My Fertility Journey: And How COVID-19 Changed My Life
The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and should not be considered medical advice.
Always consult your doctor for the most appropriate treatment.
In March, a week into shelter-in-place, we found out that we were going to lose our IVF miracle.
I was 23 weeks along with our boy, who had a genetic defect. This was an impossible thing to experience—we weren’t prepared. We left the hospital without our son, and on top of that, COVID made it even more complicated. Thankfully, my reproductive endocrinologist (RE) and clinic have been amazing during this time. They answered my first call, post-delivery, and had me scheduled for an ultrasound after my postpartum period. Following all safety precautions, I was able to go to my clinic in person. They assured me that my treatment wouldn’t be canceled and that they would continue to stay open. There was discussion that everything could be delayed, but by the time I was ready for transfer, the clinic had resumed treatments.
Throughout COVID, I haven’t had any trouble connecting with my RE or care team. All necessary appointments are handled in person. But now, I must enter the building alone, get my temperature checked, sign a form, stand (instead of sit) in the waiting room, and wear a mask at all times—all non-procedure appointments are handled over the phone.
My transfer during COVID-19 was different—my husband couldn’t be there.
But they were able to get me an appointment with an anesthesiologist from the hospital without a problem. I’m nervous that my upcoming hysteroscopy surgery might be impacted by the rising COVID-19 numbers, but my care team continues to assure me that they have no plans to shut down again.
One thing I’ve learned from this experience is to be prepared as best I can. My RE continues to promise me that my treatment won’t get canceled, maybe just delayed, and that they will continue to stay in contact with me. They’ve reminded me that there are things I can do during this “idle” time—like work on my physical and mental health. So, I started talking to a therapist to help with my anxiety, I meditate, get out for 10K steps daily, and I got back on track with diet and exercise. We’re taking advantage of this down time, staying quarantined at home, and spending more time together. We make sure we are extra safe because if I test positive, my cycle could be canceled.
I’ve found this idle time during COVID-19 to be the perfect time to create a new routine that helps me.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is hard, and infertility can be an exhausting and isolating journey. It can be difficult to not get wrapped up in all of it. You let it define you and your day-to-day. But I try to stay focused, energized, happy, and excited for what’s to come. I’ve also been taking time to connect with others going through infertility. I’ve discovered some really great friends through the IVF community on Facebook and Instagram—we even do Zoom happy hours and Peloton rides. They keep me positive and help make me feel less alone.