IVF #1 Beta Results

My second beta was at 9am yesterday. As I sat down in the chair and rolled back my sleeve, I fought back the tears. So much was riding on these results. “How are you doing?” the young nurse asked. 

“I’m terrified,” I replied. 

“Of the needle or the results?”

“The results.”

“You just have to stay positive,” she declared. 

I wanted to scream. To ask her if she had any idea what this really feels like. Ask her if she’d even bothered to read my chart and realize this was my one and only chance at a successful pregnancy. That all nine of my other embryos had arrested development due to what the doctor thought were issues with our sperm. Of course, I didn’t say any of those things. I just sat there as I watched her poke into my vein; already bruised and sore from the test two days prior. 

The nurse told me we’d get a call to report the results sometime after noon. I muttered my thank you’s, and stumbled out of the office. 

We anxiously awaited the results all day long. I wanted to get the news with Chris, and left work a little early so we could be together when we got the call. By 5:30pm we still hadn’t heard anything. Chris was antsy as hell, and I kept telling him, “I know they’ll call before they leave at six. If not, we’ll do a home pregnancy test.” 

He finally broke down and called our RE on his cell phone. The one “for emergencies only.” Heck, it felt pretty urgent at 5:40pm on a Friday before a three day holiday weekend. Our doctor said perhaps we wouldn’t receive the results until Tuesday. As luck would have it, our nurse began calling us while Chris was wrapping up the conversation with our doc. 

Chris missed her call, so we dialed her back on speakerphone. She sounded cheerful. “Oh, hi Chris! I was just leaving you a message on the other line. We got your results back, and they are negative.” I felt numb. “Please tell Heather to stop taking her medication. If you’d like to schedule a follow-up meeting to go over your cycle with the doctor, that can be done either in person or over the phone. Just call us next week to schedule when you’re ready.”

Before hanging up the phone, Chris managed to ask her, “What exactly were Heather’s beta numbers?”

“Less than two,” she informed us, “we consider anything over five to be pregnant.”

We sat in silence for a few minutes. I slowly got up, and began gathering all my medicine from around the house. The Crinone, the bottles of Estradiol I had in my purses, and by my bed. I put them all in a bag, and shoved them into our guest room closet. I went to the kitchen, and gingerly pulled the magnets off the fridge that surrounded the little pictures of our precious embryo and my uterus-post-transfer. I carefully found an envelope and filed it away in the filing cabinet. 

I went back to the bedroom and began to sob. Chris was crying, too. We sat on the floor and held each other for what felt like hours. We managed to feed ourselves dinner and put on a movie. All events throughout the evening were punctuated with tears by one or both of us. It felt, and still feels, surreal. 

To add insult to injury, we received a bill from the pre-IVF genetic counseling. Nearly $8,000. We had no idea a bill of that magnitude was still coming. It felt like a sick joke. 

Today, both of us are processing. We could do IVF again as soon as July. We both have so many questions. Do we want to use the same clinic again? Will we have different results next time? When will we know it’s time to give up? Should we consider adoption? 

It feels like we have a lot of healing ahead of us. I’m really grateful to have such a strong teammate by my side through this process. We’ll get through it together. For now, we just need to grieve.

78 thoughts on “IVF #1 Beta Results

  1. KLA says:

    I’m SO very sorry to hear this. My heart dropped to my feet as I was so sure you would have a positive. I have no great advice to give as we are struggling through our negative transfer as well. It’s so fantastic having such a supportive other half. Be extra good to yourselves while you grieve and heal from the cycle. Cry when you need to, scream when you need to. We’re sending you tons of hugs!

