My Busted Stork

The travails of an infertile…and no, I won’t just relax!


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My first IVF cycle Part 3: Growing babies and trusting my body

Things were becoming very real. There were 8 possible babies chilling in a petrie dish somewhere and we had to wrap our heads around how each one of them had the possibility to become a completely individual human being.

I had such a complete meltdown over nothing on the way to the transfer appointment. It was Saturday morning and W got up early to go and fetch our man who works for us in the garden. But W didn’t know that the guy wasn’t where he thought he was and my cell just up and died so I couldn’t get hold of W to tell him to not wait anymore and come home because we had to leave. W was also being really thick because I had told him that the time of our appointment had been moved a half hour earlier but he had forgotten and was chilling at a MacDonalds somewhere while I, unable to get hold of him, was pacing on the street outside. I tore off to the MacDonalds to get him, luckily found him there and was shaking with stress and rage. As I have said, no one knows how to bring out the monster in my quite like my Darling Husband. Not the serenity I had hoped to have that morning!

We arrived at the clinic and were taken through to a room that has a labour bed, a TV on the wall, an ultrasound and a mysterious hatch in the wall. The Doc had asked that I come prepared in 2 ways: Have my husband with me to hold my hand (or rather glare at from the other side of the room!) and a full bladder which didn’t happen because I had forgotten to drink anything during my stressful morning. So I got up onto the beds with my legs in those awful stirrups and the bum part down so you really feel at your most attractive. On the screen was a webcam view of our petrie dish with the 2 selected Embryos. The screen also showed the microscope view of the embryos.

Perfect little blast number 1

Perfect little blast number 2

The next part wasn’t so fun. I wasn’t expecting it to be so sore! The Doc inserted his horrible little tool that felt like it was ripping open my vagina and I nearly hit the roof. The nurse was trying to soothe me while the Doc said something really irritating like “yes, it will feel a little tight”. Yeah right dude, when you have a sharp metal object ripping you open then lets talk about the use of the word ‘tight’ and see if that is indeed what it is. So once again a harsh reality taking away from the serenity of the moment. Through gritted teeth I watched the lab technician on the screen aspirate the 2 embies into a tube and hand them to the Doc through the hatch in the wall. Doc then used an external ultrasound to guide the tube into the uterus to deposit the embies in the lining. Who knows if he chose the right spot? Or whether that even matters? I was just happy it was over and he could take that dreadful thing out of my vagina. I then had to lie there for 10min and think positive thoughts. Hmmm.

Ironically this was a joyful experience and shows that there are 2 sides to this IVF coin. Besides the horrors, the fears, the pain there is a surprising side that you discover along the journey. You are completely in touch and in tune with your body – it is hard graft getting pregnant and if moms going through labour pains feel that the journey is worth it then I suppose this is another version of that labour. And you know the exact moment of everything. You know when you ovulate – because you take a shot to trigger it. You know when you are growing eggs. Even this is special because you see those eggs at least twice and you know they could be half of what makes a baby. There are 13 of the bloody things so you think about which one will make it and the odds of one versus the other – would they have different personalities and looks and talents. Then W goes in and the pressure is off when it comes to his underperforming sperm. He must have at least 13 good sperm which is like 0.00000001% of the total sample. And you realise that when they fertilise it is most likely that it is the first time this has happened after thousands of times of us trying on our own. Science is amazing!

The next stage is the scariest because I have lost faith in my own body – my body has never pulled through before and now I had to trust it to clinch the deal. Science’s job comes to an end – it has kept up it’s side of the bargain. And the precious cargo is now unloaded to our untrustworthy bodies which have let us down so many times before. That is big-deal stuff right there!