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a blog by Murgdan
My first IVF cycle failed. It didn’t work. I’m not pregnant. I found out while I was at work. I snuck away quietly into the stairwell at 1:30pm to check my cell phone messages. I dialed the number. I entered my code. I listened. Even though I had taken three home tests and they were all negative, I continued to imagine the voice of my ever-cheerful nurse congratulating me. I imagined that I would be jubilantly shocked at the inaccuracy of home pregnancy tests. I imagined that I would rush home in the middle of the day to tell my husband that our dream had come true.
I think you can tell the results from that first hello. Her voice sounded different than any other time I had talked to her. She had me at hello.
“Hello. It’s your nurse. I’m calling you with the results of your pregnancy test. Unfortunately I don’t have good news for you. Your result came back at zero, which means there was no implantation of the embryos and you are not pregnant . . .”
I don’t know what she said after that, but the message was a good two minutes long. I know she mentioned something about my next cycle, something about drugs, something about a chart review. I saved the message in case I wanted to listen to those details later, but I haven’t been able to listen to it. I want to erase it, but that would involve playing it, and I don’t want to hear those words again…ever.
The news of a failed cycle left me in a state of shock. For months I had been standing on the platform at the station waiting for the train to arrive, and when it finally got there, it never put on the brakes. Not only did it fail to stop for me, it mowed me down full speed at 200 miles per hour. I was paralyzed. Frozen.
My hope is in the deep freezer, chilling out at somewhere around -196ºC. You see, I say our first cycle failed, but 4 good quality blastocysts were created during that failed cycle. Two of those embryos were transferred to me on Mother’s Day, and unfortunately the result was not the one we desired. Those two embryos did not produce a healthy pregnancy. Indeed, that cycle produced nothing more than a painful period. But our first IVF cycle produced four blastocysts. There are still two. On the 6th day, those two blastocysts hatched and were cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen.
So you see. I say the cycle failed, and in a very real sense it did. But at the same time, that first cycle isn’t really over yet. Our first cycle, like my hope, has been left in a state of suspended animation. It is over, but it is also ‘to be continued.’
We still have some future potential tucked away in the icebox like a pint of chocolate-raspberry gelato on a rainy day. It’s an incredible thought. In my faraway dreams I wonder if those frozen dreams may be the warm bundle I rock to sleep at night.
I wonder if my icebox dreams will come true. The thaw is coming soon.
‘To be continued’