Prepping for FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer)

eatsleepwear, Kimberly Lapides, LIFESTYLE, IVF, Infertility, FET, Frozen Embryo Transfer, Pregnancy

So many of you have written me DM’s, emails, and left comments asking how we prepped for our Frozen Embryo Transfer (or FET) and I wanted to share with you what I did to prepare. By the time you get to the actual FET, it’s like you can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. I remember going in for my first appointment for to start prep for my second FET and I was literally a ball of emotions and started to hysterically cry to my nurse about the pressure of it working. You have done so much to get to this place if you have been lucky enough to get embryos from your egg retrieval. I wrote about our first failed FET here and one thing I will say is that since this was my second time around, it was easier since I knew some of the “moves.” Easier in terms of, I knew the meds, I knew the process and I knew what I needed to do to get myself in the best possible shape to welcome our little embryo into our lives. So below, I will share what I did to prep for our FET. Please note that it’s so important to come up with a plan with your doctor and that what I share is only what I did and worked for my body based on what I needed. The photos included in this post are a photo of our ACTUAL transfer. This photo marks the beginning of our little miracle baby boy and I will treasure it always.

Supplements and meds I was taking
DHEA microionized and CoQ10 were supplements I took (which I bought from wholefoods). These are both longevity supplements that can help to enhance fertility. I don’t know if they made a difference personally, but it’s something I was religious about taking. I also continued to take my prenatal vitamins. Since I don’t love big pills my doctor was able to prescribe me with Vitafol Gummies with Iron. I also took 2000 IU of D3 because of a deficiency. Another supplement that was pretty unique was Trental, which I was taking was for my uterine lining. In previous cycles, I had a hard time getting my lining thick for transfer. My dr wanted to me to be close to 8mm and many times I had a hard time reaching that number and sometimes we didn’t. Something that seemed to help me was also taking Trental to help with bloodflow and to help my uterine lining grow thicker. I did the normal estrogen pills alongside of estrogen patches to also thicken my lining. Unfortunately due to adhesive sensitivities, I had to discontinue use of the patch and stick with the pills orally or vaginally (i know gross! But they absorb better vaginally). I also took 800 iu vitamin E to ensure no fluid build up that would interfere with the transfer. Since sometimes, if you have fluid buildup, it could affect your FET.

Diet
I ate a TON of eggs and avocado. I tried to eat as clean as possible but I didn’t force it. If I wanted cupcakes, I had cupcakes. I think it’s all about just making your body feel its best whatever that means for you. I never did the INSANE fertility diets bc they just didn’t work for me. Some of you wrote me about fertility shakes and other diets that really worked for you but again, it wasn’t what my body needed to prepare. We are all SO different and I think the bottom line is to feel like yourself, because sometimes taking such drastic changes from your norm end up stressing you out more than helping. As far as wine, I LOVE my wine, and I wanted to enjoy some before our big transfer. I stuck to no more than 2-3 glasses a week and not all in one sitting. That is what my dr said. Honestly, I think having a glass here and there relaxed me. With this successful FET, my doctor was SHOCKED at how great my lining was. She asked what I did differently this cycle. My answer: RED WINE and lot’s of it. So funny right?! I just stopped all alcohol when I started my progesterone injections. I also decided to cut coffee(even decaf) since I have sensitivities to caffeine. This was a totally personal choice but I wanted to be EXTRA cautious. This is prob the only weird thing I did. I didn’t have decaf coffee again until probably 9 weeks pregnant bc I was paranoid.

Acupuncture
I mentioned in all my blogs posts that I did acupuncture for my first egg retrieval and FET but sadly, it didn’t help me get pregnant and stressed me out more. Some people RAVE it helped them get pregnant. So just a suggestion if you are looking for something else to try, a lot of friends loved it. But again, it was not for me and I did NOT do acupuncture for my second FET.

Tips for progesterone injections
I always get a lot of questions about how I manage all the injections during IVF. Honestly, my mother to this day is still so shocked and impressed with how many injections I have done to date. It’s not an easy fear to overcome… but honestly these days, needles don’t scare me one bit. But it wasn’t always like that. The progesterone injections are by far the “scariest” of the injectables because the needle is longer (about 1-1.5” long!). Just seeing the needle will make you want to faint. Or at least I wanted to the first day I opened up my box of FET medications. You get bottles of PIO (or Progesterone in Oil) that a pharmacy compounds for you. Mine were compounded in Ethyl Oleate which is apparently the most fluid of the oil compounds. You might also get yours compounded in olive oil or sesame oil. I am allergic to sesame so I had ethyl oleate. The first day of these injections I was freaking out… the needle… how was I going to survive. I read HORROR stories online of how much people hated them which was my first mistake. But in reality, the injection wasn’t the painful part for me. Yes it can be uncomfortable but the injection itself isn’t bad. It is the aftermath of the progesterone getting lump in your butt post injection that was the most painful for me. But I practiced a simple routine to help with the discomfort. I would prop myself up, standing, against our kitchen island. Blake would then use a dart like motion to quickly jab the shot into my butt cheek. He would let me know when it was almost finished (it takes a minute to injection fully because the oil is thick) and then immediately after the injection, he would take a washcloth that had been pre-soaked in hot water and then use that to massage the area of the injection for at least 30 seconds. Massaging the area rigorously helps to distribute the oil and keep it from getting lumpy. After that, I would sit on a heat pad to help also with discomfort and to distribute the oil. I did end up having a sore butt but I think the massage really did help. After the transfer, I refrained from sitting on a heat pad because I was paranoid about the heat. But those are the things I did to help me get through. In the end, the progesterone injections were not as bad as the internet made them out to be but that was my own experience. Hope these tips will help!

