Finding Hope in My IVF Treatment Journey
After two and a half years trying to get pregnant with my husband, at the age of 37, I decided to take the first and more difficult step: looking for the help of fertility experts. At the end, my husband and I decided to initiate IVF treatment. Here are the six ways I made it through the process:
1. Counseling sessions. I had a fantastic experience with my husband. We had a counselor who was provided as part of the services from our fertility clinic, who guided us through the treatment in a very caring way. They advised us about the importance of thinking of each day as an accomplishment, and they gave us us ideas for how to create a routine to make the process less challenging. I recommend short follow-up sessions, mostly to focus on the treatment. I would avoid bringing other issues that are not related to this new journey or won’t be solved in these IVF counseling sessions.
2. Routine. Thinking about a routine is necessary. In my case, simple things, such as sitting and having a cappuccino with my husband after each morning injection or session at the clinic, helped me to prepare for the day ahead. I also took some pauses during work; going for a short walk or reading a book during my lunch breaks helped me to distract my mind. At night, we were in bed at 9 p.m., listening to short meditation sessions that helped to calm me before I fell asleep, which was already difficult for me. Sometimes, when I needed it, I took a day off work, got a ferry from Circular Quay to Manly (for those who know Sydney), walked around, and had a cappuccino with a piece of carrot cake and a lovely lunch. Also, it helped me to keep a daily diary, writing a summary of my everyday journey through the process. Whatever it is that you like to do, do it in this time.
3. Injections. I have always being terrified of needles. I have what I consider a needle phobia. I can honestly say the injections are not that bad, and they don’t really hurt much. I think it’s more the nervousness around the whole experience. Thankfully, after a few seconds, the injection is done. I must confess that at this point, I have not seen any needles because I choose not to. I don’t even know how they look. The nurses used to administer them at the beginning at the clinic, and they trained my husband, who did a fantastic job afterwards. I give my deepest respect and admiration to those women who administer the injections themselves. If you are scared of injections, please think of the big picture, and how fantastic it is that you are trying everything to conquer your dream.
4. Family and friends. Share the journey with whoever makes you feel comfortable, because you will receive honest and genuine good energy and support from them. In my case, I told my parents and brothers and my childhood best friend. They are all far away, but I know they will be wishing for the best outcome. I didn’t want people asking about how I was feeling, so decided to just let them know that I would update them when I felt like it, and they understood and respected the fact that I needed my space. I also asked them to be in a positive mindset and send good vibes. This worked wonders!
5. Treat yourself. I had a very relaxing spa session the day before starting the cycle. If you like to have massages, go to the salon, have your nails done, have a facial, etc., all of this provides lots of comfort. I got a couple of new dresses that are loose in case I got too bloated, also watched funny movies, had a nice dinner with hubby, went away for the weekend to a new place, you need to reward yourself.
6. Trust your body and the process. Really, nothing else to do! You are in the hands of your doctors, so follow their instructions, trust, and have a positive mindset. Please, do not do Internet research. Google can be a great tool, or your worst enemy. Understand that all stories are different and unique. You might feel the need to Google everything. What I found on the Internet was not encouraging at all. If you have a concern, ask your doctor.
These tips might not work for you, but I am just so very happy to share my story, as I hope for the best outcomes. Best wishes to you, if you are embarking on this amazing journey.