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Ask Me Anything: Moving Forward After Failure

It’s time for another Ask Me Anything question! I wanted to publish one of these weekly, on Mondays, and I was shit at keeping up with it. So here we go, back giving it another shot and hopefully, I can stay on top of these.

Click here to read the original post that talks about what I’m looking for. And here you can click to submit an anonymous question. You can also scroll to the bottom of this post to see the form.

Moving Forward After Failure

“How were you able to go forward with another cycle after your first failed? I feel like it is consuming my life… I feel angry and sad all the time that my first cycle failed and about my infertility in general. I’m about to start at a second clinic after my first cycle ended in a chemical miscarriage and I feel totally hopeless.”

Well, my friend. Let’s discuss.

Has infertility consumed my life? Yes. A thousand times yes. Was I sad and angry during those years of failed cycles? Yes. This woman and I are similar in that my own first IVF cycle ended in a chemical pregnancy and I needed to face doing it all over again from scratch.

I’ve gotten asked this pretty frequently in emails about how I picked myself up after those failed IVFs. I always tend to tell them the same thing: I was persistent as fuck. Failure is not an option. Wasn’t that an Apollo 13 quote?

When I lost Adam, my world fell out from under me. He was my first pregnancy, and when I think about him, when I think about the baby he would have become, I want him back with a fierceness that scares me. To say the entire thing was unfair is an understatement. It sucked. It was one of the worst things I ever had to go through.

But it just fueled my desire to hold a baby in my arms. A sibling for Adam. I think since I couldn’t fathom life without a child, then it wouldn’t have occurred to me to NOT do another cycle. You know what I mean?

So I get that helpless/hopeless/awful feeling of going through this failed cycle, especially one where you lose a baby. I think that little break I would take between the two was enough for me to collect myself, sort of dust myself off before diving in again. And sometimes I think I’m in the minority when it comes to this because the first thing I wanted to do after a failed cycle was get right on to the next one. So many I’ve talked to needed some time to heal. And there is no right way to do it.

For those of you who have also been in this situation, what was your experience like?

How did you move forward after failure?

 

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Cristy
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It’s hard to move forward after miscarriage. It’s worlds harder when fertility treatments are involved. I grieved a lot after my second miscarriage. There was a deep anger with the world that came from my very core, fueled by fear that despite all the pain and suffering, i would come out the other side without our children and would forever be labeled as a bitter childless woman. I don’t have any advice on how to pick yourself up after such a loss. Every person’s journey is different, with some feeling energized to move forward while others only feel depleted. Listen… Read more »

Beth
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Beth

My first IVF cycle ended in an ectopic pregnancy – I got the high of the positive beta followed by the low of it not doubling and the grueling days of tests as my dr tried to determine what the hell was happening. It was devastating. But I was like you – let’s get this show on the road. Let’s do this again. Let’s get that baby. The only way I could think to accept what had happened was to keep trying until I got a different outcome.

Charlotte
Guest

After my first miscarriage I was a bit torn…feeling like I needed a break but also feeling at the same time like I just needed to try again right away. I clung to the hope of that internet rumor that you are more likely to get pregnant again that first cycle after miscarriage…it took me over a year to ever have another pregnancy. At some point I think I just became very numb.

KatherineA
Guest

It’s really hard to move forward after a miscarriage. I really struggled after my first IVF ended in a missed miscarriage. Primarily, I was incredibly sad about losing the baby. But there were other sorrows sort of unique to infertility – one that seems gauche to talk about but I think is important to mention is the sheer amount of money involved. I mean, we literally threw around $15K down the drain on that cycle. I felt very foolish (because all that money and just heartache for the result) and a bit panicked (most of our savings). And pretty much… Read more »

Lori
Member

There was such tension between the urgent need to try again and the subtle knowing that I needed time to heal. I struggled with how to satisfy both desires. As others say, community and self-care are so important.

Mali
Guest

Okay, I’m going to take a different approach from the response you give, and from most of your commenters. And I’m going to restrain my answer, because there is a lot I want to say, but won’t.

My answer to the question is simply to know and trust that, whatever the outcome, you will be okay. You may not believe it at the moment. But you WILL be okay. Listen to your heart, but listen to your head too. And you will find your way, and through that, your strength.

Lindsay Krzepkowski
Guest
Lindsay Krzepkowski

I moved forward after loss by changing my approach totally. We had three failed IVF cycles that didn’t result in a pregnancy – no positive, no HCG, nothing. We have a number of embryos still frozen but the thought of trying again with nothing was….unbearable. I had a consult with another clinic and debated moving my embryos across the country, and I’m so thankful we did this consult. Because it helped me know I was done with fertility treatments, that my body had fought a fight that was okay to walk away from. We are now pursuing domestic private adoption… Read more »

Jess
Guest

I think for me, moving forward after failure looked differently, because I was slammed in the face with nothing BUT failure, and kept pushing and pushing and pushing for different outcomes but no matter what I did, nothing worked out the way I’d hoped. Which was devastating, but at the same time vitally important that I realize that there was more than one way to move forward, and for me the answer was to move forward and away from infertility, from adoption, and to embrace a new life than the one I’d imagined and hoped for all those years. And… Read more »