Negative Nelly, Numbers, and the Demon Hope

Stupid.  Effing.  Hope.

I let her get her claws into me.  I believed Dr. C when he said we’d have “more eggs” this time around.  I let Hubby’s infectious optimism and his unfounded musings (“Maybe we’ll get 20 eggs.  No, 25!”) get to me.  And in the end, I was disappointed.

I should have shut out those voices.  I shouldn’t have let Hope possess me.  I should have exorcised every one of those thoughts that said things would be better this time.

I know this cycle isn’t over yet.  But I’m having a really hard time believing the outcome will be any different than last time.  The only thing I have left to cling to is that maybe a 3-day transfer will make a difference.  Because, chances are, we won’t have much–if anything–left to freeze.

Out of 11 eggs, 10 were mature.  Seven fertilized.  (Compared to 13, 12, and 10 last time.)  We didn’t get any stats on day 3 last time, so I can’t even begin to guess how many we’ll have on Saturday.  Hubby wants to transfer 3 to give us the best shot, which may mean we’ll have nothing left on day 5.  In any case, we’re thinking of forgetting about genetic testing all together.  If we have one or two embryos left, it makes more sense to just transfer them–whenever that time may come–than to spend 5 grand on having them tested first.

In therapy today, I tried to explain to Dr. N that I’m finding it really difficult–if not impossible–to stay positive.  That I was doing so well until I heard the numbers.  And with that, Hope abandoned me.

She asked how thinking negatively about this cycle benefits me.  Of course, it doesn’t.  I know that, but I can’t seem to stop reliving the events of the previous cycle, overlaying them with this one.  Which means, in my mind, we’ve already failed.

And it’s not just a failure of Hubby’s sperm.  As much as Dr. C keeps fretting over sperm quality, there’s obviously something wrong with me if all those follicles he saw on the ultrasound yielded nothing.  I wonder if now he’ll finally admit it.

Remember this shit?  Well, I was wrong.  I am not strong.  I’m a mess.  A fragile little bird with a broken wing.  Defenseless against the predator that is coming after me.  Another failed cycle.

I can’t picture Saturday’s transfer working.  I can’t picture myself pregnant.  What I can visualize is the follow-up with Dr. C when this cycle fails.  And it plays again and again in my mind.  Asking him all these questions and demanding to know why double doses of meds, good blood work and flawless ultrasounds–compared to last time–didn’t get us better numbers.

Dr. N talked me through a visualization in her office.  She had me go to a place of peace and contentment and then carry that with me to the transfer.  Imagine it working.  Imagine myself pregnant, giving birth, holding a newborn.  Imagine Hubby there with me and the joy we would feel.

And I cried and cried, but I could do it, with her help.  Then I told her I was so afraid I’d never get to experience any of that in real life.

She encouraged me to write it down.  The whole process, over again.  I’ll also attempt to visualize all 7 of our embryos growing and dividing and thriving.  At this point, I’m willing to try anything.  I know that I have to get myself into a better place before Saturday.  I have to cheer up.  I have to try.

21 thoughts on “Negative Nelly, Numbers, and the Demon Hope

  1. I’m so sorry you’re in this place. And I know you feel stupid for being hopeful. But I think Dr. N’s approach is a wise one. That you need to spend your time and energy preparing for transfer. Because even though you picture this cycle as being over, it’s not over. Those 7 embryos need you to prepare for what’s to come. And though I know how scary it is to think of a possible future where one or more of them sticks around, it is a good possibility.

    So, as hard as this will be, you need to stop the negative thinking. Trust me, I know how futile and pointless this seems. But you’ve got to do it for your 7.

    Sending love.

  2. Oh Daryl. I’m so sorry. What an incredibly difficult place to be. I can even fathom how hard it is. I know people say it’s important to be positive but I hope you know that you can only do what you’re able to do and no positive (or negative) thinking will affect the outcome. If being positive helps get you through the wait until transfer and beta, then by all means, feel positive. But if you’re not having that experience don’t try too hard to force it. It will just make you more miserable.

    I really how that despite these numbers this is the one for you. I’m keeping all appendages crossed.

    Abiding with you. Now and always.

