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When Good Cycles Go Bad

blond woman preg test.jpg

a blog by CGD, April 15, 2011

I am sure you can guess from the title of this post the outcome my IVF cycle. Not pregnant. Sigh. No matter how many times you tell yourself that this is a long shot, the not pregnant reality is never easy.

I usually do not do this, but for this cycle I decided to take a home pregnancy test the day of my beta. There was something kind of nice about that, to be able to give yourself the news instead of having to wait on pins and needles for that call from your fertility doctor (reproductive endocrinologist). Although I fear the false positive/negatives that can come from home pregnancy tests, I figured that the day of beta, it is pretty accurate.

This is my sixth IVF cycle (fourth cycle to make it to embryo transfer), and all of them have been negative so far. One would think I would be used to this — and in reality I kind of am. I expect to not be pregnant at the end of an IVF cycle. I shrug when asked how I am feeling about a cycle, as if to indicate that “this is a long shot." I act all negative and snarky, so that everyone around me (at least those select few that know we are doing an IVF cycle) know that I am aware of my lost cause status.

So why would a lost cause continue to do this? Well, that’s complicated (isn’t it always when you are talking about infertility). My RE is still hopeful that treatment may work for us and tells us that he is not ready to move on to other options yet. I have been interested in moving on to other family building options for a while. But my husband is not yet ready and is less comfortable with these options in general. It is hard, because it is my body, but it is a decision that we both have to make together. If I am being honest, this has meant that for the past two IVF cycles, I was more along for the ride rather than in it and knew that part of me was doing this for the two “never give up” men in my life — my husband and my RE. It’s a weird thing, since I am the one going to appointments and taking the shots. But, this go-round, it felt like something I was just doing, not something I was so invested in.

But, then things started to go right (as I mentioned in prior post)…..

I have to admit that the good news was very weird and kind of disorienting. I felt so used to getting bad or at least mediocre news, that good news was just foreign. And although I hate to admit this, that hope started to creep back in (whether I liked it or not).

I learned something kind of important. I used to think that IVF cycles that ended without a pregnancy were worse when I was hopeful. That the pain of it was more crushing or something like that. But, it turns out I was wrong. That girl who shrugged at the start of a cycle was no less sad than the one who threw herself wholeheartedly into it at the sight of a negative pregnancy test. I think I convinced myself that I was being self-protective or something, but it didn’t really happen that way.

I think even in my most hopeless moments, there must have some part of me that was hopeful. Even if it was just 10 percent of me that could feel that, that part feels devastated when it doesn’t end so well. There is no easy way.

Hopeful or hopeless, this is hard stuff. But, perhaps this will allow me to just kind of let myself be.

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