IVF – loves a bloody abbreviation!

IVF... WTF is a ..???

 

So following my shameful admission on Insta stories, that I didn’t actually know that TTC was the common parlance for this process we are all going through, sorry about that, I decided to bring myself bang up to date on all things in the IVF abbreviation world! You may all be laughing at me, and given that I’m about to embark on round number 5, that these would/ should be ingrained on my brain already.

However, I feel like I need to explain why I don’t know, or rather haven’t engaged in a lot of these abbreviations to date. When we first started out on our fertility journey, I did initially go onto some forums / message boards, but I almost immediately realised that they just weren’t for me. I actually found most of them really negative and really serious (I’m not pretending this isn’t serious, but everything needs a little hint of a smile surely?),  and all they did was use abbreviations, so I just stopped. The instagram community is completely different, couldn’t be more different. Yes, lots of people do use these abbreviations, but it feels like a completely different context for some reason. It’s positive, supportive and cuddly and often feels like I’m on an American High School Cheerleading team (without having to be back in high school, or indeed dressed in tan tights and leotards!), which is brilliant!

We decided, however, that we would not surround ourselves with negativity or guesswork, and although we did plenty of research about our treatments/ investigations, we just made sure to ask the right people the right questions. Every one is different, and everyone has a different plan. (REMEMBER DON’T COMPARE!) At least Dwighty asked the right questions, I was always a bit overwhelmed by those meetings, having dropped my trousers and had a cold wand up there, I felt my bit was done! 🙂 That is not to say that I don’t completely understand why they are used so extensively. Most of the terms, procedures etc have lengthy and not the most tactile of names/ labels, but I just can’t get to grips with them. I’m one of those people that don’t use abbreviations in text messages, I have to write words in full and compose a text as I would a conversation. Aside from a few emojis and using “lols” ironically, that’s as far as I go.

The other reason why I thought this post might be useful, is actually for all the people who aren’t necessarily in the TTC (see what I did there!) community, or maybe you are and you are like me, or just starting out on this confusing, exciting, exhausting but hopefully rewarding journey.

Part of the reason I started the blog was to help people who weren’t in the process, those slightly on the outside ie friends and family, in trying to help understand it. Trying to help them be able to be informed about how you might be feeling and about how the whole thing bloody works to be honest. Also, just to give an insight into why your friends might be cancelling last minute, because the woman feels like a beached whale and can’t sit comfortably at a dinner table for long periods of time, or that they need to take an injection in their arse, which isn’t conducive to drinks in the pub. One of the biggest compliments I’ve had to date about my blog, was from an editor I worked with a couple of times, who found my blog through another colleague of his. He sent me a message to say thanks, because one of his best friends was just about to go through it, and he wasn’t sure how to talk to her about it, but reading my thoughts, really helped him to find a way. It made me smile and cry at the same time, I mean HOW NICE IS THAT!?

For me, and I know everyone is different, it’s really important for people to understand what this is all about, and the most humbling thing for me has been the fact that some of my friends, and a couple in particular, have really gone out of their way to read about IVF, to really take in my words, and even follow a few of the TTC community on Instagram to really try and be on my side. You can’t buy that shit!

So below is a list (not exhaustive as there are SOOOOO many!), of the most common references you might see or hear people refer to. Most of them are pretty self explanatory, but some not… and some I’ve put a VERY brief explanation next to:

n.b I am not a DOCTOR, this is all information widely available on the interweb.

p.s this is really for people outside TTC, or people just starting their journey, or an ignoramus like meJ

2WW – Two week wait

10dp3dt – 10 days past 3day transfer – (transfer meaning when the fertilised eggs are inserted back into the uterus)

AF – Aunt Flo = period arriving / bleeding starting – surely there is a better one for this, it feels a little antiquated? No? Especially when I looked up it’s supposed origin from the 1950s!)

BBT – Basal Body Temperature –   (this terms refers to when women are monitoring their ovulation during their cycle, and is taken when your body is at rest ie when you first wake up in the morning. The change in temperature indicates when ovulation occurs)

BCP – Birth Control Pill

BETAhCG level blood test – literally had never heard this term before, until everyone has been referring to it on Instagram! This measures your HCG(pregnancy hormone) levels.

