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I(VF) Didn’t See That Coming! — Five Surprising Things I’ve Learned on My IVF Journey

There’s no such thing as a standard IVF story. Even if you’ve read through thousands of IVF blogs, I promise something unexpected will pop up during your treatment. But even though we all experience unique IVF challenges, we can always support each other as a community. 

There’s no such thing as a standard IVF story. Even if you’ve read through thousands of IVF blogs, I promise something unexpected will pop up during your treatment. But even though we all experience unique IVF challenges, we can always support each other as a community. 

That’s why I love sharing what I’ve learned from IVF with all of the new mommas on my Instagram. While I’m far from an expert on the science of IVF, I’ve gained a ton of first-hand experience. Hopefully, this snapshot of what I’ve experienced will help you have a less bumpy ride towards your baby bump! 

Five Things I Didn’t Know Before Starting My IVF Journey

Things I've Learned on my IVF Journey IG Post
Watch this reel on Instagram!

Believe Me, The Belly Bloat Is For Real! 

If you’re starting IVF treatment, you’d better get ready for a balloon belly! I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t expect the bloating side effects to be so pronounced. I’ve learned along the way that some IVF mommas have a tougher time adjusting to hormone shots. 

There’s a medically recognized condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Ladies who have these overactive ovaries produce too much fluid, which (unfortunately) finds its way into our abdomen. Not only could OHSS cause the infamous belly bloat, it may trigger common symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and headaches. 

While there may be no way to fully prevent these side effects, there are some steps you can take to minimize them. My first tip is to check out my IVF diet hacks and soup cleanse strategy on this Instagram post. It’s also super important for IVF mommas to stay extra hydrated with electrolyte-rich powders like Liquid IV or Pedialyte

Of course, if you feel your symptoms are on the severe side, reach out to a doctor ASAP. Please be sure to tell your IVF team anything you’re experiencing, even if you think it’s not a big deal. 

IVF Has A “Secret Society Vibe”

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know one of my mantras is to build your village. But when it comes to finding IVF support, it can be extra tricky. Sure, friends and family will lend support, but they can never really understand what the IVF journey is all about. 

Enter the Internet! As I’ve begun uploading my IVF experience, I’ve been surprised by how the IVF community feels like an underground fertility club. Even the gals I’ve met at The Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine have become my own little fertility posse! 

While IVF has gone mainstream, it remains an incredibly personal issue that very few could relate to. You may not be able to see supportive mommas IRL, but there are plenty of ways to connect with a new IVF fam.

If you want more info on breaking into the IVF community, be sure to read the tips in this previous post

You’re Forced To Focus On Today

In the beginning, IVF mommas may be focused on their future bundle of joy. However, once you truly get started with IVF treatments, the only thing you’re going to focus on is today…because it’s WAY too challenging to stress about tomorrow! 

My IVF experience has taught me the importance of taking just one step at a time. While it’s important to have plans and goals, it’s essential to use this IVF experience as an opportunity to become more mindful—especially during difficult moments.

Of course, how we become more present depends on our unique preferences. For myself, I find sharing my daily moments with you all and connecting with loved ones help keep my crazy mind grounded. However, I know many in the IVF community rave about the benefits of yoga or relaxing walks in nature. Whatever you choose, be sure to find what helps you make peace with the present while on your IVF journey.

P.S.: You can learn all of my stress-busting tips for IVF mommas, on this previous blog

The Body Has A “Mind” Of Its Own

Frustration doesn’t even begin to describe how you’ll feel about your body during IVF. In addition to the side effects mentioned above, I’ve discovered how uncontrollable my body is. And, if you’re a control freak like me, it can be super annoying when your body doesn’t cooperate with your schedule.

Well, I suppose you could chalk this up to another IVF life lesson: Your body is not under your control. I mean, we wouldn’t be doing IVF if we could choose how our body works! 

During these frustrating moments, I’ve found the best thing to do is practice some gratitude. As I’ve written about in previous blogs, establishing a gratefulness routine is one of the best ways to incline the mind towards positivity. Plus, if you practice gratitude often enough, I bet you’ll witness the power of mind over matter first-hand! 

Choosing To Be A Single Mom Can Spark Controversy 

As if all the physical symptoms weren’t enough, IVF mommas must face a barrage of psychological chess games. No question, the most draining issue I’ve had to deal with is defending my decision to become a Single Mom By Choice. 

There’s no way of getting around it: Some people don’t support becoming a single IVF momma. Unfortunately, choosing to go the IVF route as a single mother may cause friction in our relationships.

As I’ve said on my IVF blog, I never expected to use “IVF” and “A Single Girl” in the same sentence. However, I have zero regrets about pursuing this path. If my decision makes others uncomfortable, well, that’s their issue. I’m still going to continue my IVF journey because I know this is what I want.

If you’re struggling with this touchy topic, please know there’s support out there for you. As single IVF mommas, we’ve got to develop emotional strength. Don’t let anything or anyone stop you from living the life you desire. 

When the Unexpected Happens, Reach Out to Your IVF Village!

No matter how many blogs you read on IVF, you’re bound to run into something unexpected. I wish I could prepare you for all the craziness of your IVF journey, but I know that’s impossible. Everyone who goes through IVF has a different story to tell and a different set of challenges to contend with. However, that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone.

Whenever you’re feeling stressed by unexpected events, please reach out to your village for help. Plus, you can always DM me if you have any questions or worries. All of us IVF mommas need to stay connected! XOXO