Here is a collection of advice from myself and other members of Embrace Fertility. A few tips for coping with IUI/IVF:
Knowledge: Get yourself clued up to what exactly is involved. I recommend this INUK factsheet and official medical websites for the basics and ask your hospital for as much information as possible as all hospitals seem to have slightly different protocol. Note that what someone on a forum is experiencing may not be your treatment plan/experience. ‘What to expect before you are expecting‘ has a short chapter on IVF or you could get Kate Brian’s book The Complete Guide to IVF
Take one step at a time: Each stage of IVF should be celebrated as you “jump through the hoops” as my hubby says. Each injection is taking you one step closer on your family building journey. Be proud of yourself for completing each step. This should also be remembered if treatment does not succeed. Try not to view any treatment as a failure, there is much you can learn, obviously easier said than done. Advice and suggestions are very welcome on this point and all aspects of treatment, I would like to build this blog post up into a practical and inspiring resource for all those about to commence treatment.
Overcoming any fear of needles: This was a biggy for me and EFT helped tremendously. I am writing a specific EFT script for IUI/IVF injections, which includes the statements:
“Even though I have a fear of needles I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
“Even though it is not fair that I have to do injections in order to get pregnant, I completely forgive and accept myself anyway.”
“Even though I absolutely hate injections, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
Numbing: I experimented with using numbing cream on my belly before doing injections, you can buy this from your local chemist. It means you cannot feel the needle going in. The same can be achieved by an ice cube on your belly for 10 minutes. I recommend putting the ice cube in a sandwich bag so cold water does not run down your belly!
Get your partner involved: My husband prepares and does my injections for me. I feel happier knowing he is in charge and like the fact that he is involved in the process.
Rewards: Every evening after my injection I have dairy free chocolate ice cream as a reward. This has been so successful that now when I think ‘injection’ my mind thinks ‘ice cream’! We also watch an episode of one of our favourite comedies to get us laughing, currently Gavin and Stacey.
Sniffing: My down-regulation has all been with injections, but some members have used sniffers (it depends on your hospital/clinic) and advise to have a glass of water ready following inhalation, oh and a piece of chocolate!
Assume and Affirm: Once you understand all the risks and success rates etc assume the best in a relaxed way, i.e. not demanding that it will work just being open to the possibility that it may work. This could be it! Again easier said than done, but I am a big fan of affirmations and find the following are helping me:
“My body is responding perfectly to all medications.”
“My body loves these new hormones!”
“I am feeling strong, calm and confident.”
“Every day I am a step closer to meeting my baby.”
“I can do this! I am doing this!”
“This too shall pass.”
A warning note on affirmations/positive thinking, if you are stating an affirmation that makes you feel in any way anxious, upset or angry, then stop using it! For example stating “I am pregnant now” or “This IVF will work” are unlikely to make you feel empowered if at the same time you are feeling anxious and desperate for it to work. Affirmations should make you feel excited, empowered and above all happy. A good starting point is:
“I wonder if I will get pregnant this cycle.”
Which opens you up to the possibility of it working and therefore can allow you to feel excited or:
“When I am pregnant I will feel…………”
Insert your own feelings and really revel in what that will feel like. For more on affirmations see Are you willing to love your future child unconditionally?
A quick disclaimer: Embrace Fertility members and I cannot and will not take any responsibility for you. I/we are not medically trained and all information posted is purely to share personal experiences and to inspire. If you choose to make use of any of the information shared you agree to take full responsibility for your own well-being.
EFT can be learned and self applied by almost anyone, and although no side effects have been noted, if you have a diagnosed psychiatric disorder you may want to consult the advice of a skilled EFT professional and your doctor, as you would with all therapy use.
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