  3. Urgh. So sorry you feel this way. But I’m going to stay optimistic. Here’s to a fantastic fert report! Crossing fingers, xo

  4. I know this feeling Daryl. It becomes so hard to just imagine what is so commonplace for others; of course it does, after all you’ve experienced. As much as I wish you we’re in such a bad place right now, I don’t think you should beat yourself up for feeling negative, because you’re already summoning a lot of strength (and yes, hope) to keep going. Instead, I’ll just repeat what I said yesterday: even if you can’t right now, I feel so much hope for you and I’ll continue to think positive thoughts. Hang in there lady. Sending love.

    • Thanks, Sadie. My therapist said something similar, that I don’t have to feel bad for feeling bad, just acknowledge it and move on. I’m trying.

  5. Sending good thoughts your way. This wait is so hard and scary to go through, before you know what’s going on. I’m hoping for strong embryos developing. Keep visualize it happening when you can, but don’t beat yourself up when not feeling strong enough. Hugs.

  6. We let hope in bc we can’t help it. And I think the failure or struggle to visualize is a protection mechanism for your heart. If this cycle fails, you’ll grieve those images too. However, it ain’t over till its over. It’s cliche, but it only takes one good embie. And you’ve read lots of examples if this happening.

    Finally, you are strong even when you don’t feel it. I hated being told I’m strong when it just felt as though I was doing what I have to do to have my dreams come true. But we are strong bc we are battling the odds to bring our babies home. We are doing the unimaginable to get pregnant. Hang in there, hun. And don’t worry about hope, we’ll wrangle her in and hope on your behalf!

  7. I know this is so difficult! Whenever I felt down I would read mommy-in-waiting’s journey as my husband was on the same protocol. She also only had a few mature and fertilize each time. Ultimately though, even a so called “normal” couples can take more than one cycle to conceive, so think of it like that and try to stay positive. I know there is nothing I can say to bring you comfort right now, but just know I am thinking of you!!

    • Thanks, Tara! Mommy-in-waiting’s blog was my savior before we even started treatments. Seeing her twins now gives me a lot of (stupid!) hope.

  8. Hope is what makes us human. Hang in there, do your visualizations – as one other commenter said, this isn’t over yet! Being depressed is normal, but don’t give up. Thinking about you. 🙂

  9. Oh, Daryl, I’m so sorry. So sorry you’ve lost hope and so sorry this has to be so hard. You have some time to go before we can call this cycle a fail, so hang in there and try to find one positive thought to hang on to. I’m thinking of you all the time, and wishing you the best as always! xo

  10. I too am visualizing and hoping along with you! I like what your therapist said, being negative doesn’t help. Even though that’s certainly my default position these days, it certainly is an energy sucker and you need all that energy for those embryos that will be transferred soon. Your in my thoughts as these crucial moments tick by.

  11. Daryl,

    It’s ok. It’s ok to think all of those thoughts… we are human. But out of your whole post- I softened when I read: “go to a place of peace and contentment and then carry that with me to the transfer. Imagine it working. Imagine myself pregnant, giving birth, holding a newborn. Imagine Hubby there with me and the joy we would feel.”

    Continue to visualize..allow yourself to go to that place, rememeber our mind, body, and soul are all connected so deeply to one another and our thoughts are so darn impactful. Every microscopic piece of you is gentle to yourself. As always holding the highest of thougths for you and visualizing your success along with you…

  12. Oh, Daryl. I’m so sorry. Be kind to yourself. It’s perfectly okay for you to feel this way. It seems like shit luck again. I’m still holding on to hope for you. Sending love your way.

  13. I tend to guard my emotions very closely, too…. but I also tend to get caught up in others’ hope and enthusiasm. We do this because we WANT to be optimistic and hopeful. But life has taught us over and over again that it doesn’t pay to see only the sunny side of things. Take care of yourself right now. Be guarded and cautious if you need to, but keep that glimmer of hope alive. Read success stories of those with similar stories to you (and they absolutely do exist!), and keep walking that fine line. Sending lots of positivity and hugs your way…

  14. Sing it sister. My opinion of hope right now is that she is an unforgiving bitch. Just when I think I can breathe and maybe I will be ok – kidding. I’m crying again on the floor. Inconsolable. Hope is a bitch.

  15. I am going to remain hopeful for you. I remember how hard it was to have any sort of hope while in the thick of it and the numbers aren’t what you wanted. Sending positive vibes to those little embryos to keep on growing!

  16. Two things: #1- our only viable embryo came from IVF#2 where 4 follicles were retrieved, only 1 was mature and able to fertilize — and, that was all it took! #2- I’ve seen even the most negative Nellies get pregnant — so your feelings don’t actually affect the outcome. Isn’t that good news? 😉

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