Support Needed

After many years in this process, I’m about to start IVF, well I hope. It’s been 7 years waiting. I’m scared and feel alone. I’ve decided to move forward with being a single mom. I’m afraid to get my hopes up, and support is very limited when it comes to IVF. How do I bring it up to friends again when it’s been so long? Help!

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  • Hi hi @MomOnBoard,
    I was right where you are about 1 month ago and came here looking for a little support too...but tbh, everyone seemed to have it together, and I was really happy to see that too!

    But let me assure you, you are not alone. I knew I would get push-back from my family and friends, and when I did end up telling them it was such an emotion journey! It could only be described as being stuck on a rollercoaster ride that only plunged downward with no upward loops.

    I delayed twice. And ended up proceeding just this July. My anxiety significantly reduced when I decided which I would regret more when I am old and gray. Either never having tried to be a mom biologically or pleasing disapproving friends and family.

    If you can find 2-3 ppl to give you support, its will be enough.

    I'm in my TWW, because I have tried. I can never regret "not trying now".

    Be in touch. Chin up!
    You are stronger than you know!

  • I think it’s good for you to determine who you want to tell if anyone. I have 2 friends that know and 1 coworker. My mom knows as well. I’ve always known I wanted to be a mommy and it’s ok to bring it back up or keep it quiet. Plus you have this forum!

  • Thank you so much @ParadisePeach and @Mamabear37 . I told a friend this weekend that I was going to start IVF. She didn’t try to talk me out of it, like she had in the past. She suggested sharing with a mutual friend, too. I haven’t told my family. My sister said very hurtful words when I underwent cryo preservation. I don’t think I will tell family at this point. I think the stress will be too much dealing with them when there is enough stress.

    I have my 4th consult with the IVF doc this Thursday. I dread it because the statistics usually sound depressing, and the financial numbers- yikes! He says I will only have one shot. Trying to remember it’s not something I have control over. Sometimes I feel I’ve failed in some way. I keep coming back to what means the most to me-having a child. Yes, I agree. The regrets of not having a child are far greater than approval of others.

    This may sound small, but any ideas on how to get the intramuscular shots? The doctor said someone will need to give them to me. I don’t really know who since I don’t have a partner, and can’t think of a nearby friend to give them to me. Their office will not give shots.

    Thank you so much for responding. It made my day!
    Please stay in touch

  • Hi @MomOnBoard -- I'm also trying to become a single mom by choice (in my TWW now), and I previously froze my eggs.

    Through four rounds of egg freezing, I've gave myself the intramuscular trigger shot every time. You can totally do it alone! I had to do mine in the 'upper outer quandrant' of my butt cheek, which I could reach myself without an issue.

    It's crazy how insensitive doctor's offices can be to single women sometimes (e.g., saying you should have your partner do the shot), but don't let it stress you out :)

  • @britt520 thank you! I hoped it was possible to give the IM shots myself. I just had not heard anyone else who did it. That’s encouraging. I wish the doctor’s office was more sensitive, too. I’m going to ask for a tutorial. They said I would need to give myself IM shots every day for 12 days prior to IVF, and then IM daily for 9weeks if IVF is successful. Does that sound right?

  • My protocol from egg freezing was a little different—I did shots in my belly fat for 10-16 days, then the intramuscular trigger shot, then retrieval. Because it was egg freezing, there was no medication after.

    I’d recommend asking them what part of the body you’ll be using for intramuscular shots—I’ve heard of the butt (like me) or the thigh. As long as it’s in a body part you can reach, you should be fine doing it alone. Just watch YouTube videos and videos made by the drug companies to show you how!

  • MomOnBoardMomOnBoard Posts: 16
    edited July 30, 2019 1:47PM

    I’ll check at my consult on Thursday. That helps!

  • @MomOnBoard Just remember that you're not alone. We have a supportive community here and a secret Facebook group that you can reach out to. You're brave for sharing your experience and moving forward with this process.

    Resolve, the national infertility organization has a lot of great resources. They also have a whole section on dealing with friends and family which includes myths and etiquette: https://resolve.org/support/for-friends-and-family/ (This may come in handy if you ever want to just send a link or email to someone instead of having a difficult conversation.)

    I also know a friend that was able to administer the shots by herself. It's not a fun task, but one of our clients shared a video of herself dancing to the "Shots" song by LMFAO to get herself pumped up before doing it.

    This isn't an easy process, but I wish you the best of luck with everything. You got this!

