Thursday, December 29, 2016

When IVF fails

Well the title says it all unfortunately. Obviously I wish I could be sharing happy news. The first few days in Ireland when I still thought I could be pregnant, I had a great time. It was really nice spending so much time with family and catching up with friends and it was also an ideal distraction from the stress of the past few weeks. On Christmas eve morning I did a pregnancy test and there was a very faint second line. That told me nothing though as I had given myself a shot of the HCG hormone three days earlier which could have still been in my system. I wanted to test again the next day but hubby wouldn't let me as he didn't want a potential bad result to spoil my Christmas.

The following day I woke up extra early and thought I felt different and decided to try again. I thought it would be a stronger positive and was thinking how nice it would to give my family the good news while I was there. The test was negative. At that stage I was just in shock and really upset. I had been so sure that it had worked this time that I hadn't really thought about the alternative. When I joined my family in the kitchen for breakfast I just burst into tears. They told me it was still early and not to give up hope until the blood test but I just knew. Still, I read some stories of women online who had negative pregnancy tests but nonetheless got a positive result in the end and I was praying for a miracle, though I just knew something like that wouldn't happen to me.

I felt really down that day. Having my sister there helped a lot and it was good to talk about it all. The GerMann was also really supportive and loving. We met up with a relation who has been dealing with serious health problems lately but she said she refuses to think "poor me" since so many other people are going through worse. Everyone has their own struggles (even though you would never think it from facebook sometimes!). Her courage also inspired me. The last few days of our trip I started to feel a bit more optimistic about things. I still knew it would be a negative result but I was able to focus on the good things in my life; that I have a great husband, my health and lots of people who care about me and that we would find a way to be ok whatever happens (even if children are not on the cards for us).

Today has been tough though. Even though I was prepared, getting the negative phone call is never easy. And I also feel a bit homesick. We had such a nice time in Dublin. We were constantly busy actually with so many people to spend time with that out house here in Germany now feels quite empty and quiet. I'm very disappointed as you can imagine. I really thought that IVF round three would work. Especially since I did all the extra immune treatment against my elevated natural killer cells. The GerMann thinks that this means that I don't need the immune treatment but at best your odds of IVF working are only around 30% anyway.


It is hard to know where to go from here. I would like to get a consultation at another clinic which is over an hour away which I've heard good things about. If they think they can help us then I would do a fourth IVF with them. That would be my last one though, I don't want to keep doing IVF over and over. Hubby would stop already. He thinks it would have worked by now if it is going to, that we should just try naturally and start attempting to move on. It can be hard when you aren't on the same page. He's agreed to going for a consultation at the other clinic though. They are closed now over Christmas and they have long waiting times but hopefully we'll get an appointment there within a few months. In the meantime we've been thinking about planning a holiday together. Funds are tight what with all the house related expenses and all the IVF and immune treatment but it would be good for us to have something to look forward to.

I considered the idea of going straight into a fourth round immediately. January and February are normally dull months anyway, maybe I could just get through that and then I would be done with it. Then I wouldn't need to start all the intralipids from scratch either. You see you are meant to get two rounds of intralipids done in the month before you start IVF so if I wait several months I would need to get them done again, that is if I would still continue with the immune treatment. However I think it would be too much for us to go straight into another round and I also feel let down by my clinic and think that the other place might be able to give me a better protocol. They also offer natural IVF there I've heard. Our plan is to just try to get our lives back and take a break from it all over the next few months and then depending on what the other doctor advises we'll decide whether to go for a fourth round or not. We also have an appointment at our current clinic in a few weeks to discuss what went wrong.

We did have a wonderful time in Dublin over Christmas. It had been ages since my whole family was all together. We didn't manage to meet up with everyone we would have liked to but we got to meet the majority of people. We're missing my cousin's wedding though since we thought I would be pregnant at the time and have to be back in Germany for treatment and monitoring but it turns out we could have gone. (Too late now, have already RSVP'd, plus haven't booked the days off work, no flights). Also I missed my Christmas work party which was around the egg retrieval. So that was annoying. Now we are finished IVF for now at least we can start doing things again and being social!

In February we have two friends from Ireland coming over to visit so I'm excited about that. We had some really nice chats in Ireland too. We met up with good family friends and I was open about our struggles to have a baby. It turns out it took them eleven years to have their son and they were able to relate to how hard a time it is when you wonder will you ever have children but can't look into the future. We have so many people praying and hoping for us. It will be sad telling them all that it didn't work. My mother in law sounded really upset on the phone when I spoke to her earlier. Infertility doesn't just affect the couple going through it but also their family, relations and friends. It's been a hard few days but in general I'm feeling ok and I know that we will find a way to keep going forward whatever the future has in store for us. I won't let this beat me.

