Crash and Burn…Coming Off Those Meds…Jun 13, 2022
My husband came home from work that day and I just started crying. I kept asking myself, why am I feeling like this? Why do I just feel so crappy? He looked at me and said, it’s okay, you are just coming off the meds. Oh, right I said you don’t just go crazy on the meds you go crazy off the meds too!
So, I know the word “crazy” is not really the best word to use. I don’t really like using that word, but I guess it was just how I felt in that moment. I just didn’t feel like myself. Anyone who’s ever experienced IVF meds can tell you that you might just cry that the saltshaker wasn’t put back correctly in the pantry! Or how you might bite someone’s head off simply because they asked how you are today.
IVF meds are a real bitch! They really do make you feel crazy! The meds make you feel like someone else has inhabited your body. They make you feel so many different emotions. And the emotions are just overwhelming, they just come and are hard to control and turn off.
And the interesting thing is that after an egg retrieval you’re not just coming off all this hormone medication, but your body is trying to regulate itself from such an intense number of hormones. And on top of that you are dealing with possible grief from a failed cycle or the anxiety around the wait game (hyperlink to another blog post about the wait game/ grief). The emotional toll is just as high as the physical toll. All of this is not easy on any level to deal with.
How do you manage these emotions? How do you work, live life, enjoy while struggling to keep it together. How do you connect with your partner when you are angry and sad a lot of the time. How do you manage all of this on a daily basis.
Feeling awful after an IVF cycle is normal. It is almost to be expected. After a few times of doing this, you start to know what to expect, and you try not to get overwhelmed as much when it happens, but it can be pretty difficult to deal with. And no matter how much you have gone through the process before, it is still very difficult and can feel new all over again with each experience. Each cycle is different and sometimes you can manage better than others. Either way, detoxing from stim meds is a real thing. And there’s a lot of ups and downs through the process. So here are a few tips that might help make the process a little more bearable.
Recognize and acknowledge
I talk a lot about this with my clients. Awareness is key to restructuring the way you think or how to change your behavior or how to simply just cope with what is going on around you.
You don’t want to just push through all the time. Sometimes you need to acknowledge the pain you are experiencing. Sometimes you have to acknowledge the grief and the loss you are experiencing. When you acknowledge this emotional pain, you can move forward from it.
Look I’m not saying it’s easy, it’s hard AF. It’s not easy to admit your hurting. It is not easy to say I need help and it is definitely not easy to acknowledge this shit just sucks and I hate it. But the more honest you can be with how you are feeling in the moment, the more you can cope with these moments and the more you can overcome these moments. The point here is that you wind up being more in control of your emotions!
Ask for support
I know how hard it is to ask for support, to ask for help. But I am a believer and advocate for emotional support. I think it is so helpful to have support while going through such difficult times. Support doesn’t always look the same and can come in different forms. You can get support from professionals, from family, from friends, or from strangers. Just know who you can rely on when going through your fertility journey. You want to have people supporting you who are in your corner, who will lift you up, not judge you or bring you down. There is no room for negativity and judgement from outside people during your fertility journey. Infertility is hard enough, you sure as heck don’t need people making you feel worse.
Engage in Self-Care
I know the last thing you want to do when you are sad, tired, frustrated, emotionally and physically spent and coming off hormone medications is to take care of yourself because it just seems like one more thing you have to do and can’t do right now… but it is a must! It’s so important to take care of yourself when you are coming down from the stim medicine after an IVF cycle. Go for a walk outside if you can. Continue to eat healthy foods even when you are craving all the bad stuff! Eat a few of those foods and then go back to eating healthy food that will keep you feeling good. Meditate and say your affirmations. Do something fun for yourself that you couldn’t do when you were going through your treatments. Do something fun with your partner too. And continue with your fertility acupuncture and yoga.
I am not saying that these things will not make you feel crappy during this time. Crappy feelings are a part of this process, they are part of the territory, they are part of the journey. So yes, you will still feel your emotions. They just come to use like a wave crashing the shore. But all the things mentioned above will help. These things will help you to feel more connected to yourself while you are feeling disconnected. These things will help manage your emotions, help you cope and will help you feel more emotionally supported and stable during this time.
So, when your husband says to you… I totally forgot the bread at the grocery store, sorry about that. The urge to scream at him might still be there lol but instead you may just take a deep breath and ask not to forget the grocery list next time!
Need more help and support going through your IVF cycle and during your fertility journey? My online course can help you! It can give you the skills you need to feel more in control and less stressed while going through this challenging time.
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