WTF is a WTF appointment?

Oct 9, 2011

There’s an appointment that the docs like to have after IVF fails, lovingly called the “WTF Appointment” by the infertile community. I didn’t see the point of having this conversation:

The docs: “We’re sorry it didn’t work.”
Us: “Thanks.”
Them: “So, when do you want to try again?”

Maybe I shouldn’t have skipped my wtf appointment?

But this week I got a packet in the mail from the clinic. The cover letter was standard fare: “We’re sorry your IVF procedure did not result in a pregnancy. We understand you wish to transfer a frozen embryo during the next available cycle. Please fill out the enclosed paperwork and return it.”

But then it got interesting: “We recommend thawing ______ of your frozen embryos which are currently in the __________ stage.”  The first blank had a handwritten “4” in it, while the second held the word “pronuclear.”

(If you remember, we have 8 embryos in frozen storage. 4 are pronuclear, meaning they had fertilized and were immediately frozen. The other 4 are blastocysts, also frozen.)

The next page was covered in fine print, and at the bottom had a blank line, circled by someone at the clinic, denoting that we were to fill it in and mail it back:  “We wish to transfer __________ frozen embryos.”

What the…? I’m supposed to know this answer? I guess this was part of the “WTF Appointment” that we skipped.

There were some numbers in the fine print. Apparently, pronuclear embryos survive the thawing process 85% of the time. Any thawed embryos not implanted will be “discarded” (I get why they use that word… it sounds so much better than “thrown away” or “tossed in the garbage”… but I am not stupid, I know they’re throwing away my embryos, which I am not a fan of — those are perfectly good stem cells).

So if we want 1 or 2 embryos to implant, we shouldn’t need to thaw more than 3, right? That is, if the stats hold true for us (though maybe I should think again, given how our ‘74% chance of success’ IVF cycle turned out).

People don’t think I’m funny

I called the clinic and made the appointment, though my husband will be out of town and won’t be able to go with me. The phone call was pretty funny — apparently the nurses in the IVF clinic aren’t savvy to the Infertile’s Lingo.

Me: “Hi, I’m calling to schedule an appointment.”
Nancy: “Sure. What do you need to be seen for?”
Me: “I need my WTF appointment.”
Nancy: “Ummmmmmmm… come again?”
Me: “Oh. You aren’t familiar with that term, huh? It’s the appointment you have after IVF fails.”
Nancy: “Oh, I see! [chuckles] Hold one second while I transfer you to Julie.”

The hubby has given a very reluctant okay for me to authorize TWO embryos, but only if the embryos aren’t rock stars. If we have one rock star embryo, we’ll go with just that one and roll the dice. And we’ll still have 5 embryos left for another try.

Time to take our chances, again. Let’s hope the odds all work in our favor this time.

About Me

Hiya! I'm Lydia. I live in Iowa with my husband and two children, both the result of iVF. I started this blog in 2011, so everything here's a wee bit... old. I don't do a ton of writing anymore... but I'm leaving the blog up, in case it's helpful for those who stumble across it.

Skip to the iVF

If you're going through infertility and want to see our journey, start in June 2011 (first two cycles) or January 2014 (third cycle). Hopefully reading about our rollercoaster with assisted reproduction brings you a little hope, and more than a few giggles. (Keep in mind that this information is over a decade old in most cases; please don't take anything you read here as medical advice. Consult your doctor for facts.)

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1 Comment

  1. Dear everyone,
    I sympathize with every one of you. I tried to have a child for 8 years, age 32-39. I finally got to an IVF clinic to be told I needed donor eggs. I tried it three times, at enormous cost. The second time worked, and it then miscarried. After almost committing suicide, I finally managed to overcome this and now we move towards adoption and the future looks a lot brighter than it has for ten years. There is virtually nothing you can mention that I too have not felt before and it breaks my heart to see so much suffering.

    I have written a couple of articles on the topic (I am British) FINALLY trying to get ‘the truth’ out about what IVF really is, how difficult it is, and how awful it is to be infertile. There is a group of us in the UK trying hard to get a campaign up and running, and some doctors on on board on our side. I am campaigning for curriculum change in schools to embrace the ‘real’ HONEST truth about pregnancy and how it can be quite difficult to get pregnant, and have an ongoing pregnancy. I have also written an article about my personal struggles, and have set those in the context of proper clinical information, and have also tried to challenge the myths and misunderstandings about infertility and age related childbearing, and in particular present a more ‘balanced interpretation’ of the super celebrities who are 47 and give birth to twins. If you want a copy email me
    It is time women showed their anger and it is time for change in terms of this. Unless we mobilize we cannot change things!!


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