IVF Diary Vol II: Our Failed Cycle

I had been eagerly waiting for Chris to finish work on Thursday, I had been off work ill with this cold so was getting impatient.  As soon as we were  both ready, I went to pee on that stick.  I watched as the wet line slowly crept up the test window…it went straight past the result line to the control line without even a vague faint line.  It was so white and empty.  At 12DP5DT I should be seeing that line.  It was all over.  I cried.  I came out of the toilet and just hugged Chris and told him “It didn’t work, I’m so sorry”.

So many things were running through my head.  Bitter sadness at our situation.  No halloween baby this year for us.  No frozen embryos from this cycle despite our great fertilisation success rate.  These embies were not meant to be.  Anger.  The anger at our failure and hopelessness.  The anger at not knowing why.

Of course, there is always a chance the pregnancy test could be wrong, but the odds at this stage were not in my favour, I’m not that naive.

Thursday night I woke up every hour with our negative result on my mind, and finally at 5AM I woke after a dream about being stuck on a sinking nuclear weapon ship that I helped to destroy by providing intelligence about it (I was a spy in my dream!).  And as the ship started to sink, one small rescue boat was filling up quickly with other people, there was no room for me on it, I shouted out, “please save my frozen embryos. Please, all I want is for you to make sure they are born and grow up knowing that I was their mother, and I loved them.”  I woke up in a cold sweat with tears streaming down my face.

For all our failed IUIs, the clinic never made me go in to have a beta blood test if I got a negative.  For IVF, everyone has to have a blood test.  I now know what it feels like to go to that blood test with a heavy heart, knowing it is pointless.  The idea of not testing and waiting to get the results by phone whilst at work horrifies me, so I am glad I tested the night before to prepare me for the worst, and be with Chris at the same time.  I am not brave enough for that.

Today when I went in for my blood test I got the new nurse.  I knew she was new because she was literally shaking as she took the blood from me, and then afterwards proceeded to spill my blood from the end of needle all over the table.  She also asked me some very awkward questions, in a sweet naive way, so I could tell she was a newbie around here!   But I wasn’t in the mood for being polite and quaint, so I cursed myself as I left, telling myself it was typical for that to happen to me of all days!!!

I got THE phone call from my doctor not long after lunch when she confirmed what I already suspected.  A negative result.  She basically ran through what happened during my cycle – 14 eggs collected 11 mature, 11 made it to Day 5, 2 reasonable blastocysts transferred on Day 5, and then none made it to the freezer.  She said that my egg quality was not looking good and we can talk about it some more at a later date when I am ready.  I thanked her, put the phone down and immediately picked up the phone again and called the clinic to schedule a consult with her for next week.

What next?  Chris and I talked about possible next steps, but it was foggy.  I looked at my calendar and figured out if we did another IVF cycle when it might be.  The thought of going through all of this again to end up with nothing seems terrifying.  They say you should try at least three complete rounds of IVF before considering to changing tactics.  In the UK, depending on where you live, you may only get 2 rounds of IVF with the NHS, but there is lots of research that suggests 3 rounds is the magic number.  My bets are on. We don’t seem to be able get enough embryos to freeze so there will be no point in trying for genetic testing, I am betting my doctor will suggest donor eggs.  This is a path we are unlikely to go down (which I will expand upon for another time).  Or donor embryos, which we know little about.  But before we even consider any of that we still have one frozen blastocyst from our first cycle, so we also need to think about that too.

It’s devastating to get this far to have nothing to show for it.  I hope that at the least we will learn something more about our infertility.

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29 thoughts on “IVF Diary Vol II: Our Failed Cycle

  1. EmilyMaine says:

    I am so sorry that you had this result. It is so unfair. I know you are a massive researcher so have probably read Rebecca Fett’s It Starts With the Egg (I think you may have even mentioned it before). I only raise it as I’m not sure if you took melatonin. I follow a lot of bloggers who have seen success (when previously they have had nothing to freeze) after using it for their cycles. Different clinics use it differently. My first clinic didn’t care about it at all, my second clinic is big on it as they are a very large research group and have conducted studies with great results. The Egg book says to take it just when you start the stims, my clinic had me prime with it for the month before the IVF cycle, stopping taking it at egg collection although I never got that far. As you know I never went on to do stims after that as I fell pregnant naturally both times while priming (as you know that was after endo removal). I often wonder if it helped me in those cycles though. Just got my egg quality at its best, you know? Anyway just thought I’d pass it on. Sorry if you’ve already taken it and I don’t remember. And I am so sorry for your outcome today. Having had 3 completely useless cycles with nothing to freeze I know how helpless you feel. Thinking of you. x

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Dear Danielle and Chris
    We’re so sorry to hear this news and have you in our thoughts snd in our hearts. For now lots of love. Ann and Mike

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  3. workingwomensivf says:

    I am so sorry . I second Emily on the book and the melatonin we always had poor fert rates and poor survival past fertilisation and egg quality was the likely cause. Our last stim cycle with the melatonin was totally different more eggs, better fert rates two embies transferred and 7 frozen!! As you know both embies took. My re was ok with doing it but not convinced but is now a convert.

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  4. Babyscienceproject says:

    Oh and you’re right about 3 cycles – that’s what I heard from 2 different clinics over here in London. After 3, you need to get creative (says I – 5 failed cycles later). When you’re ready to get started again think about high dose CoQ10 (I felt fab on it) and DHEA. Worth researching. Sorry it’s bad news x

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  5. g2the4thpower says:

    I’m sorry to hear about this, but I think you’re right about giving it a 3rd shot. I’m glad I did! You might want to discuss new meds completely for round 3. I had poor end/day 5 results when on menopur & puregon (at varying dosages from one ivf round to the other), then changed clinics & was put on gonal f & Luveris. I had much better results with the new combo of meds, doing the egg quality supplements, doing regular relaxation exercises, and regular acupuncture. You never know what might work best, but that’s what worked for me. I still only had one good looking blast from 3 cycles, 43 eggs (24 mature) and zero frozen (I had one crappy looking (barely yet a) blast transferred in my 2nd cycle that didn’t take). Next round for you could very well be THE one. Good luck! Again, I’m sorry this one didn’t work for you. Xx

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  6. notpregnantinrezza says:

    I’m so very sorry about your result. I know the heartache that you must be feeling. IVF is so incredibly hard and stressful let alone dealing with further difficult news. Every cycle can vary so I hope for you that they can come up with some news ideas for medication regimes untried. Thinking of you at this awful time xx

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  7. Nara says:

    Dani, I am absolutely gutted to read this! This is horrible to wake up to and you just be devastated. I don’t know what to say other than I am sorry to hear this and sending you (British) hugs.

    Also am in agreement re 3 cycles – it’s the NICE guidelines that recommend 3, but many trusts only do 1 or 2. My sister only got 1 NHS cycle. I get 3. It’s nuts that there’s no standard.

    Anyway… I’m sorry. X

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  8. dinksbydefault says:

    So sorry to hear this, I can’t imagine what you guys are going through. I don’t have many comforting words for you but I do know both of my REs (new one and prior one) believe in trying three IVF cycles. Hugs your way.

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