Cozy basics to get you through your IVF treatment:
Hello, my friends! Thank you so much for reading about our infertility and IVF journey, and I hope that it will help you in some way if you are in the middle of it yourself. First, read part 1 of the infertility and IVF Q&A HERE.
INFERTILITY & IVF FAQ Pt. 2:
23. One of the more difficult things for me was learning to be an advocate for myself when talking to the doctor. I was so timid, because the subject of infertility is so sensitive. Also, I’m not the doctor, so I thought they always knew best. I wish I had spoken up when I didn’t feel like something was right for me. Do you have any advice on the balance of being your own advocate and listening to the advice of your doctor? There was one time in particular where my clinic made a few mistakes in one week and I had to talk to my doctor about it. My IVF coordinator forgot to order a really important medication and the lab didn’t call me to let me know how many embryos had made it to maturity. I was kind, but it was important for me that they knew that they had made these mistakes because this was my 6th fertility treatment and if they were getting too busy, then they needed to hire more people. Remember that this is your life and your body, and you need to be bold. You can be kind and be bold and strong at the same time, and I think it’s important to make sure you stand up for yourself.
24. How hardcore were you with the vitamin cocktail and caffeine rules? By my 3rd round, I was SUPER strict and did everything perfectly. I didn’t even wear nail polish because I was nervous of any extra chemicals on my body. If you want it to work and have peace of mind knowing that you did all you could, I would recommend being very strict about what your doctor recommends.
25. Do you know of ways to connect with other women struggling with infertility (not a Web forum but maybe something more personal)? If you are big on social media, I would use hashtags like #infertility, #ttc, or #IVF. I connected with incredible women this way who have become great friends. I met one of my good friends Amanda this way. We were able to talk with each other while we were going through it. It’s always nice to have someone who gets it.
26. What diet did you find works best for staying healthy with all the meds and prepping your body for babies? Just eating healthy – fruits, veggies, good proteins. Limit sugar. Lots of water. Really, just eat healthy like all of use should be eating always 🙂
27. If you had it to do over again, would you do IUI’s? I feel like there’s a very small percentage for which this works for. Of course it’s way less expensive, but if you do it multiple times it can add up to IVF. I know many people who have had success with IUI’s and it’s much less invasive than IVF, so I would definitely try that first if your specific infertility diagnosis shows that it could potentially be successful.
28. Once you were pregnant, were you nervous or anxious that something would go wrong with one of the babies? Did you ever feel relaxed in your pregnancy? I was nervous mainly because I was carrying twins which is a lot more risky than carrying one baby. Each appointment was such a relief when I saw both of their heart beats. I started bleeding a lot at 13 weeks and I had to go to the ER (you can read about that and what happened HERE and HERE and what it was caused by). I don’t think that anyone ever feels super relaxed during pregnancy regardless of having gone through infertility or not because so much can go wrong; each baby that is born healthy is an absolute miracle. The babies were born at 32 weeks because I got preeclampsia. You can read our birth story HERE. I think that what helped me the most is trusting is God’s plan for me. That’s what gets me through every hard challenge.
29. Did your doctors require bed rest after your embryo transfer? Yes, I rested for 3 days and I highly recommend minimizing any stress, both physically and mentally, for at least 3 days. Watch movies and take it seriously because it really affects how your body responds to that little embryo!
30. Did you do anything quirky like eat a pineapple or wear lucky socks before/after? I wore lucky earrings during my 2nd IVF transfer. 4 girls that I know had gotten pregnant while wearing them…and didn’t lol! But, if you have lucky socks or lucky earrings, wear them if they bring you more peace and bring you a little sliver of happiness. Do anything that brings you some joy because it’s a hard time!
31. Do you have any tips you learned after going through IVF 3x that will make the process go as smoothly as possible? Follow the doctors orders exactly, and rest as much as possible. I’m the type of person that is busy all the time and I like to work hard. Give yourself a BREAK during this time! Go to the movies on a week day, watch too much TV, play games with your spouse. Enjoy your life!! You have one life. You’ll never get this day back. Try to be happy and give yourself a break.
32. How did your religious beliefs play a role in your decision to do IVF? I am LDS and honestly, I didn’t really look up much what my church thought about it. We wanted to grow our family and knew that was the next step in our progression, so we felt good about seeking medical help to do so. I think it’s very personal for each couple and you need to do what feels best for you. I know God led our path and was with us each step of the way.
33. Can you take us through your whole journey, and everything you guys went through? If you go to the top of my blog, you’ll see an infertility heading. You’ll see the beginning of our journey which includes the first 5 treatments and then the 3rd round of IVF in LOTS of detail with many blog posts.
34. At what point in your journey did you decide to do IVF? We had done 3 IUI’s and since my insurance was so incredible, we decided to move on to the next round. My eggs are poor quality which we later found out, so during IVF we did ICSI which means that they injected the sperm into each egg instead of just putting them in a container together.
35. What were the initial tests you do to narrow down what the cause is? We checked my tubes to make sure they weren’t blocked, my uterus (my first doctor missed the two polyps there and my second doctor found them right away), they do blood work to check for numerous diseases, etc. I’m not sure everything they check for but they thoroughly check both your partner and you.
