comfort during this stressful time.
2. Double Check Your Insurance Provider
Each insurance provider has a preferred pharmacy. It is beneficial to see who the preferred pharmacy is when the time comes to order all of the medication. If the health team is unaware of who the preferred pharmacy is, it can lead to additional stress and playing telephone tag to order your medication up to the day before the administration of trigger shots of progesterone.
3. Find an Organization Method that Works Best for You
From Estrace pills, different injection schedules, trigger shots, appointments, and test results, you will have a lot to keep track of. A physical planner, your phone, or an online calendar are all great trackers. Find a system that is readily available to you whenever you need it.
4. Find a Support Group
Create a support group for yourself during this momentous time. Friends and family of all types (mommies, fellow IVF patients, friends with no kids, and those you trust during your most vulnerable moments). Having friends of all stages in life can help you with the wide range emotions you may feel. It is okay to lean on them for support.
5. Don’t Compare Results
Comparing results with others who are going through IVF can be very tempting. It can also be discouraging. Each body, result, embryo count and journey are different for everyone. Continue to support each other, but emotionally and to avoid rivalry or self-doubt, don’t share results.
6. Find Methods of Relaxation
Yoga, running, reading, acupuncture, and coffee dates are great to take a mental and physical break from the constant scheduling and administration of medication. Self-care is important during this stressful time.
7. It’s OK to Feel What You Feel
IVF is a big deal. You are utilizing medications to adjust your body to a new mold. There are going to be emotions both from the hormones and your own adrenaline. You are going to feel hopeful, tired (physically and mentally), and peeping into the unknown and depending on day to day results.
8. It’s OK to Have Limits
When we decided to do IVF for the second time, my husband and I had a Plan B. If the embryos we had left from our previous retrieval did not stick, we would be done with the IVF journey and would pursue adoption. I reflected on how the egg retrieval affected by body the last time. I did not want to endure the same painful side effects while tending to our toddler. We were at peace with our Plan B.
9. Plan Who Will be Administering Your Progesterone
When you and your care team begin discussing progesterone, plan out your calendar and know who will be administering the shots as this will be a total of 12 weeks. If it is your partner, try to have a backup in case of emergencies. If injections will not work or if you are uncomfortable about shots, talk to your provider about alternative progesterone suppositories.
10. Remember You and Your Partner are a Team
This is going to be a trying time for you both. Hope and stress will be a delicate balance. The most important people on this journey are you and your partner. You will be a slew, and your partner will try to be your main line of support. The IVF process will take a toll on your partner as well. Always remember that this journey began because two people fell in love and you want that love to grow into a family.
I am wishing you baby dust, relief, and a sense of hope, mama-to-be. It can be hard on both heart and mind when you have eager arms awaiting a sweet baby. Know that there are others like you and those who want to help you and talk with you. There will be many who want give you a warm embrace during this time and all hoping you will receive what you seek.
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