New to IVF - any advice??
16 Replies
mmcgilli - March 6

So I have posted on this forum previously regarding my trials and tribulations with clomid and tamoxifen and injectables and IUI for the past six months or so - but at my doc appt this morning we decided to progress to IVF. I am super excited about moving on to this next step, as I had pretty completely lost hope in getting pregnant with IUI's, but I am also a bit nervous about entering the IVF arena. Does anyone have any suggestions or tips for going through this?

Specifically, does anyone have hints or advice on who to tell/who not to tell/how to deal with people who make stupid comments, etc? I ask primarily because we have several big family functions in the next couple of months and I am unsure of how much extended family needs or even wants to know about all this. It's not something that I was planning on shouting from the rooftops, but I don't want to appear that we are ashamed of it either, because we aren't. So any advice or guidance about anything concerning IVF would be greatly appreciated!


Maggie01 - March 7


That's a though question I struggle with myself. I find that most people say it's better not to talk about it too much to avoid stupid comments that are, honestly, inevitable. But for myself, I find that talking to people has helped me find support in places I didn't expect. But you do have to brace yourself for the occasional stupid comment and I think having a calm, confident attitude is the way to go. People who never experienced infertility can't even begin to imagine what it's like. Hope this helps!

My husband and I are still waiting for a few test results before starting our first ICSI so I don't have much guidance to offer on that part.

I wish you lots of luck with IVF!



mmcgilli - March 11

Thanks for the advice Maggie. See I completely agree with what you said about finding a support person where you would least expect to sometimes. For example, my sister in law who washes her underwear with her husband and gets pregnant, told me that she has no idea what to say to me because she has never been through it, but she will always be available to talk to if I need her. I was so pleasantly surprised! However, I know that it can go the other way too, where someone is completely unsupportive and you were not expecting them to be.
My husband and I have decided to just stand by the "we are still trying" answer to the kids question at the couple of weddings that we are going to, and see what happens. I just don't really need or care to hear my great Aunt from Texas's opinion on IVF - especially given that everyone in the country now has an opinion after the octuplets.
Thanks for the advice. Good luck with ICSI - when are you starting? I don't start for a couple of weeks yet, but it has actually been kinda nice to just relax and not give myself shots and go in for ultrasounds and blood work every other day. But I am still eager to get started. Good Luck!



Maggie01 - March 17

lol! Yeah, that "octomom" is really giving a bad name to fertility treatments! It's really put it in the spot light. But you guys seems to be handling the whole question of who to tell very well, I'm sure all these family functions are going to go great!

For our ICSI, I should clarify that we are really just getting started with all of this. The news about ICSI was given to us after our first sperm analysis. The doctor told us the numbers were too low to even consider ISI... that was pretty devastating! But then the second analysis gave better numbers so now we're waiting on a detailed analysis that should tell us if we could have a chance with ISI. Keeping my fingers crossed!

It's so hard to stay positive some days and I can completely understand what you were saying about struggling not to loose hope. I'm just so glad I have so many supportive people in my life.

Please give news on how things are going with IVF! It must be very exciting to feel like things are moving forward for you. Take care!


Maggie01 - March 17

Woops.. I meant IUI, not ISI.. :o)



mmcgilli - March 24

Yeah, so we made it through our first wedding without anybody saying anything offensive about our attempts to get pregnant! I actually even ended up telling several people that we were going to do IFV next month. All of them seemed so shocked, saying, "wow I didn't even know you were trying!" Like we are expected to shout that from the rooftops or something :) Funny.

Wow, I am getting really anxious to get this IVF show on the road. I start lupron injections tomorrow and should start my Bravelle and Menopur stimulation next week sometime. I can't believe I am actually anxious to start giving myself shots! At this point in our lives we are only able to afford one IVF cycle, so I am trying to relax about it and not think about how we are very literally putting all our eggs in this one basket of this IVF cycle. Realistically though, I know I will probably be a basket case in a week or so :) Maybe the acupuncture that my doc is having me do will help me relax a bit!

I hope you have had good news with your analysis. We ended up doing 5 IUI's before now moving to IVF, so it unfortunately didn't work for us, but I have many friends who have conceived with IUI. Keep me updated on what you find out and lots of luck always!



Maggie01 - April 1

I'm so glad to here things went great at the wedding! I'm sure it'll get even easier with time. Hey, you must right in the middle of everything at this point with the IVF, I hope everything is going well.