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  2. wannabemamma says:

    We have been where you are with our last IUI in March of last year. At 4 weeks past transfer my beta was 50 and it should have been 400+. Now is your time to grieve and grieve together. Your decision to move forward with IVF #2 is yours and yours alone (together alone) for us in needed time. From March to September it was 0 communication with our clinic. Then all of a sudden I wanted to go forward. We proceeded with IVF one and transfer 2 ok embryos. I got AF and again 0 communication with clinic. We bought a condo a second new car and things settled down. After 4 or 5 months I felt emotionally ready to move forward. This entire IVF#2 I’ve felt positive and more cautiously optimistic. For me I took more time off work and really made this my focus. In no way am I saying you didn’t. Please don’t miss understand. My thoughts and prayers are with you every day. My only suggestion would be try IVF again when you feel you are ready. Mind, body and soul. Although I don’t “know” you, I honestly feel your pain. πŸ™πŸ½πŸ’

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  3. theskyandback says:

    I’m so sorry to read this news. I think you have the right idea by just letting yourself grieve right now. You’ll know what to do — and when — after some time has passed. I know this pain — it sucks — and I’m so sorry you have to feel it. You’ll get your hope back soon, I promise!

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  4. katiebird says:

    I’m so sorry for your results, I know how disappointing this is and I don’t think any words I or anyone else says will help but you’ll be in my thoughts. It took us 4x’s before we had any success and I’ve read that it takes multiple times for most for success. Don’t give up! Spoil yourselves this weekend you deserve it! Hugs to you!

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      • katiebird says:

        Honestly, the first failure was the hardest and took me a month to get over. But after that I got my courage back and my positivity and decided to get back on the horse so to speak. It will get easier (maybe because you become a little numb to the process?) and each time the grieving period gets shorter and shorter. Determination kept me going and my husband of course. Only you can decide if you want to keep up with this journey but I say get back on that horse when you’re ready. πŸ™‚

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        • heatherhopeful says:

          Good to know. It’s sad that the pain becomes routine (a pain most people will never endure). Yet, it’s comforting to know this may be the worst of it. That if we went through this again, it may not be this painful. Thanks for your insight, Katie. πŸ’—

          Liked by 1 person

  5. 30yr old nothing says:

    I’m so very sorry to hear this. I know this pain… and damn that bill. Take all the time you need to grieve. It never seems like enough time. Keeping both of you in my thoughts during this time. xx

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  6. valleyally says:

    Oh dear, I am very sorry to hear this. When my cycle failed in March it took me over a week to write my post. You are an incredibly strong person and I hope you take some time this weekend to do something good for yourself. Try not to worry about making decisions right away, take solace in that you still have many options and I promise that with time the pain and grief will subside and you will find renewed hope and strength. Take care.xx

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  7. myivfdiary2015 says:

    😘😘😘😘 im sending all the love we have across to you and your partner. Remeber, this is not your fault. You’ve done nothing wrong. Take your time to grieve, perhaps have a holiday, time to yourselves so you can be close to your partner. Talk to him, comfort one another, and know, your embryo was real and take comfort in that fact that you achieve a 5 day embryo – it’s a magnificent acheivement.. I truly believe, what the mind can conceive, the body can achieve. If you need to talk you have so many people right here who can relate and understand. Don’t give up hope. You will have your time xxxxxxxx

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  8. oc15 says:

    all i can say is i am so sorry. i wish i could change this outcome for you so badly. all i can ever do is give advice from my experience and i just want to say that i know now devastating this is. it’s crushing and maddening and to not have control over something like this is the most terrifying thing in the world. you are going to hurt. it’s a hurt so bad you won’t know if you can keep going. we went through this time and again. all i can say is, keep going. keep your hope and keep trying. this is one of the the hardest things you will ever go through. you just have to keep loving each other, keep supporting each other. keep moving forward and always keep hope in your heart. xox

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  9. crazy4ababy says:

    My heart just sank as I read your post. I was really hoping this would work. Words cannot express how sorry I am. Take time to cry and be surrounded by loved ones. It will take a long time to heal but supportive family & friends will carry you through this. You will be in my thoughts πŸ’•πŸ’•

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  10. yearningformotherhood says:

    So sorry 😦 after you waited so patiently, too. There’s not a lot that a anybody can say that will bring you comfort but know that we all have first hand experience of this pain, and we are all still standing. Take comfort in each other, and when things are feeling less raw, have a good chat about the next step. Xx

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  11. waitingformylittleone says:

    I’m so sorry for the heartbreaking news that no one in the world wishes for you. Ugh that effing nurse and bill sound like the cherry on top. I truly hope you will be ok with some time and that you never go through this feeling again. ❀

