Many women never suspect that it will be difficult to become pregnant or stay pregnant until it happens to them. And it only highlights the difficulties the longer it takes. Unlike other serious life problems – being bullied, losing a loved one, teenage acne – you know that time can make things better. Not so with getting pregnant.
If you are trying IVF for the first – or even the tenth – time, here are a handful of ways to help you get prepared. Read on to learn more.
- Don’t Change Anything
The month of your IVF will be stressful, so try to keep your life as normal as possible. Keep your routine: go to your job every day, get some sleep, go shopping, exercise, do what you always do. The uncertainty of whether the IVF will work, along with all the fertility drugs, and, of course, the expense, can make life hard to manage. Keep everything else in your life as stress-free as you can and don’t try to change anything right now.
- Change Everything
You wouldn’t be contemplating IVF if you weren’t having a hard time getting pregnant. So now focus on YOU. Exercise, eat healthy, quit smoking, find ways to relax. Take up yoga, learn to meditate, stop drinking, get enough sleep, let go of anger or grudges. But do these things months before you begin IVF – or at least as soon as possible – so that the changes become routine and part of your daily life. Then you won’t have to change anything. (see #1 above)
- Talk – and Listen – to Your Partner
IVF treatment is an intense process and it’s wonderful to have someone by your side. Remember, however, that you are not alone and your spouse is going through it too. Yes, you are the one who must take meds, get stuck with needles, and feel overwhelmed, but they may be feeling overwhelmed as well. Talk to you partner, ask how they’re doing. Let them express themselves. Listen to their problems and feelings without judgement. Be there for them and they’ll be there for you.
- Confide in Someone Other Than Your Partner
Yes, talk with your spouse, but don’t share your feelings with only your spouse. Sometimes it’s better to find one other person to talk about this rollercoaster you’re on. You need to have someone you trust to call and just complain to; someone who is a bit removed from everything. Whether it’s a friend, a woman also going through IVF, your sister, or Mom, you’ll never have to “compete” with them as to whose side of your IVF story is more important.
- It’s a Crap Shoot, So Let It Go
There may be many things that might help you get pregnant (relaxation, meditation, acupuncture, healthy eating, etc.), but bottom line, it’s a crap shoot. So, as the song says, “Let it go.” You could be doing everything the doctor tells you to do, everything the books recommend, and you may still be unsuccessful. Yes, it’s incredibly unfair, but let it go. Keep that in mind and the process may be easier for you to go through.
- Don’t Give Up
On the other hand, don’t give up. The road may become long and winding, and it will change you, your partner, and your relationship. You’ll probably cry more than you ever have in your life. You may feel like you’re missing something you’ve never had. Your connections may strain with friends, family, and co-workers. But don’t give up!
If you are interested in IVF, in addition to making sure you are emotionally prepared, do all you can to be sure your reproductive system and body is ready for this endeavor as well. Do your homework and check with a reputable specialist with all your IVF questions.