Well, we got the news last week that we are "officially" going to have to go directly through ICSI... I've got to say that meeting the doctor and having everything explained actually got me excited about the whole thing!! Never thought that would be my reaction but after everything, it really sounds like our best chance. It feels like we're actually doing something instead of just waiting and hoping.

Because of financial reasons, we're probably not going to start anything before a few months, but please let me know how you're doing! Hoping the egg is in the basket very very soon! :)



mmcgilli - April 4

I absolutely know what you mean about being excited to just do something that you think might work - even if it is a pretty major intervention. I know I felt very renewed and excited when we made the decision to do IVF. It was something that I prayed that we wouldn't have to do, but when you get to that point, it doesn't seem like such a terrible thing. I guess when you know that it represents your best chance, any option can seem acceptable.
Ya, I definitely feel like I am boarding the IVF roller coaster. I just started my ovulation induction meds this AM - yeah for three injections a day! But I am just ready to do this, so bring it on :)
Hopefully you will be able to start your IVF/ICSI cycle soon. It is so unfair that infertility has to be so financially debilitating in addition to all the emotional costs. I don't think very many people realize that there are just no inexpensive options if a person has issues getting pregnant. Ya, assisted reproduction is super expensive, but adoption is ridiculous expensive as well. So I guess whatever you have to do huh? When I thought my husband's heart was going to stop when he saw the cost of IVF, I reminded him that we (and my parents) spent approximately the same amount for our wedding, a one day event. So I think that put it into perspective a bit.
Anyway, it might be kinda nice to have a couple of months to relax, rejuvenate, and get back to a semi-normal life before you do your round of ICSI. Let me know how things are going for you.



Maggie01 - April 13

Hi Meghan!

How is everything going? Have you had any side effects with the meds? I know my husband is a little scared of how things when I'll start taking the hormones. He'll probably have my mom on speed dial in case of a meltdown! ;)

We're definitely getting more anxious to start our first (and hopefully last) ICSI. I know we're taking our time to try to make everything as stress free as possible(moneywise, workwise, etc, etc, etc.) but it is driving me crazy to know that this option is right there waiting for us!Obviously, this wasn't in the plans and since everything was just starting to fall into place, we've had to reajust a bit.

Well, I'm looking to have news from you. Sending you lots of baby dust!!!


mmcgilli - April 14

Hey Maggie, you know as far as the meds go I didn't think they had terrible side effects. I noticed once I had been on the hormones for about a week that I got pretty emotional really quickly, but since this whole process is so emotional it is hard to know if that was the drugs or not :) I did cry during a Pampers commercial last week, so maybe that is a good indication!
I do have friends who felt like the injectables really made them rage, but I didn't really notice anything like that.
So we did our egg retrieval yesterday morning. They were able to retrieve 7 eggs. They called this morning and said that all 7 fertilized but one didn't divide like it was supposed to, so we have 6 now. I am scheduled for transfer on Friday. I will find out before transfer how many embryos survived the whole process and I guess we will talk about how many we should transfer this time.
So we are really excited. It is very surreal to think that we essentially conceived 6 little ones yesterday! I am just praying that they all do well in the next couple of days - it is really hard to not have any idea what is going on with them on a day to day basis. But I am hopeful since all of them fertilized, which I guess doesn't usually happen.
So I can say now being in the middle of all this, that it isn't really as bad and stressful as a person might think. I guess because we have had a month to think about it and prepare ourselves for it, but it really hasn't been a terrible experience. I would say so far that the three shots of hormones a day has been the worst aspect, and that is very tolerable. I suppose, again, that it is a matter of knowing that this is what we have to do to have a baby!
Anyway, hope you are doing well with your plans and I will keep you updated on how things are going. Wouldn't it be nice if our situation could be a great success story as you start your ICSI cycle?!
Take care and good luck with everything!



Maggie01 - April 14

Wow Meghan! That's so amazing! When you stop and think about it, it's pretty mind blowing what they're able to do these days. This must be such an experience, I can only imagine how it must feel to be at this step in the game.

I really do wish you the success story you so greatly deserve after everything. And hearing about your experience has really helped me feel more confident. It's kind of funny when your first post was to ask for some hints and advice on IVF and you ended up giving some ... :)
Take care and keep me posted!



mmcgilli - April 19

Hi Maggie. Thanks for the helpful and supportive comments. One amazing thing about this whole process is how many people have really come out of the woodwork to let us know that they are thinking and praying for us. It is nice to know that we aren't in this alone.
Anyway, I had the embryo transfer on Friday. I was pretty bummed because out of the 6 embryos, 4 of them stalled out at 4 and 8 cells and were of poor quality. But we had 2 morula stage embryos, 1 was good quality the other was good/poor quality. So those were the two that we chose to transfer. Hopefully at least one of those two implant as we had nothing to freeze, and we cannot afford another IVF cycle at this point.
So we are praying like mad that we get pregnant with this. I have been doing accupuncture and a lot of serious relaxation/meditation since the transfer, so we will see what happens! I am seriously trying not to be a basket case, but can't say that I am always successful :)I am just trying to visualize us having a Christmas baby (or two)!


