How To Survive IVF: A Personal Guide

Writer Tara Ali went through five rounds of IVF before finally conceiving her beautiful baby boy. Here, she shares her top tips to help you get through it. 

I’ll admit, I used to feel a little (slightly judgey) pity for those who had to go through IVF. But after finding myself going through five cycles in two years, that pity changed to massive admiration.

To say it's hard is like saying the Australian desert is big. For me it wasn’t really the invasiveness, or the drugs or feeling a deep ache in my bank account. I found the emotional tsunami, that swinging from hope to despair all the time, very overwhelming. Everyone who needs help having a baby needs support.

If you’re going down that road, here are a few tricks that might help make it easier.

  • Keep a diary/See a counsellor/Tell a friend

IVF brings up the feels. Some BIIIIIGGG UUUUUUGLY feels. At times you’ll find yourself angry at the world, sad about other people’s pregnancy announcements and then angry that you are sad. Type the contents of your brain into a word doc named FML.doc.

  • The first week after a cycle fail is hell, but it passes

Not only did you do all of that stuff and you are still not with-child, but your body is also coming off the oestrogen and progesterone support. Most women feel horrible during this time – you will cry buckets and question life and then roughly two weeks later you will start to feel better again. It does not last. I PROMISE. (Sidenote: Watch stuff that makes you laugh during this time. My go-to was Seinfeld.)

  • Get a travel cooler bag and some ice packs

You’ll find yourself injecting drugs at work or in a restaurant bathroom from time to time. The least painful way I found was to ice the needle site for 60 seconds first to minimise the stinging and the welts that can come up afterwards.

  • Use a month to view calendar

You’ll need to remember a lot of blood tests, scan and consultant appointments plus when to remember to start certain meds, stop them or change doses. This is on top of normal life stuff like paying your internet bills and showing up for work every day.

Being organised is key, write everything down meticulously in a calendar and leave it on the kitchen counter so you have one less thing to stress thing about.

  • Imagine if your best friend was going through infertility

You would buy her lunch and cheer her up with a little Rocky-style pep-talk every now and then, right? Well, you need the same treatment. IVF is hard enough without mentally smashing yourself with a baseball bat for every little thing you did or did not do that could have affected your cycle. Use each failure as a chance to refine and tweak what to do next time.

And if you’re successful? Well hot damn, CONGRATULATIONS! Don’t forget to remember those for who the struggle is still real. Share this post or pass it on to someone you know who needs it.

Tara Ali had her first baby Jesse in June last year.

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