On Monday morning Nic and I were startled awake by the phone ringing. Even though we had both woken up from a deep sleep we knew it was Bourn Hall ringing about the embryos.
What has gone wrong?!
Are they ok?
Nic speaks to the embryologist on duty. I listen as best I can.
The Embryologist knew I was worried. I was terrified they’d all stopped cleaving and were not useable. A thousand thoughts raced through my mind. All of them worst case scenarios. She calmly explained that one was an excellent quality 4 cell embryo and the other a good quality 6. The others had divided and then gone backwards, the cells had disappeared again. I didn’t even know that could happen?! She explained these 2 were best off back inside me. I was disappointed we didn’t have the choice to have a strongest one back for a 5 day transfer, as this is generally seen as a higher chance of pregnancy.
We have a transfer appointment at 12:15
We were shocked. We were told that we would probably have a day five transfer and the phone call would come on tuesday to tell us when the appointment would be. We were also told that no news is good news. I think this is the main reason we panicked and surely this was a less than ideal situation.
Now I was at panic stations. I needed to start drinking lots as they like a full bladder for transfer. Not easy to drink a lot quickly after a gastric bypass! I needed to rearrange my acupuncture appointment and try and calm myself. A million more things went through my mind. What if they both take? Why did the 2 others not progress?
I was still in a fair bit of pain from the egg collection and I’d gotten thrush from the antibiotics they give you during the procedure. Great! I’d been hoping if I was having a 5 day transfer I’d have time to get rid of that. I also had the same problem on the last cycle and it makes embryo transfer pretty uncomfortable!
Nic managed to get hold of her acupuncturist and she has an appointment 2:30.
We would need to leave Bourn Hall at 1:30 at the latest to make it. It was 8:30 now. Nic got up to feed the bunnies and give them a run before we went out. I fell asleep. I don’t know how but I was exhausted and I just needed more sleep. Since the egg collection I have been sleeping a lot. I think all the stress of the previous weeks has finally caught up with me. Hopefully over the two week wait I will be able to balance looking after Nic and recouping myself. I woke up shortly after feeling refreshed and ready. We left for Bourn at 11:20 and arrived right on time
I took a couple of paracetamol. We had to wait a while for our transfer, there were a couple of ladies ahead of me. Again, there were a few women having transfer alone, which I felt really sad about. I would’ve hated for Tom to miss our little embies being returned to us! Next it was our turn. Everyone involved with transfer I’d met before which I think makes things easier.
We were taken down to the theatre and had a chat with the doctor who was very reassuring about why they were being put back today. The embryologist then came and explained what had happened. If all 4 had continue to develop, we’d likely had a 5 day transfer but with only the dynamic duo remaining, it was best to get them back to me!
I did feel reassured and now felt quite emotional that the 2 embies would now be returned to us. I did the usual bottom half strip and took up the position in the chair. I held Tom’s hand as the doctor prepared me. The speculum hurt quite a bit as she put it in, as I was quite sore. The theatre sister was trying to find my uterus, but it was being quite tricky and hard to get into focus. Once everything was in place it felt like ages waiting for the embryologist to come back in with the embryos in their little plastic tube! She re-appeared and the catheter was inserted right to the top of the uterus. We watched on the scan as it appeared inside and released our 2 little embryos. I gave Tom’s hand a squeeze and felt my eyes well up as we saw them. They may just be a few cells, but they were ours and I feel attached to them and love them already, as silly as that may sound.
I would never want anyone to have to go through IVF but sometimes there are moments that are truly special that most couples don’t get to experience. To get to see an embryo transferred into the womb is an amazing achievement for any couple and a moment of great emotion. I am in awe of the science that is giving us our chance and the people who make it possible. Most of all I am in awe of Nic who has to undergo all of these uncomfortable and invasive procedures. Once it is over it is back to the waiting room. Time for a cup of tea.
After a bit of a rest, It was time to head off to acupuncture. My acupuncturist gave me a totally relaxing session and I listened to Zita West’s CD as I lay there, focusing on the beginnings of life that had been placed inside me. Sending them positivity, hope, love and light. Visualising them settling in and letting them know how much they are wanted. I felt positive and calm.
The next 2 weeks will undoubtedly have ups and downs and I’m already having plenty of side effects from the Progesterone supplements. My boobs are sore and heavy, I’m moody and emotional, I have a few cramps in my tummy and I seem to be constantly hungry! The symptoms are very similar to pregnancy, but also to being Pre-menstrual, so it’s important to try and ignore them as much as I can. They are pretty meaningless as it could mean things are going either way. I’m also going to try and keep away from google. There’s a saying that our brains are Teflon for positive and Velcro for negative, so anything you heard or read that has a bad ending will stick and cause anxiety.
All we can do now is look after each other during the next couple of weeks and be as prepared as we can for however many lines appear on that dreaded piece of plastic!
Thanks for reading,
Tom and Nic