When my husband and and I first started our IVF journey back in 2017, I started prepping my body for the cycle just a little over a month before we started injections.
When we had gone to Europe in August for our 5th wedding anniversary, I think we both knew we were heading in the direction of IVF, but had not really said it out loud yet. While the Europe trip was an amazing adventure for us, that really helped me a lot when it came to coping with my infertility depression, it also made me realize how badly I wanted to do IVF. Because of that, we jumped in with both feet only about a month after returning home.
People have asked me if there was anything I wish we had done differently with our first IVF cycle, and while I don’t like to live life with regrets, overwhelmingly the answer to that question is, “yes.”
I wish we had done many thongs differently, but really just one thing. I wish we had waited. Ince deciding that IVF was our path, I wish we had taken a few months to prepare both mentally and physically. I was so anxious to have a baby (and so positive that this would work) that we rushed into the cycle without really understanding how IVF works.
I only quit smoking in October of 2017. Now granted, I didn’t smoke much…just socially. But one month before starting stims was NOT enough. I started eating better, but not good enough until stims were underway. I had not understood the effect food had on my endometriosis, or even on my fertility. We rushed every aspect of our first IVF round, we had to refinance our house to pay for it, and in the end, we only made 2 embryos. All of that would have been fine if it had worked.. but my first ever pregnancy resulted in am almost immediate chemical pregnancy that left us angry, broken, and completely clueless about what our next step was.
A big part of me wanted to jump right back into another IVF round, and if we had the money, I probably would have. But we didn’t.
Instead, I started to focus on healing my endometriosis naturally, and we started the process to become foster parents in early 2018.
I was never perfect with my endometriosis diet, and I certainly stumbled a lot, but I still felt like I was working towards something. Even on the months when I didn’t do any of it right, it was all teaching me what I needed.
In April of 2018, we received the news that we were being considered for an IVF clinical trial at very little cost to us. It changed everything, and by June, I finally fell into more of a pattern with my endometriosis/fertility diet.
Luckily, after found out we were chosen for the clinical trial, the start date kept getting pushed back, giving me plenty of time to make the best decisions for my body and for my fertility.
I am confident that these things are what led to the positive changes in our second IVF cycle. I mean, I went from having 2 average quality embryos with our first round…to 8 with our second. And at least half of those 8 were excellent quality.
During the trial, I kept a journal and took a lot of food photos. During the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing that journal and many of these photos with all of you. Maybe it will help you on your journey, with fertility or endometriosis, or maybe even both. I hope it does.