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My last embryo died before transfer this week

(27 Posts)
PollysHoliday Sat 29-Aug-15 11:21:19

We suffer male infertility so I have had to go through IVF with donor sperm. It was a very hard fight for me to get as far as fertility treatment for many reasons. It was a pretty damaging period of my life and I think I became quite depressed as a result.

I developed Ovarian Hyperstimulation during the first cycle so everything stopped, my eggs were frozen and I had to go through a frozen cycle a few months later. Two embryos were transferred but they didn't implant.

Several months after that I went through a second fresh cycle and a miracle happened, I got pregnant. I couldn't enjoy the first half of my pregnancy, I almost pretended I wasn't pregnant because I was so scared something would go wrong. The pregnancy was successful and I have a child I love with all my heart.

A second embryo was frozen. That embryo, my child's full sibling, has never left my thoughts and this summer I went through another frozen cycle.

I knew that there was only a 60% chance of the embryo surviving the defrosting process and I tried to believe that the embryo wouldn't survive. To protect myself from hurt. I also tried to believe that if the transfer took place the pregnancy test would be negative.

On the morning of the transfer the embryologist telephoned me to tell me the embryo hadn't survived. It hurt so much.

It turns out that no matter how pessimistic I tried to be I really had all the hopes and dreams that all women who are trying for a baby have. I don't need to list them, you know what they are.

So that's it. I will never have another baby. My child will be an only.

I am in a lot of pain and most of the world won't understand.

I don't care that my embryo was only a few divided cells. It was my baby and it died.

At the moment I resent everyone who has normal fertility. It feels so unfair, it is unfair. I read another thread this week about how hard would you try to have a child and the number of people who said that if they hadn't conceived by accident or easily they wouldn't have done anything because they weren't that bothered about becoming parents was infuriating.

I am so lucky to have the child I have and I feel guilty to be so devastated about not having a second because I know there will be women who will never be able to have one.

I've even had mad thoughts about starting from scratch again. But the donor would be different, which I think would be a big issue. And I could spend years chasing that dream and it still might not happen. I won't do it.

I know the pain will lessen with time but I will always feel I am missing something.

At some point I need to get rid of all the baby stuff I kept for my second. It's hanging around reminding me that it's useless to me, but when I let it go I will be saying goodbye to having a baby again.

HopefulHamster Sat 29-Aug-15 11:25:21

Hugs OP. That is a tough thing to go through and it is so so unfair. Many people can't understand it unless they have been there.

Give yourself time to grieve and look again at whether you want to consider a new donor. It is a lot to think about and if that's not right for you then it's totally understandable. But you may see it differently, you just don't know yet. It takes more than shared genes to make a good sibling relationship smile

RandomMess Sat 29-Aug-15 11:32:39

Huge hugs & flowers

GreenWalls Sat 29-Aug-15 11:35:36

I am so sorry to hear about this. Be really kind to yourself.

PollysHoliday Sat 29-Aug-15 11:35:51

Thanks both. I'm having a hard time dealing with it this morning.

KittyandTeal Sat 29-Aug-15 11:36:59

I'm so sorry. I have normal fertility but I can identify with your pain.

We lost dd2 to T18. I have a high chance of another baby with a condition incompatible with life. I cannot go through loosing another therefore I am also moving down the road of accepting dd1 will be an only. Not necessarily because I can't have another baby but more because I'm far too scared and the risks are too high.

I know this is very different to the suffering and pain infertility brings but I wanted to say I think I understand the pain of coming to terms with your child being an only although you wanted another.

RandomMess Sat 29-Aug-15 11:39:00

I want to add that your post is full of your gratitude for the child you have, and that you rationally know that you've got a good thing. None of the rational positivity we have in our lives means it isn't necessary to grieve for what we've lost.

I hope that makes sense x

SirVixofVixHall Sat 29-Aug-15 11:43:58

I'm so sorry. I understand this is devastating. But is at all possible to request the same donor as last time if you do decide to try again? It sounds as though the process was very hard emotionally and physically so it is understandable that you may not want to go through it again, but personally i don't think having a different donor would be so terrible, adopted siblings are still siblings , even with no genes in common, and yours would be half siblings genetically, so could look very alike, if that is something that worries you. My brother and I look very like our third cousin, we are clearly related, even at that distance.

