Monday, April 4, 2016

At Peace With Starting IVF

This is currently our 19th cycle TTC and we're just a few days from starting our IVF cycle. It's somewhere I never thought I would be. Deciding to move on to IVF is a really big step. At first, even IUIs seemed like an absolutely enormous step and the thought of needing to do IVF was just too much. Getting any sort of treatment at a fertility clinic can really remove the entire "natural" part of getting pregnant. At least that's how it felt for me. And IVF was this incredibly scary thing looming on the horizon and I was terrified that it was our path.

As we did our IUIs and they became more routine to me, suddenly they didn't seem like such a big deal anymore. We came to really trust our doctor and we knew we gave it our best shot to get pregnant without further intervention. I couldn't believe it, but I got used to the idea of doing IVF. It suddenly wasn't so scary anymore. Getting started with our cycle is actually really exciting! I've done a complete 180 on my feelings about IVF, so I thought I would explain a bit how that came to be.

If you've been keeping up with this blog or my chart, you probably already know that we tried for a year, then did 3 IUIs, had a chemical pregnancy, then 3 more IUIs. Yet no successful pregnancy. After our first three IUIs and the chemical pregnancy, I was not ready to move onto IVF. After having gotten pregnant from an IUI, I had to try more IUIs first. I knew that was what we needed to do. And after these last 3 IUIs, I feel like we did all that we could. We've had 13 cycles that we have tried naturally, all of which I charted and had perfectly timed BD. We have had 6 medicated IUI cycles, all perfectly timed. It's definitely time for us to start IVF. I feel pretty strongly that no one should consider moving on to IVF unless they feel ready. I think that point happens at different times for all of us. Even if your RE recommends you move straight to IVF, but you feel like you need to do a couple of IUIs first... push to do the IUIs. Give yourself the peace of mind that you need, whatever that may be.

Learning all about the IVF process also helped me immensely. Learning about the medications, the different protocols, the procedures, and how the embryos grow all were really interesting and made me feel like I understood the process. I really enjoy detailed information, so I've read everything from the latest research articles to a bunch of blogs, and then plenty of IVF books. I even looked up the research that my RE and fertility center have been involved in. When it came time to do our IVF classes, I felt like I already knew all the information that was presented. It was extremely easy for us to decide if we were alright with specific procedures (such as ICSI, assisted hatching, and embryo freezing) because we had already done our research. We knew the recommended number of embryos to transfer for our situation, so that was a very easy conversation with our RE. If you're on the fence about IVF because it seems too complicated, try learning about the entire process more and just letting that information sink in for a while. It's really not as complicated as it seems!

Talking to other women who have done IVF, reading blogs of IVF cycles, talking to women on kindara & fertility friend, and watching you tube vlogs was amazing. Seeing real people go through IVF, handle it well, and end up with a baby at the end... makes you realize you can totally do it too! I can't tell you the number of times I've heard someone say "It was not as bad as I thought it would be". I don't think anyone enjoys medical procedures or getting jabbed with needles, but everyone keeps telling me that it goes by so fast and that the shots are nothing to worry about, and I believe them.

Lastly, be sure that you like your RE and your clinic as a whole. I have not had one single bad experience in all of the months we have been going to our center. Every single person has gone out of their way to be kind to us, help us when needed, and treat us well. All of my IUIs and testing has gone perfectly. Any time I've had questions, someone has gotten back to me right away. Our RE gives us his undivided attention at our appointments, doesn't rush us out the door, and genuinely cares about us. I have never in my life, had such a positive experience in any sort of medical setting. Being able to expect that kind of care moving forward, I know I will be in the best hands possible for our IVF cycle.

If IVF is something that may be in your future, or it's something you are hesitant to do, don't move forward until you are ready. It took a long time for me to be at peace with this path for us. But now that I am, I can't wait to get started!

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