13dp5dt: Beta Day

Where were we? 8dp5dt. I haven’t written another update until now because I’ve been trying to make my end of month deadlines for my articles and that kind of sucks.


I did blood work again the day before to recheck my progesterone levels and they went up from 22 to 33. My doctor was fine with that level, but added in an extra cc of PIO, so now I was to start 3 ccs of PIO tonight. Ooofta. Unfortunately, it was one of the most painful injections I ever received. It totally wasn’t Chris’s fault, but I think he hit a nerve (literally, not figuratively). I’m still getting pregnancy tests that either look completely blank, or such a faint line that I feel like I’m going cross-eyed.


Still no changes in pregnancy tests. Ass is really starting to hurt. Bruises multiplying on my stomach from the Lovenox shots. I used my third FRER (First Response Early Result) pregnancy test and decide to stop with those and just use the cheaper Wondfos until I actually get something.


I woke up and decided to take another test. Wonder of wonders… there was a line.

Faint. Very faint, but now visible even to Chris who couldn’t see them before. I was ecstatic. Finally! I had a slow grower. Gully was still here. I continued to have uterine pulls and tugs, just like I did with Olivia and with my first donor egg cycle.

I tested again that night with a new pack of FRERs. I didn’t see a line. That set off a complete meltdown.


You guys, this was my worst day. Luckily, I had an appointment with my therapist in the morning after I dropped Olivia off at daycare. I was all over the place. One minute I was crying and the next I was thinking, OK, it will be OK. We can be happy as a family of three. And then I’m crying again. And the next I was thinking, We’ll be fine. Maybe this is a slow grower. I’m pregnant. I know I am. And then I’m crying again.

I cried all through therapy. And then I needed to work, so I pushed all this aside and drove to a cafe for lunch and to finish an article. I knew I was done testing. No more tests. My beta finally got scheduled later in the afternoon for tomorrow at 10:30. It was going to be over tomorrow. This was either a failed cycle or a chemical. Best case scenario, this was an embryo who was taking longer to implant, but the pregnancy tests were speaking volumes. How does a healthy baby come about from negative tests on day 12?


Beta day. I thought the call was going to come around 2:30 or 3:00, so Chris ended up coming home around 2 and working the rest of the day there while I also worked on finishing an article. By 3:30 I was on pins and needles. I ended up calling my local clinic and the coordinator said they faxed the results to my clinic an hour ago.

At 4:00 I called Houston and after talking to someone, I had to leave a voicemail for the nurses. Dude, how can they torture us like that? I had an hour before the clinic closed, and a half hour before Chris needed to go pick Olivia up from daycare. I continued to pound furiously at my laptop, trying to lose myself in work to distract myself.

At 4:24, my phone rang and my voicemail notification pinged. So much for Chris and I wallowing or celebrating the results, considering he needed to head out to get Olivia in five minutes. I put my phone on speaker.

“I’m so sorry, I don’t have good results. Unfortunately, the results were negative and I’m so sorry to leave you this message.”

I stopped listening after that.

I don’t know. I knew it was negative. I knew this wasn’t going to end well. But thinking it and having someone tell you it is two different things.

There was a sadness which was quickly replaced by anger. Thousands of dollars. Thousands of dollars I spent the better part of a year saving for, writing article after article collecting paychecks here and there. Thousands of dollars we may as well have thrown into the street or tossed into a shredder. It’s all gone. I spent eight days away from my baby. My parents turned their lives upside down to run my household while we were gone. Three months spent immersed in preparation for this cycle. All those calls to the insurance where I was left in tears. The pain of shots twice a night, the rearrangement of schedules around this shot routine. I gave up alcohol. I gave up coffee. I gave up sex. I invested 100% of my time energy and focus and emotions into this.

