IVF can be a tough emotional rollercoaster for many women and couples and while it’s an exciting time for some, it can also be extremely stressful too.
From numerous hormone injections, scans and blood tests, followed by the actual egg retrieval and then stepping into the unknown while you wait for updates on your embryos from the clinic can be, without a doubt a very daunting and perturbing time.
Nothing can be more stressful than the dreaded “two week wait” at the very end of your treatment cycle while you’re waiting for that pregnancy test.
Here are some effective tips to help you during this particularly stressful time in your treatment cycle.
Dr Google is NOT your friend
Don’t worry, we’ve all done it! It’s perfectly normal to want to search for success rates, Google images of embryos and compare yours with others, search for day 3 vs day 5 transfer, checking out the internet definition of “what’s the difference between a 6-cell and an 8-cell embryo”, and asking the internet what a hatching blastocyst means.
It’s easy to start obsessing but it’s important to take a step back and try not to stay glued to your laptop, googling every single ache, twinge or cramp you may feel. Feeling pregnant doesn’t always mean that you are, and if you keep thinking that the “signs” don’t mean anything, it can help lower your anxiety.
You’ve probably marked off the date for your pregnancy test on your calendar or diary and it’s only natural you’ll be thinking about it, like anxiously awaiting a deadline.
Have you noticed that time seems to slow down when you’re anxiously waiting, like the Friday before you start your holiday? Even though it has the same number of hours as any other day, for some reason, it seems to tick by slower than usual.
The two week wait can very often feel like this and it really doesn’t help if you’re already feeling anxious.
The best advice is to stay busy if possible. Easier said than done, we know, but it’s surprising just how easier your wait time becomes if you just fill it with something.
Seek support from people who understand
Organise something special with your partner or with some friends, and surround yourself with people who make you feel good and who support you.
The IVF rollercoaster ride hasn’t finished yet and if anything, this is probably the hardest part, not knowing, so it’s important to be around people who understand what you’re going through and who are there to provide you with the support and love you need.
It’s so important at this time to be kind to yourself. Remember, you’ve done the very best you could and now it’s all up to the little embryo.
Looking after yourself or treating yourself with something you enjoy will be a perfect distraction.
A productive distraction is always an excellent idea. Whether it’s decluttering your inbox or wardrobe, reorganising parts of your house, making homemade granola or even planning your menu for the week, it you can find yourself distracted through instances of creativity, you’ll find things are easier.
Whatever can take your mind off things and bring you back to a sense of normalcy is a good idea.
Netflix and Chill
If you would rather spend the time by yourself or don’t feel like spending time around people, consider binge watching a TV series you know will keep your mind busy.
Sometimes it’s hard to be around other people during this time, especially when you have a friend or a relative who is pregnant, or someone who can make the occasional insensitive comment. It’s perfectly fine to curl up and discover what services like Netflix and Stan have to offer.
Remember that you are not alone
If you are feeling overwhelmed or you’re finding it especially hard to deal with the stress of waiting, you are not on your own.
Support groups such as AccessAustralia are available, and Fertility First offers counselling and support for all our patients to help make your fertility journey as stress free as possible. To make and appointment, contact us on (02) 95863311 to speak to one of our friendly staff members.