February 1, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in IVF #4: I'm STILL doing this? | 20 Comments

This morning’s test was negative.

In November? I DID get positive hpts the day before my beta.

They are NOT positive now.

So it’s time to stop the peeing madness.

This cycle is a Big Fail.


I was chatting with my dear blogger friend Mary Ellen yesterday.

When she asked how it was going, I couldn’t help it. The bitterness spilled out.

Because, after my BFN yesterday, I had spent the morning making PLANS.

If this cycle failed, I thought, I’d do one more cycle. Maybe a fresh one. Because I have ZERO confidence in the embryos, however many we have (because no, I STILL haven’t seen the piece of paper that confirms for me there was anything actually frozen).

Honestly, what are the chances of a FET working when our BEST embryo failed in a fresh cycle?

So maybe we DO another fresh cycle, this time with a low and slow protocol. And we use assisted hatching like we did with the cycle that produced O.

A Hail Mary cycle.

Then? We can be done forever.

And instead of having a pregnancy or a baby to look forward to next November, I was going to sign up for the Philadelphia Marathon.

It would be the ultimate fuck you race, I thought.

Because the race is on November 19 – a year to the day my aunt died, a year after losing what was my last pregnancy, and a week before my 36th birthday.

A race to usher in the new phase of my life.

No more babies, no more doctors, no more being told to hang in there, no more wondering is this the cycle?

No more holding onto useless baby gear for another child, wondering if O should move into a big boy room to make room for another child, no more talking if we have another…

I could finally just move on.

She, of course, totally validated me.

Because she’s been through hell, too, and so she GETS it.

But she also said something which really made me think.

She said,You have to give yourself a break. You are so angry, and by harboring all of this resentment towards the IVF process, somehow I feel like you are really punishing yourself.

And it nearly stopped me in my tracks.

She’s totally right.

I’m pissed off that I’m such a failure that I NEED another fresh cycle to conceive again.

Because I couldn’t hold on to our last embryo in November.

Because I’m such a fuckup that I can’t manage to get pregnant – even when someone gives me an embyro.

And sort of like how I take my anger at the situation out on J sometimes, I’m so angry at my doctor. Our clinic. OHSS. IVF in general.

When really it’s just misplaced anger.

I’m actually pissed off at MYSELF.

Because this is hard for us when it’s easy for so many others. Because I manage to screw up when I’m given embryos. Because it SHOULD have been easier now that we have O, and it’s not. Because my fucked up uterus means cycles are like fucking chinese water torture – one embryo at a time.

Because we’ve officially gone through THIRTEEN EMBRYOS with one little boy to show for it.

It gets to the heart of why I’m having a hard time dealing with everything right now.

I’m stuck in this Angry Place because, in my head, I keep failing over and over and over again.

I failed to tell my aunt I loved her. I failed to tell her that I was sorry I disappeared after Amy’s death. I failed by not being able to stay pregnant. I failed when I overstimulated from this cycle. I failed when my body didn’t produce quality embryos. I failed when I didn’t get pregnant from a fresh cycle, despite having done so on two other fresh transfers.

Fail, Fail, FAIL.

I honestly had NO CLUE I felt this way, until she said it. I thought I was just angry at the process. Not angry with myself.

And it can’t be GOOD for me to be stuck in this place of impotent rage.

I have no idea how to let go of these feelings of failure.

But damned if I’m going to let it win.



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  1. First of all – damned negative peestick. Damn.

    Secondly, on the anger: it sounds like you are making progress already. Now you are angry at the anger! I don’t know exactly how you should proceed from here in order to release it fully, but I feel that you will find your way.

    Lastly, I’m sure you don’t need me to point out that they are notoriously bad at picking quality embryos from morphological features alone. The stuff that makes a baby is too hard to see with just a plain microscope. Not that I am dismissing your hail-mary-low-and-slow plan, but this failure doesn’t mean there isn’t a good one in the freezer somewhere. I know you’ll consider things fully and properly like you have before, so I probably don’t need to say it. The main point is – be angry til you’re finished with being angry, and then put that demon to bed somehow. And I’m sorry about this cycle.


