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.