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My IVF Cycle Got Canceled — What’s Next?

When Your IVF Cycle Gets Cancelled

The hits just keep on coming.

This past Saturday at the appointment that was supposed to tell me when my egg retrieval would be scheduled (which should have been yesterday or tomorrow),  I learned there would be no egg retrieval this month.

And that my IVF cycle got canceled.

While this cycle started off pretty strong 6-8 follicles on each ovary and good blood counts it fizzed out fast. On Saturday, the nurse/ultrasound tech saw that, aside from one, none of my follicles had grown since the previous appointment three days before, which meant that none, aside from one, was ready to produce an egg.

This also meant that the IVF cycle had to be cancelled. The procedure to retrieve eggs from the ovaries is invasive and expensive, and truth be told not worth doing for one egg. I asked the nurse if there was someone else who could confirm her findings, and she sent the doctor in a few minutes later.

It was true. Not that I necessarily didn’t believe the nurse when she told me; I just wanted to be sure that cancelling the cycle was the best thing to do.

It was practically the only thing to do, so I found out.

Apparently, my body stopped responding to the fertility meds. The injections I was giving myself every night weren’t doing anything. There is no obvious reason for this, just another “sometimes, these things just happen.”

The doctor told me that my ovaries weren’t ready for an IVF cycle, though my lining was perfectly ready as was the amount of donor sperm we had left. He also told me that my ovaries are perfect for an IUI (intrauterine insemination), as was my lining perfectly ready though we didn’t have the right amount of sperm for the procedure (since we had previously used some of the sperm vial twice before on past IVF cycles).

So: My ovaries suck for an IVF, but are perfect for an IUI. Our sperm sucks for an IUI, but is perfect for an IVF. My lining is prime and perfect for a pregnancy. Nothing aligned right this cycle.

Hurry up and get more sperm, you scream!

Easier said than done. When I was pregnant with the twins, our sperm bank called us to let us know that there were a limited number of our donor’s vials left, and that they give preference to families that already have children by the same donor. We didn’t plan on having more children after the twins, and besides, not only did we still have some of the sperm left, but we also had four frozen embryos. Thanks, but we’re all set.

Two weeks later, my water broke and I lost the twins. Three failed frozen cycles after that, we had no embryos left. So now we are down to the last of the sperm the sperm that could give us a sibling to our lost twins. And we can’t get anymore.

I was devastated leaving the fertility center on Saturday. I wallowed most of the weekend away, wondering why this has to be so hard, questioning if we’ll know when it’s time to throw in the towel.

The only thing I know for sure right now, is that I don’t know anything for sure.

A reader commented on my Two Moms Make a Right Facebook page over the weekend to “surrender to the plan unfolding before you.” At the time, I rolled my eyes and totally got annoyed by the advice.

But the next day I woke up and realized that I can do nothing but surrender to it all, and wait to see how the next step presents itself.

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Photo: iStockphoto

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More From Aela:
5th IVF + What We Decided to do With Our Last 2 Embryos

Negative Pregnancy #4 + What Happens Next
20 Reader Comments That Help Me Face the Tough Days

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