PollysHoliday Sat 29-Aug-15 11:56:08

It does make sense random.

I truly am grateful to have my DC, he is a miracle to me. I have always tried to drink in every moment with him because I fought so hard to have him and I anticipated that every experience, first smile, first word, first step etc, would be the first and last time I would have it.

Thanks Kitty, I'm so sorry for your terrible situation.

It really helps to talk to people who understand. I'm trying to brace myself for people's unthinking comments as I get back into normal life. When I told an acquaintance that I was planning to try this summer and about my fears of failure she said "if it doesn't work it just wasn't meant to be." She was holding her two month old second DD at the time. I know she as trying to be helpful but she really had no comprehension of how it feels at all. A little while ago a colleague was telling me about how sorry they were for a friend who had miscarried (undoubtedly a tragedy for her). I used the conversation to confide my plans to try again and he just said "oh you're not going to start all that nonsense again."

PollysHoliday Sat 29-Aug-15 12:05:09

SirVix I don't know if I could use the same donor. I think the truth is that my DH, understandably, found it very hard to come to terms with having to use a donor and I can't see him ever accepting a second donor.

I agree that there is so much more to family than genetics.

If it was up to me alone I could envisage me trying again and again. Despite having no fertility problems myself I don't seem to have great success with IVF, one birth from four embryos. I'm not young so the odds are only going to get worse. I know I really have to accept this as the obvious end of the path.

SirVixofVixHall Sat 29-Aug-15 12:51:22

If you have no fertility issues could you just have AI which would be far less invasive? (Apologies if you have tried this and it wasn't right for you).
I do, as you say, think there is so much more to a family than genetics. Fatherhood is an action as much as it is a statement of biology. Has your DH had any counselling to help him come to terms with his fertility issue?

SirVixofVixHall Sat 29-Aug-15 12:52:29

Oh and I hope i don't sound sympathetic, because I really am. I just feel saddened by your giving up of hope if there could be a solution.

SirVixofVixHall Sat 29-Aug-15 13:14:21

er UNsympathetic. Sorry for the typo

wandy124 Sat 29-Aug-15 18:23:44

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

PollysHoliday Sun 30-Aug-15 14:49:55

SirVix don't worry you sound compassionate. smile Thank you for your thoughts.

Neither of us have taken up counselling. I think we're both okay with the genetic parentage of our child. My DH is a good and loving father to our DS and they have a great relationship.

Today I bumped into someone who I have, in the past, confided in about wanting to have this last round of IVF but who didn't know I had gone ahead with it. She spoke about not giving up, about finding a donor (either I hadn't told her that part of she had forgotten) and as I listened to her it made me realise that I don't think I will do it.

I think I need to just grieve for the loss of this embryo and come to terms with having an only child. I don't want to chase shadows and torture myself anymore.

I've taken my DS out for fun times this weekend to try to create good and happy memories that will superimpose upon my sadness.

Fortunately I didn't see what Wendy wrote. I came here because it was somewhere I could reach out to people who could understand and somewhere I could be completely open. The rest of you have helped me.

HermioneWeasley Sun 30-Aug-15 14:56:13

I am so sorry Pollys for your loss. People who've not been through it really can't understand.

I think you are right to focus on your DS and what you do have.


PollysHoliday Sun 30-Aug-15 14:59:36

Thanks Hermione

KittyandTeal Sun 30-Aug-15 18:30:56

Give yourself time and space to grieve. Tbh it's not just the loss of an embryo you are mourning, it's the loss of the future you had dreamt of and wanted so much as well as one that a lot of heartache has gone into.

I am currently doing them same, focussing on my beautiful dd1 and spending lots of fun and quality time with her. I think it relieves some of the sadness.

I guess it will take time to grieve and adjust to a new future but you will get there. flowers

MsMargaretCarter Sun 30-Aug-15 18:41:24

So sorry that your embryo didn't make it, OP. If you haven't been in touch with the Donor Conception Network before, I would suggest contacting them - sadly you won't be the only one going through this and there are others out there who do understand.

