Hi I’m Jane and for those of you who don’t know me from my time over on RMF here’s a tiny intro. Last year my husband was diagnosed with non-obstructive azoospermia because of a childhood illness which unfortunately left him with zero sperm. To our relief, in August 2017 a semen sample revealed my husband did actually have a sperm count and as a result we embarked on our first IVF cycle last year which sadly resulted in a very early miscarriage at 5 weeks.
We’ve made the decision to throw ourselves in to another cycle, this time funded from our own pockets. I’m pleased that the first experience was very straightforward and has left me unfazed by the injections or the discomfort following egg collection. My main fear is how to approach the ‘two-week wait’ – This is the time after my embryo transfer up to the point I officially take a pregnancy test and determine if several weeks of treatment have been successful.
Last time I underestimated the mental anguish I would experience in this limbo period. We had been trying to conceive for a year or so, so I felt the wait would be similar to the one we had faced countless times before. But those previous times I hadn’t been heavily pumped with hormones, bloated and tender from procedures and quite frankly shattered from temporary insomnia. Previously I hadn’t been given a photo of an embryo placed safely in my uterus and I hadn’t left a clinic labelled with the status of ‘Pregnant until proved otherwise’ There was so much more at stake this time! The wait was excruciating!
I know I am not alone, in fact so many people have said that the hope and the positivity they experienced on the day of the transfer soon dwindled and instead was replaced with torment and concern.To get me in the right frame of mind I’ve decided to write a list of the things I will continue to do, and the things I would like to do differently and asked the Rock My team if they thought it might make a useful post.
What I’ll Do Again
- Eat well, keeping up the high protein diet with lots of fruit and veg
- Drink loads of room temperature or warm water
- Get my kindle loaded with books and build a list of boxsets to keep me occupied. I tried to watch a lot of comedies and feel-good films last time and started to re-read a lot of my favourite childhood books for escapism
- Hug my husband after transfer! My acupuncturist explained that hugging releases endorphins which will replicate the chemicals released if we were able to conceive naturally which will hopefully encourage implantation.
- Remind myself that its ok not to feel positive all the time. I shall remember it’s important to stay hopeful but simply banding around the mantra to stay positive is actually quite counter productive when all you want to do is have a good cry!
- When we do start we’ve decided to keep far fewer people informed than we did last time. It was wonderful to have a huge amount of support from our friends and family but the requests for update left us exhausted and made telling the news of our lost little one so much harder.
- A pregnant friend contacted me recently who I haven’t seem in a long time suggesting we meet in the next couple of months. She’s not aware of any part of our situation and after a lot of consideration I’ve decided to postpone seeing her until after the two week wait. While it’s really important for me to keep my social life going and live alongside IVF rather than in it, I see this as a necessary step to protect myself and her too.
- I’m going to make a list of daily activities I’d like to focus on to keep my mind busy ranging from some decorating updates and cinema dates with my friends.
- I’ve decided not to do any visualisation this time. In the beginning I found Zita West’s daily meditation really helpful but in the two week wait I struggled to visualise the embryo sat safely in my womb. All I could imagine was a lost little seed floating around which wasn’t helpful as I was trying to drift off to sleep and caused me a lot of anguish. Instead I’m going to do breathing exercises this time and I’m hoping to sleep better.
- It’s impossible not to symptom spot even though the side-effects of progesterone pessaries and PMS are very similar to that of early pregnancy so I’m going to try my best not to google my symptoms. Those forums can get your mind racing!
I would welcome any advice to keeping focused and hopeful during the two week wait. I know there were several RMF readers who had to go through an unsettling time after having treatment so I would be very thankful if you have any wisdom to share.
I realise this is a fairly niche topic to cover in RMS’s new family area but I am very open to discussing infertility and the IVF process if anybody has any questions to ask. I hope this might also be helpful to others going through an unsettling time waiting for other forms of news.
Image by Little Beanies