If you are reading this as someone undergoing IVF then I have been where you are – facing the daunting uphill climb of IVF. I don’t want to lie to you -IVF is hard its full of wonder and miracles but also pitfalls and anxiety. You walk into that clinic with your heart on your sleeve and all your hopes and wishes in the hands of the Doctors and Nurses. It is physically and mentally demanding for everybody in there. It can be a painful time, not just physically for the women but for their partners and husbands too.
We got through it and survived IVF together.
Here are the things that helped us survive.
- Look for the funny
As with all serious things there is a funny side. Hospitals are full of amusing incidents and moments so try and see them when you can. I remember being in fits of giggles trying to get the needle into my ‘smile’ line as the nurses called it, which is basically the fatty bit under your belly, ‘Some people’s smiles are bigger than others!’ I remember the nurse saying. It could have been the hysteria and the nerves but we found that hilarious and it made the process a bit brighter. I also remember spurting blood all over a very shocked nurse when she couldn’t find a vein to take my blood test, the whole room started laughing and it took away a lot of the tension.
- Plan to Wait
Hospitals are notoriously busy and appointments always run over, so be prepared to wait. Yes, you will sit in the waiting room for hours on end watching Homes under the Hammer or This Morning or playing Candy Crush on your phone. Be prepared to wait so let work know that you are going to be late or if possible take time off work to remove that stress. It takes determination and a lot of patience to sit in those waiting rooms.
- Get Organised
There is a lot to remember and a lot to do for IVF to work. You need to schedule each injection to happen at the same time every day even at weekends. Unfortunately, due to our work schedule, this meant a needle every day for me at 7 AM even on Saturday. It’s hard to drag your bones out of bed in darkest January to get that injection done but it’s worth it in the end. You also have to be at the clinic for the blood test at the time told, don’t be late and assume it will be ok, I nearly missed a blood test one day and this would have set back the whole schedule! Plan how to get the clinic before you go, make sure you know where to park and go to the loo before your appointment. Being organised is key!
- Treat Yourself and Each Other
Whilst we were going through IVF after each blood test or clinic appointment we would go to the Starbucks or Costa down the road from the clinic for a coffee or a quick bite. Although it doesn’t sound like much I enjoyed the stolen 30 minutes just to sit and breathe and spend time together and I looked forward to that coffee. Once our first round of IVF was over we also booked a night away in a fancy hotel. We went to a beautiful hotel, had a swim, a gorgeous meal and had some quality time together.
- Don’t Give Up
Easy to say, harder to act. It can be difficult I won’t lie to you. But you have already made it this far, once you are in that clinic it can be daunting but just think how far you have come and how far you could go. This is where being a team and strong support for each other comes into play. A lot of pressure is put on the female in IVF, you are the oven for the embryo to be planted in so a lot of work is done to make this happen. However, men can also come up against a lot of barriers with their samples being analysed and it can reach a point where it all seems futile and too much. But stay the course, hold each other’s hand, be a team and don’t give up.
I wish you luck in life and with your IVF, it is the hardest thing we ever did, but it made us stronger as a couple and resulted in a beautiful miraculous baby.