What to expect when you’re not expecting XXI: One egg, two baskets

by Lord Sutch

The first baby photo I’ve ever been able to take. It has my roundness.

Boy it’s getting tense isn’t it? Saturday was transfer day, when the fertilised embryo we had was getting put back in to one of Kim’s uteri. We went in for our appointment. Kim had to drink 750ml of water immediately before-hand because apparently an enlarged bladder makes it easier for the doctor doing the transfer to see where to go on the scan.

We got there and we had to wait for a while. Which put Kim in more discomfort. It never gets any easier for her does it?

After what felt like ages they finally took us into the “talk room”, which sounds more like a place you’d get broken up with. Anyway the embryologist told us that of the 9 that fertilised, there was definitely one we’d get back in (yay) and at that point in time no others, but there were two more that could possibly still reach freeze-quality so we’d have back-ups or future children if this was a success. So we were pretty buoyant at this news.

Kim once again got into a pretty hospital gown and we went back into the theatre where the egg collection had happened. This time no drugs for her, it was expected that this procedure would feel like a smear test. I do not know what a smear test feels like. But they sound unpleasant.

They basically slide a speculum in, then stick a catheter up the hoo-hoo and right into the uterus, put the blastocyst in and just squirt it out. Except with Kim having a pair of uteri, and thus a pair of cervices it was a bit more tricky. Each cervix is smaller than most women’s so there was a bit of difficulty getting into the uterus. Kim was squeezing my hand and her eyes shut because of the discomfort so it was only me who got to see the face of the embryologist who looked a bit concerned as the doctor repeatedly banged up against the cervix (this was all playing out on the ultrasound). After a while they went and got a different catheter – a longer and skinnier one I think, and whoosh that thing just shot in.

The embryologist got sick of my joking about the chances of her dropping  the egg and so I shut the fuck up. They popped the blastocyst into the catheter and boom, we were as pregnant as we’ve ever been. Because I’m such a considerate husband I fucked off and went and played cricket. Kim went out to her mum’s place.

That night when I got home from cricket we were as happy as I think we’ve been in four years. We were relaxed, cheerful, excited, hopeful. It was a nice feeling.

So Sunday morning rolls around and the clinic calls us. They said that the two embryos that may have developed into freezable blastocysts fucked the dog and so didn’t make it. They said that the good news was that they had continued to develop in a straight-forward way, just not enough to freeze. This means, they said, that they hoped the one that got transferred back in is also developing in a straight-forward way.

So now we have just one egg, and it’s in one of two baskets. And it’s fucking tense. What has to happen is that the blastocyst needs to attach itself to Kim’s uterus and then do what’s called hatching. I did some reading. Nothing actually hatches out of the egg in the way you’d imagine it too. Way to mislead me biology. So right now it’s probably just floating around, having a nice relaxing time while Kim and I live in frozen anxiety. We have another week to wait to find out if it’s worked out. And if it hasn’t, well we’re back to square fucking one again. And god almighty does that seem a massive set of steps backwards.

If it doesn’t work, we’ll be ok. We’ve stared down failure before. There’s only one good outcome from IVF, and so far we’ve had three failures, so we’ll just chalk up another one to not working. And try again.

But god I want it to stick. That feeling on Saturday when we had 22 hours of happiness, I want that back. It’s been over four years now. Most of that time one or both of us has been pretty unhappy. I feel like it’s our turn. We should get some good luck. We must be due.


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