I believe one birth from four embryos is considered a good result but completely understand your hesitation over using a second donor. I hope you and your DH can come to a decision that is best for you and your family.

PollysHoliday Mon 31-Aug-15 19:20:26

Thanks for your kind words MsMargaret. (Margaret would have been one of the names if we had a girl) I've very recently discovered and joined the DCN because of Mumsnet. I will start to explore the network.

It cheers me that you think our success ratio is okay because I was feeling a bit of a failure.

I've just noticed the one child family topic here so I'll hang round there in a while.

PollysHoliday Mon 31-Aug-15 19:55:36

Kitty you're right I've lost a dreamt of future. I had thought about how I would embrace and enjoy this pregnancy. About how I hoped the labour and birth would go better this time. About the excitement and joy of a newborn. Which new push chair and crib I would get. How I would learn from my mistakes with night feeds and weaning. I thought about how hard would it be to manage everything with a second child. I was looking forward to repeating all the activities I enjoyed so much with my DS as a baby and toddler. My DS loves babies and he would have loved a little brother or sister to fuss over.
Much as I tried to not imagine that future it's impossible not to.

I can see joy in my new future. I've just got to find a way to insulate myself against all the "Are you having any more/didn't you want any more?". I've already experienced people expressing pity for my DS because he's an only. I even find the common pfb and "is this your first?" comments on Mumsnet grating. I was once a bit too honest about probably never having any more children to a woman who was happily going on about how crazy it was having three sons. I think my sadness or emotion shocked her a bit and she avoided me after that.
I'm beginning to ramble now.

purplemeggie Wed 02-Sep-15 22:36:21

Just wanted to add my sympathy OP - I'm undergoing donor IVF - eggs in my case - but as a veteran of 5 failed cycles (three with my eggs and two with a different donor), I'm not that optimistic about the outcome. The hardest part for me has been the guilt of my son being an only child - he is 7 and has been asking for a sibling since he was 2.

I will say though, that it does get easier with time and there have definitely been points when I achieved acceptance of the situation. I was quite reluctant to go for IVF, but DH wanted to try and I didn't feel that it was fair not to try. Since then, after each cycle one or other of us has wanted to give it another go. What I'm trying to say is that the grief is at its most acute just after a failed cycle - you have a hormone crash from stopping the meds on top of the emotional pain and it's really hard. It does get easier. Sending you a warm hug and hoping that this isn't the end of the road for you x

YonicScrewdriver Wed 02-Sep-15 22:41:16

Hugs, OP X

Shellster52 Thu 03-Sep-15 03:17:06

I know there are no words I can say to ease the painPolly but I totally feel for you. Like you and purple, I too already have a DS. People would say well meaning but insensitive comments like 'be grateful you have one'. Of course we love them, but it doesn't mean we aren't allowed to be said for not being able to produce a second that seems such a natural desire as so many other women go back. And part of the reason is because we love our DS and want it for them.

I went through 11 IVF attempts and it was an emotionally gruelling 4 years. After each failure, the next time I saw DS, I could barely look him in the eye because I felt so guilty towards him for not being able to provide this for him. I don't know if he really cares as much as me but the guilt was definitely there and you are entitled to grieve without being made to feel guilty that it means you are ungrateful for your DS.

My 11th cycle was the last I could afford and I got very lucky that it worked. I am suffering nausea and I know I have child birth and then very tired days to come, but I know what a black hole I was in when I thought it would not happen and can only imagine how difficult it would have been to climb out of it if my 11th and final cycle I could afford did not work.

You are more than welcome to rant away on here. Thinking of you. xox.

Turquoisetamborine Thu 03-Sep-15 03:59:31

I'm so sorry this has happened to you. I understand how heartbreaking secondary infertility is as I went through it myself for four years getting more and more depressed.
My son was seven when the IVF finally worked and I now have a baby. Sometimes I could have curled up and cried my heart out from the pain but I'm glad I kept going. I would absolutely have more treatment if it's feasible for you as I don't think anything else would have cured it for me.
I wish you all the luck in the world.

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