    Regards,

    Nicole
    California Cryobank

  • @MomOnBoard,
    In terms of taking the shots, I have found that icing the area really helps. And I gave myself every last shot.

    Most nights I felt nothing. I was on 2 shots most nights and a third for others... there was no way I was getting through those without icing my outer thigh and abdomen.

    Its awful that they have put that pressure on you re: the one shot... as if we aren't feeling the pressure already.

    We are sending you positive vibes.

  • @ParadisePeach I forgot about icing. That did help with the part before the egg retrieval. I just watched a YT video on giving Progesterone and oil shots. I’m not sure if these are the ones before a transfer or after (if I get pregnant). It makes me feel a bit sick to watch, but it is good to remember I did something similar prior to egg freezing. It’s anxiety. I tear up thinking about it, but know actually doing something is usually better than the worry part. I’m a worrier! I’ll try to remember the supportive words at my consult, and focus less on the impersonal part at the Dr’s office. I know they are used to it, but empathy feels low at the Dr. So thankful for this group! I cry every time I read an encouraging comment because I feel less alone. Thank you so much.

  • @cryo-admin -Thank you so much for the link and encouragement. This group has been such a positive breath of air.

  • @britt520 I think I may have given myself the one intramuscular shot (trigger shot), maybe. I watched a YT video so maybe I did give one to myself. Hoping the needle size ones this time aren’t too bad. I forgot it’s more of a region of the body. Good tip- going to ask exactly where in the region. Lots of my fear is wanting to do it all perfectly which adds on stress. All this support means so much. I seriously tear up when I read these encouraging comments. Tomorrow afternoon I go for my consult. Trying deep breaths, and reminding myself I’m not failing at this stuff. I am doing this in the timing I could do it. So thankful for all your kind words.

  • @MomOnBoard good luck!! I totally get the worry about 'doing it wrong', but I had a great fertility nurse who pointed out that if it was easy for patients to screw up, they would have a nurse do it. So if you slightly miss the exact region of the body, it's not going to change your outcome. You've got this!

  • @britt520 I never thought of it that way! TY 😊

  • Hi @MomOnBoard,
    You are welcome. I am also a worrier and tried to do everything perfectly so that I don't inadvertently blame myself for any disappointing outcome. I was hoping to only have to go through the process once, but alas, we shall see.
    I agree with you, sometimes the anxiety is worse than the event itself. Hence, ice up and press on. You have got that part covered. The progesterone in oil, is meant to help develop uterine lining and maintain the early pregnancy, hence, you may start it before the embryo transfer and continue until they say when.
    I agree with @britt520, if we could screw it up, they probably wouldn't leave it up to us. lol
    Hope your appointment goes well.
    NB. Just know you are also being a support to us as well.

  • @ParadisePeach think the progesterone w/ oil is probably what they will have me give myself before and after. Good to hear there are other worriers and perfectionists out there on this process. I hope your TWW is going ok. Sending good vibes your way, too.

  • @MomOnBoard, I am also alone and just discovered this forum on this hour, therefore... you are not alone. It sounds like you may be a little ahead of me in the process so that means you can be my guiding light. :) My doctors office has a pamphlet on acupuncture to help with stress and to do some magic with people like you and me to be able to conceive. I thought about waking up early in the morning to go check on this procedure. My cousin said acupuncture saved her life with a dental procedure gone wrong and that she is a fan 100%. Try your best to relax, think positive and not to work yourself up/stressing.
    I know that sounds easy but, all my best wishes to you for conception. Hope we can encourage each other from here. I am also hoping to be a single mom by choice... :)
    I have been fighting advanced endometriosis and had 2 surgeries for it. I have 6 months max to conceive.
    My dr stated that my next surgery will be a hysterectomy. I'm leaving this in gods hands, praying!
    Good Luck and stay strong, we are in this together.

  • @Sara1 Thanks for reaching out. I know people who swear by acupuncture. I tried it once. I ended up not being able to afford it at the time I found out that insurance may pay some with nausea w/ pregnancy so who knows. Good luck to you, too. I’m so happy for this forum. Glad you found it, too!

  • I had my consult yesterday. Even though I’ve been through the egg freezing part, reviewing part 2 steps with creating embryos, was still emotionally draining. I’m waiting to see when they can start thawing the eggs because people are on vacation, and it takes 2-3 weeks to thaw because there are only so many staff. So the timeline is on hold. They said I could explore genetic testing of my genetic profile, but recommend testing prior to transfer, too, so I don’t know if me getting tested is even helpful. The doctor sounded ready to start, told me order the donor sperm last night, and then the nurse said there is a backup in the process so I’m frustrated. I don’t know if I get genetic testing for myself if they are doing preimplantation anyway? Also, I calmed down a bit after hearing y’all say giving them all yourself is totally doable. Then, the nurse said she wouldn’t recommend giving them to myself because of the risk of hitting the sciatic nerve. Why did she tell me that? I was up last night feeling afraid and frustrated.