BFP/ BFNBig Fat Positive/Negative

CD – Cycle Day

DH/DW/DS/DDDear Husband/Wife/Son/Daughter – not sure how Dwighty would feel if I called him Dear Husband, he freaks out if I call him by his first name!

EDEgg Donor

EDDEstimated due date

ER / ET  –  Embryo Retrieval/Transfer

FSH Follical Stimulating Hormone – these are the drugs taken during treatment to do exactly what they say on the tin.

FET – Frozen Embryo Transfer 

hCG – Human Chorionic Gonadfotropin – this is the “pregnancy hormone” that is looked for when taking a pregnancy test. It is also a way of indicating how the pregnancy is progressing in the early days of a positive test. If the HCG falls or does not develop at the right rate, it’s likely the pregnancy won’t be viable. You would not know this detail in a natural pregnancy, you would just know you were pregnant and then go for a scan when you were told. And I think actually not every clinic does this, but I know mine does.

HPTHome Pregnancy Test 

ICSI – Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection – is when sperm is injected directly into the egg.

IUI – Intra-Uterine Insemination – deliberately introducing sperm into the uterus/ cervix

IVF In Vitro Fertilization – fertilisation of egg and sperm happens outside the body

IVIg – Intra-venous immunoglobulin therapy – I’ve had a few of these! It’s basically blood plasma (it’s not red!), and is used to help balance your NK cells. (there is also another version called Intralipids)

LMP – Last Menstrual Period

LH – Luteinizing Hormone – this hormone basically triggers ovulation and release of the egg from the ovary.

LPLuteal Phase – occurs after ovulation and before your period starts. It’s the stage in the cycle when the lining of the uterus gets thicker to prepare for possible pregnancy

MFMale Factor 

NK Cells – Natural Killer Cells – a type of white blood cell that lives in the immune system to help your system keep your body in balance. Ie reject infected cells, but equally they are really important in keeping a pregnancy healthy. Unfortunate term, it doesn’t mean they KILL everything off! And actually it’s a very contentious area of fertility treatment in terms of how your immunes contribute or don’t to the process.

OHSS – Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome – obviously you are stimulated in IVF with drugs, and overstimulated ovaries release chemicals into the blood stream. These fluids can cause problems in other areas of the body.

PCO – Polycystic Ovarian Disease 

PCOS Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

PGDPreimplantation Genetic Diagnosis – Once fertilised, the embryos develop for 5-6 days and then a number of cells are removed from each embryo. The genetic material (DNA or chromosomes) within these cells of the embryo is then tested for the genetic or chromosomal abnormality

PID – Pelvic Inflammatory Disease 

POAS – Pee on a stick (ie home pregnancy test)

PUPOPregnant Until Proven Otherwise – again I had to look this one up! Doesn’t necessarily roll off the tongue for me.

TTC – Trying To Conceive – there it is!

So helpful for some, possibly a laugh for others, I am prepared to be mocked don’t worry.

Just thought it might be a good idea.

Anyway I’m off, because AF might be on her way in, as it’s nearly CD, and am keen to see what my NK cells are doing, and whether I need a good old dose of IVIG 😉 God knows what the DH is up to?!

K

x

 

 

Here we go again…

herewegoagainimage

Here we go again…

So here we are, back in that lead up to starting treatment. That funny place, where you are desperately trying to top up your body with goodness, relax, and create good energy, and yet not start to stress, feel anxious or overthink what is about to consume your every last breath for the coming weeks.

Bizarrely I quite like this period of time, I feel like all I’m doing is good, although there can be a fine line between feeling fulfilled and being sanctimonious and smug! Which to be honest, I don’t have a problem with, I mean why not?! It might only be because I’m not waking up with hangover at the weekends, that I’m doing more with my days, that my skin is cleaner and hydrated, but I’ll take it. To be honest, in the context of why I am smug, I reckon I’ve earned a right to a small period of smugness. It’s not a feeling I have ever felt comfortable with or like in others, but sod it, if at the moment espousing what makes me feel good and trying to share that with other people, makes me that way, that is me. Mrs Smug. I’m also excited, genuinely excited, not about the endless injections and scans, although they don’t even bother me that much anymore, but about the possibility. I mean that’s why we are on this rollercoaster, to make sure there is a possibility that we can get off with an extra person on board.

