Thursday, 30 October 2014

Dealing With IVF Failure - #NFAWUK

I'm not one of those lucky people who never had to deal with grief. I'm also not one of those really unlucky people who had to deal with more grief than I can take. I've had a couple of instances of real, earth-shattering, heartbreaking, soul-destroying type sorrow, and the failure of our first IVF cycle most definitely falls into that category.

Going into that cycle, I was well aware of the stats: only 1 in 3 IVF cycles is successful. I know a handful of women who had gone through IVF before me, and every single one of them succeeded first time. In the back of my mind, I couldn't let go of the fact that because of the statistics, the odds were probably against us. Still, I tried to remain positive and optimistic... and the fact that my body responded so well to the drugs made me feel even more hopeful.

I had 17 eggs collected, and the next day we were informed that 14 of them had fertilised. We found out later that all 17 had initially fertilised, but the other 3 hadn't survived the night. This was far beyond our expectations, and we were so unbelievably happy. A couple of days later, we were told that we still had a really good number of embryos, and the embryologist was happy for us to wait until day 5 for transfer of our best-looking blastocyst. Everything was looking absolutely amazing.

Six days after 5 day transfer, I noticed I was bleeding. Not much, but enough to cause me to totally lose it right then and right there. Thankfully it was a Friday afternoon, so after I rang Boy in floods of tears I told my work colleagues I needed to go home. They never questioned it; I was obviously very upset so they just let me go.

That weekend, I tried to cling on to hope but I knew deep down what the outcome would be. I took a pregnancy test on the Saturday, and although I told myself the result could have been negative because it was just too early, all hope had left me. My official test date was the Monday, so I took another test at home on the morning before heading to the clinic for a blood test; it was, not surprisingly, negative.

I broke down once we got into the consulting room with the nurse. The emotions of it all were just too much, especially combined with the date - it was the anniversary of my dad's funeral, to top it all off. I had intended to go into work, but instead Boy took me home.

I went into work on the Tuesday morning, and my boss took me off to one side for a chat and said that I was obviously devastated and that if I needed to, I should take some time off to heal emotionally and mentally. I cannot even put into words how grateful I was for his support at that time -I truly was an emotional mess and he was quite right that I needed to grieve for what we'd lost. I spent the rest of that week at home, alternating between sleeping and crying. It was a couple of days before I felt able to communicate with anyone other than Boy.

As luck would have it, we had the week after that booked off as annual leave, so that gave me a bit more time to come to terms with what had happened. This included visiting my best friend and her beautiful little family for 5 nights, which was the perfect tonic at that point. Sometimes a girl just needs her best mate! Her daughters provided a lot of comedy, and her baby son was an excellent mix of cuddles and comedy of his own kind.

By the time I went back to work, two weeks after our negative result was confirmed, I felt much stronger - the time out was essential to the healing process for me, and although I was still obviously beyond disappointed, I was feeling a bit more ready to face the prospect of doing it all again.


  1. I am so sorry you had to go through this :( I always think about the statistics for IVF because it's not a guarantee at all. I have heard of more failures than successes. I do want to try it but am scared to for that reason, it's so expensive

  2. That's so horrible. I hate that for you SO much! :(


    Mandie ~

  3. I'm so, so sorry you had to go through all of this, Jenni! I cannot even imagine the heartbreak, after everything you had to go through working towards this moment. But I simply know that one day, you will hold your own beautiful little baby!! Hugs, my friend!!

  4. It was such a hard time for you, I remember!'s to better times lovely xxx


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