In preparation for IVF, I’ve been reading many, many blog posts about real life expectations and experiences. It’s one thing to read a doctor’s website about the processes and procedures but it’s another to read true accounts. Both have something to offer.
I really wanted to give you all another source of information about IVF. I am in no way a doctor. I’m just a woman going through this for the very first time. Please don’t use my information in place of a physician’s instruction or account. My testimony here is for information purposes only. Just a FYI of sorts as to what happened during my IVF.
I will be writing a series of these for each phase. This first phase is the Birth Control (BCP) and antibiotic stage.
- Your life won’t be too impacted by this phase. You’ll have some side effects from the drugs especially if you aren’t accustomed to them. But, as far as your day-to-day, nothing should be affected. You aren’t needing to change your exercise regimen, lighten your schedule, and you’re definitely not in the phase of having to see the doctor every couple of days. So enjoy the calm before the storm! Use this time to have fun and rest up a bit.
- BE PREPARED and do some research! I would spend some time creating an Instagram (IG) account and finding some TTCers out there. The TTC Community on IG is fantastic. You will need those ladies and couples as you go through this procedure. Plus, it’s been a good resource for articles and pictures of different journeys. I knew better what to expect during stimming (phase two) because of watching others post about it. What’s really cool is when you find someone who is walking the same path as you on almost literally the same day. That’s your cycle buddy – someone who starts stimming, has their egg retrieval, etc. on the same day as you (or close to it). You can reach my IG account at the bottom of this page via the IG icon.
- BCPs really are the devil. I had not been on a BCP for over a decade and in my normal everyday life, I don’t take any meds. So, starting this regimen just really messed me up! Know that weird things will happen in your body.
- PROBIOTICS are your friend! The antibiotics completely wiped out my digestive system. I knew this would happen. We all have taken antibiotics at one point or another and we know that they can make a person constipated. Yuck! So, I stayed up on my diet and ate probiotics to keep that part of me healthy.
- You WILL have weird dreams and nightmares! Expect it. It’s ok. It’s just the meds. This stopped when I finished taking these meds.
- DO keep your exercise regimen. If you aren’t already doing so, then at least take a good walk, play with the dog, go for a hike, something(!) and as much as you can. Doing so will help clear your mind, de-stress you, and work off any frustrations & nervousness you may be harboring.
- Water – drink a ton of it! Keep your body ridding itself of toxins!
- CREATE A FOLDER or BINDER! You are going to have a lot of paperwork, calendars, instructional sheets, lab orders, lab results, ultrasound pictures, and the list goes on. I found that I was quickly swimming in paper. So, grab a folder or binder. Get as OCD as you’d like with this and create a space to have all of your papers. I am currently in the stimming stage of IVF and have lots of appointments. I take that folder to EVERY appointment, even if it’s just labs or ultrasounds. Seriously, take it everywhere!
- Gather together a PERSONAL SUPPORT GROUP. You may not be blogging or posting on FB or IG your every infertility move like we are. That’s ok! And you may not have come out of the infertility closet yet, either. But, I highly encourage you to come out of that closet to a small group of people around you. Be selective in doing so. They should be folks with a gift for coming along side someone in their pain. People with a servant’s heart. If you’re private and want to keep your IVF happenings on the down low, then I wouldn’t choose someone who is a bit of a gossip. That’s just common sense. You will want these friends and/or family to pray for you throughout your process, be there for you as you’re going through treatments, and lend a helping hand. They are your cheerleaders. GO TEAM GO! As heroic as it would be for you and your husband to do this solo, we as humans can’t do it all. So, at the very least gather these people as prayer warriors. Then, decide from there if you want them to help in any other way. The girls I’ve gathered together for me personally (not Brooks obviously) have been so awesome in supporting me. It can be them asking me to coffee or me asking them to breakfast. It can be lunch dates, simple texts saying they’re praying for us, or coming over for prayer. It can be a shopping date, movie date, or a simple hug. A meal brought to your house or a bouquet of flowers. There are so many ways to support. This isn’t just for us Infertile Myrtles; it’s for anyone going through cancer, divorce, loss. It’s an all-encompassing principle – we can’t do this alone. #LOVE
- Lots of vivid dreams, weird dreams, and nightmares.
- FOOD CRAVINGS! – holy mackerel I couldn’t get enough caesar salad and burgers! 🍔
- FOOD AVERSIONS! – Brooks and I usually eat eggs and bacon/sausage everyday for breakfast. But we couldn’t go near eggs the entire time we were on the meds. 🙊
- Constipation – take your probiotics!
- Nausea & dizziness – this made me crave breads and sugar. 🍞
- My boobs hurt 😣… OUCH!
- Feeling a little out of it; distracted; in lala land
- Loss of sleep – I would constantly wake up in the middle of the night.
- BLOATING – see below.
- Weight Gain – I gained about 4 or 5 lbs in a week’s time but then lost it very quickly. I also noticed that the weight was being carried in my belly only.
Don’t let all this scare you. It seems like a lot but this all happened throughout the course of a month. Also, a lot of the above is typical PMS stuff. So, girls don’t be scurd! 💪🏼
Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor! Consult your own physician before starting any new regimens (medicine, food, exercise, and the like). What was described above is my personal account of the IVF procedure. Your own experiences may look different (and likely will). This is to be used as a simple example & guideline for one woman’s procedure. Happy IVFing!