  2. Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you during this cycle. And the anger is something that many of us have felt. It’s GOOD that you recognize it and feel it. How to get rid of it? I’m not sure. Everyone has a different method; mine is the elliptical machine at the gym! And/or a stiff drink late at night! LOL Here’s hoping you find your way, whatever that may be.

  3. I’m so sorry, S. But please know you are not a failure. At least not in my eyes. Not by a long shot.


  4. I saw the title and I was so pissed off. It is not fair and it is not your fault. And I am pissed off at the world that cannot let you have a win, but I NEVER have thought that you are a failure. For gosh sakes, YOU have accomplished so much and gone through so much–and you have written beautifully about it, about being a mother, about YOU. And I know you–and I know you are NOT a failure. So, be angry at the world, be angry at everything and everyone, even be angry at yourself…and then do what you do best—overcome. 🙂

    I am so sorry about this cycle. But you will overcome this.

  5. That M.E. She really nailed it, didn’t she?

    Having been in a similar situation, I know how that anger can consume you from the inside out. I look at pictures from 2005 – 2008 and I can’t remember many of those moments, especially those of my son. What I do remember ends up being tied to a cycle: oh that was after ## miscarriage or after ## failed transfer.

    Remember to define yourself not by failures, but by successes. It’s so much easier said than done as I’m faced with other failures that nearly immobilize me daily.

    And the negative HPT sucks. sucks, sucks, sucks.

  6. First, I am so sorry about this cycle! I wanted this to work for you so badly.

    I hope what I say next doesn’t piss you off because I HATE when my husband talks to me about this stuff…He says that I harbor resentment and always expect the same outcome so that is why I always get that same outcome. It annoys the shit out of me because I don’t think I’m a pessimist, I’m a realist. But, maybe just maybe you need to let go of the anger and the negative thoughts about the IVF process before you move forward either way. I know it is easier said than done, but holding onto anger isn’t good for you and eventually you will pass it onto others in your life. Over the last couple of years I have been BEYOND pissed over my circumstances, but I’ve really had to learn that it will eat me alive if I let it get to me. If I’m having a bad day where I start to really feel it I give myself that for a little bit. BUT, I only give myself a little bit of time to be mad. Mainly because my kid needs me not to be angry at the world. I get as loud and angry as I can. It releases it and then I feel much better. Everyone is different and I hope the therapist can help you find a way that works for you to let go of the anger!

  7. Oh, Serenity. I am so sorry. I’m not sure whether it is better to direct anger at yourself or the world at large (my motus operendi). But, this anger is justified and sometimes it helps to have something to direct it at. But, it is not your fault for these not working. Your body should not be loathed. It is doing the best it can. I guess you just got a crap model (as did I) and there’s nothing we can do about it. Well, except be jealous of those that did not get a crap model. I have no wisdom for you except that this isn’t your fault. This is a journey.

    And, maybe I’ll run that d@mn marathon with you!

  8. Oh, I am so sorry. I really hoped this would work for you. Like Bea said, science hasn’t quite gotten to the point that they can really identify the best embryos at this stage. Some of the frozen ones could be pretty good. But still, it’s so unfair that you need to do this, and so unfair that it hasn’t worked. FWIW, I think the fact that you’re acknowledging all of your feelings is a really big help, and a good start.

  9. It is NOT your fault!

    When I feel that anger it helps to take a minute to focus on what I DO have. Think about O and J, try to imagine you hear the sound of their BEATING hearts and little by little all will start to fall on its place again!

    Nobody said this was EASY, but YOU know it IS worth fighting for!

    ….Just when you feel you have no more power to keep fighting don’t worry because we have lots for you to keep going 😉

  10. I am so very sorry. I really wanted this to be THE cycle for you. And I completely understand the hurt and the anger. It’s unfair and it sucks. But you are far from a failure. Many hugs!

  11. The only thing that can help you let go of that kind of anger is time and distance. It’s been, what, three years since my last IVF cycle? And I’ve only just let go of my anger now. And it still crops up. So don’t expect it to subside WHILE you’re cycling.