  • @britt520 @ParadisePeach
    Consult was confusing. Posted above and forgot to tag-Words of wisdom?

  • I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through--I would be actively complaining if my doctor/nurse was giving me such unclear messages. Either they haven't worked with single moms by choice before (red flag), or the must be able to give more feasible advice. I would ask what have they seen other single patients do, and what the typical solution is.

    If they can't find a workaround (e.g., you come to the office for your shot and have a nurse do it), I'd move on to an office that can handle single women. The last thing you want when going through this process is confusion--and they're causing a total lack of clarity. This is just unprofessional.

  • @britt520 I think it’s the norm where I live. They told me they’ve worked with one single mom by choice. I broke down and asked a couple people today. They didn’t have answers on who would help me w shots. At the same time, they said also don’t give myself shots. Gonna keep trying. Worse part is the isolation and loneliness I feel. I was so motivated when I had the egg retrieval many years ago. Now, I feel sadness.

  • @MomOnBoard,
    This clinic seems to be a source of significant stress all by itself.
    Do you have other options?
    My clinic was similar, my IVF co-ordinator acted as if I was bothering her with adjusting my date when my donor sold out quickly (while I awaited my gebetic screening...which was affordable US$250). Everything else after that seemed to be a bother to her. I never saw my doctor after the initial consult until retrieval day...so many days of dissatifying meetings and unanswered emails with my IVF co-ordinator caused me great distress.
    But unfortunately its the only fertility clinic in my country/island.
    Hence, I just suggest you consider your options. A stressful environment is not ideal...and you already have the pressure of feeling like this is your chance...then consider the timing. Do you need a short detox/time-out from the clinic? Or do you proceed at this time?
    I also started to see a psychologist, just to be able to talk unfiltered...it was very helpful. He was very supportive.
    And finally, if you do the shots in your upper outer quadrant of your butt, there is no way you can hit you sciatic nerve...trust! So don't let the nurse scare you.
    My TWW is over. Unfortunately, I have no good news to share. I am considering my options which are limited by finances.
    Keep your head up!
    We are here with you!
    Hugs!

  • @ParadisePeach I was thinking about you last night. I’m so sorry you didn’t receive the news you hoped for after your TWW. I understand the financial strains. Has your clinic been helpful in offering options?

    I chose to have the expanded genetic testing on myself. Not sure I had to do that, and adding more time is hard. I’m doing PGS w my “older eggs,” too. Financially ridiculous. I figured do genetic testing on myself to compare to donors. I’m picking donors who have expanded testing since I’m going through the expense of all the testing.

    I also have limited clinic options where I live. They have had 1 single mom by choice. Since I had my egg freezing there, I’m just planning to keep going. I talked to the phlebotomist there, and she said she would give me a tutorial, plus help give some of the morning shots if needed. It’s encouraging what you said about not hitting the sciatic nerve- maybe it’s not too bad. I’m ready to start that part to see.

    Keep me posted on your continued journey. I believe options will present themselves with the desire you’ve shown for a family. Sending good vibes your way.

  • Glad to hear you're getting support from the phlebotomist--you can totally do this!

    Today I found out that my first IUI was a success--after all we go through with tests, spending so much $$, so many appointments, at the end of the day it does pay off :)

  • @britt520 That’s wonderful! Congratulations!

  • @MomOnBoard,
    Its great that the phlebotomist is being helpful!
    You are doing great in finding ways to manage each challenge you meet! Keep it up!
    And thank you for your kind words.

    @britt520 Congrats!
    It must be wonderful! I wish you continued success!

  • @britt520 @ParadisePeach
    Hey, I hope you have been doing ok. You have both been on my minds. I’ve been a bit blue for whatever reason. I got the results on my genetic testing Friday, and all was fine, so I’m having the DS shipped to my clinic Monday or Tuesday. Then, the month wait for the embryos to grow, etc. I think the process will take a month longer, but I’m just glad to take steps. I hope having an anonymous donor is ok. I read it wasn’t as common with single moms. I just don’t want to start over with the search. I get these surges of panic, and some sad days even this early.

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