Body – Smug Part 1

Part of this smugness comes from the process of putting all that goodness in. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you aren’t always good, but balance is good right! However on the whole, making sure we are getting plenty of protein, eating only good fats and staying away from as much “toxicity” as possible. HAHA having been inundated with articles and documentaries about plastics, I have been trying to be more aware of my part in that… put it this way, it might only be my reusable coffee cup from Natural Kitchen, but that’s good right, small things make big change.

Having finally succumbed to being ill after Christmas, I feel great again. Still got that lingering cough that EVERYONE has had but genuinely feel pretty good. Although I have to admit, having not been ill for over a year, I wasn’t very good at it, and Dwighty was very patient with me!

The one thing that we have always kept up, well we’ve had our lapses I mean we are human (and forgetful), is taking the old vitamin supplements. It was one of the good pieces of advice that we took from our first clinic, particularly for Dwighty. I’ve tried to keep it as simple as possible, and not to try and listen to too much information, or succumbing to any of these “fertility cocktails” or specific vitamins targeting on different aspects of the process, but more just a straight forward approach to overall wellbeing. I think some of it can be really contradictory, I wish there was just a consolidated cheat sheet as to what is good and why, I think that adds to half the stress sometimes. All you want to do is the right thing, but then you hear something different, and you doubt what you are currently doing, that can’t be good or right in my book.

Despite this, Dwighty has a daily intoxicating cocktail of Vitamin C, Zinc, Selenium, and Vitamin E, and I, the wonderful folic acid and good old dose of Vitamin D! Exciting eh?! Vit D is something that the clinic recommended to me after our first round with them, my levels were a little low (Round 3), and I do honestly believe it has made a difference. However I think if you are eating well, then these are just a little top up bonus, maybe even psychologically they do more good than physiologically, who knows, but we will take what we are told! Put it this way my Holland Barrett loyalty card is getting some serious attention these days!This time round, I have however also bought into a few powders to add to the daily smoothies, again just thought why not?! Maca powder, to just help hormonal balance and a little combo of Supergreens, again for a little top up.Finding recipes, tweaking them a bit, and Dwightyfying them is actually really interesting and I sort of love it.

Having said all of the above, I genuinely believe that if you are eating a healthy well balanced diet then that is half the battle. I mean a family bucket of KFC and a litre of coke is definitely not what you need, however much protein you think that battered drumstick is giving you, but don’t sweat the small stuff.

Mind – Smug part 2

This is the tricky one isn’t it? As those who are going through it know, this is the part where smugness is a harder feeling to conjure. On the surface you are in control, positive, peaceful, resilient and strong. The archetypal IVF WARRIOR. The next layer down is doubting whether the first feelings are actually real, or you just know that that is how you are supposed to feel and therefore enforcing it to be the case. The next one down is “sh******t”, do I really have to do this all again? I don’t want to inject, be bruised, feel bloated and crap. What if it doesn’t work? How many more times will this have to happen before we get our dream baby?

For me, personally, I try and mix all those layers together. It’s hard to ignore the negative bits and it’s good to recognise them, but then you can tell them to f*ck off and walk about with a positive sense of purpose and tell yourself that actually you are both pretty amazing to do all this, so go with the flow and try not be consumed by it. It’s an almost impossible ambition, but we are where we are.

Soul – Smug part 3

I guess this is where my smugness comes creeping back round the corner. I think IVF saps the first two, mind and body, but somehow the soul always manages to stay intact, maybe sometimes by a thread, but it stays. Dwighty and I have good souls and I’m proud to say that, and although I don’t necessarily believe in karma, I do believe that good things happen to good people. So for now, that’s as much as we need.

