Well as I’m trying to keep my mind occupied and trying not to think that my beta test is less than 48 hours away, I decided to make a little list of IVF survival tips that helped my cycle go smoother than I expected.
I remember receiving that huge box of medications, syringes, needles, gauze, alcohol swabs, etc and completely freaking out. Most of all, freaking out that most of those meds would be injected in me within 10-12 days; it really scared me. But the little things I did kept my mind sane and focused:
1. Get a day planner. For each day I drew a line down the middle and separated each day by AM/PM. I would then list the medications I would take orally and inject in the AM and/or PM. This kept me focused on one day at a time so I wouldn’t freak out about the big picture. Also, because depending how quickly you stimulate, I only filled in the calendar a week at a time.
2. Get a pill organizer. Yes, I felt like I gained about 80 years needing to purchase an AM/PM weekly pill organizer. However, you are taking a lot of meds and it is very easy to forget something; even if you write it down. Also helps keep your mind focused one day at a time.
3. If your RE allows, see if you can get an anti-nausea medication before your start your shots. I got sick a few times during my injectible cycles so I was very paranoid I was going to get very sick. The dr mentioned the pills but I asked for them a few days into my stim cycle; just to be proactive. Thankfully I only needed to take a pill on 2 occasions. With those occasions I was so happy they were there.
4. If your RE recommends Gatorade and salty food.. Listen to them! I was supposed to drink 32 oz of Gatorade a day during my stim cycle. I did not have too much bloating and I think both of those items really helped. Mr Strength bought me a hot pink 32 oz water bottle so I would be able to keep track of how much I consumed per day. Would really recommend this
5. Progesterone shots. Need I say more?? Actually, they aren’t too bad surprisingly! Mr Strength wasn’t able to be in the same room when I would administer my injectible cycles.. But he HAD to give me these shots… With the super long needle! When our RE told him that, his face went white instantly.. Poor guy 🙂 however, he has been such a trooper.. I had him start small and give me one of my stim shots so he could get used to the feeling. Quickly he got confident with the little shots he felt that he would be okay with the big needles. Thankfully, he loved playing darts and I am very happy for that as well; it doesn’t really hurt! However, get a heating pad.. And heat up your bum after each shot. This def helps
6. Progesterone shots continued. Remember that lovely day planner?? Your drs office will draw two big circles; one each bum cheek; targets really. We made a little “road map” in the back of our day planner.. We made two circles and alternated back and forth to each circle and strategically placed the needles so they can be as far away as possible from the previous shot that was given. I think this has helped me since my buttocks are not lumpy yet, nor really sore, and I’m 13 days in! Who knows, maybe that’s normal.. But I would like to think our little “map” helped us out a bit!
7. Stool softer, stool softer, stool softner!!! Did I happen to mention stool softner??!! After your egg retrieval you will begin the progesterone shots which will slow EVERYTHING down. I began fiber supplements when I started my stim cycle but then switched over to stool softners after the retrieval. Yes, you have reached age 80 again with this, but a girls gotta do what she’s gotta do!
8. 2ww… Need I say more?? This is the worst part of the entire process! It is so easy to over-evaluate every single thing; especially since the progesterone shots could be creating the symptoms to begin with. Try to keep yourself busy as much as possible. I learned to crochet a few months ago.. Thankfully I’m not very good so it takes all my concentration so I can’t think about anything else! Lol. I also started watching tv series on netflix, and now I started this blog. Puzzles are also a great outlet… I enjoy Sudoku since it also keeps my mind occupied.
Hopefully a few of these tips can make your IVF cycle as easy as possible. It is very overwhelming at the beginning and just the little things to make yourself organized makes a huge difference 🙂
Here is that “road map”: