When challenges arise, you can pivot!

We found out our first embryo transfer failed just before Thanksgiving. We were so confident it would work that we booked flights to see both our families, in hopes that we could tell them we’re pregnant in person, so it was quite the let down. There was always a chance it wouldn’t work, but the odds were in our favor so we were optimistic. 

It took a few days for the dust to settle. It’s only been about a week at the time of writing this and I still feel sad sometimes, but that’s to be expected. The hardest part about the first transfer not working is, quite honestly, knowing I have to do it all again. I’ve been doing IVF for 7 months now. That’s a long time and while I know others may have longer or more traumatic experiences with IVF/pregnancy, we each have our own struggles and they all affect us in different ways. 

IVF has started to remind me of cancer treatment in a weird way. My body doesn’t feel like my own. It’s at the discretion of various time-sensitive medications and doctor’s appointments. I know that’s also what pregnancy will feel like, but it’s been 7 months already. Almost the length of a pregnancy before the actual pregnancy!

My body was not tolerating the transfer medications well either, which is just an added challenge. I have a mild adhesive allergy, which feels more than mild when I have to wear adhesive patches 24/7 for weeks at a time. I also developed another allergic reaction to one of the medications and we’re unsure which one. It’s a similar reaction that I developed to one of my chemos actually, which is a super itchy rash on the back of my hands from the wrist to the knuckles. No one could figure it out back then and I’d be surprised if someone could now. I also developed a rash on the underside of my left arm. I have no idea why these locations when none of my medications are administered in that area but it is what it is.

I talked to my doctors already and we have some options to help mitigate my allergic reactions. Next transfer I’m going to try to wear the patches on a different part of my body. I’m also going to see if I can switch my progesterone medication to one with a thinner oil to see if that helps. If these changes don’t help, we have more options for the next time, if need be. Otherwise, I’ll just deal with the progressing discomfort for approximately 3 months until I’m able to stop the medications.

It’s all tolerable and certainly could be worse, but it is quite exhausting. My body is tired and I’m feeling emotionally fatigued as well at this point. We decided that it’s time for a break. I worry about how I’ll handle pregnancy, especially with whatever symptoms I may have, if I’m already this exhausted from IVF. This journey thus far hasn’t been what we thought it would be so we need to pivot.

I want to go into pregnancy feeling rejuvenated, excited and ready for whatever it may bring. Right now, I definitely don’t feel those things and I’m hoping a break where my body can feel like my own again will help. I plan to focus on eating healthy, exercising, getting my personal trainer certification and hopefully getting a new job at the start of the new year! These are the positives that I choose to focus on and will ultimately help in our IVF journey. In a few months, ideally, I’ll feel much better and we can pick up where we left off if we still haven’t gotten pregnant on our own. We’ll see how it all plays out though. In the meantime, I’m still rising!

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