K x

Aka Mrs Smug

N.B IVF diary purchased from @a_diary_for_ivf – although I did buy a notebook to hold all things IVF, I couldn’t resist this as I wish I had come up with the idea, and also to support a small business!

 

 

 

 

Limboland.

LIMBOimage

No, not the homeland of the 60s dance sensation, but one of the most frustrating places to visit whilst going through fertility treatment, made even more so as it’s a somewhere you visit often! I’ve got a bloody loyalty card to the place.

This is where we have been for the last few weeks, which I guess explains the slight radio silence… unusual for me!

After suffering the disappointment, we rode the wave of positivity and moving on, enjoying spending time with friends and family, partaking in some fine wine and just trying to get back to some sort of “normal”.

HAHA and then reality came crashing in! A couple of weeks after the “call”, meltdown occurred:)

I guess it was pretty expected, but it wasn’t expected from me. I think one of the most difficult aspects of this whole journey is time. It’s impossible to manage, impossible to predict and a nightmare to try and negotiate.

I think suddenly the realisation that we had to go through all of this again, and that we have no idea how long this might go on for was overwhelming, and consequently made me feel sort of directionless. On top of this, we still had to wait for our follow up debrief appointment with the clinic, and this happened about 10 days ago (three weeks after the “call”), which again felt like an eternity. I think that the wait was just driving me mad, as at that point there was no plan. I had no sense of what was coming next or when, and that is just really hard.

After planning for so long, it’s hard to not have a plan, especially for someone like me whose whole job used to basically be making a plan!

Alongside this was the fact that we really had no idea what they would say at that follow up appointment, I mean we thought we had an idea, but you never know!

And… we were kind of right on both counts. They too had been hopeful that this round would have worked, for all the same reasons that we did, and there is still no explanation as to why it didn’t. I think this is what some don’t really realise about IVF, and indeed is hard even when you do, that when that embryo goes back in there is nothing “medically” that they can do to ensure success. Nature has to takeover, as you would of course want it to, but it’s hard to accept that you can control (to an extent), everything up to that point, and then you just can’t! And that there is no way of tracking what happens to that little embryo on it’s 10-14 day journey to implantation or not. However, what was discussed was investigating other “possibilities” for the reasons for it not working, which was music to our ears. It was so lovely to hear that they didn’t just want to take our money and go again in blind hope, but they are continually searching for reasons as to why it isn’t happening and one of these might be a genetic chromosome defect. One explanation is that perhaps mine or Dwighty’s chromsomes might be “translocating” (oh yes), and therefore throwing off the balance of those chromosomes and consequently creating a genetic defect whereby the embryo becomes “unviable”. Yeah I know right???!! This is basically a blood test, although they can also perform this test on embryos before they are transferred, but there are more risks involved as they are having to “disturb” the embryo to get the genetic information which they like to avoid, so it makes sense.

If this is the case then this isn’t good news for us, as it means that treatment we are currently following (IVF) would be futile, and although it is very rare for this to be the case, it’s still a possibility. SO… we are currently having our bloods screened for this very scenario, another process that takes 4-6 weeks, so just in time for Christmas! Will either be a great or a shit Christmas present! Super!

If they come back negative, then at least this is another thing we can rule out as being the reason we haven’t fallen pregnant again, which is great, and gives us hope to keep going! I will then have my immunes tested again, to see how my friendly Cytokines are behaving, and if they are all good, we could go again from January, which is exciting (along with the usual trepidation). If it’s positive… we have to completely reassess. We aren’t going there yet.

For now we are keeping everything crossed that this is just a formality, and that the IVF train will be back in full motion in the New Year…Bring it!

So the positivity is back, because there is a plan, and who doesn’t love a plan!?!

K x

 

Managing disappointment… again

 

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I’m not usually one for posting motivational quotes but I found this and it definitely resonated with me. I also just found it really tricky to find an image to go with this post…HAHA no formula or filter for Instagram for this:)

One of the most exhausting aspects of this wonderful process is picking yourself up after a setback. This is where we find ourselves again…unfortunately over the weekend we had our pregnancy test and got that dreaded phone call to tell us “we are sorry but the result is negative”.

