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When You Do Everything Right and Still Don't Get Pregnant

blond woman preg test.jpg

a blog by CGD, June 29, 2011

I am currently waiting for a call from my fertility doctor's office to tell me if my FET (frozen embryo transfer cycle) is a go. It is very possible that we will not be able to start this month. Should this happen, it would be the second time that this cycle got delayed for reasons beyond my control.

Out of Our Control

While there are certainly times that I desperately need a break from cycling, I hate when I have geared up to start — both emotionally and physically — only to then be "benched."

I was texting about this situation with one of my friends, explaining to her that even though I had been using my ovulation predictor kit as directed by my medical team, I somehow missed my ovulation anyway, and now it may be too late in my cycle to start fertility drugs. My cycles have been very irregular, making it really difficult to predict this kind of stuff.

After I explained the situation, she responded by asking me why I use these kits if they do not work. It was an innocent comment. I know she was expressing her frustration at my fertility doctor's office, at the ovulation kit, and at life in general for just kind of being unfair. But for me, I wanted to yell “It’s not my fault, I swear I did everything right!!” Likely as a reminder to myself more than anyone else.

Why Are Things Going Wrong?

That statement feels emblematic of this entire infertility process. I did everything right, so why are things going so wrong?

My husband I took the decision to start trying to conceive seriously. We talked about it a lot, ensuring that we were ready both emotionally and financially. I did all the responsible things: I started eating more healthily, reduced my caffeine intake, began taking prenatal vitamins and went to my Ob/Gyn to have all the needed medical and genetic testing. All the things that they say you are supposed to do before trying for a baby — did it all. I was 32 years old and in good health. I figured the getting pregnant part would be a piece of cake.

As part of the testing my Ob/Gyn ran, it was revealed that I am a carrier of the Fragile X gene mutation (Fragile x is the most common type of inherited mental retardation). A series of appointments and consultations with genetic counselors revealed that my mutation level did not put a future baby at risk, but I was advised to tell my brother as he could be affected too. I made sure all the members of my family were informed and had long, serious conversations with my brother about this. I did everything right, everything I could do to make sure that I, as well as those around me, had all the information needed. Well, you could understand my surprise when I learned that my sister-in-law became pregnant with their first child before my brother had the needed genetic testing about the Fragile X condition. In the end, my brother tested negative for the gene, so my niece was not impacted, thankfully.

Still, I felt angry. How could you so easily and in this case ignorantly get pregnant with healthy baby, while I do all the things you are supposed to do and still nothing?

It Doesn't Make Sense

For my last cycle, I turned my body into a temple. I took daily (but slow) walks, I ate only organic produce and meat, I consumed not one drop of alcohol, I went to acupuncture weekly, and I eliminated gluten from my diet. I was the picture of fertility health, and still my cycle ended in a negative pregnancy test. I think about that when I see pregnant teenagers on the subway eating fast food and drinking soda or when I read about drug addicts having babies — how does this make any sense? Maybe I should be out partying and eating pesticide-laden apples ... then maybe I would get pregnant by accident?

I think that is just it — it doesn’t make any sense. We can do virtually everything "right" and still not get a healthy baby. It's just not the way things work. Still, I just want to believe in a world where if you do all the right things, you get rewarded by a successful outcome. Don’t we all want to believe that we are more in control of things in our lives then we really are?

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Comments (9)

I m in the same boat ,did and does everyhting correct still getting periods everymonth I m sick and tired when I hear that must be something wrong with me go and take doctors help and doc says everythings fine u just keep on trying........

Giving up on this goal because there are many setbacks is like slashing the other 3 tires bc you had a flat. I am trying now for over a year and still nothing. I changed my diet and even began natural remedies like garlic and royal jelly to boost my eggs, but nothing. I often wonder why folk who dont want get babies but its taken forever for me. Just be patient.

Good for you for taking proactive steps. But don't wait too long to see a fertility doctor if you don't get pregnant naturally. The rule of thumb is 6 months of trying if you're 35 or over; one year if you're under 35.

Thanks for the post. Last year in preparation for an IUI I went on a 6 month diet (no caffine, sugar, gluton, dairy) but I landed up losing a lot of weight and got skinny and the procedure didn't work anyway. This year I've decided to be less strict with myself. I still aim to not take caffine, sugar, but less gluton, dairy. And I allow myself breaks. And I'm doing it for 3 months, not 6 months. I think after last year I just care less but I still want to make some kind of effort. It is discourgaging when you do everything right and it still doesnt work. What can you do. Nothing. Just keep trying until you know you've had enough.

I totally agree- now one cup of coffee or wine and some moderate exercise sounds reasonable- we have to live our lives right??? Sending lots of luck to you!!!

Great Post! I was once told that a baby will come in your natural flow of life. Although you can create this temple or bubble where everything is perfect, in the end it's all about balance not perfection. This really hit home for me.

such interesting perspective to think about balance over perfection. Perfection is so unrealistic anyway! Thank you for your feedback and support.

Thank you, I continue to be nothing but confused by infertility in general. It will never make sense!! thanks for your support.

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