It was all for nothing. Everything is over. And for that, I want to scream. I want to scream about how fucking unfair this all is. I want to scream about how much money we threw down the drain since 2012 trying to grow our family. I want to scream about how fucking easy it is for so many around me to get pregnant and have babies and why it has to be so hard for me. I want to scream because I’m never going to be one of those who has a spontaneous pregnancy after fertility treatments. I want to scream because I’m never going to get my “surprise.” I want to scream at how draining infertility is and how there are still people in my life (yes, even after all this) that still don’t, or won’t, understand. I want to scream because I want so badly to give my sweet girl a little brother or sister and it has to be so unbelievably hard. I just want to scream. I want to scream I want to scream I want to scream.

I heard Olivia’s tiny munchkin voice shout for me from upstairs when they returned.

“Mama!! Mama, where are you?”

My sweet girl. She’s the difference between this cycle and all the previous cycles before this. Before, my arms continued to be empty. This time, she found me and ran over with a letter she had gotten in the mail from her California friend (Thanks JAllen!) and I scooped her up and held her, trying not to cry. Because then she would look at me with her innocent three-year hazel eyes and asked, “What wong, Mama? You cryin?” And I would have lost it.

Olivia is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I just wanted so badly to get to have more miracle. I wish her twin was here and I wish I could be pregnant with Gully.

Going forward

We have two embryos left in Houston. My doctor called that night to talk and I’m so grateful I could debrief this cycle without going days stewing over the unanswered questions.

No, he said, he doesn’t feel this was a progesterone issue. No, I was hopped up on so many hormones that me nursing Olivia sporadically during this time wouldn’t have affected things. No, there’s nothing more he or I could have done.

This post is getting long and I need to do some research, but we put a plan in place for the last transfer. More on this to come because it deserves its own post.

For those of you who knew the results already, thank you again. Thank you for being my people. Because I need you in my life. And I’m so blessed to be surrounded by good people.

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NonsequiturchicaRisaDawnAmberJenny Recent comment authors
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Risa, I’m so sorry it ended this way. I hope you have the time, space and people around you, so you can do and feel everything you need to. Take care of yourself and know you did everything possible. I wish I had better words that could help. Hugs x


I’m crying while reading this. Risa, I really wanted this cycle to work for you. For all the reasons you stated and beyond that. Because in a fair world, you wouldn’t be facing any of this. In a fair world, so many things would be different. And I’m beyond sorry that you’re instead left heartbroken.

So much love coming your way today and in the days ahead. Grieving with you.


Risa, I am so so sorry. Big huge hugs for you. It’s definitely not fair and I wish so desperately it was. You are not alone in your pain, we are abiding with you.
Sending love.


Sorry seems woefully inadequate… so all I’m gonna do is send you love.❤️


Risa, I wish so many things could be different. I wish I knew what to write. Sending you hugs and love. I’m so sorry.


It’s not fair. It’s not fair at all and I’m so sorry. I’m thinking of you and sending lots of support. Please take care of yourself.

Jane Allen
Jane Allen

I’m glad the letter came at an opportune time. I felt so guilty sending chain mail, but they kids are so happy to get letters! OMG Risa, I’m pissed off for you! IVF is supposed to work. DONOR EGGS are supposed to work! It’s so beyond unfair, butI have hope for your 2 remaining embryos. You’re not out of the game by a long shot


I was hoping along with you. I’m so sorry it didn’t work.

Erika B.

I’m so sorry, friend. 🙁


Dang it, I am so sorry Risa, this sucks! Big hugs to you.

KatherineA / Renee

I’m so sorry. It’s incredibly unfair and it sucks so much. Wishing there was something better and more helpful to say. Thinking of you and your family.


Simply support. This is very hard. Life isn’t about fair. I wish this was different! You are not alone.


I’m so sorry, Risa. It sucks so much. Sending you the biggest of hugs.


I was so hoping this would have turned out with a positive! I’m sorry you’ve had to go through it all. Go ahead and scream. I’m sure you have already, but do it again if you need to! Big hugs to you, Risa. I wish I could be there in person to give you those hugs, but virtual will have to do.


I’m so sorry, Risa. Sending you love!


Oh no I’m so sorry Risa.