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  12. RC says:

    Im so sorry. I remember that feeling of pulling the embryo photo off the fridge- such a kick in the guts. Take care of each other. Big hugs

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  13. Babyscienceproject says:

    I’m sorry, horrible news. Your husband sounds like a wonderful guy, look after one another. Things will get better and you’ll find the strength to think about plan B, and there always is a plan B even if it takes a total rethink and another year of saving and planning. Don’t lose hope, you just know that you will be parents by one way or another in the future x

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  14. tonibear1415 says:

    Im so very sorry. Its so hard when you go through all the treatment and it fails. But it failed, not you. Next time could be completely different.
    Thinking of you at this tough time xx

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  15. somedaymommyp says:

    Heather,

    I read this post to my husband (who really isn’t into the whole blogging world). We literally just had the same exact experience last week…. We had our first IVF transfer. We anxiously awaited our results (which we found out on his 32 birthday) that they were negative. We were lucky that our work allowed us some “mental health days”. We laid in bed the morning after until noon, unsure of what to do, say, think. We forced ourselves to get out of the house and take a drive. We brought our 2 Golden Retrieves (who are our angels) and enjoyed seeing the love and excitement as they felt the wind in their faces. We drove up to a lake that we had never been to and just looked around, enjoyed the sun on our face and enjoyed being together. We laughed, cried, talked and sat in silence at times. It is difficult to understand how to grieve a negative IVF until you go through it. Most people have no idea what to say or think. We talked about should we try again, can we put ourselves through that again, could we adopt, would we love that child as if it was our own, should we just stop all together……. and we decided why think about this today. Today the sun is shinning, we have our dogs and we have each other. We had our follow up post IVF failure appointment (had to LOVE the young, bright, bubbly nurse that brought us back into the room. She said as if it was nothing, “so your hear to talk about the fact that your IVF didn’t work?” I replied back with a rude reply, “ya something like that.” I know I shouldn’t take my feelings out on her, and I know that I shouldn’t take them out on the girl with 4 kids, no father in the picture and no use for her kids. (Okay I know….. I shouldn’t have said that!) but its SOOOOOOOOOO hard to not pass judgement when you see pregnant women, women with kids, etc. So as for us we have decided to take a month off, enjoy ourselves, we can’t try for round #2 right now anyways because we have to wait around for AF to arrive again. My wish for you and your husband is to simply enjoy being together. Your own right decision will come to you both. And always remember…. the grieving process never stops…. it only gets a little better each day. I’m only two weeks out from finding out my negative results and I often cry, become angry, sad, mad. I continue to think of you and your husband during your journey. Keep in touch.

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    • heatherhopeful says:

      I’m so sorry to hear you guys are going through something similar. I can’t believe you got the news on your hubby’s 32nd birthday. That is so gut-wrenching. Our two doggies have also been helping us find the joy in the past couple of days. Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing your story. It makes me feel less alone. Huge hugs to you, friend.

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    • heatherhopeful says:

      I’m sorry to hear you’re going through something like this, too. I just keep telling myself that the pain won’t be this deep forever. Thanks for your support, and your comment.

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  16. She Patiently Waits says:

    F*$K!! DAMMIT!! I read this and didn’t know what to say at first other than swear and be angry for your situation. I hope that you find the light in each day to keep you going. I just feel hurt for you both 😦 Keep pressing on….we are all here for you! xoxoxo

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  17. sejaljaykar says:

    In my opinion … You are much more brave than I am … I have not even begin to pen my thoughts and feelings down at all… We have had 4 IUIs and 2 failed IVFs and am currently doing my 3rd … I can totally relate to how you feel .. But one has to be positive and hopeful at all times… It will surely happen and hope you get the positivity to try again and wish you all the best for the same … Sending you love and courage and sunshine 🌻🌻🌻

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    • heatherhopeful says:

      Thank you. I think we’re all brave to go through this crazy process. Sorry to hear about your past cycles–so tough. I hope this is “the one” for you guys! P.S. I love the sunflowers. Those are my absolute favorite flower.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Tikeetha T says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. Sending you a virtual hug sis. I’ve been there. You and hubby need to love and hold on to each other now more than ever. It can seem like the world is all on your shoulders, but I promise it is not. I had a negative and I know what that feels like. Be strong and encouraged in knowing that it will happen.

