I'm an Orlando maternity and family photographer. I want to capture the important moments in your life. Fleeting moments of growth and change.

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Lanh Balagtas






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Our Fertility Journey: Our Heartbreaking Negative Pregnancy Test

If you have been following our journey, you know that our first round of IVF was not successful.  (read: Positivity During Fertility Treatment for more)  Although my mind was not fully invested in round 1, it was still the most heartbreaking negative pregnancy test ever.

Following egg retrieval, we were pretty excited to have 11 potential embryos.  After 5 days, we would know how many embryos would develop and to see the quality of them.  When we arrived for implantation on day 5, the doctor told us that only 1 had developed fully.  The other 10 either stopped developing or were slow developers.   It was disappointing but we were just happy to have at least 1 good embryo.

So, we implanted the 1 good embryo and 1 of the other, slow embryos.   We followed all the instructions– rested for a day, got acupuncture done, took our medications and injections.

We did everything that was asked of us.

It was a 2 week waiting game until we could get our official pregnancy test.  Two weeks of anxiety where google and the hashtags: #5dp5dt, #6dp5dt, #7dp5dt (5 days past 5 day transfer aka 5 days past when we implanted the embryos) became a daily time suck.  We were obsessed.  We wanted to know what other people felt– whether this anxious feeling was normal, whether people were getting positive pregnancy tests, whether people were having symptoms of pregnancy.  Each day passed excruciatingly slow.

I decided to start testing around the 6 day mark despite warnings from the doctor and nurses.  You’re not supposed to test early because, supposedly, you can be pregnant and the tests won’t be able to pick it up yet.  Also, because they didn’t want you to stop your medications and injections until anything official.


On the first day, 1 single, lonely line.  Another negative pregnancy test.

Each day that passed, our test would show that same, lonely line.  Our hopes slowly decreased.  Every negative pregnancy test made our reality that much more true.  We, again, were not pregnant.  But, part of us kept a little hope.  Part of us believed the doctors when they said, “Don’t test early because there is a possibility that you could still be pregnant.”  So, we continued taking our medications and injecting the progesterone.

Side note: progesterone shots are given intramuscular so, they hurt like HELL!  The needles are huge and the injections are thick.   A part of me wanted to just stop doing the injections because they hurt soooo badly.  But that little bit of hope that I had left, kept me taking them.

The days pass.  It was a Friday and it was time for our official test.

We were approaching Labor Day Weekend.   Hurricane Irma was also barreling straight towards Florida.   I woke up early, drove to a packed lab, had my blood drawn and went about the day.   My doctor ordered a “stat” test and the results were supposed to be reported by noon that day.

Noon passed- nothing.  One o’clock passed- still nothing.  We got a call from our nurse to inquire if the test had been done.  I got nervous and called the lab.  Apparently, the lab had not marked my test “stat” as indicated.  The representative had to call the hospital to expedite my results.

Three o’clock comes and the nurse calls to let me know that they received the results but the wrong test was performed.  SERIOUSLY?!   As if I were not already anxious and nervous, the lab has to go and mess everything up on a Friday before a major holiday?!?!  (They are not open on weekends)

I decided to drive to the lab to figure out what was going on.  I rushed out of work and arrived at the front door of the lab.

A sign on the door said “Sorry, we are closed early due to Hurricane Irma.”  WOW, just WOW!

I called my nurse to let her know the situation.  She called the lab direct to ensure that the correct test is performed and everything that she needed would be sent by the end of the day.

In the meantime, Joey and I decided that we would evacuate to Tennessee due to Hurricane Irma.  While packing my bags, I told Joey that I don’t want to weigh down my bag with the medications and needles because I didn’t think that we were pregnant.  He continued to have hope and told me that we should bring it since it is not official.  So, I packed the meds.



Right after I put the medications in my bag, I received a phone call.  It was my nurse.

“I am so sorry, the pregnancy test came back negative.”

My heart dropped.  I couldn’t breath.  I fell to the ground.  Tears fell uncontrollably. I was speechless.

“Hello? Are you still there?”

I took a deep breath, barely able to compose myself enough to say, “yea.”

“I’m so sorry.  Is there anything I can do for you?”

I wiped my tears and try to breath.   I sniffled and said “no.”  I began to take the packed medications out of my bag.

“Did you have any frozen embryos?”

The tears fell even more and I sobbed, “no.”

Joey came and embraced me and kissed my forehead.  I cried even more.

I thought that by taking the early tests, it would soften the blow; that it wouldn’t hurt as bad.  I was wrong.  I was completely heartbroken.  A part of me still had a sliver of hope before that phone call.  A hope that every home pregnancy test that we took before that was wrong.  A hope that we were the rare couple who didn’t have symptoms nor proof, yet were pregnant.  The hope that I didn’t even know was there anymore, made this negative so painstakingly heartbreaking.

We were not pregnant.  We had no back up plan.  It was defeating. We had exhausted all of our options and were still not successful.   It felt like we had nothing left.

Every negative pregnancy test sucks but gosh, this one was hard to recover from.  If you have been through this, you know how badly it hurts.  I get teary eyed every time I think about it.  I don’t think the negative tests ever get easier but when you finally get that positive, it makes it THAT much sweeter.  When you finally get to hold that baby that you prayed and tried for for so long, it is THAT much more precious.  If you are still waiting to feel the joy, I pray that that day comes soon and that you are able to feel the joy of having a miracle baby.

Please stay tuned weekly as I share more from our journey.   -Lanh

Our Infertility Journey

Choosing an Infertility Doctor

Positivity During Fertility Treatment

Ways to Save Money on Fertility Medications

Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago

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