Monday, September 5, 2011

IVF Survival Kit

As IVF approaches, I can already feel the tension and excitement both warring within me. Seriously. It's like one second I feel hopeless and defeated, wondering how on earth I will handle it if this doesn't end in a pregnancy. Then, the next second, I'm excited and feeling like this could really be it and I might really be pregnant for the first time! My mind can't even keep up with my heart at this point!

And yet, stress can't be good for me right now. I know that I need to find any way I can to bring happy things and positive thoughts into my life right now. AF started for me over the weekend (Yay! Finally), so I now have a tentative idea of when my stims will begin. I'm guessing I have about 34 days until I start stims, which should be right around October 8th, give or take a couple of days. I don't know the exact timeline yet, and I know you have to learn to be somewhat flexible since you never know how long stims will take or how your ovaries will respond, etc, but I'm guessing I should be finding out whether I am pregnant or not sometime close to Halloween! For this reason, I have already started decorating my house. I also bought pencils to write with and to fuel my Hello Kitty obsession, this super cute Halloween devil kitty. Everytime I look at a pumpkin or this Hello Kitty or write with one of my pencils, I smile and think that this is going to be the best Halloween ever! This is the Halloween where we find out we're going to be parents!!

I've also been working on something I call my IVF Survival Kit. Basically, I just went out and bought a big pink plastic storage tub and have decided to fill it with things that will make me happy and keep me occupied during the IVF process. As I filled it up tonight, I took some pictures of what's in it. I'm thinking I still might have a few items I want to add before October, but for now, I'm feeling great about what's in there. Here are the contents:

 Books: I write YA fiction, and I have a TON of YA books that have been sitting in my house for far too long. I have been wanting to read these books for forever, but there hasn't been a lot of time for reading lately since I've been writing so much. Since I'm taking a break from writing during IVF, I thought I would use this time to catch up on some of the books I've most been wanting to read.

Meg Cabot's Jinx. The Candidates by Inara Scott. Wither by Lauren DeStefano. Sherrilyn Kenyon's Infinity. Andrea Cremer's Nightshade. And finally, the one non-young adult book on my list, Matters of the Heart by Danielle Steel.

Magazines: I have a huge stack of magazines that are just calling out for me to look through. I love to make collages and vision boards, so I bought some super blinged-out sparkly scissors to use to cut out some cool pictures or anything I find in the magazines that inspires me. I might make a baby collage or even try to find some inspiration pictures for my next YA series that starts later this year. My magazines are a mix of beauty mags and Home & Garden mags.

 A Pregancy Journal: I bought this last week at the local Borders going out of business sale. It was half-off so only cost $11. I picked it up. Put it back. Then went back and picked it up again. Part of me was scared I would be jinxing myself by buying a pregnancy journal, but in the end I decided that starting to fill out the information at the beginning of the book (like my family tree and our wedding info and such) was a good idea and a way to think positive and look toward the future. Also, being obsessed with colorful pens, I bought some new gel pens at Staples so I can fill out my pregnancy journal in style... and color. The inside pages are super cute, too. All pink and plaid and paisley and dots. I love it. Also each section has tons of room to paste in pictures of your progression as your belly gets bigger. Very cute!

Sanrio/Hello Kitty: Yes, I know. It's a crazy obsession. But I love Hello Kitty! I love almost all things Sanrio, period. I'm putting my Hello Kitty couture lollipop in the survival kit that I got at The Sugar Factory in Las Vegas just a few months ago. Also, I went to this store called Five Below where everything is $5 or less and bought some Hello Kitty notebooks, trading cards, stickers, a lollipop ring, some mints and candies and a Chococat Beanie Baby. These things simply make me smile, and there's never enough of that to go around.

 Entertainment Items: This is part of the whole keep-me-occupied idea. I'm thinking this will particularly come in handy during the 2 week wait after the Embryo Transfer. I have two puzzles, a Fable III game for Xbox that my sister gave me for my birthday and I've been dying to find time to play, and my entire collection of all six seasons of my favorite show in the universe - Sex and the City! I also have the first movie in there. I'm thinking I might watch a mega-marathon of the show (which always makes me happy) while putting together the puzzles.

A friend of mine was talking about lending me her True Blood DVD's so I figure if I need to watch something I haven't seen before, I can call her up. Also, I put a ton of stand-up comedy and romantic comedies on my Instant queue on Netflix, just in case.

Comfy PJ's and Misc.: From other blogs I've read, I need to be prepared to be bloated and slightly uncomfortable throughout this process. Both from the meds and from the multitude of follicles that will fill with fluid after Egg Retrieval. So, in an effort to be more comfy I bought some cute purple striped pj's that were on clearance at Target. I also got this cute, very plushy Hello Kitty sweatshirt since it will be starting to get cool by the end of October. Just for fun, I also bought a nice butterfly notebook where I plan to write daily affirmations and positive thoughts. I got shiny stickers to make my affirmations extra happy. And finally, I bought this cute skull and crossbones candle at Bath and Body Works that smells delicious! It's Halloween themed, of course, so it's perfect for helping me think positive thoughts about our Halloween-time Beta results.

I packed all of these things up in my big pink tub along with some dairy queen coupons (ice cream is always good comfort food) and lots of love and happy thoughts. I thought about asking my closest friends and family, the ones who know we're going through IVF, to write letters or cards I could put in my survival kit, but then I chickened out. I think I just got scared that if they didn't have time or didn't remember to do it, it would make me sad. And I don't want to feel sad right now. I just want to fill my box with things that make me smile. It makes me feel better just knowing it's down there in my living room, waiting with all those happy things inside that will help me through the tough times ahead.

Tomorrow morning is our IVF education class. We'll also hand over our final payment for the cycle. This is the last of our requirements in order to get on the official schedule and have our official plan of care drawn up! It's all starting to come together!! I have a huge list of questions, so I hope I don't annoy them, haha. I'm nervous about it, but also excited to be learning more and really getting close to starting the meds. I'm so hopeful this is going to work. Please, God, let IVF be the miracle we've been praying for.


  1. Sending many prayers your way!
    Love the 'survival kit' what a great idea!

  2. Love your blog! wishing you all the best and LOVE all of these ideas. I am going to have to copy for IVF #2 when we do it!

  3. You are so it! And I think it's a great idea to ask people to write you little notes and cards, but I know what you mean it would be hard if they didn't. My experience is some friends are awesome though this, some are terrible. I've also had people I didn't really expect much from be incredibly just never know...
    PS Love Hello Kitty :)

  4. WOW - you are super organized! I so need to do something like this!

  5. Hi Sarra. I absolutely love this idea, I am so jealous that I didn't think of it! I put a link to it from my blog, I hope you don't mind. I am a new follower. I will be doing IVF this month and have a private blog. If you would like to read it send me a message thru friend connect.