*I had a lot of questions about how I stayed positive and happy during our infertility journey, so make sure to read my first post HERE because I address that 🙂
Also, make sure to go to FertilityIQ.com to read assessments on infertility doctors around America if you are still deciding on an infertility clinic. If you have experience with doctors, make sure to review them here for others. It is an incredible resource!
Thank you so much to all who have read, commented, supported and sent love and kind words my way. You have brought happiness and joy into my life and I really appreciate it!
COZY BASICS THAT I LOVED:
I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your journey and positivity. I recently found out I will need IVF and am terrified, but also so grateful I can even have the opportunity for a chance at becoming a mother.. The way in which you find humour and the silver lining in your experiences is very inspiring for me and shows me that I should try to do the same. All the best to you and your sweet little family!
Jenica Parcell says
Ellie – thank you so much your sweet comment!! It’s people like you that made me really glad that I opened up and shared. Thank you so much for your encouragement! Wishing you all the very best! xo
You are an incredible woman 🙂
I love so much read’s your blog and instagram.
Xoxo Cris (one portuguese living in Switerzland)
Jenica Parcell says
Thank you so much, Cris!! xo
Thank you so much for sharing your entire journey and answering our questions! Your positivity throughout the whole process is so nice to see!
Jenica Parcell says
Of course, thank you for letting me know you appreciated it; you’re so kind!
Hi Jenica, I recently stumbled onto your blog and just wanted to drop a note as a fellow mama of baby twins (born June 27) and thank you for sharing your stories. Thankfully we didn’t need to go through IVF but, as moms, we are all the same the second we start loving our babies. My boys were also born preemie and spent exactly 30 days in the NICU. Today they are a little over 9 months and doing amazing, you would never know they were born early. But I can commiserate with the challenges, worrying, sleepless nights, endless pumping and breastfeeding sessions, and don’t get me started on how hard it is to get through a twin pregnancy! It’s nice to know that there are other families out there experiencing the exact same things we are. Our boys are the light of our lives and as you said in one of your posts, I would live my hardest day as a mom 1,000 times rather than have one day without them.
Jenica Parcell says
Claire – congrats on your sweet boys!! It is definitely a hard pregnancy (oh, my!) but these babies are miracles and I’m so glad you are so happy!!
Jeanette Larsen says
I am so thankful for your blog and Instagram. It has given me so much support while going through the infertility struggle our self. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out for us yet. The problem is my egg quality, which is (like in most cases I guess) unexplainable bad. Been through 4 rounds of ICSI with very bad results (only one embryo made it to transfer of all these roundes). Anyhow, each time thinking about your positive attitude has really helped me.
Jenica Parcell says
I am so sorry to hear that, Jeanette. It’s a hard journey! You are a strong woman and I really appreciate you letting me know that you find some sunshine here. It means so much to me. Hang in there. You are so tough!
Thank you for this and all of your IF/IUI/IVF stories. I’ve had 4 failed IUIs and will be moving onto IVF as soon as my work’s insurance kicks in, in January (I’m on my husband’s at the moment, but luckily mine covers just about all of IVF so I signed myself up!). I need the positive, I need the success story, I need the proof that this will all be worth it. I’m terrified – I’m terrified of the drugs, of the ER (and being sedated), of the PIO. Omg that PIO shot looks horrible. It’ll be hard while I’m doing it but that babe will be worth it.
I plan on going “public” with it on my FB and IG once we get started. I hate feeling like it’s this big secret I’m keeping from everyone.
Jenica Parcell says
Jess – I found it so therapeutic to write about it. 1 in 8 couples struggle with this; it’s SO common!! It’s so hard but you can do it. It will will be worth it, like you said. And can we talk about what a miracle it is that your insurance covers most of it?!!! That’s almost unheard of!! Wishing you all the very best 🙂
Well…first I have to thank you again for your stories, your positivity and your inspiration! When I first came across you online you brought me out of a place of such anger, I was so inspired by your positivity and your beautiful twins! After 4 rounds of IUI and 5 IVF cycles I finally made it to a transfer and holy cow I am pregnant!! 3 hcg draws so far and I’m going up, up, up. I know I’m not in a safe zone yet but this sure is great news so far. I just want to tell women struggling that you may think that you can’t possibly get any more bad news and that you are in the worst case scenario possible but try to find your peace whatever way you can. This process will destroy you if you let it and you can’t. Keep your eye on the prize and know that there are other ways to be a mother if your IVF can’t get you there. Once I opened my heart to that, everything changed! Stay strong!
And THANK YOU Jessica xoxo
Oh my! It would help if I typed your name right!!! Jenica!! ????
I just want to say thank you so much for sharing your story! You are a true inspiration! I am about to start the IVF journey, and have been feeling really miserable about it all. But you have changed my entire perception of IVF and infertility, and I am so so grateful to you! Thank you so much! xoxo
Jenica Parcell says
Awe Carly thank you so much for your kind words! You’ve got this!! I am wishing you all the best of luck!