Nothing up my sleeves, Presto!

Well Monday we got the call that we had three fertilised eggs, but only one was on track at 6 cells. The other two were stuck at 4 cells. I was ok with this, at the time.

Then Tuesday, I thought we would get another update, and an appointment for a Wednesday transfer if we had a last man standing. We got the call for the appointment (finally) but no progress report. They’d had a change in protocol, so I’d got mixed messages from the clinic about the update call.  This meant that Wednesday, at
10am, we would go in, not knowing whether we had an embryo or not.

Wednesday morning, I got ready, with a feeling of dread in the pit of my gut, watching my phone at every minute for the cancel phone call. Finally at 9, we left. When we got to reception, they got me to sign the health fund claim forms. I tried not to think too far ahead about what this could mean, trying to read stupid reception magazines and get involved in boring stories, trying not to think too much about what may happen. I kept saying to hub-in-boots I did not know how to be ready for both eventualities: a cancellation with no embryo at all, or an embryo transfer.

Eventually our doctor came out and showed us into a change room. Identical outfits, apart from the fact I had no pants! A full sleeve ¾ gown that tied around the waist and neck, shoe covers, hair cover. We were cracking up laughing about how we looked in this little air lock room with a big mirror, and I could not resist taking our picture. It is quite clear his child will be a total gumby. He was trying to put on his shoe covers and ended
up standing on his hair cover, then he snapped the waist cord on his gown, than
almost fell over. It was hilarious.  Hub in boots kept saying they wouldn’t bring us in if there was no embryo. I couldn’t quite get my head around it. The doc said he’d update us when he met us in the transfer suite. More waiting.

We stood in the transfer suite, didn’t sit down (its awkward to know how to sit down and wait causally on a chair with stirrups), and I just kept saying “if we’re going to get bad news I’d like to have my pants on.” Bad news, must have pants. Hub in boots was confident we’d be fine as we huddled in our scrubs. The doc finally joined us, and as it turned out, no pants news is good news.

We had a top quality hatching blastocyst. Our little six cell gumby who was a bit behind on Monday had come along great guns. One had just stopped growing, and one was being watched for another 24 hours. We were stoked. The doctor said now it went to a 25, 30 or 35% chance of success. Of pregnancy, anyway.

What really helped was a medical student observing. She looked so bloody terrified, backed against a cupboard in the suite, nowhere near the business end of proceedings, that she made me laugh and I relaxed. As much as one can in stirrups, anyway. We got to see our little gumby emby on a big screen, zoomed right in, we could see where the baby would be and where the placenta would be. And I was so pleased our bits could get together and make something that may be useful. Hell ,it’s further than we’ve got in the year until
now.  It’s a huge accomplishment coming out of this cycle, regardless of what happens next.

The catheter / speculum combo  was not too bad, uncomfortable but not terrible. There was a freaky instrument which the scientist brought in that had the embryo in it in some fluid, that was injected through the catheter and into my uterus. Pretty cool. Then they washed it out on the camera into the petri dish, to check the embryo had left the building. I would have liked to stay there for a while, but it was just “in ok done off you go”, no sitting around waiting with your legs in the air. I was a bit shocked.

I was really worried to find some fluid leaked out of me afterwards and I don’t know what this means, but the nurses on the phone today assured me it was ok. I was surprised to learn the uterus is not a cavity as such, more like a jam sandwich, completely closed, the sides touching, with the ability to expand around the sack if implantation does take place. They reckon it’s hard for gumby embryos to fall out. I don’t know if I buy it.

We went back into the air lock room to change, hugging each other and jumping up and down that we had one embryo. We’d made it, at least to the end of the “doing” bits of IVF. And ahead of us now is another 11 days wait until the pregnancy test, (if bad news does not arrive sooner via a period).

Today was rough from the moment I woke, with horrendous cramping all day getting steadily worse. I think this is just the Crinone progesterone gel, but it is a drag. Literally. I feel like my insides may fall out.  I met with the IVF counsellor, and had some acupuncture, and if my insides settle down tomorrow I’ll head back to work. The counsellor was good and was pretty mad about no one speaking to me after the egg collection surgery, and she’s offered to lodge a formal complaint on my behalf with their head of medicine.

And we found out gumby number 2 didn’t make it, so we’ve got no “spares”, as shocking as that terminology is. It makes you think about the age old question of when it’s actually a “life”.

There’s no point thinking about how I’m feeling and what it might be a sign of. It’s just a long unknown wait during which I will hopefully stay busy with work and distract myself, and the way these hormones are going I am completely unconscious by 9pm almost every night and sleeping for 10 hours +. So i might just sleep my way to the test and try not to obsess over every little thing, because I can’t control it anyway.

Oh and here’s my take on fertility forum abbreviations. I understand why people use them, but I think they exclude some users and make it some kind of club. You see comments like, “we did BD on Day 14, and now I have cramping and I’m expecting AF. My BBT says….but my FS says…. DH is worried this means….” you get the picture. So preferring to stand outside the “club” looking in, I’ll ridicule the abbreviations instead….

DH: the forums: Dear Husband or Dick Head (depending on the
day) , per me: Deer in Headlights

BFN: Big Fat Negative (pregnancy test),

Bring Me some Fucking Nunchukas

BFP: Big Fat Positive (pregnancy test),

Bring on the Fucking Party

FS: Fertility Specialist, for some people Fuck Stick,

for me Fucking Spectre (because seriously, when do you actually see him?)

AF: Aunt Flo, as in period.

For me, Ahhh Fuck. Because when you get it, when you’re trying to conceive, you say Ahhh fuck.

TTC: Trying To Conceive.

Suggestions welcome.
Tired old Trout without Children?

BD: Baby Dance (as in sex).

Bring on the Deer (in headlights)…the stunned look on a DH’s face when a slightly irrational woman is demanding intercourse on a fertility calendar basis

BBT Basal Body Temperature (for fertility charting).

Bloody Baby Thermometer

EC Egg Collection

For me: EEEK! CRAP!!!!

ET Embryo transfer

For me: hoping it doesn’t look like ET.

Frosties: frozen embryos after a stimulated cycle

For me: Frosties is a kind of unhealthy breakfast cereal, and I’d prefer not to refer to potential future children as some kind of zooper dooper / paddle pop / sunny boy / slurpee.

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4 thoughts on “Nothing up my sleeves, Presto!

  1. I’ve been following your journey for a while and wanted to say hello. You have been through a pile of crap the past few weeks and I’m glad to see that one embryo made it to transfer. I adore your jam sandwich comparison. I had wondered about this myself. Not only are you a hilarious writer, you are also informative! Your embryo will be super lucky to have you as a mom one day. Cheers!

    1. Thank you! Figure you have to see these ridiculous situations life puts you in through humour, or you’d never survive. Down for the count at the moment with a suspected ruptured cyst but hoping this doesn’t mess up our chances this time around….don’t think I’ll ever look at a jam sandwich quite the same way after my conversation with the nurse the other day! Fingers crossed our embryo agrees with you and hangs around….

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