Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Some thoughts as I approach my third round of IVF

The last few days have already felt like a rollercoaster of emotions and I haven't even started the IVF process yet!

Anxiety and apprehension

I found it hard to sleep the night before last with so many thoughts racing through my mind. How am I going to cope with it all this time around? How will I juggle IVF with my life and job? I have also been feeling stressed about the intralipid infusions which I am meant to get every two weeks at the immune doctor's practice. It's quite far away and awkward to get to so I would have to take at least a half day off work for each appointment.

December is going to be a busy month, busier than I had realised. This year we have loads of people to get Christmas and birthday gifts for and to be honest I always find present buying stressful! Trying to figure out what to get someone that they don't already have and that they would like and then trying to locate it or hoping it will arrive in time if you order it online. Once I start the IVF process I'll be more tired than usual and especially lately with the weather so cold and dark I'm not going to be feeling very much like wandering around the busy shops. I'm hoping to buy a lot of stuff online. It still doesn't solve the problem of figuring out what to get people though!

Not to mention all my worries about how IVF will go this time. Will my body respond better to a different protocol? Will I get more eggs at the retrieval or end up with empty follicles again? How many embryos will we end up with? Is it possible we might have some extras to freeze? Will I get pregnant and please God get to keep the baby this time? Or babies, since in theory we could end up with twins!

Hope

Well of course there is always hope, it's what keeps me going through infertility treatments. The dream of having our child or children one day. The idea that we could have a baby by next Christmas. Wouldn't that be wonderful! We already have a room in our house that would be perfect.



Realism, bringing myself down to earth

I try to remind myself that IVF generally has higher chances of not working than it does of being successful. For whatever reason it could very well not happen this time and we need to be aware of that and ideally not get our hopes up too much. That is really hard for me though, as the only way I can get through the IVF process.- injections, side effects, etc is the hope that it might lead us to our baby. So I don't know whether I will be able to keep calm going through it.

The GerMann and I have already spoken about what we would do if it doesn't work. Take some time off from it all, plan a holiday and then if we feel up to it go to another clinic for a second opinion. If they think they can help us and say that a fourth round has a good chance of working we would consider it, but only if I feel like I can physically and emotionally go through it all again. It is quite possible that we might both decide that we have had enough with IVF at that stage. And if that happens I've reminded myself it would not be the end of the world. Our lives would not be how we imagined but we could still find a way to be happy..

Optimism and positivity

I've actually been feeling really positive yesterday and today. I had an appointment with my local gynecologist. He hadn't received my emails for some reason but when I told him about the immune treatment that has been recommended for me, he knew all about intralipid infusions and has even supported other patients with them. So the good news is that I'll be able to get the them done at his practice. He'll charge me for it (50€ each time) of course but it means I won't need to miss as much work. So that was a relief. I'll go there tomorrow for my second intralipid infusion.

And then the other thing is that I decided to tell work that I would be going through infertility treatments and explain that I will need to go to a lot of doctor's appointments over the next while. I had been feeling quite nervous about telling them, especially as I am quite a private person about stuff like that but it could not have gone better! Both the HR and my direct manager were really supportive. It won't be a problem at all if I have to come to the office late after attending the various appointments and the HR manager even told me not to worry about work, that I just need to focus on this which is more important! My manager told me he had already suspected but didn't want to ask. He's had lots of friends who've had infertility issues. It felt like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders to get that sort of support since I had been feeling anxious about how to juggle IVF plus the added immune treatments with my job.

So lots of mixed emotions overall but at the moment I am feeling fairly optimistic and ready to face IVF round three.

16 comments:

  1. Oh, almost there! I feel like optimism and hope with a dash of "maybe this won't work out" is a good balance. Here's the thing. For me, I did cycles where I went all out positive, and cycles where I protected my heart and was all "this probably won't work out," and the results were THE SAME. I wasn't any less upset when it didn't work when I protected myself with realism, and in some ways I felt like I robbed myself of the right to get excited about potential babies. So, I say go for the optimism. I think you have a healthy dose of realism, and that's good, but for sure let yourself be excited! I'm glad you told your employer and they were supportive. It was such a relief to tell my administrators instead of using the "I have a chronic, non-life-threatening health condition that requires frequent treatments and procedures where I need time off work." Everyone always thought I was ill with that one, and it was more complicated than "IVF," which garnered more sympathy than the mystery ailment, which was a plus. I am excited for you and hope that you have that Christmas baby next year!