29 comments:

  1. Oh, dear Dubliner, I am so sorry! Sending hugs across the border! Yes, it is hard when you are not on the same page... I've been there, too.
    Will be thinking of you in the next few days! XX

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    1. Thanks for your message Elaine. I'm also sorry that you can relate. Infertility is a club that no one wants to join. x

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  2. i am so sorry :( that is so horrible. i wish i had something helpful to say. i am sorry. i'm happy you had a good time in dublin, i am always extra homesick right after i go home or see someone from home.

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    1. Thanks Kristen. Yeah I'm the same that after being home or having visitors I can feel homesick for a few days.

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  3. Oh, no. I am so very sorry to hear this news. I was right there with you, hoping for a different result especially since it's at the holidays, which magnifies everything. I'm glad it was otherwise a lovely Christmas in Dublin. I am thinking of you, and cheering you on as you look at options for your next opportunity, and sending you a zillion big bear hugs for when the grief sneaks up on you. So much love your way and hopes for a better new year.

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    1. Thanks for your message Jess. I was really hoping for a Christmas miracle. It can be a hard time of year for sure. I had a lovely time with my family but seeing all the happy families and new baby announcements was tough.

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  4. I am sorry too, it sucks and is unfair :( This isn't the end of your path though, have some time off to decide what comes next. Sending you lots of hugs and strength.

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    1. Thank you Nora. Infertility definitely sucks! Taking some time off before we figure out our next move is a good idea.

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  5. I am so incredibly sorry that this round didn't work for you it's always hard to get a negative result but something about getting it around the holidays makes it extra sad and hard. I'm sorry you and your hubby aren't exactly on the same page that was always the hardest for me after a failed cycle to try to come up with a plan to move forward that we both agreed with Anne felt good about and it wasn't always an easy process. A trip sounds like a great idea something to look forward to that's not baby related. Sending positive thoughts and hugs your way as you heal from this disappointment.

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    1. Thanks. I had thought doing IVF in December was a good idea since I'd be in Ireland for the two week wait and have lots of holidays but now it just makes the start of 2017 extra hard! Yea it's difficult trying to make a plan for what next that both my husband and I feel happy with. He's on board with going for a consultation at another clinic anyway so I am hoping that will be a positive experience and give us some hope.

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  6. Why oh why oh why...I, too, am so very sorry. Life presents us with so many perfect moments, the how amazing would it be if I could get a positive pregnancy test at this very moment, and then rips the rug out from under. It's so hard to keep going sometimes. I hope you're treating yourself to anything you want or need. Hugs.

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    1. Thanks. I'm sorry you can also relate to failed IVFs and the disappointment :-( I got carried away feeling so sure this time it would work that it definitely feels like the rug has been pulled from under me now. I have some days off work and I've been taking it very easy not doing much, just taking it one day at a time.

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  7. I'm so so sorry. I wish I could give you massive hug. We are now taking the donor egg path. Is donor eggs/sperm a potential option for you?

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    1. Thanks. At the moment we haven't been told by our doctor that are any problems with the eggs/sperm. We have a consultation at another clinic in March so we're just going to wait and see what they think and then decide how best to move forward.

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  8. I'm so sorry. This sucks.

    As we both ended up in the two week wait at the same time to one another, I know the feeling of a negative pregnancy test. I took one early despite knowing better.

    At first I thought positive because two lines is positive. I was so excited I called my husband, but the test was in Japanese and only after I looked closer at the instructions did I realize it took three lines for a positive.

    I was crushed and embarrassed by my exuberance. I called my husband, but he already had expected the truth. I used up the last of the pregnancy tests they gave me on Friday. All negative.

    The last one I kept holding in the light searching for the blue line, tricking myself into believing I could see a very faint one if I squinted. I finally accepted I was fooling myself. It was another negative.

    I kept thinking I felt pregnant. Every noticed smell and slight nausea was a 'omg, is this it?!'

    But I finally accepted the truth as I sat in the hallway staring at the negative result. Meanwhile, another social media friend has announced her pregnancy.

    I hope 2017 is a better year for us. I was really hoping for you. Nothing would have made me happier than to hear that at least one of us succeeded.

