What to expect when you’re not expecting XIII: It’s my birthday tomorrow

by Lord Sutch

Tomorrow is my 33rd birthday. It’s a bit of a nothing birthday. I like to measure birthdays in factors. The more factors in your birthday, the better the birthday. 33 doesn’t have many. It has 1, 3, 11 and 33. I’ve found that birthdays divisible by 6 are usually the  good ones. 30 is really good. 1,2,3,5,6,10,15,30. And then 60 is even better! 1,2,3,4,5,6,10,12,15,20,30,60.

Both my parents are maths teachers.

Anyway tomorrow is my birthday and one of the first things I’ll be doing for my birthday is going to the fertility clinic so that Kim can have her first scan of this third attempt at IVF-ing a child into existence. I’m not going to lie, it’s not how I’d choose to spend my birthday. Historically when we’ve gone and had scans the news hasn’t been great and it’s cast a fucking great shadow over the rest of the day. Birthdays shouldn’t be sad. So I’m really hoping that tomorrow’s scan result is a good one.

I mean I’m hoping it’s a good one anyway, but the birthday just adds something extra to it. For the last 6 days we’ve been getting out a wee chemistry set every night and mixing up a drug for Kim to inject herself with. It’s been a bit more hands-on than the previous rounds, that’s because they’ve changed the drug that Kim is taking in the hopes her body will respond a bit better and give us more eggs to choose from.

We’ll find out if that process has begun well on my birthday.

Every night we do the injecting. We usually come home from work, Kim will cook dinner most nights and we’ll sit down in front of the TV. And we’ll try to time it so that the TV show we watch ends around 8pm, you’re supposed to shoot up roughly the same time every night and the time we’ve chosen is 8. We’ve been watching a lot of Twin Peaks (the first two seasons, we’d never seen it before). We’re also watching the Leftovers for the first time. Both of these are sort of meditations on life and death. I’m sure there’s a metaphor I could draw. Draw it yourself. After we’ve watched the show, we’ll shoot up. This takes about 15 minutes to sort. Then we’ll watch something else. It’s now just part of life for us. Watch a show. Mix some drugs. Kim injects. Count to twenty. High five. Put everything away. Go back to watching something else. This is our life now.

We’ll find out if it’s been working well on my birthday.

Of course tomorrow’s scan isn’t the be-all and end-all scan. They usually make decisions on whether we need to alter the treatment based on the results of that scan. Then you go back for another scan every 48 hours until it’s harvest time.

I think I’m more nervous about this scan than any scan before it. This round really does feel like our last round until we get on the public list. We’ve exhausted all sources of revenue. The rounds keep getting more expensive because when they discover a new thing they need to add to the process to improve our chances, that adds a new cost. So this time we’re doing ICSI which is where they are going to inject my warm dudes straight into Kim’s eggs. That’s more money. They are also doing this time lapse photography of the cells splitting so that we have a better chance of choosing the right egg (if we get that far) to implant back in Kim. That’s some more cost. Cost cost cost. Money money money.

It’s my birthday tomorrow. I’ll be 33. I didn’t know where I’d be when I turned 33. I know that Kim talked about expectations of having kids to trip over or something in her last piece. I don’t think like that. I’m very much a what’s-in-front-of-my-nose kind of guy. Which is hard to see sometimes because my nose is very large. And right now the two things in front of my nose are the scan tomorrow and my birthday.

Tomorrow I turn 33. I own a business. I own a house. I have an amazing wife. I’m doing ok. Tomorrow I turn 33 and we find out if this round of IVF is looking good or looking dispiriting or looking a weird mix where we don’t know how to feel. Tomorrow I turn 33 and my life will be very similar to how it is today.

Tomorrow is a big day.


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