I have thought about how I was going to write this post. I thought about it almost the entire time I have been on bed rest. I wanted this post to be full of joy, with the occasional witty remark thrown in. I wanted to tell you I have my twins nestled in me. Friends, how much things can change.
Thursday morning I got the final call from the embryologist. “Four of them are at the 4-celled stage and one is at the 3-cell,” the lady explained. She told me everything was going well and we were set for a Friday evening transfer. I was so focused on the idea of having a 5:45 pm transfer, that I didn’t think anything of what else she said except for my pre-transfer instructions, and that everything was looking good.
I called Chris and he immediately asked me why there were 5 embryos when we were told Wednesday there were 4. “Maybe I misheard her,” I told him, puzzled. I was giddy the rest of the day at work. “Two babies!” I kept exclaiming to any co-worker in the know, “I’m going to be getting pregnant with twins!”
It was strange waiting all day Friday for my transfer. But 4:30 finally came about, I peed, filled my water bottle with the required amount to fill up my bladder, grabbed my Valium tablet and we were off!
I had some time to think on the drive there. I thought about how I would feel with two babies in me. I thought about the fact that we had 4 (5?) embryos this time. I thought about Adam.
We were the only ones in the waiting room, because we were the last appointment. We were finally led back by the same nurse that did our retrieval. She let us change first and then she said she’d be back to go over our discharge instructions.
I wore my lucky socks. Also, I kind of look like an oompa loompa.
The nurse came back and I was so antsy, even under my Valium-state, that I blurted out, “I still have four, right?” She told me the doctor would have that information.
Our doctor we had was nice. I don’t even remember his name, because he worked at the other clinic.
“So we are going to transfer one. We recommend that you discard the other four.”
“I don’t understand,” I said, when I could finally speak, “I thought we were doing two.” I was so shocked that I never even asked where this 5th embryo came from all of a sudden.
He told us that the four had stopped growing, and the one was still there, but was at the 12-cell stage, a morula, a little behind. The only one that continued to grow.
He handed me the picture. I wish I could say I sucked in my breath, in total awe, like I was when I saw Adam for the first time.
I wish I could say tears of happiness leaped to my eyes, as I stared down at my (hopefully) future child.
I didn’t do either of those things. Instead I reached out numbly and took it, looking at it without seeing it. I wanted to feel love for this last survivor, but I didn’t feel anything.
You ever want to see the ugly side of infertility, this is it.
I felt nothing for this embryo, because I was mourning the loss of the others. I wasn’t even listening to the rest of the conversation. When he walked out of the room, I couldn’t stop the tears, absently handing the photo to Chris.
“Why didn’t they call us this morning? Why would they wait until right before the transfer to tell me this?” I sobbed to Chris. The nurse slipped back into the room and noticed me frantically wiping my face.
I repeated the same thing to her.
“Don’t cry,” was all she said, “We don’t want your body to be releasing all those stress hormones.” She told us she’d give us a minute.
“They drop this on me ten minutes before transfer, they tell me four of them are going to be thrown away, and they expect me NOT to be upset?” I snarl to Chris, the tears coming again, “How can I focus on not releasing stress hormones right now after hearing that?”
Mentally telling myself to pull it together, we walk out of the room, and into the IVF suite. The nurse was trying to make me laugh by telling me a story from earlier when they were in the middle of a transfer and the soothing overhead music turned into Beyonce’s, “Single Ladies.” I laughed, a little too loudly maybe, desperate to rid my body of the detrimental stress response.
One embryo, I kept telling myself, as the trial transfer began, there is still one and that’s better than none.
I watched the ultrasound screen showing my uterus, and the catheter, while the doctor measured out the spot the embryo would be transferred to. It’s ok, I told myself.
The embryologist slid open the screen by the doctor. “Ok,” she announced, “We are transferring one, and destroying four?”
The question was meant for me. I couldn’t even answer. My heart leaped into my throat and my breath caught. The tears pricked at my eyes. Even now, I am so angry how different this experience was compared to the last transfer.
Still, I pushed those thoughts aside (a huge feat in itself), and focused all my energy into what was going on on the screen: my one little embryo being placed into my body. The streak of light that was the catheter, the little blip of light that was the fluid that held all I have worked for these past two months.
|See the tiny arrow? That’s pointing to the embryo.|
Last time, when the doctor removed the speculum, when the room was cleared of people and discarded supplies, when Chris and I were in the room alone for that ten minutes, my bladder throbbing, we dreamed together. We giggled, we kissed, we talked about how amazing it all was.
This time, I had to shut my eyes and focus on deep breathing. I had to mash my teeth together to keep from sobbing. We didn’t say a word until the nurse came back and led us to the recovery room.
While I layed there, I asked her why they didn’t call us. I don’t think she really realized why I was so upset until now. I don’t think she realized that 24-hours ago, we were told we had multiple growing embryos.
First she explained that she doesn’t even see the chart until after we have checked in. I guess they don’t call because they want to see what the embryos do right up until we come. But still, a phone call, warning us there may have been slowed growth. Something.
She also told us that many people don’t even get to this point. That if this embryo wasn’t growing the way they would like, a transfer would never had been done. I tried to focus on that. This one still has a chance.
Don’t mind my “I just bawled my eyes out” face.
And then the bed rest started.