I was thinking about how there are so many damn articles and blog posts about “what NOT to do” during the TWW after the embryo transfer. Everyone obsessing that you shouldn’t do X or Y and making all these rules that frankly are incredibly subjective.
So for this final cycle…
Here are a few listed on umpteen blogs and articles that I have and will continue to “break” that I thought I’d share with my infertile sistas…
- 48 Hours of Bedrest. Are you fucking kidding me? My RE doesn’t mandate it but my acupuncturist had recommended it and honestly, when I did it during cycle 4, I immediately tweaked my back from the inactivity of it all, creating mega stress and pain. And now with a herniated disc, where movement is vital to my healing? I am sure as hell not going to lay around all day and increase the hurt! While we weren’t running any races (not like I could with this injury anyhow), we chilled out at home, walked around the garden, let the ducks entertain us, watched a movie, ate some fab chicken massaman curry, and went to bed at a decent hour. No biggie. (Oh and by the way? Research has shown there is NO difference between choosing bedrest and moving around post-transfer. In fact, a 2011 study confirmed “there is no advantage to bed rest and instead that there may be a disadvantage to being totally sedentary. This isn’t surprising since inactivity combined with high levels of estrogen can promote blood clot formation as well as a rise in insulin resistance. By contrast, exercise reduces inflammation, lowers stress hormone levels and promotes healthy blood flow.” BAM.
- Symptom Checking. We all know damn well that we do it. So why the fuck feel bad for it? I’ve done it every single cycle, and you know what? I usually learn something as well. For instance, in Cycle 4 when I got my BFP, I had *no* implantation bleeding, and learned in my research that only 30% of women even HAVE that symptom – so it made me feel better (not worse). And symptom checking has actually led me OUT of the forums and into the science-y side of things – for example, the video at the top of this blog post is a high speed look at a blastocyst actually hatching – something that should be happening right now in my uterus with at least one of these embryos. Kinda rad, right?
- HPT before your blood test. Listen, unless you did an HCG shot that can create false positives (a real mindfuck, something I’ve only dealt with once during my 2nd IUI since with DEIVF there are no trigger shots, just the usual progesterone and estrogen), by all means do a home pregnancy test. Pee if you want to pee. Do them every day, every hour, who the fuck cares. It’s your dollar. (By the way, save those receipts – did you know that along with IVF, etc., HPTs are tax deductible medical expenses? Hellllll yeah! $50K+ into this? Every damn thing adds up, y’all.) As for me, I found out on day 7.5 that I had a BFP in cycle four, half a day before going in for my blood test. Made me super happy when I drove down there, and on cycle 5 when we tested the morning of day 8 and it was a BFN, we didn’t bother paying for the blood test. We stayed home, stayed on the drugs a few more days, tested at home again at day 12, and cut our losses.
- Routine Changes. Listen, if you want to take it easy, do it. If you feel less stressed to remain active, do that. The embryo(s) will NOT fall out if you go to the toilet. The embryo(s) will NOT fall out if you go for a run. The embryo(s) will NOT suffer if you binge-watch Catastrophe all in one day (hint hint – this show is fucking hilarious, even with the topic of pregnancy brought up almost immediately).
- Sex. Hey, if you’re feelin’ it, do it. I think it’s hilarious that some doctors tell you to not have sex during the whole TWW. It’s one of the things that keeps my husband and I bonded, and if we’re up for it, we do it. I’m usually wiped out the first couple of days from all the excitement of transfer, but after that, all bets are off. Paranoid? Have a quickie and hold back on your end. Make out like teenagers. Let your partner do the work. Whatever keeps you chill, y’all. Besides, for those who’ve been lucky enough to get a BFP and be pregnant long enough to experience involuntary orgasms during their sleep like I had the opportunity to? You know that is not something you have control over if IVF results are positive. One of the GOOD side effects of extra estrogen, if you want to take advantage of it. Love the love, y’all.
And yes, I’m still working on my zen, kids. I’m going to do something new this week – flotation therapy, also known as lying in a warm float tank filled with warm water and darkness to ease my back, my stresses, my mind during this wait.
And yes, I’m also going to keep working. Next week we have our post-results beach trip and I’m getting candidates ready to go as fast as possible so I can do as little as possible for those two days. Sitting around doing nothing? Now that’s stress for me when it involves money that could be coming in. So yup, I did a phone interview today with a candidate, and I did check up on my other candidates, and I did submit a new person to my hiring manager. And I feel…GOOD.