Shopping before FET
I went to the store and bought lemons/real lemon juice in a bottle for hot water with lemon. Since I wanted to avoid all herbal tea and coffee period, I substituted in hot water with lemon to get lots of warm fluids in my body (because apparently that is great after transfer). You also want to grab all your favorite snacks and stock up on other warm foods like soup to enjoy when you first get home. Stock up on your favorite magazines too since you will be in bed on bed rest. Some people eat a lot of superstitious things but honestly I just ate as well as I could and still indulged in some of my fav treats!

Outfit the day of FET
I always lay out my outfit for day of transfer. Loose fitting sweatpants that don’t squeeze the tummy, a tshirt and cozy sweater since it is usually more chilly at the office. My sweater of choice was my vintage Mickey Mouse sweater because it honestly just makes me SO happy. The key is to be comfy and not wear anything too tight fitting.

Pajamas for bedrest
I always make sure to do all my laundry and pick out all my favorite cozy pajamas for my bedrest and lay them out so I don’t have to go digging for them when I am supposed to be relaxing. If you really want to treat yourself, order yourself a new “lucky” pair. I love gap body pajamas because they are super soft and really nice loose fitting. I love these two pants in particular because they don’t put any pressure on my stomach and I have worn them through my pregnancy so far.

Movies for bedrest
Stock up on some of your fav feel good movies. You want to be HAPPY, CALM (I hate to type that because i literally HATED people telling me to be calm), and just overjoyed excited for little embryo that is getting all cozy inside. So many great things on netflix but if you have that one all time fav rom com that literally makes you happier than anything, do yourself a favor and download it or buy it. You deserve to feel so happy during this bedrest and anything to help will make you feel so good. I tried to stay off my laptop because you don’t want to have that heat on your abdomen after your transfer.

That’s pretty much it! I didn’t do too many crazy things honestly, but there are small simple things you can do to put your mind at ease. The bottom line is you want to be prep for some lazy, guilt-free days of bedrest and keep those positve vibes flowing as the dreaded 2WW (two week wait) begins. That time is one of the longest 2 weeks of your life and starting it with ease and being kind to your body and mind is so important. If you are prepping for a FET, wishing you nothing but zen vibes and fingers, toes, and eyeballs crossed for a successful transfer. Stay strong friends!

If you want to read more about our IVF and infertility journey,
below are some links to my other blogposts:

IVF Round #1 // IVF Round #2 // IVF Book Resources

Prep for IVF Egg Retrieval // IVF Round #3

eatsleepwear, Kimberly Lapides, LIFESTYLE, IVF, Infertility, FET, Frozen Embryo Transfer, Pregnancy

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  • July 25, 2018 - 12:46 am

    Anna - Hi Kimberly, great post!
    I have been taking dhea for the past 6 months to prep for ivf no3. Sort of self medicated as my dr was a bit weird. When i started the ivf the dr said i can take it. It feels like he is not very experienced with dhea.

    Anyhow, i just had my egg retrieval. Out of 5, 4 fertilised and seems like good quality. We went for all freeze option and in the next cycle will be next month. I am unsure when i should stop taking the dhea before FET. Have you got any advice?

    Thanks
    Anna

    Ps. Congratulations.ReplyCancel

    • August 5, 2018 - 11:15 pm

      eat.sleep.wear. - Anna, Wishing you the best of luck moving into your FET. I am honestly not a doctor so for me to give you that kind of advice I am very hesitant. Maybe talk to a trusted nurse at your doctors office if you don’t vibe that well with your doctor and ask for their advice based on your medical history? Wish I could be more help to you but wishing you success with your upcoming transfer! xo, KimReplyCancel

  • August 1, 2018 - 12:14 pm

    Tracie - Thank you for blogging your ivf journey. When I got my first transfer I was told I was pregnant then two days later I lost it. That’s when my heart sank. This month is my second fet and tomorrow I am going to get my blood test to find if I am pregnant or not.

    I was told that everyone will have different symptom of early pregnancy sign. I was wondering what was yours?ReplyCancel

    • August 5, 2018 - 5:29 pm

      eat.sleep.wear. - I am so sorry to hear about your struggles. I commend you for your strength to push through. I know it’s not easy. Wishing you all the luck in the world as you wait for your results. I didn’t have too many early symptoms personally. I know everyone, and everybody is so different. Wishing you the best! xo, KimReplyCancel

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