New to IVF. How do I time it around a crappy work schedule?

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New to IVF. How do I time it around a crappy work schedule?

Postby alexandra1234 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:17 am

Hi everyone, I just got word from my RE (1st visit was yesterday) that IVF/icsi is our only option. :(

I have a question about logistics of timing, and schedule manipulation.

I have a very very high-stress job with super long hours. It will not lend itself well to "popping out for an ultrasound on my lunch break". That said, I do have a certain two-week period that will be much lighter. How do I manipulate my IVF cycle to make the most intense part of the IVF procedure (the days leading up to retrieval, and then transfer, I assume) coincide with my "light" two weeks at work? Do I just take birth control pills for a longer or shorter period of time, so that everything works out?

Thanks in advance!
Me, dh: 33
IUD out: 01/'13.
Dec '13: HSG: R tube clear, L blocked-ish, hydrosalpinx
Jan-Oct '14: TTC break
Nov '14: TTC back on!
Dec '14: Clomid #1! BFN :(
Feb '15: Clomid #2. BFN
March '15: 1st RE appt: IVF with ICSI is our only option.
3/23 saline sono: WTF is that polyp doing in my ute?! 3/26: Hysteroscopic polypectomy
4/28: Embryo retrieval! 15 eggs retrieved, 10 fertilized, 9 frozen.
5/3: 5-day transfer. BFN. :(
6/9: 5-day frozen transfer. OMG BFP!!!

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Re: New to IVF. How do I time it around a crappy work schedu

Postby MidwestGirl » Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:20 am

I have a little experience with trying to work around crappy schedules because I was in medical school when we did our first IVF and now am in my medical residency and planning for IVF again. I also tried to time it around weeks I'd be working less (trying to squeeze it into an 80-hour work week seemed unlikely). We successfully did that the first time around. My clinic was very accommodating. I told them what time window I had, and they put me on Lupron for a longer time so that the stimulation drugs would start during the lighter work window. I don't really have a "lunch break" either and find it hard to get away during business hours, so I did have to tell the other people in my clinic that I would be gone for an hour in the mornings during the stim week.

I did not want to tell the whole world I was going through IVF, so I had different things I told people on different days. One day, it was "a doctor's appointment," another day "a meeting," another day "an important errand," etc. When I knew the egg retrieval was coming up, I told them I was taking a sick day for "an outpatient procedure." One co-worker was nosy, and I just told him I had "some gynecologic issues," and that pretty much shut down any follow-up questions! You probably should plan on taking the whole day off when you go for egg retrieval because the anesthesia will leave you groggy for several hours afterward. The embryo transfer was about a 2-hour thing from arrival to returning to work, and yes, you can go back to work right after. It's a myth that you have to lie on the couch to aid implantation.

This time around, I unfortunately have to do a "freeze all" because of developing OHSS last time. I'm going to be on a busy inpatient hospital month but didn't want to put it off another 3 months until a less-busy time. My clinic did offer to delay starting the cycle to work around my schedule, but there's no good window. So, I am trying to trade call days with other co-workers and will have to tell them I'll be gone for an hour or so every morning that week. Someone will have to cover my patients and take my pager for that time, and I imagine I'll be trading all kinds of favors. I wish the culture were different, but in my workplace I don't think it would be looked upon favorably to be taking time off for IVF. People see reproducing as optional and as something that one wouldn't do during residency if one were truly dedicated to the profession. I plan to just be vague and tell them I am "dealing with some medical problems." Hopefully, your workplace is a more forward thinking.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that even if your schedule really sucks, there will be a way to do IVF. Don't let the logistics mess up your plans for a family!

Good luck to you, and keep us posted! *Baby dust*
Me: 36, low progesterone/ovulatory dysfunction
DH: 41, healthy
19 months TTC #1
IVF Oct/Nov 2012, BFP! DD born at 41 weeks 1 day
13 months TTC #2, 1 year break, then 2 more months TTC
FET Jan 2015, BFN
Freeze-all IVF May 2015, 2 snowbabies
FET July 2015, BFP but m/c at 5w1d :angel:
FET Sept 2015, BFN
IVF with fresh tfr Sept 2016, BFP, DS born at 41 weeks
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Re: New to IVF. How do I time it around a crappy work schedu

Postby alexandra1234 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:20 pm

Lol, I'm a resident too! So happy to see this reply from someone who understands. :) Especially the part about being able to return to work after embryo transfer!

