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.

Why stop now? Keep reading, friend.

  • 6 questions for my embryo recipientMay 14, 2015 6 questions for my embryo recipient I had so much fun interviewing my mom for Mother's Day that I thought I'd interview someone else. This time, the future mother of my genetic children.
  • A lesson in statisticsNovember 14, 2013 A lesson in statistics I've made it over the first hurdle in this process -- my pre-transfer ultrasound. Now my mind is swimming with statistics, and I'm terrified about making it through the next steps.
  • She’s Let Herself GoSeptember 30, 2012 She’s Let Herself Go We've all seen them: new mothers who look like crap in public. I pitied them, thinking they should really take more time for themselves. What the hell was I thinking?
  • “Omg, did you see my ultrasound pictures?!”June 9, 2011 “Omg, did you see my ultrasound pictures?!” I understand why you feel the need to share. But the barren girl next to you in the status meeting is the last person in the world who wants to hear about it.
  • Transfer DayNovember 21, 2013 Transfer Day My transfer day did not start off well. My plan to recreate December 9, 2011 didn't work out. But things started looking up when we got some surprising and wonderful news from the embryologist.