When you are faced with infertility, you also become inundated with things to do. Many things. There are appointments to attend, schedules to keep track of, and a range of emotions to manage along the way. How do you keep going to get it all done? To begin, it starts with what you can do ahead of time before the procedure. Here are four things to help you prepare while waiting for IVF to begin.
Review your protocol. When you meet with your reproductive endocrinologist to go over your IVF protocol, you’ll likely get a calendar highlighting the medications, ultrasounds, blood tests, and times for your cycle. This is the plan you will follow for the next two months as you prepare for the egg retrieval and the transfer. Read through all of this info. Trust me. You’ll want to know what your doctor has planned so that you are not surprised along the way.
Ask questions. If there is anything on your protocol that you don’t understand, ask questions. Even if it is after your initial meeting, call the doctor or the nurses line and get clarity. Not confident about the technique for injections? Ask for another demonstration. Not following the protocol as it is laid out for you will be a waste of your time, money, and result in many moments of anxiety. Always ask if something is unclear to you.
Get support. IVF is an intense process. From the detailed schedule to the injections to all of the emotions that will surface along the way, having support will make a huge difference in how you go through the experience. Whether it is a coach, your spouse, or your sister, seek out someone to help you process what you are feeling so that you can stay focused on the things you need to do. When we indulge in overwhelm or spin out in another negative emotion it ends up costing us in time, money and mental clarity. If you know IVF is in your future, enlist a support person early on to be there for you before things get tough.
Amplify your joy. Let’s face it, the odds of becoming pregnant through a single IVF cycle are good, but not guaranteed. It is possible that you won’t see two lines on that pregnancy test two weeks after your transfer. Regardless of what the outcome will be, spend time planning something that brings you joy other than the possibility of getting pregnant. It could be extra time with your spouse or a day trip to a favorite location. Identify what it would be for you and make a plan for it. You can always change the plan if you need to, but it is better to have something in place that you are looking forward to that has nothing to do with fertility and family planning than to put all of your energy for joy into getting pregnant. Remember, there is so much more to your life than infertility. Honor that by investing time in other areas that bring you joy.
If you are looking for support through your IVF cycle and want a taste of coaching, reach out to me for a free 25-minute strategy session to experience it for yourself.