What is it really like…going through IVF treatment

IVF treatment

Have you ever wondered what it’s really like to have IVF treatment? Perhaps you’re just curious, or perhaps you’re out there reading this considering going down that route? Find out what it’s really like to have IVF treatment from one mama who has been there in this edition of What is it really like…as I get into conversation on the topic with Sunita who blogs over at Lucky Things

Could you share a little about your circumstances and why you chose to undergo IVF?

Things weren’t happening the natural way for about a year and we felt that we needed to start fertility tests. The tests revealed there was an issue with me so it was going to be pretty difficult to get pregnant. If I did get pregnant it might be ectopic which was really scary. I guess we chose to undergo IVF as we wanted to start a little family, it was the only way. It was heartbreaking at the time and I didn’t realise IVF was so common and it actually worked out for lots of couples. I felt that we were going on a journey which wouldn’t be successful.

It’s often heard that IVF is as or more stressful than any major life event – could you share a little on why that is? and how you prepared for/dealt with that?

For me, it has been a very stressful time. I’m not sure what was more stressful, trying to get pregnant naturally and wondering why things weren’t happening or starting the IVF process or becoming pregnant and being terrified you won’t actually have your baby for some reason. I think there are different stressful parts to it all. Plus, feeling stressed and anxious doesn’t help as you need to have a relaxed and happy body. It was really really tough.

I actually didn’t read up on IVF that much as our clinic CRGH was pretty good. I trusted our consultant Lisa Webber as she came up with ideas for our particular fertility situation. I avoided reading online discussion groups as the stories and progress updates made me upset. I wish I’d discovered blogs about IVF at the time but I wasn’t in the blogging zone then.

Luckily one of my school mates was starting IVF a bit before me. She was my mini-coach and reassured me that doing the injections would be fine (even though I was terrified of needles).

We had to stay positive which was hard. We treated our first IVF cycle as a ‘practice’. Then maybe we wouldn’t be as disappointed if it didn’t work. Of course that wouldn’t have helped if it didn’t work but it was something to focus on. As we could only do natural IVF the chances were even slimmer of working; about 10%! But we had to give it a go as we’d regret not trying otherwise. I was really quiet about doing IVF and only confided in a few friends and close family members as they also knew about my gynae operations.

Had you ever thought about what you would do if IVF failed?

Oh gosh. Life would have been very different for us. I could see us living somewhere else, maybe Berlin or Canada. We did talk about moving to another country if IVF didn’t work for us. But as I mentioned to my husband at the time, I’m going to have to figure out a way for me to deal with the fact I may not become a mummy as wherever we live I’ll be surrounded by young families and motherhood life. I’m sure we would cope but it would take a lot of support and acceptance. I have close friends and family members where IVF hasn’t worked for them yet. They are an inspiration as they get on with things, enjoy their lives and make the most of each day. Doing IVF really gives you a different perspective on life.

What did you wish you had known before starting IVF?

I wish I’d known how common IVF is! It’s only when I started talking about our first baby being an IVF baby that every person I spoke to would come back with a story of how they did IVF or how they knew someone who did. So talking about it could have really helped me at the time. I’m now really open about our IVF experience and only just featured the first part of our story on my blog.

The second time round we did IVF, it also worked for us. I was better equipped as I knew what to expect from the process and the harsh routine (160 injections for the first three months of being pregnant to protect me and baby from potential miscarriages).

What crucial tips would you share to those thinking about going down the IVF route?

Find your support rocks and confide in them. Don’t go through this emotionally on your own. Find a good counselor as trust me dealing with infertility-fertility unknowns can really make you question things like “why me?” and “am I going to be any less of a person if I do IVF”, “what will people think if I can’t become a mummy?” or “how am I going to deal with seeing everyone else get pregnant before me?”.

Don’t just rely on your partner for support as people forget how tough it is for husbands/partners to go through IVF too.

Also think about me-treats that make you happy, whether it’s something new to wear or a nice supper with one of your pals who will make you smile.

What for you was the one single most incredible thing about going through IVF?

Bravery and togetherness. Sorry that’s two. It brings a tear to my eye every time i think about when my Mum or my friends told me how brave I was being. I didn’t give myself enough credit at the time. IVF can be really tough on couples as they’re striving for something that might to happen. But I will always be grateful as my husband Mr.H happily administered my injections every night for three months without any complaint.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I hope you liked reading a bit about our IVF experience. Every day we feel truly blessed as we did natural IVF twice and it worked both times. Now we have a three-year old Big Munch and she has a sister who’s one-year old Baby Munch. Even during the tougher parenting moments, I remind myself how I’m lucky to be a mummy. I also thank the girls for ‘choosing me’ to be their mummy, putting aside the emotional IVF roller coaster, there’s something magical about it all.

Read more from Sunita on her blog here at luckythings.co.uk  and connect on Twitter @luckythingsblog and Instagram @luckythingsblog.


