In December 2011, I had a saline infusion sonohystogram and a mock transfer. I friend warned me that it may be uncomfortable, even painful. It was definitely uncomfortable, but luckily I had no pain. The RE had trouble with the mock transfer and I had to drink a couple glasses of water. With a full bladder, he was able to complete the mock transfer. My RE was very optimistic and confident about the impending January IVF and I was very hopeful and excited about expanding our family.
I was told I’d be following the antagonist protocol. I began receiving all my IVF meds in the mail and was surprised by the amount of drugs. I’m not sure on the exact dates, but I began injections in very early January – possibly 1/1/12. The first injection was the hardest. I thought I was ready. I never really had trouble receiving shots and wasn’t very worried. But then again, I was never giving them to myself! The night I did the first injection, I stood at the kitchen sink for several minutes with the needle aimed at my abdomen. A stood next to me encouraging me. I had watched YouTube videos and thought I was prepared, but suddenly I was terrified. With tears in my eyes, I told A that I didn’t want to do it. I started to panic. A asked me if I wanted him to give the injection. Absolutely not. If anyone was going to stab me with a needle, it was going to be me. After a
several minutes, I asked A to leave. For
some reason, it was easier to do the injection alone. I finally worked up the courage, gave myself
the injection, and yelled to A, “I did it; I did it!”. There were several more injections over an
approximate 10 day span. There were also
many ultrasounds and blood draws in between.
I believe I was on Menopur, Ganirelex, Follistim, and Lupron at some
point, but I’d have to review the paperwork to be sure (there were so many meds
to keep track of).
Finally the day of retrieval arrived. I was scared out of my mind. I like being in control of situations and was terrified of being asleep during the procedure. A was with me as I prepped for surgery (is it technically a surgery??). The anesthesiologist came for me. He told me sit a certain way and I remember staring at him blankly. I was so scared I couldn’t even comprehend what he was saying. He actually had to take hold of my shoulders and move me to the correct position. The procedure was uneventful and 17 eggs were retrieved. I was so relieved when it was over and A laughed at me as I came out of anesthesia. We were both happy and hopeful. I asked the nurse if I could take off the cap because “it wasn’t very fashionable” and I was very excited about my ginger ale… “my favorite!!”.
A couple days later, I received a call from the clinic and was told that 11 eggs fertilized and I’d have a 5 day transfer. Great news! I envisioned having lots of frozen embryos left over in case this transfer was unsuccessful. I also assumed the transfer would be relatively easy and told A there was no need for him to take the day off of work to be with me during transfer. I would go by myself. Looking back, this was a huge mistake.
I went in for transfer nervous, but optimistic. The embryologist came in to discuss the procedure. She told me that we only had one embryo reach the blastocyst stage. Wait, what?!?! I was shocked. What did they mean only one? We had started with 11 embryos. How did we only have 1?!?! Everything had been going so well until this point. The plan was to transfer the 1 blast and 1 morula. They would wait one more day to see if the other embryos continued to develop and become blastocysts. If not, we’d have none to freeze.
Transfer was really difficult. The RE had trouble getting the catheter in place and had to try several times. It was extremely uncomfortable. Even more so with a full bladder. He was eventually successful. I think a lot of clinics have you rest after transfer? Mine did not and I was on my way home soon after the procedure was complete.
The following night, the embryologist called. We’d been waiting all day for the phone call. We finally got it at 9 pm and I knew in my heart that it was bad news. A answered and received the news. No embryos to freeze. Not even one. I was devastated. More than devastated, really. Shattered. Crushed. I cried and cried. It seemed like all those injections, blood draws, ultrasounds were for nothing. A complete waste of time and money. Out of 17 eggs and 11 embryos, we had only 1 blastocyst and nothing to freeze. I tried to tell myself we wouldn’t need frozen embryos if the transfer worked, but I was still upset. I didn’t even make it to the pregnancy test… my cycle started early. Those who’ve battled infertility know that BFN stands for big fat negative, but I never even saw my big fat negative. I had been so sure this IVF was going to work. So sure we’d be celebrating a positive pregnancy test and planning for a baby. And now we were back at square one.
For me, there’s nothing worse than building my hopes up and letting me down. And this was the ultimate disappointment.