Thank you x1000000!!! :)

I really hope baby #2 comes soon for you! xox
Me, dh: 33
IUD out: 01/'13.
Dec '13: HSG: R tube clear, L blocked-ish, hydrosalpinx
Jan-Oct '14: TTC break
Nov '14: TTC back on!
Dec '14: Clomid #1! BFN :(
Feb '15: Clomid #2. BFN
March '15: 1st RE appt: IVF with ICSI is our only option.
3/23 saline sono: WTF is that polyp doing in my ute?! 3/26: Hysteroscopic polypectomy
4/28: Embryo retrieval! 15 eggs retrieved, 10 fertilized, 9 frozen.
5/3: 5-day transfer. BFN. :(
6/9: 5-day frozen transfer. OMG BFP!!!

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Re: New to IVF. How do I time it around a crappy work schedu

Postby waiting_redhead » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:55 pm

During my first IVF, I was working around 60 hours a week (new CFO, new staff to train, etc etc.) Fortunately, my clinic did all testing super early in the morning - the labs (both bloodwork and ultrasound) both opened at 7am only for the Infertility Center patients. Perhaps your RE/Clinic has a similar arrangement?

As for the ER, ditto what MidwestGirl said, you'll need (and want) to take that whole day off - I slept the whole day after both of mine. However, I was able to work in the afternoon after my transfers; in fact, my doctor encouraged me to be up and around right after the procedure.

I made the mistake of telling a few too many people about my first attempt, so it was a little hard to hide where I was when I had to go for ER/ET. This time, hardly anyone knows!
Me: 38, DH: 36
Official DX: Unexplained

IVF#1: Oct 2014 (BCP, Gonal-F, Cetrotide, Ovidrel trigger) - 11 retrieved, 7 mature, 4 fert., 1 made it to day 5 transfer, BFN
IVF#2: Feb 2015 (Lupron, Gonal-F, Menopur, HCG trigger w ICSI and AH) - 13 retrieved, 12 mature, 10 fert, Day 3: Transferred 2 and Froze 3 - BFN
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Re: New to IVF. How do I time it around a crappy work schedu

Postby Karen1111 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:27 pm

Is your clinic near your work? That was key for me. I am an attorney so I understand the crazy work schedule.

My appointments were all at 7am or so, so I was at work with no issues. The only day you absolutely have to take off is the ER. The ET for me was about a half day. I took it off because my ET last time was 12/24, so no one was working anyway. But I'll probably go back to the office after my ET in a couple of weeks.
Me - 31; DH - 35
TTC #1 since Sep. 2013, diagnosed with MFI Sep. 2014. IVF w/ ICSI only option.

IVF #1 w/ ICSI - BFN
12/19/14 - ER 8 eggs, 6 fertilized, 5 made it to 3-day.
12/24/14 - Transferred one 4AB embryo, 1 frozen.

IVF #2 w/ ICSI - Freeze all cycle

3/11/15 - ER 14 eggs, 8 fertilized, 6 made it to freeze!

FET #1
5/7/15 - ET of 1 4AA embryo
5/14/15 - :bfp:
5/18/15 - Beta #1 493 (11dp5dt)
5/20/15 - Beta #2 1,333 (13dp5dt)
5/27/15 - first u/s - one sac measuring at 6 weeks! Beta #3 15,613
6/2/15 - second u/s :hb: 119 b/m
6/9/15 - third u/s :hb: 153 b/m. Officially graduated from the RE!
7/2/15 - first OB appointment :hb:170 b/m
7/8/15 - First trimester/NT scan :hb:163 b/m
9/2/15 - Anatomy Scan - It's a girl!!
Madeleine Drew born January 20, 2016

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Re: New to IVF. How do I time it around a crappy work schedu

Postby alexandra1234 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:34 pm

Redhead and Karen, thanks for weighing in with your thoughts, I really appreciate it. My clinic is near my work thankfully, but I have to start work myself at 6 or 6:30 am most mornings, so it looks like morning appointments won't work. I think I'll try to schedule on lighter rotations... And then sneak out during noon lecture conferences when ppl are less likely to notice I'm gone.

My RE says he will be able to build me a sample schedule once AF starts, which should be next Monday. So I won't have a batter idea until then.

Thanks again everyone!
Me, dh: 33
IUD out: 01/'13.
Dec '13: HSG: R tube clear, L blocked-ish, hydrosalpinx
Jan-Oct '14: TTC break
Nov '14: TTC back on!
Dec '14: Clomid #1! BFN :(
Feb '15: Clomid #2. BFN
March '15: 1st RE appt: IVF with ICSI is our only option.
3/23 saline sono: WTF is that polyp doing in my ute?! 3/26: Hysteroscopic polypectomy
4/28: Embryo retrieval! 15 eggs retrieved, 10 fertilized, 9 frozen.
5/3: 5-day transfer. BFN. :(
6/9: 5-day frozen transfer. OMG BFP!!!

