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It Happens All the Time


a blog by Ellen Glazer, November 18, 2010

I have a client who just completed her first IVF cycle. Everything seemed to go well. She had lots of eggs, great embryos, abundant hope.

Two days before she was due to go in for her pregnancy test, she did a test at home. She was hopeful. It was negative. She remained a bit hopeful and did a second test the next morning. It was “more negative.” She was devastated. The test at the clinic further confirmed the bad news. She was more devastated.

A common story. It happens all the time. And that is why I am writing about it. It happens all the time.

You enter an IVF cycle with hope, anticipation, often with predictions of success. You do “everything right.” You rest. You “de-stress” (if that is remotely possible during IVF). You swear off wine. You eat pineapple. You have acupunture before and after the transfer. You hope. And then you get bad news. Sometimes the news is softened by word that there are frozen embryos but often it is simply bad news. You did everything you could, and you came up with zero.

There are disappointments in life in which one gets credit for effort. You don’t complete the marathon, but you can still feel proud of the 18 miles you ran. Your article is not accepted for publication, but the rejection letter comes with compliments, suggestions for rewrites and an invitation to resubmit. You don’t win the award you hoped for, but you get Honorable Mention and it counts for something. But not with IVF. There are no runners up, no honorable mentions.

And so I wanted to write this blog in honor of my client and all the countless other women who put their lives on hold, their desires aside, hold their arms out to be pricked each morning, inject themselves with needles, take their healthy bodies into operating rooms and do all they can to nurture hope … and then come up with zero. I hope you will have a successful pregnancy, that it will come soon and that in the meantime, you can feel proud of yourself for your amazing effort.

Comments (3)

Having just gone through my second failed IVF cycle, I understand this all too well.

I did everything right. All the stars were aligned. There was no reason why it SHOULDN'T have worked.

Except, it didn't.

And I can't help but feel like there is something wrong with me. Something beyond even the stage IV endo we already know about. Because while it happens all the time, I also know of women with my same diagnosis who it hasn't happened to. Women who it has worked for every time.

I can't help but wonder why it works for them, but not for me...

I know all to well how that feels. I am getting ready to do my fourth IVF transfer. I was pregnant with twin boys, but recently lost them at 5 months pregnant. I am praying hard that this 4th time will be the one that lets us be pregnant and bring home a healthy happy baby(s). Thank you for sharing this. IVF is hard work and takes a lot out of you, but to me it is more than worth the effort.

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