What I learned through our fertility journey (in London)
I was 35 years old when we realised that it would not be easy for us to conceive, and that’s when we decided to seek the help of professionals. I am now a mother of 3 children under 4 years old! Here is a summary of what I learnt and wish I had known. Please feel free to share your thoughts on your own experiences with me, and what was useful to you personally – I would love to hear from you!
Tip 1 --> DO NOT RUSH!
I was in such a rush. It was like I was racing to fall pregnant. Who was I racing against? My friends, who could conceive so quickly? Myself? Why was I competing on something so important and personal? The first step is understanding that it is not a race. It’s a journey. Your body and your mind need to understand it. Especially your mind, so that you can make sure your body is ready for it. Even if you have the means to go to a clinic, it does not mean they will take you on straight away. The checks might show you need treatment for a specific condition. In my case, it was immune disorder. I had 6 cycles of CLOMID (including 1 miscarriage) then one failed IVF at the Lister hospital in Hertfordshire before I moved to the ARGC clinic in London. It took ARGC 6 months before starting my treatment. I was diagnosed with an immune disorder and had to do extra treatments for my body to be ready for another round of IVF. My immune system was supposedly attacking the healthy embryos.
Tip 2 --> DO NOT RUSH TO CHOOSE THE CLINIC
I regret not visiting the clinics before deciding on the right one for me. I just went to the one that was well recognized and had the soonest appointment available. I was in a rush. It was a mistake: try and talk to your impatient self and tell them to wait, as the journey can be long. Get as much advice as possible yourself and go see different clinics - from the more medicated ones (ARGC) to the more natural ones - and then make your mind up. Once you choose the clinic though, stop questioning every step of the way if you can, and believe that they are doing the best they can. Before making your decision, have a feel of the surroundings of the clinic, get their success rates and speak to other people if possible. It can wait a month - trust me, I wish I had done that.
Tip 3 --> IT'S GREAT TO GET TIPS, BUT THEY DON’T ALWAYS WORK THE SAME WAY FOR EVERYONE
I liked to be followed by ARGC because they are on top of everything and monitor you once to a few times a day. They work 365 days a year and you feel part of a community/adventure. It is, however, super medicated and so is not everyone’s cup of tea. Some other side activities that are meant to help such as Acupuncture did not work at all for me. I hated it, while other people seem to swear by it. Try things and accept that what works for some, might not work for you. There is more than one path to success.
I spent time avoiding baby showers, or talking about babies. I needed to speak to someone not related to my journey. What helped me was seeking counselling with a fertility specialist, so that they would know what I was going through, and what I could expect.
Tip 4 --> TAKE TIME OFF AFTER EGG RETRIEVAL
Egg retrieval was not as easy as I had heard it was. I didn’t recover quickly and needed rest. Get as much time off as possible around egg retrieval. If you do not want to share it with your work it can be difficult to explain the leave of absence you will need to take during IVF, especially if you go to clinics such as ARGC which require a lot of your time and energy.
Tip 5 --> FIND SOMETHING SPECIAL JUST FOR YOU
I wish I has started meditating before doing IVF. A simple form of meditation done before, during and after the journey, to focus on yourself and your mind is great. I liked Circle & Bloom, although I think I prefer less guided meditations, and more of a simple meditation around a mantra that TM gives: Transcendental Meditation
Tip 6 --> SOME GOOD READING BEFORE EMBARKING ON THE JOURNEY
I really liked reading ‘It starts with the egg’ and reading it before embarking the journey of fertility could be very helpful: ‘It Starts with the Egg’
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