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    1. I was thinking about telling my employer something along those lines, that I'll be doing a medical treatment for a non serious condition but I'm sure they would have just been guessing what it could be! In the end I decided to go for the honest approach and like you, I'm glad I did as HR have been so supportive and understanding which is great. I think you're right about it being ok to let myself feel optimistic going through the process. Feeling happy and hopeful right now feels really nice and even if it ends up not working I'd still be upset even if I had tried to protect my heart

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  2. I agree with Jess - that optimism is okay, and that we're no more upset if we've been hopeful than if we weren't (assuming that we are also in the back of our minds being realistic). I was very hopeful during my cycles, and even though they never worked, that optimism helped me get through that period of time, and I'm glad about that.

    So glad that you got such a good reaction at work. I don't envy you all the Christmas shopping though. Can you find a theme and stick to that? (Eg, books for everyone, or picture frames, or pieces of jewellery for the women, etc etc).

    Wishing you the very best for this cycle.

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    1. Thanks for the good wishes. Yea I think optimism with realism at the back of my mind is probably the best approach. And I need some hope otherwise I wouldn't have the motivation to go through this. Some sort of theme for the Xmas presents is a good idea. I've been thinking about books for everyone as that would be easy and hard to get wrong!

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  3. I'm so pleased your work's reaction was good!

    I bought all my Christmas presents in October for exactly that reason... too stressful in December! (Plus last year some actually didn't arrive in time so a few people ended up with a last-minute gift of Swiss chocolate!). Good luck figuring out what to get people.

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    1. Pretty much every year it feels like Christmas comes too fast and I end up stressed about what to get people and running around the shops last minute! Next year I'll try to write down ideas or start much earlier. I also had that happen that things I ordered online didn't arrive in time! I've been thinking of buying lots of chocolate here as that always goes down well anyway

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  4. I'm so please your work were positive and that must be a weight lifted. I identify with everything you have said hugely. Easier said then done but try not to think too far in the future. Focus on yourself at the moment, this next round - the future will always be there. Wishing you all the best xx

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    1. It was definitely a weight lifted having my work react so well. Yea I think taking it all one day at a time seems to be the best approach, and I'll just handle things as they come. Thanks for the support!

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  5. That's really great that the HR was supportive. I could never bring myself to share with work my struggles. I'm glad to hear you have such an open minded workforce.

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    1. I was thinking about whether to tell them or not for a long time. It wasn't easy as I wasn't sure how it would go. But I'm glad I did now. I can imagine that not every HR would be as understanding

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  6. Good luck on your upcoming cycle. I hope the new treatment plan works! I am hoping we can do a third round next year too. I hope that both of us get our bundle of joy.

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    1. Let's hope it'll be third time lucky for us both! :)

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  7. I'm hoping that the saying, "Third Time's a Charm," rings true for you! How are they changing your protocol (other than intralipids)? I am so happy that your gyno is letting you do the infusions at his office. That must be such a relief. I know it's hard to juggle the stress of everything but take time to treat yourself & relax. If presents are too stressful, start a new rule with your loved ones: only 1 gift per person, start doing Secret Santa (you draw names and only buy for the name you drew), 20 Euros maximum, etc. Try to make it easier for you. Because right now, that's all that matters. You've got to be selfish and focus solely on yourself and getting mentally & physically prepared. I'm thinking of you and crossing fingers.

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    1. Thanks, I'm hoping it will be third time's a charm too! This time I'll be doing the antagonist protocol which I haven't tried before. I'm using Menogon which I had the first round but now also Gonal-f. The doctor is hoping that combination might help get more eggs. Yea I am thinking of just getting whatever presents I can even if it's just chocolate and explaining that I had to put myself first with IVF going on. I'll be suggesting Secret Santa for next year!

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  8. I can definitely relate to all the racing thoughts..
    I remember just not knowing how or what to think, but overthinking everything. To be honest from reading this you seem to have a healthy balance of realism and positivity. It's totally normal to lurch from high hopes to "well, it might not work". And how you think doesn't affect the outcome; I did plenty of research on that.
    Dealing with Christmas and all those presents is a hassle: can you go easy on yourself and just send everyone chocolates? (Butlers!). I know not very thoughtful but this is an exceptional year... Good vibes to you Dubliner!

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    1. I definitely tend to be an overthinker. Yea I'm thinking now that it's fine to be optimistic with some realism at the back of my mind and just take it each day as it comes. I also looked up lots on whether could affect the outcome and the general message seemed to be not which is good! I am thinking of easy presents for everyone for sure, and yep chocolate always goes down well! I often get Butlers at the airport shop actually, yum!

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