Does it Help to Be Prepared for the Worst in Fertility Treatment

Dawn Davenport


Fertility treatment doesn't always work.

Would you rather prepare for the possibility that infertility treatment might not work, or would you rather just deal with it if it happens?

Who doesn’t love a happy ending? I do. I have been known to ask about how books and movies end before I agree to read or see them. But unfortunately not all journeys end happily – and this, sadly, includes fertility treatment. Would you rather know, or live with the hope?

Whenever a group of people who have experienced the struggle of infertility are asked what they wish they had known at the beginning of treatment, almost always someone will say “I wish I had been better prepared for the treatment not working”, and immediately others will agree. It is in that spirit that I bring you this video series by Jimmy and Christine Moore.

I loved that they videoed their embryo donation (they call it “embryo adoption”) from the very beginning over 120 days in 25 short videos.  They take us from their highs of finding out they were pregnant (at 4:50 in the 9 minute video).

To the heartbreak of finding out that they lost the pregnancy.

It’s hard to watch, but it’s important to think about. Sometimes infertility treatment doesn’t work.


I checked back in with Jimmy (who is the founder of Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb) and he says:

We never could conceive and we’ve come to terms with not having children. I still wish we could have kids of our own, but the good Lord had other plans in mind.

Would you rather be prepared for the worst or simply deal with it if it happens?

Image credit: Venturist

30/07/2014 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Blog, Infertility, Infertility Blog | 5 Comments

5 Responses to Does it Help to Be Prepared for the Worst in Fertility Treatment

  1. Avatar cb says:

    “The sad reality of infertility is that money matters in whether you can access treatment and how much treatment you can have.”

    I can imagine that having to worry about the cost each time would cause stress in itself.

    A medical centre company here in Australia has opened a clinic which will bulkbill their clients for everything but the freezing of embryos and day surgery which isn’t expected to cost them more than $500 each time:

    I know enough about the company that things like blood tests and ultrasounds will be done through the x-ray and pathology departments of the medical centre where the clinic is situated.

    Hopefully, the clinic will be successfully and I would imagine the clients may feel less stressed not having to worry too much about the money side of things if they do have to have more than one session.

  2. Avatar Katherine A says:

    Oh, man. Brings back all sorts of memories.

    The short version of my story is that I lost a pregnancy after 2 ultrasounds at 7 and 8 weeks that had a good heartbeat and baby measuring on track – then no heartbeat at 9 weeks – a surprise to both the doctors and us. Then had a second pregnancy that was most likely ectopic. So seeing this video…I can definitely relate to that awful moment where the screen comes up and hopes are dashed.

    I think as far as wanting to know the worst, the one thing about knowing and understanding the worst is that I would have had more structures in place to deal. For example, after the first miscarriage, I made sure that when I filled out the FMLA paperwork for a subsequent IVF cycle, I kept the leave open through 12 weeks (1st trimester). That way, if the worst happened, I didn’t have to deal with the hassle of filling out a whole second set of paperwork – and if I didn’t need it, I didn’t have to use it.

    I also made sure after that first miscarriage to be intentional about having enough in savings to pay for further follow up medical care (which I’ve needed both times). Made sure my boss/work number was stored in my phone and made plans for how I would contact someone at work if I needed to let someone know after hours that I wouldn’t be coming in because I’d had a medical problem.

    I also probably would have been more intentional about lining up and developing a relationship with a counselor/mental health professional if I’d really considered preparing for the worst.

    It’s hard, because so often we’re told to “think positive” and subtly (or sometimes not so subtly) given the message that even considering what happens if it goes wrong could actually somehow cause things to go wrong. But for me, I’ve gotten to the point where while I hope for the best with all of my heart, it’s important for me to have a practical safety net/plan in place for when things don’t go right.

    • Katherine A. I know what you mean about the subtle pressure to always remain positive. As if the negative thought will bring about the failure. UGHH! I think some people simply need to go in accepting the possibility that it might not work. That is healthier for them.

  3. Avatar AnonT says:

    I watched their video some time ago and I agree, it was so very heart breaking. Before starting IVF, we were prepared for it to be bad, but I’m not sure I was bracing myself for it NOT to work. I was thinking that it could take many cycles so we signed up for a shared risk program that would give us 6 fresh and how ever many frozen cycles.

    Here is what annoys me about infertility treatments. If all of us had endless funds and were able to try as many cycles as humanly possible, I think more people would be successful. But the reality is, most of us are are financially limited to trying 1 or 2 IVF cycles – which probably means we do have to prepare ourselves for the worst case scenario. It is tough to have to give up because you cannot afford another round of treatment. It would be easier to accept failure if you can no longer physically or emotionally go through another treatment.

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