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Re: New to IVF. How do I time it around a crappy work schedu

Postby MidwestGirl » Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:09 pm

I saw you updated your sig with dates. I'm going to be about 3 weeks behind you, starting OCP this week and injectables the first week of May. I'm rooting for your success and will be hoping you post an update as things go along. Any tips you discover about working this around a resident's schedule would obviously be very appreciated. (I fear that I will have less freedom to come and go than I did as a medical student due to more responsibility... but either way, here we go!)
:babydustb:
Me: 36, low progesterone/ovulatory dysfunction
DH: 41, healthy
19 months TTC #1
IVF Oct/Nov 2012, BFP! DD born at 41 weeks 1 day
13 months TTC #2, 1 year break, then 2 more months TTC
FET Jan 2015, BFN
Freeze-all IVF May 2015, 2 snowbabies
FET July 2015, BFP but m/c at 5w1d :angel:
FET Sept 2015, BFN
IVF with fresh tfr Sept 2016, BFP, DS born at 41 weeks
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Re: New to IVF. How do I time it around a crappy work schedu

Postby alexandra1234 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:03 pm

Midwest, I don't know how I didn't see your reply until now, sorry!!! Yes! I'm starting injectibles apr 17.... So exciting that you'll be only 3 weeks behind me! I actually just found out this Monday that I had a uterine polyp I never knew about, and just had the laparoscopic polypectomy to have it removed this morning! So I took today and tomorrow off as sick days which I was very reluctant to do, but mehhhh, it is what it is, I'm on a not-terrible rotation, and the team I am working with right now is super understanding. For the people I needed to justify myself to, I just said "I just found out I need to have a day surgery procedure, and it needs to be this week. It will require general anesthesia so I'm taking two sick days on the recommendation of my surgeon". Not much they could say about that.

Are you excited to start?!? I'm going to have so many questions for you, since you've already had one turn at this! Good luck to the both of us!!! :)
Me, dh: 33
IUD out: 01/'13.
Dec '13: HSG: R tube clear, L blocked-ish, hydrosalpinx
Jan-Oct '14: TTC break
Nov '14: TTC back on!
Dec '14: Clomid #1! BFN :(
Feb '15: Clomid #2. BFN
March '15: 1st RE appt: IVF with ICSI is our only option.
3/23 saline sono: WTF is that polyp doing in my ute?! 3/26: Hysteroscopic polypectomy
4/28: Embryo retrieval! 15 eggs retrieved, 10 fertilized, 9 frozen.
5/3: 5-day transfer. BFN. :(
6/9: 5-day frozen transfer. OMG BFP!!!

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Re: New to IVF. How do I time it around a crappy work schedu

Postby alexandra1234 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:17 pm

As far as tips and tricks for working around a crap schedule, I identified a two-week period where my work schedule will be the most flexible, figured out what day I'd have to start stims in order for the end part of the monitoring phase, the retrieval and the transfer phase to all fall in that "light" work block. Then I presented this info to my RE, basically saying I NEED stims to start on one of the following four days. Luckily even with his "I only start ivf stim cycles on Fridays" policy, I got a start date that sorta-kinda works, but only because it cuts into my vacation.

Even though this ivf cycle is scheduled during a light rotation at work, I still have to go to work on most of those days, but it'll be like 9-5, so I'll be able to go to RE clinic in the early morning. If embryo retrieval falls on a work day, I might have to call in sick again. Also, I have already had to call in favors from coworkers and will likely need to do so again. I dunno, no easy answers. But we will figure it out!
Me, dh: 33
IUD out: 01/'13.
Dec '13: HSG: R tube clear, L blocked-ish, hydrosalpinx
Jan-Oct '14: TTC break
Nov '14: TTC back on!
Dec '14: Clomid #1! BFN :(
Feb '15: Clomid #2. BFN
March '15: 1st RE appt: IVF with ICSI is our only option.
3/23 saline sono: WTF is that polyp doing in my ute?! 3/26: Hysteroscopic polypectomy
4/28: Embryo retrieval! 15 eggs retrieved, 10 fertilized, 9 frozen.
5/3: 5-day transfer. BFN. :(
6/9: 5-day frozen transfer. OMG BFP!!!

