Hot Water Bottle
Check with your fertility doctor when you can use this but I loved having a hot water bottle every few days up to egg collection (I read that warmth helps the follicles grow). I didn’t use it directly on my skin but the warmth was comforting.
I had also heard that a protein rich diet is good for follicle growth so I started using hemp protein powder in my smoothie shakes. I’d have spinach, apple, banana, blueberries, ginger and protein powder and tried to do this every morning. Hemp protein powder tastes absolutely disgusting, honestly it’s so bad, but I knew that it was a good, natural type of protein!
My husband was very cautious with me getting OHSS that he bought me gatorade A LOT. I didn’t have much to worry about as I don’t have many eggs to worry about over stimulating. However, we did prepare for the possibility of OHSS through my diet. I ate salty foods occasionally and had gatorade on hand. I also ate a really healthy diet with less carbs (cauliflower rice was a substitute), more protein and less sugar. I also drank a lot of coconut water and opted for fruit instead of sweet treats! In fact, when I had a blood test after stims, my glucose level was too low! It’s probably the least amount of sugar I’ve consumed in my life.
Again, one of the symptoms of OHSS is weight increase so you need to check your weight daily from the start of stims.
It’s really useful to have a note pad to write down any symptoms you’re experiencing, your weight gain, a note of your injections (I prepared a separate timetable for this) and any questions that come to mind for the fertility doctor.
If you’re leaving the house and need to take your injections with you, it’s nice to have a pretty wash bag to keep them in.
Throughout IVF you’ll need to rest and there’s nothing better than snuggling in new, fresh pyjamas or a cosy dressing gown. After egg collection I was in a lot of pain and that day I snuggled on the sofa in my dressing gown – it made it so much more comfortable to throw it on rather than wear something tight over my tummy!
You will need something to occupy your time while you recover from egg collection and to keep you busy in the TWW. I love audio books so downloaded a few and I watched a whole series of Broadchurch on Netflix in the two days after egg collection! Make sure you have something to take your mind of it.
A Caring Partner
You need someone there to help you, whether it is a family member, a friend or your partner. My husband did all of the injections for me and I couldn’t have done it without him! But IVF is also an emotional journey and it’s nice to have someone there that will understand and care for you when you need a hug.
A Sense of Humour
This is my number one essential item for IVF! I surprised myself with how well I handled it. I literally laughed my way through injections and replaced fear with faith for every scan, doctor visit, egg collection and embryo transfer. It’s an exciting journey!