As an IVF veteran and professional organizer, I wanted to share some tips to make a super chaotic time just a little more manageable. There is already so much that is out of your control when you are in the middle of infertility. In my opinion, that’s the most difficult part. No one can promise that everything will work. In the middle of our infertility journey, I remember thinking that if only I could look into the future and know that we were going to have a child, that I could just relax and be ok with the process it would take to get there.
But in the meantime, we are left with the practical. While you can’t control the outcome, there are some things you can do to preserve your sanity and make things just a little bit easier during your IUI/IVF cycle.
First, ALL THE MEDS. Holy crap, the meds. When I got past the idea that injectables would be in my future, like it or not, I was super overwhelmed by the volume and complexity of the medications during our IVF cycle. It seems like it’s just on the edge of irresponsible to give that much responsibility to non-medical professionals!
Your clinic will give you a list of all the meds for your cycle. Read over that list and ask questions – make sure you are super clear on dosages, whether meds should be stored at room temp or in the fridge, and whether they should be mixed in advance or at the time on injection. Keep in mind that your meds could change mid-cycle, so you have to be ready to adjust your plan if needed. Once you are clear on the plan, here are my suggestions to organize your medications and make things easier in a super-stressful time:
- Designate two bins for medications: one for room-temperature medications, and one for fridge meds. Label both.
- Create a cheat sheet -in your own words- for each separate medication. Dosage, instructions, timing, etc. Everything you need to make sure you understand your protocol. Writing it down will solidify everything in your mind and will also bring any questions to light that you can take to your nurse before your cycle begins.
- Use post-it notes to label meds AM or PM and place in their respective bins. This will make things a little easier if you’re in a time crunch.
- Create a daily schedule: what meds you will take when, who will give you meds (I highly suggest a partner for this if possible) and all doctor’s appointments.
- Look ahead on your calendar and note any pressing engagements. What can be pushed out or rescheduled? You want your schedule to have a few things that you can look forward to (because distractions are great during IVF) but during your cycle you will be pretty preoccupied, so it’s best not to have to worry about anything else if it’s possible.
- Make sure that you have a plan in place for acquiring medications as needed mid-cycle. Online pharmacies are great for this, but you usually need at least 24 hours of lead time. Get insurance sorted out on the front end so you don’t need to worry about it during your cycle.
- If you don’t meal plan, now is a great time to start. Freezer meals, meal delivery, take out or date nights to your favorite place. Just don’t make yourself cook during your cycle if you can avoid it. Aim for healthy, yummy, comfort food!
Being organized is all about thinking ahead and creating systems to ease your mind and free you up from endless decision-making.
With a little advance planning, you’ll be able to enter into your treatment cycle with a plan in place and your life in order, freeing up your mind to focus on positive thinking.
You can do hard things, and you can do this! Sending you love and baby dust.