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Re: New to IVF. How do I time it around a crappy work schedu

Postby Adventurer » Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:43 pm

Good luck! I can totally understand how tough it would be to do IVF during residency. Sometimes you have to do something for yourself because no one else is going to look out after you. Plus residency is the best time to have kids and take maternity leave 'cause you don't have to worry as much about getting your colleagues to cover. I'm going off on maternity leave soon and they are going to try to hire a locum to cover me.
Me - 41
DF - 35
AMH 23.8 pmol/L
Supplements: Ubiquinol 600 mg, Folate, vit D3, vit C, vit E, vit B6, Omega-3, royal jelly, L-Arginine, Chinese herbs
Acupuncture: 2x/week
IUI #1 (1/14): Femara 12.5 mg CD3-7, 3 follies, BFN
IVF #1 (2/14): 7 eggs - 5 fertilized with ICSI - 4 blasts biopsied for PGS/4 snowbabies - 1 abnormal, 3 no result
IVF #2: (4/14) 19 eggs - 13 fertilized with ICSI, 5 blasts/snowbabies
IVF #3: (6/14) 16 eggs - 10 fertilized with ICSI, 4 blasts/snowbabies
IVF #4: (8/14) 33 eggs - 27 mature - 22 fertilized with ICSI, 2 day 5 blasts transferred - BFN, 10 snowbabies, 4 remaining PGS normals
FET #1: (11/14) single embryo transfer - :bfp: at 5dp5dt
Beta #1 at 8dp5dt 134
Beta #2 at 10dp5dt 383
Beta #3 at 12dp5dt 955
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Re: New to IVF. How do I time it around a crappy work schedu

Postby Charlotte418 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:37 pm

@MidwestGirl and Alexandra and all the other IVF ladies reading this-
:D My husband is a resident too! We have had a rough couple of years with health stuff. He has already had to take some time off because he needed surgery last year (thank God for FMLA)... I really sympathize with your busy schedule. It is different for him, because of course he has to provide the sample each month. But with IVF, he will have to leave work early for our IVF consult next week, take off the drive me to my ER in May, and I'm assuming the ET too. I feel good that he will be involved, but it has been a tough year for us. I have chronic neck pain (6 yrs) and I got 2 RFAs this year, so I've had to take mulitiple half days and days off for diagnostic shots and procedures for that and the 4 IUIs that I've had. I am a teacher, so my hours are a little better, but I start EARLY early (like you) so its impossible for me to get monitoring (earliest appointment is 7:45) and not need to take half day or notify someone, plus I feel guilty leaving my students with a sub (I'm sure to some degree you feel this way about patients - you take on responsibilty/ownership). I am also VERY concerned about privacy. I plan to meet with HR and discuss this/fill out FMLA papers to protect me. I don't wish to take 2 weeks off, I just need to miss my first class period for the monitoring days and 1 or 2 days for the other parts. If my colleagues ask me about it, I will probably blame it on my neck pain. I am a travel teacher, so maybe the people from my afternoon school won't even notice and I can "fly under the radar." lol Only people that know about it are my husband and I and our doctors of course. I really need these forums, because I like hearing from other women who are fighting the same struggles.

I started birth control yesterday and my IVf consult is on Thurs April 16. Assuming I'll start the FSH drugs beginning of May and praying for a mid-May ER and ET. I'm so glad I'm not the only one freaking out about missing work. I think it shows that we all have great work ethics! Any advice?
1/1/15: IUI #1 Clomid, Ovidrel: BFN
1/29/15 IUI #2 Clomid, Ovidrel: BFN
2/26/15 IUI #3 Letrozole, Ovidrel: BFN
3/26/15 IUI #4 Letrozole, Ovidrel: BFN
4/10/15: Started taking BCP
4/21/15: IVF prep, ordered meds
4/28/15: Box of Meds arrived
4/30/15: Baseline BW u/s
5/1/15: Start stims
5/12/15: Triggered w/ Novarel only
5/14/15: Egg Retrieval, 12 eggs, 11 fertilized
5/19/15 IVF #1 ET
5/29/15 Bloodtest BFN, frozen transfer in July
6/30/15 Baseline for FET
7/14/15 Lining and bw good :)
7/22/15 IVF #2 ET
Home test=Pos 7dp5dt or 12dpo
7/31/15 Beta 136 BFP!!! :)
8/3/15 Beta 280
8/5/15 Beta 566
8/18/15 6.5wk scan, saw baby and heartbeat HR 126 :)
8/31/15 8.3wk scan, everything looks good :)
9/29/15 12.4wk scan, HR 155, surreal- still don't believe it
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