We lay in bed side-by-side this morning, H and I, with my phone next to us, waiting for the call from the Riverside embryologists. At 8am on the dot, I handed the phone to H, because in a sad panic last night, I’d begged him to do the talking when they called.
‘Sure,’ he said. But why? We did flowcharts. We already know what we’ve decided to do in each eventuality.’
‘Because I feel I will panic and make the wrong decision. Because I am not being rational about these embryos. I sort-of want to run back to Riverside and stuff them all back inside me right now.’
‘I’m happy to do the talking. And there’s no wrong decision, darling.’
Oh but there is, there is. Stuffing the lot back in now is a wrong decision, for a start. The whole point of doing IVF was to test the poor little sods and make sure we weren’t offering womb-room to hopeless cases. And to find out if they were all hopeless cases, and whether that was the Grand Unified Theory of May’s Recurrent Miscarriages. Therefore, we were only going to do a Day 3 transfer (today is Day 3 in the Life of the Nuts In May embryos) if there were only one or two left. In that case, let’s not risk poking them about and just go for it.
The other thing is, Riverside charge one price for testing up to 8 embryos, and a much larger price for more than 8. Also, having quite a few embryos means the testing takes longer, leading to an increased risk of missing the Day 6 transfer window and having to freeze the lot for later (which may be a good thing uterine lining wise, but a not-so-good thing for hearts, minds and wallets). So, as I said to H, ‘We really want to lose a few more by Monday morning, but not so many as to break our hearts.’ And then my eyes filled with tears, because doesn’t it suck utter pig cock that we have to consider finances at every fucking step?
So when the phone went, quite shortly after 8am, H answered, and had what seemed to me a weeks’ long conversation consisting of him going ‘yes, I see. OK. Yes, that makes sense. Oh. Mm-hmm. OK. OK. I understand,’ in a calm stern sort of voice while I lay beside him and chewed my knuckle. Then he said: ‘Just to recap, there are six embryos worth doing assisted hatching on and keeping going until Day 5, three good quality and three average?’
And that’s where we are. From nine down to six, which fits our plans perfectly, and leaves us with a reasonable chance of one to transfer on Day 6. If at least one is genetically unbollixed.
We have a transfer provisionally booked for Wednesday in case there are only one or two left by then. If there are more, we test. And hope. And hope so hard.
I feel awful. Why do I feel awful? It’s going to plan so far. I have no business feeling awful. Six whole embryos still chuntering on like good little embryos, dividing and increasing. In IVF, this is good going, and so far, I am blessed (and my first two Clexane jabs didn’t bruise, so I am winning something).
I think, on sitting down and forcing myself to actually think about it, that this is PTSD. My natural, heartfelt, inbuilt reaction to embryos dying off is horror and grief, because for the past five years they have died off inside me, and broken my heart over and over again. In my Mr Spock blue jumper, IVF and CGH screening are exactly the right things to do, and our damnedest effort to stop the Horrible Thing from ever happening again. Also, Science! Knowledge! Information! Yay! In my Captain Kirk yellow and/or Bones version of blue, I’m all *flail flail emote flail* PRECIOUS LIVES *flail flail flail*. And the red jumper with the target on it waits to get shot in the back again.
My poor mindless, brainless, heartless, nerveless, gutless little embryos, mere less-than-a-dozen cells of nothing but potential. You’re doing just fine. You really are. I’m lucky to have you. Your Ma is just being amazingly fucking neurotic again. With any luck, at least one of you will just have to get used to that.