I believe the official medical terminology for this type of appointment is called a ‘follow-up’. However, the fertility community endearingly refers to the appointment right after a failed IVF cycle as a WTF appointment. For good reason.
Dan and I, after over 2.5 months of one IVF cycle, just got the devastating news that we aren’t pregnant. It didn’t work.
After the initial shock of the phone call, I started into a cycle of complete disbelief. I really really thought this one would work. We did everything right. I obeyed every recommendation of the doctors. We endured physical and emotional hell… it was supposed to work. We had fabulous embryos. They were perfect quality. They were doing great. There was TWO of them… double the chance of success. My lining was thick. I took every suppository at the exact correct timing- several times a day. I didn’t drink caffeine, didn’t drink alcohol, didn’t smoke, tried my best to stay stress free. Did I go back to work too soon? Was I under too much stress because of the move? Did the stress from the terrible egg retrieval cause something not to work? We must have done something wrong, right?
We had our wtf appointment just 3 days after we found out the bad news. I walked into the appointment with so many questions- I have actually typed out the list as it’s impossible to remember everything once you sit down. Our RE wasn’t surprised at my typed list and with a half smile said, “Ok Adele, what have you got?”.
The easiest question was what went wrong? This was also the hardest answer. The RE explained that we could track and evaluate everything throughout the entire process until you actually put the embryos into my body. After that, we can only hope and guess. He said there could have been a problem with the embryos, there could have been a problem with my lining, my body may have just rejected them for unknown reasons… or maybe there was nothing wrong at all and it was just terrible luck.
After all the money we spent and all the degrees behind his name, the best answer we could get was… ‘well, we don’t know.’ REALLY?
All of my list of questions went out the window. The answer to basically all of them was ‘I don’t know’. Our doc told us there was no medical reason why were currently weren’t pregnant. Even though we had numerous issues throughout the process, none of the them should have affected the final outcome.
Greaaaat. So what now?
The first thing the doc told us was that my body desperately needed a break. After over 6 months of injecting incredible amounts of medications into my body, it had had enough. We needed a break. The RE suggested we give it 8 weeks to get all of the chemicals etc out of my body. I’m not the best at waiting so I suggested a counter offer of 4 weeks. He laughed at me and shook his head- apparently patients don’t generally bargain with their doctors. The final word was he would meet me in the middle at 6 weeks. However, the deal was that I would have to come in at 6 weeks and have my blood work and a transvaginal ultrasound done. If everything was back to where my baseline numbers should be, then he would give the okay to get going again.
But what did get going again mean?
We were about to go into a new round of treatment, again. This time it is called a “Frozen Embryo Transfer” (FET). The theory here was that we were able to extract 6 good eggs and fertilize them. We grew all six embryos for 3 days then implanted the two fresh embryos into me. However, we still had 4 embryos left. We opted to freeze the other four. We were now going to thaw out another two embryos, and hope they survive the thaw. If they did, then we’d implant them into me again.
Now, just wait six weeks and pray my body goes back to normal. … six weeks…. A long time when you want to be pregnant yesterday. However, it was also six weeks for us to try and save up what money we could for further treatments. Patience… not my strong suit.