Fertility treatments are the worst. Literally the worst thing ever. Taking fertility medication makes you feel like you are pregnant 24/7 yet your womb is empty. It is physically, emotionally, and mentally draining. Let me describe to you what a typical day during treatment is like.
*Disclaimer* Treatment is different for everyone. Whether it’s different meds, protocol, and how your body reacts to each. My experience is not everyone’s experience.
Wake up – killer headache, can’t button pants from bloating
Go to work, school, etc – killer headache, now the nausea kicks in
Work, school, going about the day – nausea, headache, on 3rd cup of coffee but feel like if I closed my eyes I would fall asleep at my desk
Go home – headache has dulled, no nausea, still can’t button my pants, now exhausted on a level I didn’t know existed.
Home -eats dinner, sees cute commercial and begins sobbing then laughing at the fact that I’m sobbing. Sobs some more.
Falls asleep at 7:30 and sleeps until 7 am. Repeat.
Super fun right?
But wait there’s more! I have put together a list of things that helped me survive my first round of treatment. Keep in mind, my cycles are completely absent so I have to have a medically induced cycle. From starting my period, to producing an egg, to ovulation…it is all timed and monitored. Like I said, super fun.
Rest When You Are Tired
I know this is hard, but you will thank me later. Your body has just had a major dose of hormones and is in overdrive to keep up so you may feel exhausted. It caught me by surprise just how tired I was. One day after work, I came home and slept for 14 hours and guess what? I felt amazing afterwards. Listen to your body and give it what it needs otherwise, your treatments are going to be pure hell.
Being mindful of what not only your body, but your emotions, is very important during your treatment cycles. Take walks, practice yoga, meditate. It is key that during your cycles, you are calm and as stress free as possible. Because your body is so sensitive during this time, it is important to take a deep breath and relax. Believe me, I know that’s the hardest thing to even think about doing during treatment. However, it is important to practice. Chances are, with all of the hormones, you will have days where you are an emotional wreck. That’s why it’s called practice. Be patient with yourself.
Peppermint! Peppermint! Peppermint!
I am 100% convinced that peppermint oil is the elixir of the Gods. I am always so nauseous during treatment. Especially during the first round of meds. I always keep a bottle of peppermint oil in my purse. I diffuse it in my office, rub it under my nose, or just sit and sniff the bottle if I feel sick. It’s a miracle. Also, peppermint tea. I have a box of peppermint tea in my desk at ALL TIMES. It comes in handy on the days I’m really not feeling well.
Yoga pants, leggings, sweatpants, pajama pants, even maternity pants are going to save your life. During fertility treatments, especially women going through IVF, it is normal to be bloated. Some women actually look like they are pregnant because their ovaries get so swollen. I found that instead of being upset about it, I prepared by picking out stretchy pants or dresses to wear the week I knew I would be on my medication. Believe me….you will thank me later.
I recently started an infertility journal to help me with all of my feelings during treatment. It’s hard to describe how you are feeling to your friends and family and sometimes you feel down right crazy. Write down what you are feeling. It will not only be therapeutic, but one day you will look back on it and realize just how much you went through to get your little miracle.
Finally….love yourself. Realize that you are not broken and none of this is your fault. You are beautiful and you are a warrior. Love and baby dust to you this month! ❤