You told us how IVF has made you feel

What does IVF feel like?!! This is the burning question we all wanted to know before we embarked on our IVF journeys. We all respond differently to IVF, but there are common symptoms that can occur during the different stages that we highlighted an article last week. (click here to read)

But we wanted to hear from you, so we asked the question on Instagram – How would you describe IVF?

This is what you said:

Your strength of body and mind will be tested

“I was very lucky to give birth to a healthy baby boy nearly 5 years ago, on our 4th IVF cycle. We went for round 5 but it was unsuccessful. We were about to go for round 6, met our consultant and everything before we realised that my body and mind just couldn’t take any more. We made the massive decision to stop. We have our miracle baby boy. 5 years on, I think I’ve buried or tried to bury, many of the experiences and memories of our IVF cycles because I still get anxious, sad and fearful when I think too much about them. IVF is hard, especially if you find yourself going multiple times. You can’t enjoy the pregnancy as you’re so scared something will go wrong. But I would do it all again! My husband and I are one of the luckiest couples in the world – IVF worked for us! Being parents to our wonderful wee boy has fulfilled all our dreams. For any couple going for the first time, just go into it knowing that your strength of body and mind will be tested – but your experience will be unique to you.”

So many appointments

“How would I describe IVF!! Appts after appts, constant overthinking! Hormonal, happiness- so many side effects!! So draining!! But the most magical feeling knowing you have created beautiful little embryos.”

Pressure on relationships

“Too many emotions to put into words and still on our journey now. One thing I did take for granted though was the impact it would have on our relationship as a couple. It’s so tough.”

Injecting yourself

“As someone who is scared of needles, my biggest fear was injecting myself. I told my boyfriend that he would have to do it, but when it actually came to it, I wouldn’t let him. If anyone was going to hurt me then it would be me. IVF is the hardest journey I have been on and I’ve done it a few times. I was one of the lucky one and it worked 3rd time lucky! The times it doesn’t work it’s hard to talk to people about. You had an embryo that didn’t implant so was it a miscarriage, how do you grieve? It’s hard.”

IVF is not a quick fix

“It is a long journey! I went into it with no medical issues or complications and left it in the same situation but it was still a long and hard journey. There are rough parts and smooth, constant tests and appointments. It turns out the injections is the easy part! I had two very positive egg collections, where I felt supported and informed throughout. Luckily, I had no side effects, other than the sadness of two early losses and failed transfers. That is what is tiring, by the end the excitement has worn away which is sad even when pregnant. I would tell people that they shouldn’t expect a quick fix and for IVF to fix your problems. Also, just because you have a positive test you still have the challenge of staying pregnant and continuing a healthy pregnancy. All this being said two years on I am now in my second trimester and hopeful for a healthy baby in November.”

Holding on to hope

“I always saw IVF as there always being HOPE. There was always a chance. When it didn’t work, I gave myself a talking to, “dusted myself down” and looked forward to going ahead again – because there was always hope and a chance it would work. Every time we failed, I promised my husband we would have a child. Although I was the one who had low fertility I had to stay strong for my husband. It took us years and years but we now have a beautiful boy.”

Exhausting and emotional

“Very draining. You kind of become numb to disappointment, when you keep getting knock backs, it’s tough. I thought IVF was the solution & that we would just have a child from a round. I underestimated the pressure on me, our relationship & day to day life. Everything is put on hold and effected. We are just starting our third round, hoping third time lucky. Exhaustion and emotional are the two words I’d relate with!”

10x more hormonal than being on my period

“I found IVF emotionally draining. I worried so much about the timings of the injections, the pain of the injections themselves. Every scan to check follicle size was impersonal and apprehensive. My clinic was great though. My side effects were bloating, thrush and feeling 10x more hormonal than being on my period! I never thought I’d say I’d do it again, but I actually would! Egg collection was bizarre, bit sore after, transfer was uncomfortable but not awful. I wish I had a bit more info on the quality of my eggs but I think it’s cos I didn’t ask, so the info wasn’t offered up. I had two embryos transferred in 2018 and my twins were born in 2019. I have three embryos left in the freezer!”

Heartbreak when it fails

“Emotional and physical rollercoaster. IVF initially gave me hope but I am currently halfway through my fourth cycle and I’m struggling to be positive and not dread the heartache and disappointment that you feel when it fails. You invest everything in this process for what has been in my experience very little reward. I do hope that one day I feel differently but so far it has been hard and breaks my heart all over again when it fails.”

Mentally challenging

“I found it mentally challenging but I went into it with the mindset that this was going to work! I had acupuncture for 6 months before and then again on the morning of egg transfer. I had an allergic reaction to the injections at the start, and swelling at the injection site. I only had 7 eggs in total but I was like, I only need 1. I had 2 put back, went on holiday had massive bleed whilst there. I was put on bed rest whilst there for 12 weeks but 1 clung on and he is now 8! I was so fortunate to fall the first time and get to the end goal. My heart goes out to all those going through IVF.”

Over analysing every twinge

“I definitely found the stims phase easier than I thought, as I just got into a routine with the injections – alarm went off, into kitchen, wash hands and got on with it. Mentally the post-transfer piece was way harder – over analysing every twinge, blaming everything on progesterone and trying to have hope and stay positive until test day.”

 breeze until you experience multiple rounds

“In the beginning I found IVF pretty easy. The drugs didn’t bother me too much, the injections were easy. I breezed through 4 egg pick-ups and honestly couldn’t complain. But 5 years on, and now up to a total of 12 cycles (including transfer cycles with massive doses of estrogen, stim injections, and various other weird and wonderful drugs)… numerous specialists.. and still no baby. Now it’s just soul-destroying and as it’s become more and more emotionally draining, so have the medications become less and less tolerable. I’m at the point where I almost dry retch at the thought of swallowing another estrogen pill.. the idea of any more uterine lining scans fills me with dread & my anxiety levels skyrocket.”

Even the strongest people will have their limits tested

“I’ve realized that even the strongest person with the BEST support (my hubby, family, and close friends are AMAZING) eventually has their limits. You can’t go on forever. It’s tiring.. its a primal kind of hurt deep inside that you will never understand unless you have been thru this. Ivf doesn’t work for everyone.”

This TTC community is incredible. Thank you for your support, your honesty, your vulnerability, your strength, you wisdom

 

 

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