A Few Words on Guilt

I haven’t posted recently as I’ve been in the US of A for the last two weeks – one week of work in Chicago followed by a fun road trip (holiday) down to Kentucky and Nashville with the DH. It was great –  I slept like a baby, I caught up with my dear friend in Chicago, the weather was fab and I hardly thought about work at all during that second week.

But….

…. then there’s the guilt.

One of the worst things about IVF is the constant fear that you’re not doing something, or that you’re doing something wrong or that you could be doing something better. Mostly related to diet, vitamins, smoking, exercise, booze and stress. There is a whole industry built around this, preying on women who are low on luck and high on hope. There are a gazillion fertility forums dedicated to the discussion of ‘things you should definitely do to improve your chances’, most of which are not based on medical evidence but still matter in crazy IVF world. All of this distills to an overriding feeling of anxiety and… guilt.

I feel guilty because I let everything slide during my holiday. I put on a few pounds (I have a bit of unwanted jiggle in the belly department). I ate everything I wanted,  regardless of protein or carb content, including ice cream and awesome fried chicken. I did very little exercise apart from a couple of runs and a very long sweaty day on a bike in 35c heat. I drank a beer or two every few days. I had a coffee almost every morning. I did remember to take my supplements every day so I wasn’t completely useless I suppose.

The last 12 months have been incredibly hard. I know it’s irrational to beat myself up about 2 weeks in diet/exercise wilderness but IVF has turned me into an irrational mad woman. I’m waiting for AF to arrive so I can go for a scan and hopefully start stimming next week. Now I feel guilty and worried about how 2 weeks of a small amount of booze/ice cream/no exercise may have affected my antral follicle count.

Is it just me or does anyone else suffer from guilt as well as bloating, mood swings and the usual IVF ailments? 😯

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Check out my stash….

… of neatly arranged IVF medication.

image

As arranged and photographed by my OCD-tastic partner in crime, Mr Husband.

So everything arrived today and we’re all ready to get back on the IVF bus, next stop pregnancy town. Let the waiting and worrying commence!

First mini hurdle will be the day 2 scan around the 29th June to see how many follicles I’m growing. Fingers crossed the DHEA has kicked in by then, watch this space.

A bit of good news

A teeny bit of much needed good news from the hospital… my AMH blood test is still 8.6. That’s 8.6 after a year of IVF, the same level I started with.

8.6 isn’t a great level for someone my age and I’m still in the ‘low fertility’ camp, but I’m really pleased that my egg reserve appears not to have changed much in a year. Basically AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) gives an indication of the number of tiny little eggs floating around in my ovaries. I’ve been imagining the number dwindling on a daily basis since we started IVF, so it’s a relief to know that isn’t the case.

Anyway it’s a small mental victory. Roll on our next (and final) cycle of IVF with my own eggs….! I’ll be back on the bus at the end of this month.