Believe me when I tell you that it is just as unbelievable for me to write this article, as it is for you to read it.
Out of all the obstacles we may have expected to come across during our infertility journey (lack of IVF insurance, lack of response to stims, cancelled cycles, no fertilization, early miscarriages) the one I would have never thought possible is happening right now: clinics worldwide are cancelling cycles and closing their doors because of a Pandemic.
I never watched Black Mirror cause I am not into Science Fiction, truth be told.
I never watched it yet I am living it right now.
I am in Paris, France and this is my third day of lockdown.
I know too well what it’s like to be waiting for your period to come, in order to start a new cycle. I know how it feels to count the days, the hours, heart in your mouth, waiting for the next scan, the next blood test.
I also know what it’s like when your clock is ticking, when a week seems like a decade, and you would like to be able to squeeze 3 cycles into one month, because insurance is going to cut you off later this year due to age.
Yet, for reasons that are completely out of our control, you have to let go, stop your medically assisted procreation efforts and wait…for better days to come.
To say you are frustrated is a huge understatement. It may feel unfair, it may feel like it’s the end of it and who knows if you’re ever going to get the chance to try again. But there is really nothing you or anyone can do about it, and here we are, all in the same situation, united in some sort of universal grief.
My name is Oana and I am a control freak. I really am, and I am not ashamed to say it. I have a hard time leaving my fate in the hands of others, which is surely why I am afraid of flying, among other things.
So what is there to be done while waiting for the virus to crawl back into the hole it came from in the first place, and for our lives to pick up from where they left off?
What can be done when you’re in lockdown, and all you can do, you can do it from home?
I mean, what is there to be done except going through your drawers, reorganizing your closets, decluttering your attic, sorting out old pictures?
Well, I would take an hour a day just for myself, for getting my body in shape and bettering my health in view of future IVF and IUI cycles, while of course trying naturally in the meantime, if this is an option.
GET ON YOUR SUPPLEMENTS
Amazon is generally still working. With toilet paper and canned food being the best sellers, now may be a good time to order your supplements and make sure you take them religiously. You’re no longer in a hurry to get to work in the morning, no more commute for the most of you working from home, so you have no excuse for forgetting that Ubiquinol pill or not having the time to prepare that wheatgrass smoothie. Here is the link to an older article of mine, explaining the use and benefits of the best known supplements.
I have to confess I am not a big fan myself. I envy people who can stick to it, but I am just so lazy when it comes to sport and that’s bad.
Don’t be like me! Exercise! With most of the gym chains closing their doors to public, you may believe that working out from home is difficult. No ideas, no motivation. Think again! This CBS article offers links to several fitness studios offering free online sessions, either live-streamed or recorded. Check it out
Nope, coronavirus lockdown is no vacation by the beach.
Sure, you may not have to wake up to the alarm clock every morning at 6 am, but not being able to leave your house unless for authorized and very specific reasons, not being able to visit with friends and family is not a stroll in the park. In the article below you can find out about free apps offering meditation and yoga classes and even exercise ideas for your kids.
In a super stressful situation, try to de-stress by any means! If it’s a hot bath or a glass of wine, or just laying on the floor listening to the sound of waves in your headphones…go for it!
I’m sure you all have a long list of good reads waiting on your nightstand. I know I do!
But apart from literature or whatever you usually like to read, you may now have the time to catch up on fertility books.
I must admit I have spent quite a whole lot of money on fertility books myself. Some were amazing, some were ok, and some were meh. I won’t bother you with the meh ones, but I am seriously recommending the good ones. I do go back to them from time to time and they also offer me guidance for my articles.
Inconceivable by Julia Indichova was my first buy when I discovered my AMH was low and I was probably going to need fertility treatments. If anything, it gave me hope, and taught me to never stop fighting for what I believe to be best for myself. Julia’s story goes back to 1992. Since then, her work has been published in New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and a number of other publications. Her website www.fertileheart.com offers access to many useful resources, from workshops and webinars to food recipes and fertility supplements.
Yes, you can get pregnant. Natural ways to improve your fertility now and into your 40s, by Aimee E Raupp. Easy to read, lots of interesting recipes and common sense tips on how to give your body a well deserved break from toxins, while eating healthy and preparing for a future pregnancy.
The infertility cure by Randine Lewis, PhD shows you how to improve your overall health and wellbeing the old natural way, using diet and herbs. Randine is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist who studies both Eastern and western medicine. She is a member of RESOLVE, the American Infertility Association and directs Fertile Soul Retreats.
START A FERTILITY DIET
You used to be busy and always running around, and cooking just for yourself was never an option. Now that you’re staying home you probably can take some more time to meal prep, and be more careful about your diet.
If it is KETO you would go for, or rather PALEO, there are tons of websites out there with amazingly tasty recipes that can inspire you. Just make sure your overall health and potentially existent health issues allow you to safely adopt a certain diet.
My favourite website for KETO recipes is by far www.dietdoctor.com. I have one word for their recipes DE-LISH! I won’t even say more, just go check for yourselves.
As for PALEO, Silas Stone won my heart with his Paleo Bible, the ultimate guide.
His recipes are so good and so easy to make, that you can follow them even if you’re not entirely into the Paleo diet.
If you’re an Instagram addict like myself you may prefer video recipes. Krista is a very young New York blogger, who, by her own description, offers you “healthy inspo, real life + spreading sunshine”.
I happen to know Krista personally, and she is not only a gorgeous, positive and amazing human being, but also an extremely creative recipe inventor. I don’t know how she comes up with ideas that would never ever cross my mind, but I know I tried many of her recipes and boy they’re good!
Krista is the to be found on Instagram at @frozen_bananas_ or on her website
Since every other option is off the table, here we are back in the 18th century, having sex in order to try making babies. Who would have thought?
I know that for some of you, this option is not really an option.
For all the other ones, as much as I hate to say it (for hating to hear it myself) MIRACLES DO HAPPEN.
Have sex if only for the fun of it!
Time it, temp every morning, keep a chart, check your LH twice a day with ovulation strips, check your ovulation with the PROOV progesterone strips and remember you have 5 USD off when buying using this link
...and make your stock of pregnancy tests. You will have more time then ever to pee on that stick!
This situation is not an easy one.
On top of it all, it is something we haven’t been prepared and trained for, something we would have expected to see only in cheap movies. You know…the ones where the whole planet is dying and the gorgeous blond virologist, with perfect curls and fake lashes after having spent one week without a shower in the Amazonian jungle comes to save us in the last 3 minutes before credits?
I personally don’t count on the gorgeous virologist to save me, but I totally have to believe this is going to be over at one point.
And we will all get back to our lives, stronger and more determined to appreciate life for what it is: a priceless gift that more often than not, we take for granted.
Stay safe, stay healthy, be well!