Need tips for surviving IVF? Our veteran IVF family shares their advice and experience.
Lauren and her husband are IVF veterans with their experiences tallying into double figures. Today they are delighted to have two little people in their home after IVF made their parenting hopes possible.
Lauren shares with us her tips for those ‘in the journey’ of IVF and how to survive the highs and lows…
When my husband and I made the decision to start a family six years ago, never in a million years did I think we would need to turn to IVF to help make our family a reality.
After 13 IVF cycles which includes 11 transfers and 2 cancelled attempts, I’ve picked up a few tips along the way which will help hopefully you navigate your next IVF cycle. Here’s my best tips for surviving IVF… other than of course, good luck!
Have extra supplies
Let’s face it, preparing a syringe and drawing up hormones and medication is stressful. On more than one occasion I managed to snap a needle removing a cap or better yet, snap a needle clean off the syringe – making it useless. After experiencing mass panic and making a mad dash to our IVF Doctor to pick up more supplies, I always made sure there were extra syringes/needles at home just in case. Having extra supplies means you just don’t have to be worried.
Stock up on things which make you feel good
Before your cycle begins make sure you have a good supply of your favourite comfort foods, a couple of good books or favourite magazines to keep you occupied waiting for appointments, as well as a heat pack and suitable pain relief for those days when your tummy feels bloated and sore.
Make caring for yourself a priority. Some days are really hard. Having your favourite comforts on hand can only help.
Look after yourself
Yes it’s a no brainer, but there is no time more important to be looking after yourself both physically and mentally. Take some time out to do the things you enjoy doing as a way to relax, have a sneaky afternoon nap if you feel like it, let yourself indulge in any cravings you may have or treat yourself to a pedicure.
Mental health is an important issue during IVF so be sure to be kind to yourself.
Make life easy
During an IVF cycle is not the time to take on additional responsibilities or stress either at home or work. If possible take a little extra time off between your trigger injection and egg collection. Even the day or two after is also good as this is likely to be the time you will feel most uncomfortable.
Practically, stocking your freezer with meals is another great way to make your life just that little bit easier. Don’t commit to plans that might make you feel overwhelmed. Just keep it simple until you know how you’re feeling.
Exercise (or don’t!)
While everyone is different, I found starting my day with a short walk (even if it was only up to the end of the road) was a great way to ease my stress levels and help me feel good about myself. Everyone is different though, so it’s important to also listen to your body and not push yourself.
Surround yourself with a good support network
We made the decision to tell very few people about our IVF journey during the first year. This was not out of shame or embarrassment but simply because I didn’t feel like providing an update on the status of my ovaries to every single person we knew each week.
Despite our private approach we did surround ourselves with a small group of family and friends who knew what we were going through. They provided excellent support along with welcome distractions when we needed it. Choose your support team and be prepared to use them! If you don’t want to tell the world your business or discuss your IVF journey a lot it’s probably a good decision not to tell people outside your circle.
Stay strong as a couple
IVF can be a tricky journey for a couple and it’s easy to hide your feelings or not want to project them onto your partner. One of the most important tips for surviving IVF is to support and rely upon your partner – you are a team! Remember to keep the lines of communication open and stay focused on your relationship being strong and resilient. From a date night, to a mini break or even just a TV session together, try to be each others best friend through this process.
From me to you, all the best for your IVF journey.
Need to talk to someone about your feelings during IVF? Why not contact Access Australia?
One in six couples will have difficulty achieving a pregnancy. But despite these growing numbers of people, difficulties we face when trying to conceive can leave us feeling extremely isolated.
This is made worse because infertility is a taboo subject – as a society we have difficulty in dealing with these sad experiences.
From dealing with the emotional roller coaster, the pressure of IVF treatment cycles, friends falling pregnant or the pain of shattered dreams, couples that go through infertility need to know that they’re not alone.
Access Australia can be an excellent resource for information, support and referrals. We seek to alleviate the pain and isolation of the one in six people in Australia with infertility by supporting them through their journey and making them aware of the medical and social options available to help them pursue their wish to have a child of their own.
Have you done IVF? What would be your tip for a couple undertaking this process? Comment below.