As I answered the phone, whilst pondering over a pair of trainers in New Balance on Oxford St, the world fell silent as I heard those very painful words. I closed my eyes and shook my head, as Dwighty looked on helpless and tried to get rid of a slightly shocked shop assistant (poor girl!). We made a quick exit and just stood and hugged each other outside, as the rest of the Saturday shoppers went about their business, oblivious to what we were going through. It’s always a surreal ten minutes straight after “the call”, you are processing the information and working out how you feel, but equally you go a bit numb and it’s very difficult to make any decisions. Luckily we have a pretty standard strategy (having had to deal with this a few times!), which is wander around town, often partake in a glass of something, find some gorgeous bites to eat and then find somewhere else until we feel we should go home (more often that not after too many glasses, which was certainly the case this time). Might not be the right answer, and isn’t everyone’s way of dealing with things, but it’s ours. Fact – I have not missed hangovers!!

As we are gluttons for punishment, you’d think that getting bad news is something we are used to, and it’s true to an extent that we are conditioned to it, and have learnt how to manage this, but it’s still shit. Mostly because, although we never get ahead of ourselves as we know how cruel this friend of ours is, we just thought this was our time. I genuinely felt like this time was different, it felt more calm, more positive (mentally and scientifically) and for f*cks sake it’s our bloody turn!

But the reality is, IVF is a cruel bastard, and it wasn’t our time…YET! As we wandered the streets of London, we chatted a lot about how we felt. Obviously we are incredibly sad, but also in a way we are already prepared for the next phase. This isn’t supposed to sound harsh, and some people might be dubious in that it is recommended that you “grieve” and accept it before you move on. But I honestly feel like now I’m just some sort of social / medical experiment, and that this is my lot in life, to keep going and keep going and not give up. I mean at least it gives me something else to write about, right?! The thought of having to go through this again is exhausting yet also exciting, because it gives us hope.

We won’t really know what the next steps are until we have our “debrief” consultation in a couple of weeks, but we kind of know what to expect ie “it’s a numbers game, keep going” (at least that’s the hope!). But I know we will take whatever advice they give us and know it’s what’s best for us, and not be stubborn about “just making this work”, and ensure that we are ready.

Some things I’ve learnt this time round (and had to remind myself of from before):

  • Having a “calm” frame of mind and the “space” to be able to commit to the process has been invaluable. Even if sometimes you feel like your brain will explode.
  • That you have to put faith in the process, even when it doesn’t work out, you just have to be aware of the odds and play them.
  • Trying to divorce emotion from the facts, however desperate we are for it to work and cold it sounds, is really the best way to get through this.
  • To want to scream at the unfairness of it all, is ok and really important. Anger, frustration and sadness will all play their part, but you get to judge how much attention they get.
  • That more and more I believe that, “every woman who goes through IVF is freaking WARRIOR!” (I can thank my cousin for finding that gem!)
  • We have to keep remembering that this is a learning process and we have to take the things that went well and add to them, that the more they know about both of us and the way we react to treatment, the more we can inform the next round.
  • Don’t dwell on the “what ifs”, it will drive you bloody mad.
  • It’s really easy to beat yourself up, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve apologised to Dwighty. Because whatever you know the truth to be, that it is not your fault, it doesn’t stop you thinking it.
  • Oh and Dwighty’s legend status continues…

Be good to yourself, enjoy the things you love doing, and just get ready… ding ding back in for another round!

It’s our anniversary this week, so for the first time in a couple of years, we are actually able to celebrate and spoil ourselves! (Rather then being under anaesthetic!). So we are taking ourselves away for a country break, donning the walking shoes and Barbours (in true “city” style) to do some good yomping, eat good food, sit by cosy fires and remind ourselves that we are pretty awesome!

 

K x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other halves…

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You might be the one injecting yourself left, right and centre, but these guys are the ones who put up with us; who offer us their unwavering support and more often than not pick us up when we aren’t feeling like the superhero we feel we need to be. This doesn’t have to be a husband, wife, or partner, just someone who is going through this journey with you. And I hope you do have someone, it’s really important to have strong emotional support during this fun game of fertility roulette!

