Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What to Wear To Fertility Appointments

What to Wear To Fertility Appointments

As we make choices about what to do next after losing the twins, I'm reminded of something that I thought a lot about when we did our first official round of fertility treatments: what do I wear? That might sound silly and frivolous given the weight and emotional intensity of every part of that experience, from testing to treatment and beyond. But, being comfortable and feeling like myself mattered a lot to me during that time; also, being intentional about what I wore helped me to feel empowered in a situation that can feel overwhelming.

Tank via

Here's what I found:
  • It helps to wear something special. 
  • It's wise to look for pieces of clothing that a woman might wear in her very early pregnancy, and
  • Skirts or dresses are better than pants for any procedures below the belt. 
Let's take this one by one, shall we?

It helps to wear something special.

This Gap dress would be perfect since it flows away from the body!
There were mornings going to the fertility clinic before work that I just did not feel like wearing anything special at all. Do not force yourself! But, it did help me to think about this as an incredibly special, and even romantic, time by taking the time to wear a special pair of earrings or a bright color (even lipstick!) instead of what I really wanted to wear (a maxi skirt or PJs) every day.

Above, you'll see a few necklaces that are important to me. I wore them every day during this time, and even on a weekend trip for an appointment I wore earrings-and a hat, which makes me feel just like myself. I really enjoyed the times when my husband came with me (to all longer appointments but not to early morning blood draws) and we set aside time to have breakfast or lunch after the appointment. Dressing up helped me feel like we were having a date, not just talking about egg quality, hence the big fun earrings. 

It's wise to look for pieces of clothing that a woman might wear in her very early pregnancy

A trapeze shirt won't cling or show any swelling.
Now, I am not, NOT, NOT recommending that you buy maternity clothes. I had one maxi dress that was maternity (it was the only cute one at Target at the time), and it depressed me to see the word "maternity" on it when we didn't actually get pregnant. Maybe you'd be fine with that (and of course I hope you do get pregnant the very first time!!), but don't risk it. What I mean is that you should, before you start IUI or IVF, pick out things from your closet or from a friend's closet or from a store that have forgiving waistbands.

Elastic waist and stylish? Do it.

My belly really got swollen from the injections, and it was just not comfortable to wear pants that were at all tight around my waist even a few weeks later. Instead, I wore skirts that sat higher up on my waist, pants with stretchy or tie waistbands, and shirts that did not cling to my stomach at all. I did not want anyone to think I was pregnant (and ask me, and I'd say no). I liked trapeze tops.

Skirts or dresses are better than pants for any procedures below the belt

For the actual internal and external ultrasounds and the procedures, I found that I liked wearing a skirt or dress best because it meant that I didn't have to completely undress from the waist down. I simply pulled it up over my hips. Psychologically, it felt warmer, less uncomfortable and exposed to do this rather than sitting there, sometimes for long periods of time, partially nude. Another key is to wear socks since you can often keep at least those on. The chair/table can be very chilly, and I felt I was more relaxed the warmer I was.

This Gap fold over skirt would be comfy and hide any swelling!
 My husband was very cute and actually bought me several pairs of fuzzy, happy socks. These ship fast and would be a great gift for anyone you know who is doing fertility treatments! As would cotton, dark colored undies. TMI? Sorry, but they would! 

Hope this helps anyone considering fertility treatments or her friends!

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