Failed embryo adoption: a motivating session

Failed embryo adoption: a motivating session

She called me, she told me that she felt her life was falling apart as she had just found out that her first embryo adoption attempt had failed.

I talked to her on the phone, I have known her for a long time, she is 45 years old and desperately wants to become a mother, she will sacrifice everything to get that moment — the first moment with her newborn baby, that moment when she can call herself a mother. She and her husband have had several sessions with me, they have been through an emotional rollercoaster during their 4 years of fertility treatments. First, they tried IVF with her own eggs and donor sperm (his sperm did not have good enough quality) but, she didn’t get pregnant. Then she wanted to try egg and sperm donation, her husband was not willing to try this because he felt they would end up with a child they didn’t have any genetic connection to. She wanted to continue treatment and would not let his ethical limits destroy her only chance to become a mother.

She left him.

When I talked to her on the phone she tells me that she cannot believe she has just had a negative pregnancy test, she was so sure that she was pregnant! She had been positive, taken all the medication that was in her treatment plan, stayed calm after transfer and the ultrasounds before the transfer showed an excellent lining in her uterus — ready for an embryo to attach, and now; nothing!

It has been two days since she took the test and since then she has googled everything that might have been wrong, wrong with her!  She blames herself for the failed attempt like so many other women do. She also has regrets; she had the opportunity to transfer two embryos, on one hand, she really wanted to transfer two embryos to increase her chances, but, on the other hand, she would not let herself, or her babies go through a pregnancy with a lot of risk factors.

She needs help, and this is what I told her:

  • How can you google looking for answers when no other person in this world has the same body as you and no other person has transferred the same embryo you have?
  • You are not that fertile that you can get pregnant every month — we make it sound as if it is a problem that we need to try one more time, but that is normal. It is also normal for a young couple, which tries by themselves to get pregnant, to try for more than one month to get pregnant!
  • Be proud of everything you have done to become a mother!  I am impressed that you are strong enough to do all this on your own — what a story to tell your child!
  • I ask her to read about the risks in a twin pregnancy — she did. Then I asked her: is this the reason why you didn’t want to transfer two embryos? she says:” yes” so if you had the chance to transfer two embryos again would you do it?  She answers “no”, then I ask her — why do you regret your choice then?
  • Is there anything that you think you could have done differently during this attempt? she says; “no”
  • I tell her: you are not a fertility specialist and you are not a fertility nurse; how about leaving the responsibility for the next attempt to the people that know how to increase your chances — people that will do their best for you to finally reach your end goal.
  • I tell her: Do you know that when it comes to failed attempts 80 percent is due to the embryo and only 20 percent is because of the woman — so most likely it is finding the perfect embryo!

I can hear that she is starting to get more positive, motivated and inspired. She starts to think ahead and promises to stop googling for answers and to stop blaming herself. I ask her if she knows anyone around her that is proud of her and that she can talk to? She tells me that she has a friend she can talk to, I motivate her to talk to this friend as she is worried that her parents would only be concerned if she talks to them.

I knew that this woman would continue to blame herself, continue to google for answers, continue to regret not transferring two embryos if it wasn’t for our session and that is why I have chosen to share this session with you!

You might have some similar thoughts and feelings as my dear patients in this blog text and some of my advice will help you — I really hope so!

I wish you the best of luck!
Tone Bråten