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Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged and understood.

Thanks to photographer Xin Li and to artist Stephanie Sicore for their respective illustrations and photos.

not ttc | infertility after loss > Failed egg donor cycle and facing┬áreality

trigger warning: living child mentioned

It has been almost 2 1/2 years since my daughter died and that long I have been trying to conceive. I failed two cycles of medicated IUI, an IVF cycle and subsequent FET with my own eggs at 44, and conceived naturally twice in between cycles only to miscarry both times at 8 and 6 weeks. It became clear that despite all the "You can do it in your 40's" posts I read, I was not going to conceive with my eggs. I couldn't take the high risks and 60% miscarriage rate any more and my husband and I decided to proceed with egg donation. I know he really didn't want to do it but he did it for me and the idea grew on him. I promised him we'd buy one egg lot only and then I'll give this up. I just turned 45.

We have a living son and I should be content with that - so many here long for just one to hold in their arms. But as many as you know here, the longing for another child is a deeply engrained physical need, to propogate the species. I found out today my first cycle failed after transferring one excellent looking blastocyct. I am crushed. I naively thought I would fall on the good side of the odds as I was given a 65% chance of pregnancy. Nope - not me. Now I have one frozen embryo left but need to wait to have an ERA test to see if the implantation time has been correct - so I am looking at a few more months. I am angry at myself for being so old before I tried to have kids, the doctors for failing me, and the universe in general.

I feel so desperate, alone, and isolated. I want to keep hope that this last one will work but I am becoming increasingly aware that I am facing the reality of grieving the loss of the ability to grow my family. I know there are some of you here who decided that consciously or those who also couldn't surmount infertility. Can you help me? I need to know I will be okay one day if this last chance fails and accept that's the end of this journey. Thank you ahead of time for being there. So grateful I can post here.
October 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAnon
Hi Anon-
I fear I am going to have a similar story to yours. We lost our son 10 months ago and have had 2 miscarriages since. We are going to try IVF next year but I am 40 and am worried I too will fall on the failing side of the statistics. I feel so desperate for another child too and I have two living daughters. I know people think I should be thankful for them (which I am) and focus on them since many people don't even have one. All I can say is that I do have a new appreciation for them but the longing for another child is very strong once you have lost a child. I am curious too how others have come to terms with infertility after child loss. Sorry not much helpful advice but you are not alone.
October 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDenise
Hi Anon,
I had embryo donation IVF and carried my first child, a daughter to term. Tragically she died as a result of labour complications. I was 43 at the time. I have had to wait 10 months to try again as I had complications due to the labour also . I have just had my second course of IVF - also embryo donation and am in the very early stages of pregnancy. I am now nearly 45.
Prior to trying the first time my husband who is severely disabled and I had pretty much come to terms with being childless. We had had various treatments - all unsuccessful over the previous 10 years. We had pretty much given up when I was about 39. My sister then had a baby a bit later in life - she is a few years younger then me, we decided then to apply locally for adoption but where told our application was unlikely to be successful due to my husbands disability. This is when I found out about embryo adoption and we decided to try.
Having been pregnant, healthy and then having it all ripped away at the absolute last minute of labour I feel now the most immense desire to have a healthy baby.
I have come the other way round from you - I've gone from being resigned to not having children to now being desperate to do so.
I too wish I'd decided on this route earlier although I mainly just wish my daughter had lived just like we all do.
I'm sorry that doesn't even begin to address the issues you where raising but as Denise said you are not alone. Also although you have not had success this time - this process does have a reasonably good outcome compared with many other IVF options so there is room for hope.
Wishing you well
October 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKE
Thank you Denise and KE for sharing your stories.

I find it very lonely sometimes, being older, having lost a child and struggling with infertility. You both sharing your stories made me feel less isolated though I am so sorry you both have gone through what you have. So much pain and suffering. As I get better at carrying the pain of the loss, the desperation for another grows heavier.

KE- Thank you for offering some hope. I am trying to remain positive that this can work. Yet, that fear of failure lurks around the corner. I will keep you in my thoughts and I hope you can have a living child to love and raise in your arms soon.

Denise- The miscarriages after loss are extremely difficult to handle. Just as you let hope in - it is squashed. I wish you luck on your journey. The odds at 40 are much better than at my age and I hope it works for you.

Again, thank you for sharing, and both your comments comforted me.
October 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAnon
Hi Anon, I have a similar story to yours. I have a living son and a daughter who died. After her death (she was conceived via IVF when I was 40), subsequent efforts at IVF with my own eggs did not work. We also moved on to donor eggs. Our first two transfers failed. Our third, and last remaining, embryo transfer turned out successful, though at that point I had completely lost faith that it would. At that point I was plotting out my next plan assuming failure because I was completely gripped by the drive for another and having a plan helped keep me sane, even if the back plan would be numbered too-high-to-count. I wanted to reinforce that, sadly, multiple tries are not uncommon, even with young donor eggs. But it can work, and many go on to have a subsequent transfer result in a take-home baby. I will hold hope for you if you are drained for now. Wishing you luck and peace.
November 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAnotherAnon
Another Anon,

Thank you for sharing your story and I am so sorry you lost your daughter too. Thank you for reinforcing that this could still work. I just always feel like the other shoe will drop because it seems to do so with all the treatments I have had. As you know, It takes so much processing to get to egg or embryo donation that when it doesn't work it's really painful - and draining as you said.

I am trying to remain hopeful. Since I posted, I saw my therapist and she encouraged me to try to stop the negative thoughts - at least for now. If the next transfer does fail, I will have more information then. So when I start to feel negative, I literally try to visualize a big red stop sign.

Thank you all for holding hope and space for me.
November 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAnon
Just an update for those who were holding hope for me when all I could see was darkness. My last embryo transfer was successful after learning through a biopsy that I needed another full day of progesterone before transfer. I have a six week old baby boy sitting in front of me. Thank you all for your support.
November 30, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAnon
That is wonderful news!
December 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJ
Congratulations Anon - I am so pleased for you. I have often thought of you and whether or not you had further treatment.
Have fun together!
December 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKE