(Submitted by Clare of SuperMommyClub.com.)
Falling pregnant should be the most natural thing in the world, but unfortunately for some of us that isn’t the case. When you want to have a baby finding out you or your partner have fertility issues is heartbreaking, and it can make you feel very alone.
I didn’t know who to talk to when we discovered that it wasn’t as easy as we thought it would be to get pregnant. Luckily my fertility clinic had an online forum set up. Overnight I went from having no one to a whole new list of
complete strangers friends who knew exactly what I was going through. Over the following months and years we have experienced each other’s lows and highs through our treatments
I asked a few of them to help me out with this article, and between us we have compiled a list of things your BFF would tell you if you told her that you needed to have fertility treatment.
- Try not to let it take over your life. It’s easier said than done, but the more relaxed you are, the more likely the treatment will be successful.
- Be prepared for your mood to be affected by the medication you might need to take, and make sure your partner is prepared too! You might find yourself arguing more than usual, but it’s not you. It’s the drugs talking.
- Prepare to lose your dignity.
- You will have to talk about elements of your sex life with a doctor, in front of your partner and you will also have to undergo a number of internal scans, which can be a bit of a shock the first time.
- Don’t worry though because once you’ve gone through your cycle, you’ll not care a jot when you’re prodded and poked during pregnancy and labour!
- Involve your partner as much as you can. Have him administer your injections (if he’s not too squeamish) and encourage him to attend your follicle scans.
- Find someone to talk to, even if it’s a complete stranger on an internet forum. Infertility is a taboo subject, but it doesn’t need to be. I was surprised to discover an old friend was going through treatment at the same clinic as me!
- Be prepared for the treatment to be unsuccessful the first time. Sometimes it can take a couple of attempts for the clinic to perfect your treatment plan.
- Before you start your treatment sit down with your partner and discuss how many attempts you are willing to have. Once you are on the roller coaster it is hard to have that conversation and think rationally.
- Stay away from Google. During your treatment do not look up your symptoms or your follicle count etc. as you will only cause yourself unnecessary stress.
- Make sure you are emotionally ready. A treatment cycle can take a toll on you emotionally and is exacerbated by the drugs you have to take.
- Once you start your treatment cycle do not make plans for anything. You need to be available to go to the clinic as often as they need you to for scans.
- Don’t worry about the embryo scores. A poor quality embryo can still result in a precious baby, and unfortunately a top quality embryo does not guarantee a pregnancy.
- Be aware that getting that precious BFP (Big Fat Positive) is just the start. Many of us fell pregnant only to miscarry. Hopefully that won’t happen to you, but as your BFF it’s only right that we tell you.
- Be prepared for a number of ‘hurdles’ that you have to cross during treatment.
- First you have to wait for your period to arrive (and this is the one time she won’t be bang on schedule!), then you have to go through a number of scans as you wait for your follicles to grow.
- Then the day of Egg Collection arrives and you’ll nervously await your results, how many were collected, how many fertilised.
- Then there’s the sleepless nights and anxious days waiting for the calls to say how the embryos are progressing.
- Then there’s the dreaded two week wait as you wait not very patiently to see if you got that priceless BFP.
- And that’s just the start of it, because if you do fall pregnant you will worry every minute until that baby is safely in your arms. (Then you still worry because then you’re a mama and that’s what mamas do!)
- Do everything you can to give your body the best possible chance.
- Lose excess weight before your treatment.
- Get fit and healthy.
- Use acupuncture or hypnotherapy to relax.
- Take time off work during your treatment cycle if that’s a possibility. Or if you think you’ll get more stressed at home by yourself then go to work but take things easy.
- There is nothing scientific that says if you don’t drink alcohol, tea or coffee and stay on the sofa after the embryos are implanted that you will fall pregnant, but if you think that will help you then do it.
- The real key is to do what you can to stay relaxed and keep positive, because remember it’s not over until the fat lady sings!
If you’re about to embark on fertility treatment then we wish you all the luck in the world and hope that you have a positive outcome.
Clare Swindlehurst is mommy to fifteen month old Girl/Boy twin toddlers who are already partners in crime and like to run rings around their mommy! She blogs at SuperMommyClub.com and can also be found hanging out on Twitter and Pinterest, looking for activities to keep her kiddos occupied.
This post is part of Infertility Tales 2014, How Do You Do It?‘s series to raise awareness about infertility and its impact on families. Please take a moment to read through some of the personal stories of loss, pain, fertility treatments, and success.