I actually think that sometimes it is more difficult for the partner than it is for you. Bear with me… but you are in control of your schedule, your injections (for the most part). You are the “patient”, and the focus of every appointment and phone call, and it can be a very singular role. It’s hard not to become a little self -obsessed by your own gripes, bruises, headaches and nausea! BUT, and I think this is really important, the “other half” should never be forgotten.

They can’t take the injection for you, but they wish they could.

They don’t understand truly how you feel, but they wish they did.

They want everything to work as much as you do, but there is nothing they can do to make that a guarantee, but they wish they could.

I think that sense of helplessness can be quite overwhelming at times. I mean I feel it, so it makes even more sense that they should too.

If we are honest, and it’s hard to admit, it’s really hard to feel like this isn’t just happening to you “the patient”, because that is exactly who it is happening to. It’s easy for people to say “yeah here for whatever you need”, “anything I can do”, and the reality is there is nothing physically that anyone can do for you, they can’t take that injection (ie the pain), or have that tenth scan. However, what they can do and what is even more important, is just be there for you, understand that you feel like crap, or equally ride the wave of a really good day of hormone induced hilarity.

I can only speak from my experience, which is obviously with my husband, and I can honestly say I couldn’t do this without him! I mean, obviously I couldn’t biologically,  but you know what I mean. I’m a lucky lucky lady, in that Dwighty is a general all round legend in most situations, and this has proved no different. I know it kills him when I cry after a particularly shitty injection, but he will always just hold me and tell me how brave I am. He puts up with me saying how tired I am (even when he’s the one who has been at work all day!), or moaning about how bloated and fat I feel, by just listening to me rant and reassuring me that it’s all normal… or just making me a cup of tea (decaf obvs!). And don’t get me wrong, I love being looked after, but I have to remember that he is going through this too.

Dwighty really wants to be a dad, and the fact is that he will make the most incredible dad, and I want that to start as soon as possible. But as the male in this process, the feeling of helpessness in certain parts of the process, I can only imagine. Aside from making sure your “boys” are in tip- top condition (and this is super important believe me, it’s not all the woman’s body that contributes to this process working!), what else can you do? Dwighty went along with my health kick recipes, my ban on “refined sugar”, protein with every meal, a fascinating array of quinoa variations and broccoli rice, alongside my militant approach to alcohol (although the odd IPA or shandy did creep in but hey we are all human!). But, he did it because he knew that ultimately it was the best thing for both of us, physically and mentally, and also because doing it together was really important. You are in this together, and any elements that can make you feel closer to each other as part of the process is, in my opinion, really important.

I also think god bless them… do you know how embarrassing it is to provide “a specimen” and then come out of a fairly uninspiring room (!), to a waiting room full of people, who all clearly know what you’ve just done?… I mean, come on that’s excruciating! A slight dip of the head and take your seat. I’m under anathaestic when I’m having my “bits” collected, blissfully unaware, but there is something so cold about that little pot and that brown paper bag! …Although you do have to laugh about it!

The one thing I think/ know that Dwighty wishes, is that he could just “fix” this. He is amazing at “fixing” things, whatever that might be; my inadequacy at general household technical maintenance, or him helping friends through tough times. Dwighty always knows exactly the right thing to say and do, but this isn’t something he can fix on his own. And I think that’s hard for anyone, but come on, especially for blokes. But we are in it together and it is a partnership, and has only made me love him more (sorry I know I know, but it’s true). This doesn’t always happen and can often really drive couples apart, which is so sad, but I can see why it’s possible. It’s brutal, unforgiving and more often than not a bit soul destroying.

It’s exhausting being the “strong one”, trust me I’ve been “that friend” for most of my life! And if you are really good at it, it is easy to forget that there are still a myriad of emotions and thoughts running through their heads that they don’t want to vocalise, because they don’t want to put any more pressure on you (that you already feel).

Just don’t forget to ask “how are you?”. It’s a really simple question but one that isn’t asked enough sometimes.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, that by no stretch of the imagination is this a walk in the park, but it is also not just about you (the woman, the patient), if you have someone else in your life that is on this journey too.