Maggie01 - April 22

Hey there! Just wanted to wish you lots and lots of luck!!! Stay positive and take care of yourself (and, obviously, let others spoil you as well!)!! I'm sending some good vibes your way!

Maggie :)


pauline - April 28

Hi, i am also going through the IVF rollercoaster. I have posted on the bulletin board subject SIDE EFFECTS. feel free to give me your world wisely advice. pauline


mmcgilli - May 4

Hey there, sorry that I haven't posted in a while, but I did get a BFN last Tuesday. Can't lie, I have been taking it pretty hard. I was so terrified that it was going to be negative. I really just didn't know what to do with myself when it turned out that way.
My RE, who is endlessly optimistic, assured us that we should attempt IVF again and that our chances were still really good. But for financial, emotional, and sheer self-preservation reasons we have decided to hold off on another IVF cycle for a while. I know that I need some time just to heal from all of this, focus on my marriage, and remind myself that there is more to me than my infertility.
I guess in the meantime we can go back to doing tamoxifen for ovulation. My doc was saying that apparently IVF does something to people, as there is a definite population of people who fail an IVF cycle but then get pregnant soon after doing things that never worked for them before. I am actually even thinking about not doing IUI - just letting what happens, happen.
So anyway, I am sorry that I don't have better news. I even hesitate to post this as I know that I always hated reading BFN stories - but I figured I would update. It is hard to be one of those IVF BFN's but it makes me feel better to know that the majority are positives. Please let me know how things are going with you. Sending you lots of luck and positive thoughts.



Maggie01 - May 7

Oh my gosh!! I am SO sorry to hear the news. I completely understand what you are saying about needing some time to recover. I'm pretty sure I would react the same way.

I have to say that I'm glad you decided to post even if it wasn't good news. I think it's good to remember that you are not the only one in this situation. BFN's are an unfortunate possibility for all of us. But I'm really glad to hear you want to focus on the other things that make you who you are.. it's just too easy to lose yourself in all of this. You guys should do something special just for the two of you!

Well, it's not been a great week on my end either. Just started my period today and for some reason I'm really upset about it. My husband started taking the vitamin supplements two months ago and I guess I was secretly hoping for some kind of miracle...

I'm not sure if you'll keep posting or not but I just want you to know that I am very glad to have shared a tiny bit of your experience with IVF. It's nice to learn about it from someone who has experienced first hand. You seem like a very kind and generous person and I wish that your tiny miracle will come into your life someday. Best of luck always!



mmcgilli - May 16

Hi Maggie, thank you so much for all your kind and encouraging words. I am sorry that it has taken me a while to reply, but I actually graduated from medical school last week, so things have been a bit crazy. It was very odd, as here I was expected to be all excited over this huge occasion, this moment that I had been working towards for years, but I was still very much grieving this loss. I think that I have come to realize that, for me at least, this was much more of a loss than any of the other BFN's because these babies weren't just dreams, they were there, they were real, we have an ultrasound picture of the embryos and their fluid when they did the transfer, we got daily updates on how they were growing in the lab. So in some ways that makes the loss more raw, but then at other times I take comfort knowing that we had those little embryos, those beginnings of our babies. So I am not at all regretful that we did IVF, we had to give it a try, and I know that it is successful and wonderful for many couples - and still may be for us someday if we try it again.

Anyway, I completely understand you feeling upset when you got your period. All through this I have been secretly hoping that us not getting pregnant was just a fluke this time, that in the future we will still have the chance to conceive "naturally" (whatever that means, right?). Even now as we are getting ready to take this break from serious hard-core infertility measures, I have this idea that as long as I don't think about it too much, we might get pregnant. That we will be one of those stories that fertile people like to tell about the couple who did every infertility treatment imaginable and were taking a break and relaxing and then got pregnant :)

Wow, sorry that ended up being so long - guess I needed to vent more than I had thought.

Anyway, I would love to hear where you are with everything. Have you started stimulation yet? If so, how is that going? I am really praying that everything is going well with you.




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