    I personally don’t find that thinking about the things I *do* have to be helpful at quelling my anger at things. What helps me is knowing that I have every right to be angry, that my feelings are valid, that I’m entitled to them, and all of that makes me a little bit… I don’t know… better than people who’ve had it easy. Once I embraced my anger and said f*ck you to all the people who didn’t go through what I have gone through, it felt a little liberating.

    And I could just know that I knew something they didn’t. It didn’t make me a failure. It made me a hero that I could endure all this crap.

    You’re not a failure; you’re a hero.

  12. Be a said everything I was going to say. I am really sorry that this cycle didn’t work. The whole process is just crap.

  13. Oh Serenity. Hugs. So many hugs. I’m glad you’ve hopefully found someone to talk to. You are not a failure, not by any stretch of the imagination.
    Damn this cycle and its negatives. Life just sucks so much sometimes.

  14. Poop!

  15. It feels so cliche to say it, but knowing is the first step. At least now you are aware and can work on getting rid of the anger. You can slap me if it helps.

  16. Just a thought – you are also dealing with MF infertility, too. Did you ever think maybe the embryos didn’t make it because they weren’t good? Or do you just think it is because your body failed? You don’t actually know if an embryo is “good” until, well, a real live baby is born, no? You are blaming yourself, when really, it isn’t your fault, it isn’t J’s fault, it just is. It sucks that it is what it is, but it isn’t your fault.

    I am really sorry the pee stick was negative.

  17. Crap, about the cycle.

    I think that’s the worst part of IF … feeling like you’re the failure, having no one or nothing else to blame. Because there has to be a *reason*, right? It can’t just be the way it is, just because. Blame makes us feel better, in a weird convoluted way.

    But I also think that knowing you’re angry at yourself is a good first step towards forgiving yourself, towards accepting that you can’t assume blame. Having a “fucked up uterus” doesn’t guarantee failure, just like it doesn’t guarantee success. Are you going to forgive yourself overnight? No. Will forgiveness be permanent? Probably not. And having people tell you that you’re not a failure (as well-meaning as we are, as incredible as we think you are) won’t make you any more likely to believe it until you’re ready to believe it yourself. But training for and running the hell out of a marathon will likely help.

    The exclamation point in your blog title has always struck me. You have every right to demand serenity, now (!).

  18. Serenity,

    I have been reading your blog for years and never replied. Don’t we all feel like failures at some point. I used to look for your updates on a daily basis when i was going through infertility treatments. Now I admit I only check up on occasion because I never got the opportunity to go through IVF. My husband couldn’t handle the stress of it and bailed instead of fighting the battle with me. We were unexplained infertility so we had pretty great odds and he just couldn’t handle it. I just want you to know that no matter what the battle or the odds we are all handed a crappy hand at some point. I am now starting my entire life over in a new city with a new career with everything I know left behind. And this is at 32 years old! I am still learning on a daily basis how to handle the failures of my body. BUT, I have been handed more opportunities through that loss than I ever would have had before. You have been through these hard times before and always come out stronger and you will do the same again. You have always been an inspiration to me with your wonderful writing. You are exceptional about understanding what is bringing you down and then overcoming it. I have no doubt you will do so again in this occasion. You won’t let the anger win and neither have I. I put it to good use in making a better life for myself. Honestly, I wouldn’t trade my journey for anything. Its made me who I am and I am pretty proud of that. Good luck to you and your family. My thoughts are with you.

  19. I’m sorry. This fucking sucks.

    But YOU do not suck. YOU did not fuck up.

    The anger — You have had an awful last half-year. By all means, work out this anger if you can do so constructively and safely (i.e., with your counselor).

  20. that right there, what I just an AHA moment for you. I hope you are taking notes, because it’s time to STOP being angry with yourself and your body. As they say at school for the boys “You get what you get and you don’t get upset” BUT you do Fight it, you do sit with what you have and accept it and try to find ways to MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU. Being angry at yourself is such a silly thing. You’re AMAZING, you know that? AMAZING! A fucked up uterus changes NONE of that…
    You know I’m one of your biggest cheerleaders…and I always will be, but you have to PLAY. With your heart in it, with HOPE that it will work….knowing that somewhere in all this mess…there is a rainbow.
    I love ya girl! NO matter what, do the HAIL MARY. We’re all here on the sidelines, pom poms in the air, READY.


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