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  19. ashleykyleanderson says:

    Hey Heather,
    I wanted you to know that I’ve been thinking about you every day this past week. I so badly wish that this cycle had turned out differently for you and it breaks my heart to know that you are grieving right now when you should be celebrating. I completely understand the feeling of not being sure how to move on, and I hope that as you guys process over these difficult days you are able to get some clarity on the situation.

    People who get to the other side always say not to give up, that it will be worth it and all that, but I know there are always doubts and fears and that the journey is painful and dark. I can tell you that I came very close to giving up myself– very, VERY close, but every time we got to that place I couldn’t bring myself to go through with it. Before we were matched with Elle, we asked three different people to be a gestational carrier for us over the course of a year. Two were family, one was a close friend, and all of them said no. Every time we got that answer back it took us months to recover. I never wanted to have a stranger carry a child for us and that thought alone terrified me. To do so would mean that we had to reconcile ourselves with the fact that that person would be able to legally abort our child at any time, for any reason. We would have no say. I didn’t think I could do it and I believed that our journey was over. At times we talked about how we didn’t know how to answer the questions from loved ones like, “What are you going to do now?” because we didn’t feel like we had any other option BUT to keep pushing forward. Ultimately we came to the conclusion together that if we didn’t do EVERYTHING possible now, we would probably look back and regret it. And so we marched on (even though I protested the whole way and resented every step– truly, I am not nearly as positive as you are). All I can say now is that I am glad that we did (and I know, that means little now that we are on the other side, but it is something I think about every day).

    Maybe that isn’t the right approach for you, and that is 100% okay. In the meantime, I encourage you to take the time to really be good to yourselves and above all, go through it together. From what I know about you through your blog you are such a sweet, kind, and caring person, and you have a great, supportive husband. You deserve to be blessed with a child and even if you can’t or don’t exactly feel “hopeful” right now, I will carry that hope for you in my heart. ❀

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    • heatherhopeful says:

      Ashley, thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. The journey definitely has its up and downs. You guys have worked so hard to get to where you are, and that’s really inspiring. I can completely relate to the feeling of wanting to exhaust all the options, and knowing that if you don’t you’ll look back and regret it. That’s what I keep telling myself during this time. Even though I’m grieving and it’s hard not to want to give up completely, I know that I’ll regret it someday if I do. Thank you for the pick me up. I really appreciate it. πŸ’ž

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Maria says:

    Hi Heather,

    I found your blog through a local IVF support group I follow on Facebook. IΒ΄m not used to commenting on blogs but I just connected to so much of what you and your husband were writing about.

    I am so sorry your beta turned out to be negative. I know exactly what youΒ΄re going through.

    We have been doing IVF for 21 months now. My husband has two children from his previous marriage and had a vasectomy more than 10 years ago. The chances of a vasectomy being reversible after such a long time are slim to none. Therefore our reason for having to do IVF is in a way similar to yours. We have had 3 IVF cycles up to now (or to put it right, ICSI, as I expect you to be having). In total we have had 9 embryo transfers, 3 fresh and 6 frozen. We have had luck four times, i.e. I have got pregnant four times followed by four miscarriages at six weeks of pregnancy (two extrauterine pregnancies with subsequent acute surgery and two spontaneous miscarriages). We still have six little embryos waiting in the freezer before we have to decide if we want to do IVF#4.
    It has not been an easy journey but we have been able to enjoy life as we go along with it. This process does put a lot of stress on relationships though. Therefore we are probably going to take a break from all of this this summer to enjoy each other, life and vacation. In a way I am relieved to be taking a break but at the same time it saddens me. I am 35 and feel like I donΒ΄t have all the time in the world… πŸ˜‰
    It seems like the two of you have a good and strong relationship and that is, from my experience, what is most important during this journey. Just to be there for each other. Do it your way, noone can tell you what is the right path for you. I truly hope there is a baby in your future, regardless of how. It´s probably like they say, it´s soooo worth it when you have your baby in your arms. :)

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