  1. Ah feel a bit funny being the first to comment on this, but just want to say thanks Tayla. I think I’d met you for 10 minutes at the #BML16 Friday night drinks and I decided to be open about our IVF stuff with you. Next thing I know you’re asking me to write about it for your blog. So cool joining forces with other ladies to increase the awareness of what IVF is really like. I don’t want others feeling isolated like I did. Love being part of the #coolmumclub Love how supportive you guys are xx See you in October or November for a hug x Sunita

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story it truly is an eye opener. I am so glad you have your two beautiful babies and have remained strong and positive through what must have been a challenging time xxx #coolmumclub

  3. Thank you for sharing – I’m so glad you are happy with your family. A friend of mine went for IVF several times before eventually falling pregnant. She then fell pregnant naturally several times afterwards and now has 4 beautiful children. #coolmumclub

  4. Thank you for sharing this, infertility is heartbreaking and I’m so glad that you were successful. I very rarely share our infertility journey as it was my ex husband who was infertile and it’s not really my story to tell now we are no longer together, but we experienced the highs and lows of a whole range of infertility treatments and I think that in the end, coupled with the loss of our son, it was that which ended our marriage as we just couldn’t cope with the stress of IVF and the recurrent miscarriages any longer. #coolmumclub

  5. Thank you for sharing your story. I only know one person who has been through IVF but as you say it does seem more common than you think – just not something people talk about as I can imagine how hard it can be to discuss. Well done for sharing your story and being so honest #coolmumclub

  6. My younger sister has twin girls via IVF and never discussed her treatment outside of the family. She felt incredibly isolated on her journey to being a mother and like you found the injections really hard. She got lucky the third time round which she said before she went for it would be her last. It is a wonderful treatment that brings so much joy and happiness to so many people. I am so glad it worked out for you. Thanks for sharing your story. #coolmumclub

  7. We came very close to the IVF pathway too, although it seems once we ‘stopped trying’ the miracle happened. In fact, I found out I was pregnant the day before our appointment. Even in my tiny window into the IVF route, I can relate to a lot of what you said. We were distraught and faced the ‘what if’ of never having children. We’d already discussed quitting our jobs, selling our home and travelling the world. It’s safe to say life would have been so different.
    Thanks for being so open about your journey Sunita, and for all your support at #coolmumclub

  8. Congratulations and Im so glad you chose to share your story. I think it’s right what you say about the impact on partners too. A male friend (not even that close) opened up to my husband the other day about how they’re going to embark on 4th IVF round soon and how tough it has been for both of them. Apparently it’s the first time he’s spoken about it to any one apart from his wife about this. My husband (bless him!) told him to go tell his boss at work and explain he needs time off or at least flexible working to get through this. He did on Monday and apparently his boss was totally knocked for 6, had no idea and was incredibly supportive. It’s so stressful and thank you for sharing xx #coolmumclub

  9. I can not imagine how stressful the process actually was for you and your partner. When you want to become a mommy that is all your mind will allow you to think about. Onne month of a negative pregnancy test is devastating- so what you went though to become a mom TWICE at that- amazing lady!

  10. I think it’s fantastic that you have shared your story and experiences of IVF. I have a number of very close friends that have been through the process, each with a very different story to tell, but each of them have echoed your writing around how tough and challenging it it, and how the support of those around you is priceless. I am sure that your mean such anyone who is facing this journey to parenthood. x

    Thanks for sharing Talya x #coolmumclub

    • Erm – sorry about that – my laptop had a moment. That last line should read “I’m sure that your words will mean such a lot to anyone who is facing this journey to parenthood.” x

  11. What a brave lady, to go through it and to now share your experiences for others. It’s amazing what they can do with science these days, isn’t it! I am so pleased that it worked for you. #CoolMumClub

  12. Thanks for sharing your experience! I know a few people who went through IVF and it sounds so stressful, but none of them regretted it, even when they had several unsuccessful rounds. Kids are worth it, eh? #coolmumclub

  13. Thank you for sharing your story and im pleased it had worked so well for you. I have not had any experience of IVF either personally or via friends, but from what I have read it is a very tough and issolating experience so im sure your sharing your experience will help plenty of couples out there xx

  14. How interesting to read about this experience – glad IVF worked out for Sunita. I have no fertility issues, but I have had an ectopic pregnancy and was at much higher risk of further ectopics (though, luckily, I actually had two children with no problem) – they’re not a pleasant experience and quite frightening, and worrying about it happening again and the period of not knowing early on is stressful. It’s good that IVF can be a way round for people who are likely to keep having ectopic pregnancies if conceive naturally. #coolmumclub

  15. Gorgeous post and I absolutely admire anyone who goes through it as I know I would have fallen apart if I had to go through IVF. I’ve always been very aware of how lucky I was to conceive naturally with no trouble at all but this post has reminded me again. #coolmumclub

  16. Such an informative and honest post. I am so happy to hear that everything worked out for you. I was told in my late 20’s that I would have to take fertility drugs if I ever wanted to conceive. I decided that I didn’t want to take them. I had a lot of mixed emotions back then and felt that if I couldn’t get pregnant the good ol fashioned way then maybe I just wasn’t meant to be a mother. My husband at the time, was tested and had sperm count that was off the charts so it was all me. We eventually divorced and I was in another 5 year relationship after that in which we never used protection and I never got pregnant. Then at 34 I met my current husband and within 5 months of meeting each other …I was pregnant…the good ol fashioned way. I called him my miracle baby but surprisingly 2 more followed. #coolmumclub

  17. I have a few friends for whom IVF did not work, even after several attempts. With their fundraising funds depleted, they’ve had to make the decision to live without biological children. One friend chose to adopt two children, while the other chose to live child-free. Both have gone on to be pretty happy overall, although they do wish they could have had biological children, they’ve been through counseling and are able to move forward with life.

  18. Thank you for sharing this and the experiences that go along with IVF. It is so so common, and I bet it is more comforting to know that.

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