A couple days ago I stood in front of the fridge looking for available magnets to pin up Christmas cards. I knew on the side four magnets held our “operation embryo” calendar. September is when we started this journey. It seems like a life time ago where we spent part of our mornings carefully mixing injections and trying to find the least bruised spot on my belly. Five times. For a week I was getting five different shots a day. Three in the morning and two at night. Every prick was in hope that my follicles were growing strong eggs that would turn into our embryos.
IVF is not for everyone. It’s overwhelming and there are to many variables to count. It’s stressful. It’s painful. It’s emotional and though the bruises will fade your body will never really be the same. Fear sits with hope as you struggle to come to terms with all available outcomes. I was afraid that I wouldn’t get any or many eggs. They don’t really tell you how many eggs you have while you are stiming. They just cheerfully say “everything looks good.” I told myself “if we get five eggs I will be happy.” Anything more than five would just be a blessing.
Fifteen follicles lead to eight mature eggs. Eight. We got eight, eight incredible and non-edible eggs. Seven of the eight fertilized and three of the seven made it to blast. We have three embryos waiting for us and my heart is full. The big three leads to a new set of fears. What if they don’t take? How many should we put back? Oh god what if we put two in and get four? These questions seep in at night and I am reminded to follow my heart. Because of my age and the fact I am only doing this once we are transferring two back to me.
Two. December wasn’t meant to be our month. My anatomy proved to challenging for a proper transfer so our embryos were lulled back into a frozen state. It should be noted that the doctor almost put the big two in the wrong place. Thank God the embryologist checked the catheter and saw that we had hitch hikers. Otherwise the big two wouldn’t have had a proper chance at taking hold and growing into our baby(ies). That part scared me and the clinic has reassured me over and over again the big two are frozen with their sibling, embryo #3. No one was lost, my embryos are safe and sound.
January. January is a month of what could have been. Baby E was due in January, a winter baby you were meant to be. But Baby E was never meant to be ours and we are left with a lifetime of wonder. As the snow softly falls and temperatures drop I will be prepping my body for the big two. The big two who will lead to our take home baby(ies).
If you would have asked me three years ago “AJ would you do IVF?” I would have most likely said no. I didn’t think I was strong enough to go through it nor did I think I truly deserved a real chance at motherhood. Some days survivor’s guilt gets the better of me. Both of my children were unplanned, yet they were very much wanted. Our road to parenthood compared to others is very short. Some women try for years and spend thousands of dollars trying for a baby with no luck. Those women are the true warriors for they never give up instead they search for the next thing that will increase their chances at motherhood.
IVF, its a game really. IVF is about stacking the deck and letting God take care of the rest. Our deck is stacked. I grow a beautiful lining, my hormone levels are on point and our embryos are both 5ABs, which translate to “science did everything it could and now it’s up to fate.” Fate and I have a love hate relationship. Without her I am nothing and with her I am everything. She has left me broken, yet she healed me within the same breath. I pray with all of my heart that Fate evens the score, that some how some way the universe will let us be parents to a take home baby(ies).
IVF got this! Faith, Science, and love will get me through the next phase. Our turn, our rainbow, our take home baby(ies) is just one embryo transfer away and Fate will lead us every step of the way.