Stella and Toby are Gaia Members, currently on their second round of their Gaia Plan. Stella shares her advice on all that she wished she had known at every step of her journey so far.
Preparing for IVF Treatment
Any day is a good day to start focusing on fertility friendly nutrition and supplements, not only can it help with IVF, it’s great for overall health!
Trust in the process and the turns in the road. Not all direction changes are negative, they can lead to exactly where you need to be at that moment.
Knowledge is power, but always just adapt and take on board what fits in with your daily life. Be kind to yourself and try not to change your life completely for the sake of IVF.
Always remember what you need emotionally and physically. It can be a consuming path and it is important is to nurture yourself and make little dates with yourself to do things you love along the way.
Surround yourself with loved ones that can be of a great support to you. It’s always great to educate individuals around you of the journey and how they can help you and others.
Choosing a Clinic
Do your homework. When it comes to choosing a clinic, it's important to have a positive feeling about the clinic you end up going to.
You’ll want to know your clinic is understanding of your individual needs and circumstances. And also make sure they offer the treatment option you need, the location works for you and they are transparent in their pricing, so you know exactly what you are expected to pay. All clinics have live birth success rates, but sadly they are usually dated. Feel free to ask your clinic for more up to date success rates based on your age and treatment type.
Finally, reviews are always worth looking into. It is important to hear from others about their experiences at the clinic.
For more info, check out Gaia's page on "How to choose a clinic."
It can be overwhelming when you dive into the world of fertility testing. Be sure to ask your chosen clinic what testing they offer and what they recommend can benefit you prior to commencing treatment. Most commonly, AMH and, if needed, a semen analysis are a first port of call. Do what feels right for you, with the advice of professionals.
Try hard to not compare your individual protocol with others. There are many variations that are all chosen based on personal factors.Take your treatment day by day. Each stage is a step forward, and if at any point, you don’t proceed, know that it’s for the right reasons. There is not a one size fits all, and its a learning, to make sure your treatment is tailored to you.
IVF treatment can seem very overwhelming, but you’re not alone. Reach out if you need support or advice. We are lucky to live in world where social media exists and can be used in a positive way for the IVF community.
The two week wait
I think I can speak for almost everyone, that this is one of the hardest parts mentally & physically during your IVF cycle. It can be overwhelming and of course with the added hormones, make a cocktail for feeling out of sorts. This is your time to plan and recognise what you need. What will make YOU feel better. Exercise self care! Trust your body is doing everything it needs to support you and welcome the embryo onboard.
I always love to plan lots of lovely things during my two week wait. Like, seeing loved ones and spending time with the friends that have that infectious energy and laugh.
Finally, try to stay present. Of course, it is not easy. You will go through waves of wanting to test early but it’s so important to listen to the advice of professionals. If you are in this journey with a partner, remember you are both travelling this together and will experience similar emotions, so squeeze each other a little tighter.
It’s finally here…
All the efforts and energy come down to this very moment. Of course it’s scary, because we wish, pray and cross everything we possibly can to see a big fat positive. But know that no matter the outcome, you have done everything you can, so be proud of yourself.
My personal testing experiences have sadly been negative. Of course, it’s heartbreaking, but, I always trust in myself and know I’ve done everything I could. The negative is not a result of my actions. It just sadly was not my time. I don’t know when or how, but I know I’m destined to be a parent and I trust in the process and path I’m on.