What I Wish I'd Known Before IVF
Even though I watched every documentary fro Youtube, Vimeo, and Netflix about infertility and IVF there are still things that I wish I had known before going into IVF. There are just somethings you cannot prepare for, but its still nice to know!
First Day of Stims:
The first day of stims takes place on the first day of your cycle - which means the first day of your period. As if having a period wasn't already the worst thing ever, you will also be injecting yourself for the first time with needles full of hormones. It's actually not as bad as it sounds but I was so concerned about this, but its normal!
You can technically drink alcohol up until your transfer day. I was actually told this right before we had started our first cycle, however I had already stopped drinking any type of alcohol about a month before so I just abstained for the duration of the cycle. There is no hard evidence whether it helps or hurts your outcome. Obviously I was alcohol free for a couple months and our cycle was unsuccessful.
You will gain weight, however its mostly water weight. By egg retrieval day I had gained 10 lbs. Which is crazy for me - I haven't even gained 10 lbs within the last year. However after the retrieval within days I dropped 5-6 lbs and I am currently back to my starting weight. I also should note I do not work out, or diet, so it was just all lost naturally.
Nobody actually knows your odds of a successful cycle. I thought our first cycle had odds of about 60% or more of us successfully getting pregnant. I have since heard the odds could be more like 28% or 85% - the truth is: nobody knows your odds. Which makes sense, there is no way to track these things, no one persons infertility is the same as the next. Ages vary, egg quality varies, sperm quality, etc.
It's Okay to Talk:
I have been extremely open about our journey through social media, this blog and with our friends and family. There are definitely down sides to telling people but they do not hold a candle to the upsides. Telling all of you that our cycle had failed was one of the worst moments of my life, it was heartbreaking to share such a vulnerable moment in our lives, and it was heartbreaking to see everyones heartbreak with us. But the amount of support and love we received after sharing this news is what carried us through the hard time, and I just can't imagine trying to hide that pain because we decided to keep our journey to ourselves.
If you are not ready to tell your friends and family, there is an amazing group on Facebook: Utah Infertility Resource Center Support Group and it is full of supportive women and experts who answer any questions or concerns you may have.
The belly injections actually hurt a lot worse than the Progesterone injections. You'd think with Progesterone going into your back side with a 1 1/2" needle would hurt but it actually wasn't nearly as painful! The stimulating hormones that go into your stomach actually burn a little and its way worse.
Apparently is extremely common to be allergic to the oil that the Progesterone is mixed into. They usually mix it into a sesame oil for injections because its cheap, I have never been allergic to anything yet the Progesterone injections gave me hives all over my back side. You can switch to other oils but its more expensive, there are also suppositories and pill form you can take but they are really expensive. I used a lot of Benedryl cream and just stuck it out.
I just recently got my acne under control this year, so once we found out we'd have to do IVF and i'd be on all those hormones I was extremely worried. However I really didn't have that bad of breakouts! I had a little around my mouth (which is a hormonal spot to break out) but I was good! It obviously effects everyone differently and I was able to stay on my acne medications throughout my treatments which I think really helped.
I don't think theres really anyway to completely prepare yourself for the rollercoaster ride they call IVF but the more you prepare the better off you will be.