If we go back a few years, when Kim and I thought that we’d be popping out children like we saw most of our friends were, we’d see Kim and me slowly accruing stuff that a baby would need. Kim bought a toy bear from Kirk’s that hilariously says on it “Not a toy”.
Yeah you are mate.
This was going to be the baby’s first bear, and maybe it would be *that* bear that the child treasured all throughout its early years. Maybe into adulthood. Who knows?
We got a fancy-pants stroller, car-seat and sleeping dome as a hand-me-down from some very kind family members. There was a bunch of stuff like this that we’ve slowly built up over the years. And now it sits in our spare room waiting for someone to claim it. It’s a depressing sight, to walk into the spare bedroom that we planned on making a nursery. Because it’s not a nursery. And it hurts me a little bit every time I have to go in there (maybe I should move the vacuum cleaner so I don’t have to get it from that room).
Today was a big scan day. Today was the final scan before a decision was to be made whether we’d move on to egg-collection. As I mentioned in another post you want as many follicles as possible, because each follicle *may* contain an egg. But eggs don’t exist outside follicles. And then you want those follicles to optimally be between 16-20mm in size. That’s a sign of a mature follicle that’s likely to have an egg in it that’s mature enough to fertilise.
From this, the eggs are collected and you don’t expect to get the number of eggs out as you have follicles. IVF has a law of diminishing returns. So say you have 10 follicles you may expect to get 7 eggs out. From there you may get 4 fertilised and from that you may get 2 that do it in just the right way that they become “blastocysts” and are ripe for putting back inside the carrier.
Today we found out how many follicles we had that were of the right size.
We had three.
Three is not great. The doctor even said “not a fab result”. Makes you feel a bit sick. Three, as it turns out, is the absolute rock bottom bare minimum that they’ll proceed to collection. So we are going to be doing that. But now we’re playing with some dicey numbers.
Of course this is not hard and fast so there is a possibility that there are more. But that is not the norm.
It’s been a hell of a 7 days with an average scan, followed up by a good scan, then back to a poor scan and now a not great final scan. I feel a bit ill. Because my wife is hurting. And I’m hurting. But it’s no-one’s fault. And there isn’t anything anyone can do. I said in a tweet that we were at the mercy of hope now and hope is notoriously unreliable.
After the scan, Kim and I went and had a sad breakfast together (well the food was actually excellent. Shout out to Fidel’s, you always nail it). We had to start talking about hard topics. What do we do if this fails? Well we’ll have to wait. This second attempt has been expensive. We can’t afford another round. So now we’re at the mercy of the public system. But that’s ages away, do we want to extend the mortgage? We could do that, but shit that’s digging yourself deeper in debt. Will I need to get a second job or something that pays more so we can save up for another round between now and getting into the public system (which could be 15 months away)?
I’m talking like this round has failed. It hasn’t. But it’s hard to stay positive when you keep meeting new hurdles. And those hurdles get higher.
And those hurdles hurt Kim a lot. And I can’t do anything about it. And she can’t do anything about it. And we’re both just drifting through this process while mentally exhausting ourselves with fear and sadness and hope and excitement.
So we approach collection day in 2 days time nervous as all hell. I’ll write posts following the collection, but I’m not sure if I can publish them immediately. I want to keep writing as this process happens, but it’s getting harder to do this now. When we started this process I knew we could miss out, but you just kind of expect it all to be fine. Now we’re getting closer to crunch time and we’re heading down a route that doesn’t usually end great. I’m emotional. And afraid.
And while all of this is going on, a spare room stays filled with unused baby stuff. And a vacuum cleaner.