IVF: What to Expect with Injections & Egg Stimulation

This post conveys MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE on my IVF Journey. We got VERY lucky our first round and I know that everyone doesn’t have it this easy. However, treating this as a personal journal entry and for others looking for hopeful stories, I am going to give my honest opinion about this process. 

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The way that IVF is pictured in movies and TV Shows, I thought, * I could never do that. * shots? never.

When we first found out that we were struggling from infertility, I told myself and my close friends “I don’t think I could ever do IVF.”  I thought it would be brutal on our marriage and my body, and I didn’t think I could handle it.  However, when I found out that was our only option to have a baby of our own, it seemed like a no brainer. I guess my wannabe mom instincts took over and it took practically zero convincing to decide this is the path we would take. It is crazy that the media had warped my perception of IVF SO much that I was convinced I couldn’t do it until it was our only option.

Because of my preconceived notions, I had purposefully learned nothing about the process.  When fellow influencers or people I saw on social media shared their stories, I thought “I’ll never need to know about that.” I actively ignored the entire idea for years. Again, because watching fake couples on tv go through all the rounds of shots and the blow ups and the fights just looked miserable.

Naturally, I was TERRIFIED of the injections. Terrified. When the big box of meds, needles, syringes and sharps container landed on my door step, I was overwhelmed. But we watched step by step videos AND I had patient assistant at the clinic walk me through the day before I started.  However, I did have to ask to meet with her. That wasn’t offered up on a silver platter and I heard from other friends at this clinic that they did not know it was an option. So my advice is ALWAYS ASK FOR HELP.

Now that I am on the other side, I can honestly say that the injections were not that bad.  I thought for sure that John was going to have to give them to me and it would be awful every morning and evening. BUT, after that very first injection it was smooth sailing for me. Well, you know, as smooth as it could be when you are giving yourself injections every day. Pro tip: ice the injection area for 30 minutes after injections to prevent bruising.  (I used these because they double as heating pads, too, which I needed after retrieval).

Emotionally and physically, I thought I would be a HOT, HOT MESS.  Sure, I was tired and a bit sluggish. I craved sweets. I got seriously bloated (hello 26 eggs!). BUT, compared to what I was expecting, it was fine. It felt good to be growing the eggs. Below is the first day I started injections and the last day before egg retrieval. Also, this TikTok.

ivf before
ivf after

That being said, the worst part emotionally for me was going on and off birth control.  I know this seems counterintuitive, but in order to regulate and control my cycle, I went on birth control before we started the injections so that the doctors were able to figure out the exact timing.  After being off BC for almost 3 years now going back on was a DOOZY, and then stopping 8 days later was an even bigger DOOZY!!  Let’s just say I may or may not have had a complete melt down on a date night while sitting at a bar eating sushi. Tears, the whole nine yards. 

THE NITTY GRITTY AKA THE DEETS. 

Here is what the schedule looked like for the weeks leading up to egg retrieval. (Sorry for the blurry photo, its the best I got) AGAIN, depending on what sort of infertility issues you are dealing with, this will be different for everyone. But, I would have loved to see an example schedule like this, say, a year ago.

Translation: Within those two weeks I did >>

Two shots every night for 6 days, 3 shots every day for 4 days, and had at least 5 appointments for bloodwork and ultrasounds. 

Each time you go in for bloodwork and ultrasound they check your hormones as well as the progress of the eggs.  This was the craziest thing for me: watching my ovaries grow the eggs. It was truly unreal and that is when I realized how REAL the process was and that we had a chance.

I know, this is getting long, I’m almost done.

One thing that really bummed me out was that John wasn’t able to come with me to the ultrasound appointments because of COVID precautions. It doesn’t sound like an ultrasound of my uterus would be that important, but like I just said, you could see the eggs growing and I really wish that John had been able to see that first hand. Instead, he just got to see my increasingly bloated belly lol. It was even more difficult to go in for egg retrieval alone, but I’ll save that for another post.

If you want a sneak peek at what happened when we got to the retrieval and fertilization : watch THIS REELS. 

Apologies if this post seemed ALLL over the place. They all probably will. So, if that wasn’t as informative as you were hoping for, please do not hesitate to send me a message. I am an open book.

ivf rebecca piersol
what to expect ivf

 

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