SURVIVING NOT THRIVING? NOT THIS CHICK!
My top tips and tricks to survive your egg freeze cycle like a champ
Or, is it hen, since I “hatched” and froze eggs!
Anyways….Hello, internet friends!
Does anyone still read this anymore? Do I even write this blog anymore? [The answers are no and no, but I like to venture over to my old internet haunt every now and then.]
For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you may know that I recently froze my eggs! #iceicebaby #decembertoremember
Although IVF and egg freezing are part and parcel of my every day life, experiencing a cycle itself is something else!
While I can’t tell you if you should or should not freeze your eggs or if the eggs you freeze will ever make a baby (please go get a consultation with an REI if you are thinking about it!), I can tell you about my experience, my biggest surprises, and how to make the process as smooth as possible.
- TAKE ON “YOU GET WHAT YOU GET, AND YOU DON’T GET UPSET” MENTALITY
As a control freak myself, this can be a hard mentality to take on. Plus, you’re paying some serious cash to put your eggs on ice, which can be anxiety provoking in and of itself. Given the financial and time burdens of egg freezing, this can likely be the most challenging thing you will do.
But, let me give it to you straight – the two major points of control you have in fertility preservation are this:
- The decision to freeze your eggs (and how many times to go through it)
- The decision to use your eggs
Once you have found a doctor/lab you trust and have made the decision to do an egg freeze cycle, you cannot control your current age and egg quality, your ovarian reserve parameters, how you will respond to the medications, how many eggs you will get, how many eggs will be mature, and if those eggs will ever make a baby.
Bottom line: There are no guarantees.
I found taking on the “laissez-faire” attitude towards my cycle really helped. I was happy with the eggs I froze, because I told myself that I would be happy with any number. I had two key mantras that I think really helped.
“ You are one of the lucky ones to be able to do this.”
“ Something is better than nothing.”.
Again, the financial commitment and time spent at a fertility office can make this exceedingly difficult to wrap your head around. But, just my two cents, I found this helped.
- DON’T FEAR THE HORMONES, EMBRACE THE ESTROGEN HIGH
The hormones you inject aren’t the ones that “make you feel crazy.” The hormone that does get pretty high (depending on your response) is estrogen.
Personally, all that excess estrogen made me a blissed out, happy go-lucky person. It was likely the least amount of anxiety I’ve ever felt in my life – I didn’t even made a to do list one week, which is very unlike me. You could have told me I was sorted into Slytherin and I would have been ok with it. I’m not sure what the kids would call that these days (chill? woke? extra?), but I felt more chill than frozen.
I can’t promise you that you won’t be emotional, upset, or have the same estrogen honeymoon effect like I did, but I wouldn’t be as fearful of the hormonal changes as you might be.
- POST RETRIEVAL IS LIKE POST PARTUM – DON’T FORGET IT IS PART OF THE PROCESS, TOO!
To be honest, I mostly thought of my egg freeze process as “get to the retrieval and its done.” FALSE. SITTING ON A THRONE OF LIES.
[Full disclosure – the day of the retrieval was fantastic. I slept great and one dose of toradol kept me pain free all day.]
The most uncomfortable I felt throughout the entire process were three and four days after my retrieval. Fortunately, the post-retrieval period lasts only a few days (by one week later I felt back to normal), unlike the post partum period, which I hear lasts 18 years.
I felt uncomfortable and bloated. My abdomen and pelvis felt so full of ovary that my bowel and bladder were…well, let just say it upsets those systems. I felt like maybe this is a primer for pregnancy…
If you plan to do it, might I suggest you also buy these pants .
All I could think throughout this process– giving yourself injections, blowing up like a balloon (my weight fluctuating 10 lbs throughout the entire process!), and so on and so forth – was how lucky men are. Seriously, as my BFF Jocelyn says, “If men had periods, tampons would be free by now.”
- CHOOSE YOUR CLINIC WISELY
Do your homework! Egg freezing and thawing can be tricky business, and some clinics do more of it than others. Just like you, the patient, need to be taken care of, so do your eggs! Pick a place that you’re comfortable with not only the doctor, but also the lab.
- THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT YOU SHOULDN’T ASK
I am an REI fellow and I still sent my nurse questions!
Thank to everyone who followed along on my Instagram stories and sent messages of interest! I’m glad so many people liked following along, even when I showed myself giving an injection!
Happy holidays, everyone!