Thinking about having a baby on your own is only the beginning. Once you actually put your plan in action, expect a lengthy process. From my first consultation with my Reproductive Endocrinologist to completing my first round of IVF, it was about five months. Here are the 10 steps I went through, including, of course, joining Single Mothers by Choice.
1. Find a good Reproductive Endocrinologist
Fortunately, I already had one from egg freezing that I liked and trusted.
2. Schedule a consultation
This can be a long wait if you are not already a patient. So if you want to get more information, schedule this as soon as you can. Then make your list of questions, start thinking about a realistic timeline for yourself, and do your research ahead of time so you are familiar with fertility language.
3. Initial consultation
Your brain will be filled with terms and numbers you’ve never heard before. Have your pen and paper ready so that you can really digest your information after. Your RE will likely go over the difference between IUI and IVF and, based on your age and insurance, may recommend one to you. They will also discuss having you come in on Day 3 of your cycle for bloodwork and ultrasound.
4. Day 3 testing fertility testing
On the third day of your cycle, you will go in for fasting blood work and an ultrasound. Be prepared that they will take a lot of blood. I felt dizzy and lightheaded for a few minutes after this. The ultrasound will check how many follicles you have.
5. Review results with your RE
Another visit you’ll want to bring pen and paper for. These results can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what they mean. Beforehand, do your research on AMH and FSH for your age. That way when these figures are thrown at you, you’ll know what they mean. This is a good time to discuss the next steps with your RE and put together a basic timeline.
6. Speak to a therapist
My clinic required this before moving forward with using a donor. I had to pay for a session out of pocket, but luckily I really liked the therapist I ended up connecting with. They gave me a list of a few names to pick from. Some people might balk at the idea of having to talk about their fertility plans with a therapist, but I found it really helpful to discuss my doubts and concerns. She built my confidence in my decision and offered encouraging words.
7. Start looking at donors
You really can’t move forward as an smc without a donor. This can be something that holds you up if you can’t find what you are looking for. Check out my post Swiping Right on the Seed for tips on how to select the right donor for you.
8. Schedule any follow-up fertility procedures
You may need to have some additional screenings or procedures based on your results. This is a good thing as any legit RE will want to make sure your uterus is in pristine condition before wasting more time and money for a pregnancy to not stick due to other factors.
9. Purchase donor
This was the moment that I knew I was going forward with it. Up until now, it had just been gathering information.
10. Start IUI or IVF and cross your fingers
Depending on which route you choose, it’s time to start baby-making!