Be aware, be kind and talk!

…Oh, also obviously buy ridiculous things, cry without reason (you know what I mean) and demand you are the centre of the universe always… but just remember they should be able to do that too!

K xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping occupied…

Colouringbook
Those who have been through this process will know that the “two week wait” is a complete head f**k.
It’s all about trying to “not think” about what might happen, keep busy, but not too busy (cos that’s not good for you either).
Rest, but don’t rest too much.
Still going for blood tests, but that’s weirdly therapeutic and feels normal.
Keep injecting, and pretend that these ones don’t hurt like a bugger! They really do, along with the fact that your derriere swells slightly, and you feel like you’ve had implants… an area I need no help with! Oh and it makes sleeping a little uncomfortable; I’ve had to adjust my TV watching slump and even my walk is a slightly more gingerly stroll, rather than my purposeful “shopping” power walk.
I’ve decided the best strategy (for me), is active mornings, and chilled afternoons. I even succumbed to a little nap yesterday (unheard of for me)! Rather nice though!
So one of my “tools” this week, aside from some great reading (currently reading The Power by Naomi Alderman, which is fab), is a small amount of retail therapy (I am me after all) and some “mindful” colouring! hey why not!? I love colouring, and am chuffed it is now socially acceptable for adults 🙂
and on we go… come on little dudes.
K x

IVF SURVIVAL KIT

IVFSURVIVALKIT

I thought this might be useful for anyone about to start off on this journey. Be warned, there can be a LOT of waiting around, so it’s best to be prepared:)
1. WATER – you will be told this day after day after day, but you have to drink shed loads of water (2-3 litres per day – I actually end up drinking more because the drugs make me really thirsty), so I always carry a casual litre around with me! Hydrated eggs are happy eggs!
2. MILK – this doesn’t go for every clinic, but my clinic also tell you to drink 1 litre of Milk per day. I tend to try and get one pint down in the morning and another in the evening, but as a previous post has illustrated, a good old plastic carton is often found on my person.
3. COOL BAG – you don’t have to have this, although it does say to keep meds cool (I didn’t before, I just had them in a container in my bag), BUT I have to say this has been really useful this time round. Not only does it keep your meds at a good temperature, but is an organised way of keeping everything in one place. I restock mine daily with what is needed for that day, particularly during WEEK 1 of treatment.
4. Syringes/ Needles/ Vial openers – tonnes of them on your person at all times. Although I have never had to do say more than three injections in one go, it’s always good to keep more than you need so you are never caught short!
5. NOTEBOOK + PENS – best piece of advice ever. Whenever my clinic call, they say “do you have a piece of paper and a pen?”… well YES I DO, at all times! it’s really important to write everything down, not only so it’s clear in your head, but as a reference looking back. I also use mine to write down questions that I want to ask ahead of a scan or a consultation, it’s really easy to feel overwhelmed or that you are asking something silly, so it’s good to have a prompt.
6. KINDLE/ TABLET/ READING MATERIAL – godsend! Ensure enough material is downloaded already (prepare for lack of WIFI in clinics) so you can keep your mind occupied.
7. HEADPHONES – attach to the above;)
8. SNACKS – the guideline for diet is basically high protein, snacking little and often if you can. My go to is a healthy supple of almonds and the odd protein bar. Some days you do really feel hungrier than others, and some days you don’t feel like eating at all, but you really must.
9. EXTRA VITAMINS – this is a bit obvious, but important nonetheless. This will vary person to person, as each of us have our own needs, but clearly FOLIC ACID is a must. During my last cycle, my VIT D levels were a little low so iv’e been taking them ever since and seem to be doing the trick (I suggest more holidays is the answer, but hey I’ll take it where I can get it).
10. A SENSE OF HUMOUR AND A SMILE – you can’t pretend that this isn’t a stressful, emotional, slightly exhausting and trying process, BUT you do have to try and relax and take it in your stride. Easier said then done, I know, but finding the humour where you can and smiling, not just at others but for yourself, I would say are pretty damn important.

 

K x