Preparing for IVF

This month was the last chance for the letrozole medication, and unfortunately it didn’t work, so now I’m preparing for IVF in late November.  Late September was also tough because it’s when I would have been due if I hadn’t had the miscarriage.  When it happened in February, I had come across this article:

Basically, it’s advice to remember when your friend would have been due and to acknowledge it when that time comes.  When I first read the article, I was hoping that I’d be pregnant again by the time the due date came around, in which case I wouldn’t be so bothered by it.  But alas, I’m still not pregnant.  I actually forgot on the exact day, which was September 24.  I was too busy on a Monday with work and such and it didn’t sink in why the date seemed familiar.

But the next day, I remembered and it definitely made me much more emotional going into my work day.  In fact, there were multiple things going on in my life that all came to a head that day, and I actually broke down crying at work.  Thinking about the miscarriage and feeling sad that I’m not pregnant yet wasn’t the only thing, but it definitely contributed.

With this cycle, they started me on birth control pills to suppress ovulation in preparation for the IVF.  I’m still not super familiar with how all of this works, but they gave me a whole schedule for November with ultrasounds and injections.  We’ll go in for a class where they’ll teach us more about the injections, and review a whole packet of consents.  I picked up the medications, which totaled $12,000.  And that’s separate from the fee for the IVF itself.  Thankfully, when all is said and done, my insurance will reimburse a good portion of the IVF costs.  But most people aren’t so lucky and have to pay completely out-of-pocket for IVF.  Or can’t afford it at all.

I found it interesting that in my IVF packet, they included a sheet with an app called FertiCalm.  It’s supposed to help women dealing with infertility, and was designed by two reproductive psychologists.  It has a visually-appealing pretty design, with petals of a flower.  Each petal has a topic (such as fertility treatment or baby functions), and then under that topic there are subtopics on how to cope (cognitive techniques, finding the humor).

For example, one topic is holidays.  Under that, there are subtopics of holiday cards, parties with kids, and religious services.  If you pick holiday cards, there are a bunch of coping techniques.  They range from guided meditation to how to handle insensitive social situations, as well as your own negative thoughts.  So instead of thinking, “I will never be able to send a holiday card with a picture of my baby,” the balanced thought is “Somehow I will find resolution and have a beautiful card to send in the future.”

I’d also previously downloaded the Glow app, mostly to help keep track of my cycles and predict ovulation.  But the app also has a community component to it.  So for those who are interested, there are sections for various topics including infertility.  Of course, there are always pros and cons of social media.  With that said, for women dealing with infertility, miscarriage, etc. it can be comforting to communicate with others going through similar experiences.  That is one benefit of social media and women feeling less alone.