    But I guess not this time? Maybe next? *fingers crossed*

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    1. I'm so sorry you also had a negative around the same time. And that must have been so awful to have thought the test was positive only to realise that Japanse tests are different! Very confusing. With my tests I was also squinting trying hard to find a second line.. And I thought I felt pregnant for a few days too. Cruel how the hormones mess with your mind! I'm hoping that 2017 will be our year!!

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  9. Hi Dubliner,

    I'm so sorry to read this news. I had been silently hoping for good news for you. You've been through a lot and it's testament to your strength to have gotten this far and I've no doubt that it'll carry you through this rotten time and see you out the other side.

    I'm having an FET on Friday (round 4) and also thought Christmas would be a good time for treatment (plenty of time to rest and relax etc) but in all honesty the worry and stress over it has close to ruined my Christmas! Oh well, onwards and upwards.

    I'll be thinking of you. Be kind to yourself - drink wine, eat chocolate, and plan your holiday. Hoping that 2017 brings happier news.

    From a fellow Irish lady (in Ireland) :)

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    1. Nice to hear from a fellow Irish lady! :) Thanks for the support. Yea I also had thought December would be a good time for treatment but it has ended up being quite depressing starting a new year with a negative result. Wishing you all the best for your transfer, hoping 2017 will be a good year for us all!

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  10. Ugh, I am so, so sorry. I was really hopeful that it would work out for you this time with the immune treatments.
    I'm glad you got to have a good Christmas in Dublin anyway and that you have visitors to look forward to. There's nothing quite like showing people around your home to take your mind of things. I hope 2017 brings lots of positive things for you.

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    1. Thanks Bev. I also really thought it would work this time with the extra immune treatments. Yea having the visitors to look forward to is good. Hopefully 2017 will be better! Hoping for good things for you too!

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  11. Hi Dubliner, I'm glad you managed to have an OK Christmas despite this. Failing IVF is quite traumatic after all the things we go through in the build-up to it, and during.

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    1. Yes it is really such a let down when IVF fails after all the build up and hope! I wish it had better success rates, it certainly isn't the solution for everyone unfortunately. I had a nice Christmas despite everything, thanks. Wishing you all the best for 2017.

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  12. I am desperately sorry to read this but glad you had a good Christmas. Be kind to yourself, give yourself time and enjoy some time just the two of you if you can xx

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    1. Thank you. Yea, we have been trying to focus on doing fun things together and being happy. We'll probably plan some trips or holidays too. Need a break from it all. x

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  13. I am so sorry to read this. It is a huge disappointment, so much more than a negative test. It's a massive loss.
    My sister had two IVF attempts which were unsuccessful and she was heartbroken.
    Take the time to mourn, it must be so hard because so few people can see what you are mourning, and whatever you decide to do I hope it works out for you.
    I'm sure it was very hard over Christmas, but thankfully you were among your family.
    Best wishes for a much better year this year.

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    1. Thank you Tric. You describe it perfectly, it's a huge loss but one that is mainly hidden from the outside world which is really hard. It definitely helped being around my family over Christmas and having their support. I'm sorry your sister also had failed IVFs.

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  14. I'm heartbroken with you that you had to go through this a third time. I'm glad you could open up to your family about your struggles and that they are supportive of you and GerMann. Family support is huge. And I'm glad they are mourning with you. And that they recognize and validate your pain and what you are going through. Because we know this journey is not easy. Just cry it out and know that tomorrow is a better day.

    I know, Facebook is so outrageous. I quit it because it is purveyor of denial and ostentatiousness. And I got triggered with p. announcements.

    My doc this morning was telling me that Dr. Boyle's protocol for his NaPro patients (in addition to prescribing most of his patients 4.5 mg of LDN) is to administer HcG on Peak + 7, Peak + 9, and Peak + 11. She said it's tricky to do a pregnancy test because the HCG in the system will turn a test positive and that they have to look at the beta numbers to see if the numbers are going up.

    After reading a bunch of your posts, I sense heavy discouragement. I can relate to it, believe me. However, I believe it will happen for us. Just think how amazing your testimony is going to be. It will happen, I decree and declare IJN. You've got this. You're an overcomer. Be encouraged.

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    1. Thanks for the support. Yeah my clinic made me do hcg shots after transfer which can then mess up any pregnancy tests and give me false hope that it has worked! I need to be patient and just wait till the blood test next time. I have been feeling more optimistic again recently. I hope so much that it will happen for us!

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